Background: A need for a structured approach for student guidance has been identified in using media presented patient cases (de Leng et al., 2007). Furthermore integration aspects seem to influence what importance and value students find in virtual patients (VPs) in relation to course content and their study situation (Hege et al., 2007). One important course integration aspect is how students’ VP case work is followed up.
Summary of work: We investigated students’ perceptions of VPs in a clinical course using a questionnaire (n=161, response rate: 65%). The course was delivered with variations in case follow-up strategy: none, medium and high intensity of follow-ups. Intensity was defined after degree of processing requirements of students at a follow-up seminar. Differences in students’ perceptions of VPs was analysed regarding this variation.
Summary of results: Students’ questionnaire responses will be presented regarding their perceptions of the value of VPs in the course. Items include relation to the examination, future professional practice, understanding of subject matter, learning facts about symptom and diagnosis and training of diagnosing skills.
Conclusions: Preliminary analysis shows that level of intensity of follow-up activities in the course influence the value that students ascribe to VPs.
Take-home message: Careful planning of case follow-up increase the value of using VPs in courses.