Digital education for health professionals in India: a scoping review of the research

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BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts a global shortfall of 18 million health workers by 2030, particularly in low- and middle-income countries like India. The country faces challenges such as inadequate numbers of health professionals, poor quality of personnel, and outdated teaching styles. Digital education may address some of these issues, but there is limited research on what approaches work best in the Indian context. This paper conducts a scoping review of published empirical research related to digital health professions education in India to understand strengths, weaknesses, gaps, and future research opportunities. METHODS: We searched four databases using a three-element search string with terms related to digital education, health professions, and India. Data was extracted from 36 included studies that reported on empirical research into digital educational innovations in the formal health professions education system of India. Data were analysed thematically. RESULTS: Most study rationales related to challenges facing the Indian health care system, rather than a wish to better understand phenomena related to teaching and learning. Similarly, most studies can be described as general evaluations of digital educational innovations, rather than educational research per se. They mostly explored questions related to student perception and intervention effectiveness, typically in the form of quantitative analysis of survey data or pre- and post-test results. CONCLUSIONS: The analysis revealed valuable insights into India-specific needs and challenges. The Indian health professions education system's size and unique challenges present opportunities for more nuanced, context-specific investigations and contributions to the wider digital education field. This, however, would require a broadening of methodological approaches, in particular rigorous qualitative designs, and a focus on addressing research-worthy educational phenomena.

TidsskriftBMC Medical Education
Udgave nummer1
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 2023

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