Effectiveness of E-Learning Training on Drug – Dosage Calculation Skills of Nursing Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial

  • Ferrari Manuela
  • Tonella Simone
  • Busca EricaEmail author
  • Mercandelli Stefano
  • Vagliano Liliana
  • Aimaretti Gianluca
  • Dal Molin Alberto
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 804)


Drugs administration errors are often used as patient safety indicators in hospitals, being deemed a common and potentially risky event for individual safety. Poor mathematical skills might contribute to medication calculation errors. E-learning is a new training tool that takes advantage of new technology. It constitutes an important development in training and teaching in general.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an e-learning teaching course using on-line platform compared to traditional teaching.

Between 1 April 2016 and 22 April 2016, 198 second-year nursing students were randomized: 98 were allocated to the e-learning group (intervention group) and 100 in the control group received lectures with a professor. Students in both groups completed a questionnaire prior (T0) and after the course (T1).

The findings of this study indicated that students, in both groups, boosted their calculation abilities between T0 and T1 test (22.4 vs 25.6 p < 0.001; 20.3 vs 23.5 p < 0.001). However, there was no statistically significant difference between the number of correct responses on both tests or the number of individuals showing improvement for either training course.

Improvements in drug-dosage calculation skills have been observed in e-learning group, although the intervention was no more efficient than traditional lecture. We believe that more studies should be carried out in the future in order to understand better the phenomenon.


Drug calculation skills E-learning Nursing education 



We wish to thank: Abelli Gianfranco, Busca Gabriella, Fanton Monica, Ferrante Francesco, Pronsati Stefano, Spagarino Ermanno, for the content validity evaluation of the collection tool. Also, we would like to thank: Faggiano Fabrizio, Bambaci Marilena, Barresi Federica, Bertozzi Alessandra, Bidone Sara, Borsari Virna, Chilin Giovanni, Ferrauto Laura, Moscatiello Mimma, Scapparone Paola, Suardi Barbara, Tibaldi Antonietta, Zavattaro Irene, for the support given in the conduction of this trial and the statistician Silvano Andorno. In addition, we would like to express our gratitude to Julian Michelle.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ferrari Manuela
    • 1
  • Tonella Simone
    • 1
  • Busca Erica
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mercandelli Stefano
    • 3
  • Vagliano Liliana
    • 4
  • Aimaretti Gianluca
    • 2
  • Dal Molin Alberto
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Nursing SchoolBiella HospitalBiellaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Translational MedicineUniversità del Piemonte OrientaleNovaraItaly
  3. 3.Biella HospitalBiellaItaly
  4. 4.Department of Public Health and Pediatrics, School of MedicineUniversità di TorinoTorinoItaly

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