The e-learning education is a promising method, but there are few prospective randomized publications in oncology. The purpose of this study was to assess the level of retention of information in oncology from undergraduate students of physiotherapy. A prospective, controlled, randomized, crossover study, 72 undergraduate students of physiotherapy, from the second to fourth years, were randomized to perform a course of physiotherapy in oncology (PHO) using traditional classroom or e-learning. Students were offered the same content of the subject. The teacher in the traditional classroom model and the e-learning students used the Articulate® software. The course tackled the main issues related to PHO, and it was divided into six modules, 18 lessons, evaluated by 126 questions. A diagnosis evaluation was performed previous to the course and after every module. The sample consisted of 67 students, allocated in groups A (n = 35) and B (n = 32), and the distribution was homogeneous between the groups. Evaluating the correct answers, we observed a limited score in the pre-test (average grade 44.6 %), which has significant (p < 0.001) improvement in post-test evaluation (average grade 73.9 %). The correct pre-test (p = 0.556) and post-test (p = 0.729) evaluation and the retention of information (p = 0.408) were not different between the two groups.
The course in PHO allowed significant acquisition of knowledge to undergraduate students, but the level of information retention was statistically similar between the traditional classroom form and the e-learning, a fact that encourages the use of e-learning in oncology.