Designing tailored Web-based instruction to improve practicing physicians' preventive practices.
ABSTRACT The World Wide Web has led to the rapid growth of medical information and continuing medical educational offerings. Ease of access and availability at any time are advantages of the World Wide Web. Existing physician-education sites have often been designed and developed without systematic application of evidence and cognitive-educational theories; little rigorous evaluation has been conducted to determine which design factors are most effective in facilitating improvements in physician performance and patient-health outcomes that might occur as a result of physician participation in Web-based education. Theory and evidence-based Web design principles include the use of: needs assessment, multimodal strategies, interactivity, clinical cases, tailoring, credible evidence-based content, audit and feedback, and patient-education materials. Ease of use and design to support the lowest common technology denominator are also important.
Using these principles, design and develop a Web site including multimodal strategies for improving chlamydial-screening rates among primary care physicians.
We used office-practice data in needs assessment and as an audit/feedback tool. In the intervention introduced in 4 phases over 11 months, we provided a series of interactive, tailored, case vignettes with feedback on peer answers. We included a quality-improvement toolbox including clinical practice guidelines and printable patient education materials.
In the formative evaluation of the first 2 chlamydia modules, data regarding the recruitment, enrollment, participation, and reminders have been examined. Preliminary evaluation data from a randomized, controlled trial has tested the effectiveness of this intervention in improving chlamydia screening rates with a significant increase in intervention physicians' chlamydia knowledge, attitude, and skills compared to those of a control group.
The application of theory in the development and evaluation of a Web-based continuing medical education intervention offers valuable insight into World Wide Web technology's influence on physician performance and the quality of medical care.
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ABSTRACT: Over the years, various distance learning technologies and methods have been applied to the continuing medical education needs of rural and remote physicians. They have included audio teleconferencing, slow scan imaging, correspondence study, and compressed videoconferencing. The recent emergence and growth of Internet, World Wide Web (Web), and compact disk read-only-memory (CD-ROM) technologies have introduced new opportunities for providing continuing education to the rural medical practitioner. This evaluation study assessed the instructional effectiveness of a hybrid computer-mediated courseware delivery system on dermatologic office procedures. A hybrid delivery system merges Web documents, multimedia, computer-mediated communications, and CD-ROMs to enable self-paced instruction and collaborative learning. Using a modified pretest to post-test control group study design, several evaluative criteria (participant reaction, learning achievement, self-reported performance change, and instructional transactions) were assessed by various qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. This evaluation revealed that a hybrid computer-mediated courseware system was an effective means for increasing knowledge (p < .05) and improving self-reported competency (p < .05) in dermatologic office procedures, and that participants were very satisfied with the self-paced instruction and use of asynchronous computer conferencing for collaborative information sharing among colleagues.Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions 02/2000; 20(2):106-19. · 1.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Outreach visits have been identified as an intervention that may improve the practice of health care professionals, in particular prescribing. This type of 'face to face' visit has been referred to as university-based educational detailing, public interest detailing, and academic detailing. To assess the effects of outreach visits on improving health professional practice or patient outcomes. We searched MEDLINE up to March 1997, the Research and Development Resource Base in Continuing Medical Education, and reference lists of related systematic reviews and articles. Randomised trials of outreach visits (defined as a personal visit by a trained person to a health care provider in his or her own setting). The participants were health care professionals. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed study quality. Eighteen studies were included involving more than 1896 physicians. All of the outreach visit interventions consisted of several components, including written materials and conferences. Reminders or audit and feedback complemented some visits. In 13 studies, the targeted behaviours were prescribing practices. In three studies, the behaviours were preventive services, including counselling for smoking cessation. In two studies, the outreach visits were directed toward improving the general management of common problems encountered in general practice, including asthma, diabetes, otitis media, hypertension, anxiety, and acute bronchitis. All studies examined physician behaviour and in three studies other health professionals such as nurses, nursing home attendants or health care workers were targeted. Positive effects on practice were observed in all studies. Only one study measured a patient outcome. Few studies examined the cost effectiveness of outreach. Educational outreach visits, particularly when combined with social marketing, appear to be a promising approach to modifying health professional behaviour, especially prescribing. Further research is needed to assess the effects of outreach visits for other aspects of practice and to identify key characteristics of outreach visits that are important to its success. The cost-effectiveness of outreach visits is not well evaluated.Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 02/2000; · 5.70 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: For continuing medical education (CME) to be effective, several key features must be realized. These include a learner-directed agenda of topics, presentation of information by trusted peers or local experts, and opportunity for practice and feedback. If the information comes from several sources--printed materials, peer discussion, patient questions, and presentation from the specialist community--the perception of need for and the durability of change are enhanced. Finally, motivation for change must be high enough for change to occur, yet not overwhelming. Facilitated small-group discussion among general practitioner colleagues with an expert specialist around clinic-based problems meets many of these requirements. When followed up by relevant literature, key concepts and practice changes are reinforced. We discuss our 3-year experience with the small-group format, comprising more than 25 sessions as either learners or facilitators. We describe the maturation of our group. We highlight the benefits to learners, including the relevance to clinical practice and the opportunity to ascertain the standard of care of peers. The benefits to the specialist are also discussed, including opportunities to learn which suggestions are difficult to implement. Our experience demonstrates that this format is sustainable over the long term. The success of the small-group format at improving CME and patient outcomes deserves further evaluation.Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions 02/2000; 20(1):27-32. · 1.32 Impact Factor