New Approaches to Continuing Medical Education: a QStream (spaced education) Program for Research Translation in Ovarian Cancer

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Abstract

Continuing medical education (CME) is challenging and often has limited impact on clinician behavior or patient outcomes. This study examined the impact of an online Qstream education program on senior clinicians to determine its utility for increasing clinician knowledge about the latest guidelines regarding genetic assessment and consideration of genetic testing for women with particular types of ovarian, fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancer. Participants were recruited into a pilot study that involved responding to case-based scenarios at spaced and repeated intervals. At the completion of the program, semi-structured interviews were conducted to ascertain the impact on their knowledge and referral behavior. Findings from interviews were subject to thematic analysis that involved the identification of categories and themes. Twenty-one participants commenced the program, seventeen completed and twelve participated in semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis yielded several themes including knowledge change, curriculum and format and changes in referral patterns. A majority of participants (n = 10) agreed the program had helped update their knowledge about referring women, and eight agreed they would now change their referral patterns. The use of QStream as an approach to CME has significant advantages when working with busy clinicians. QStream has a well accepted format and most participants indicated it is very appropriate for disseminating updates to clinical guidelines and protocols. It is important to supplement CME programs with other implementation techniques, such as audit and feedback as multifaceted approaches are more likely to result in behavior change.

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Robinson, T., Janssen, A., Kirk, J., DeFazio, A., Goodwin, A., Tucker, K., & Shaw, T. (2017). New Approaches to Continuing Medical Education: a QStream (spaced education) Program for Research Translation in Ovarian Cancer. Journal of Cancer Education, 32(3), 476–482. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13187-015-0944-7

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