Stefanie Roder (Foundation for Medical Practice Education); Heather Armson (Department of Family Medicine, University of Calgary); Jacqueline Wakefield (Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University); Sarah Kinzie (Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University); Tom Elmslie (Department of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa); Kevin Eva (Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia)
Physicians are expected to engage in a variety of activities to identify gaps in practice and make appropriate changes. The literature suggests that self-assessment is insufficient in this regard, making individuals dependent on external sources of information. As part of an experimental trial assessing the relative impact of various sources of external information, family physicians were asked about their perceptions of what impact different activities had on their knowledge gain and decisions to change practice.
Family Physicians were recruited across Canada. Prior to studying educational material provided, participants were asked to either answer a pre-test or read a relevant review article. They then discussed the educational material in groups. Post-tests and planned practice changes documented impact. An on-line survey inquired about different sources of feedback available during the study.
Preliminary data (n=47/109; 43%) indicate that small-group participants found pre-testing helpful for identifying gaps in knowledge (89.4%), however less for improving knowledge (66.0%). Reading a review article was perceived as helpful for improving knowledge (78.7%) but less helpful for identifying knowledge gaps (61.7%). Small-group discussions were seen as helpful for identifying gaps in knowledge (89.4%) and practice (93.6%), and improving knowledge (91.5%). Discussions were also perceived as helpful in deciding how to alter practice (91.4%), relative to reading (57.4%) or testing (36.1%).
Preliminary data suggest that physicians perceived small group discussions to be most influential in guiding their practice change. How these perceptions align with actual knowledge gain and self-reported changes in practice will be determined in the near future.
Study was funded by Medical Council of Canada