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How To Decrease The Emotional Impact Of Cadaver Dissection In Medical Students


avatar F Javadnia 1 , * , avatar M Hashemitabar 2 , avatar SR Kalantarmahdavi 2 , avatar N Khajehmougahi 3

1 Head of Anatomical Sciences Department, School of Medicine,Jundi Shapour University of Medical Sciences, Ahwaz.

2 Anatomy Department,Jundi Shapour University of Medical Sciences.

3 Clinical Psychologist, Psychiatry Department.

How to Cite: Javadnia F, Hashemitabar M, Kalantarmahdavi S, Khajehmougahi N. How To Decrease The Emotional Impact Of Cadaver Dissection In Medical Students. J Med Edu. 2005;7(1):e105172.
doi: 10.22037/jme.v7i1.846.


Journal of Medical Education: 7 (1); e105172
Published Online: June 01, 2005
Article Type: Research Article
Received: March 01, 2005
Accepted: June 01, 2005


Background: Teaching anatomy is based on cadaver dissection. Working  with cadavers, whether through active dissection or by examination of prosected specimens, constitutes a potential stressor in medical  education.Purpose.To reduce the anxiety of the medical students by mentally preparing them before going to the dissection room.Methods: The questionnaires were distributed among 68 medical students. The pre-dissection questionnaire comprised questions related to demographic data and the first encounter with a cadaver. The students were randomly divided into experimental and control groups. The experimental group was prepared psychologically prior to dissection, but the control group entered the dissection room without any preparation. After the first dissection class, all students were surveyed by the second questionnaire  which surveyed physical and cognitive symptoms of anxiety, resulting from exposure to the dissection room at the first visit and six weeks later.Results: There was a significant difference (p<.05) in the rate of anxiety between experimental and control group in the initial visit. The difference in the rate of anxiety between the first exposure and six weeks later was significant in control group (p<.008), while it was not significant in the experimental group.Conclusion: The initial preparation could relatively reduce the rate of stress, so that the experimental group experienced less errs) tonal effects during dissection compared to control group.


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