Suzanne Murray (AXDEV Group); Patrice Lazure (AXDEV Group); Sara Schroter (BMJ Group); Madeleine Schaffer (EIMSED); Peter Posel (ClinServices Intl GmbH); Thomas Kellner (AXDEV Europe); Richard D. Jenkins (BMJ Learning)
A qualitative evaluation of the development of an international community of practice in type 2 diabetes provided insight on the perceived value and feasibility of delivering professional education across borders. Participants helped identify areas for improvement, and challenges to overcome for such initiatives to be successful. The lessons learned through this pilot project can help the design and deployment of future international programs.
Based on the findings of an international needs assessment documenting gaps and barriers to optimal primary care delivery in type 2 diabetes common to four countries (Austria, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom), an educational program was designed as a pilot international Community of Practice (CoP) with 52 participants. Educational offerings included: (1) live orientation sessions introducing the program; (2) a discussion forum that included case problems; (3) a learning tool that suggested prioritized readings based on individual results; (4) webinars providing live expert-facilitated interactions around a particular topic; (5) a live workshop focused on assessment of treatment targets; (6) a closing session.
The evaluation of the educational program consisted of: (1) 45-minute qualitative semi-structured telephone interviews, conducted with a repeated sample of participants (n=19) immediately following the orientation session and two months later; (2) discussion groups integrated in the closing sessions, four months after the beginning of the program.
Participants of the evaluation reported changes in their knowledge and clinical practice behaviors as a result of their participation. They identified areas for further development of the CoP. Participants saw value and showed willingness to invest their time in a long-term international CoP in diabetes. They recognized the need for leadership to emerge within their group for the CoP to grow and flourish and that additional time would be required to build relationships among participants.
The evaluation of a pilot CoP demonstrated the feasibility of delivering an international education program, but also identified challenges to overcome for such initiatives to be successful.
This study was funded with the support of an independent educational research grant from MerckSharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co. Inc.