Mwaka Erisa1, Kukiriza John2, Mwesigwa Catherine3, Munabi Ian1, Buwembo William1, Kirum Gonzaga1, Kyamanawa Isaac1, Okello Micheal1, Kiryowa Haruna1, Tumusiime Gerald1, Masilili Godfrey1, Ochieng Joseph1, Luboga Samuel1, Ibingira Charles1
  1. Department of Anatomy, School of Biomedical Sciences, Makerere University, Uganda
  2. Department of Biomedical Sciences, Earnest Cook Ultrasound Research and Education Institute (ECUREI), Mengo hospital, Kampala Uganda
  3. Department of Dentistry, School of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Uganda

Corresponding Author: Buwembo William. Anatomy Department. Makerere University College of Health Sciences School of Biomedical Sciences 7072 Kampala Uganda. email Phone: +256 772 414 863

Regular class attendance is evidence of professionalism. This has led to mandatory class attendance in many disciplines including anatomy. However, there is paucity of data on the effect of mandatory class attendance on student performance in resource-limited settings. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of mandatory attendance of anatomy dissections on student’s practical exams. This was an audit of undergraduate first year health professional students performance on the practical summative Steeplechase exam for the anatomy of limbs in two consecutive academic years at Makerere University. The second lot of first year students in the study had all their scheduled anatomy dissection sessions roll called to confirm their attendance that was the intervention arm in the study. The data was analysed with STATA statistical computing software version 13. Some of the tests run on this data included independent samples t test and Regression analysis. The overall performance of students in the academic year varied with roll call and was significantly lower than that in the previous academic year without roll call (mean difference -8.04 95% CI -10.76 to -5.31). Significant reductions in performance were also observed with type of student sponsorship (P<0.01) and the program they were pursuing (P<0.01). Roll calling had the largest effect on student performance demonstrated by the 0.23 standard deviation reduction in performance of students. This study shows that mandatory attendance of anatomy dissections leads to a reduction in the student’s performance on practical anatomy examinations.
Key words: Anatomy dissection, class attendance, examination performance
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