Background: The University of Oslo aims at giving the students a wider range of teaching aids. With economical and technical support from the university, we have created a web-based educational program covering non-linguistic cognitive problems that occur after stroke. Symptoms such as apraxia, neglect and visuospatial dysfunction are common in these patients, and it is important for medical students to have knowledge about them. Such knowledge is, however, difficult to obtain just by an oral description. It may also be difficult to find illustrating patients suitable for clinical demonstrations.
Methods: The work has been carried out at Ullevaal University Hospital by two medical students, a group of occupational therapists and a geriatrician. Patients with illustrating symptoms were videotaped while doing practical tasks, and the videos were then shortened in order to cover the most typical symptoms. All patients gave informed consent, and their identities were masked during the editing process.
Results and interpretation: The web-based lectures consist of short videotapes, around 3 minutes each, showing five patients that are doing practical tasks: Two with neglect, one with visuospatial dysfunction and neglect, and two with apraxia. In addition, the lectures contain theory and some questions in order to stimulate an active learning approach. The lectures are now part of the curriculum for medical students at The University of Oslo, and are also freely available on the Internet (www.med.uio.no/studier/elaring/webleksjon/kognitiveutfall/). Further development of more web-based resources covering geriatric medicine and/or neurology would be interesting and useful.