Comparative Impact of 2 Continuing Education Activities Targeted at COPD Educators on Educational Outcomes

BMC Health Services Research (06/18/18) Gagné, Myriam; Moisan, Jocelyne; Lauzier, Sophie

Analysts have speculated that benefits from therapeutic patient education (TPE) may rely upon the performance of the educators and on the training they have received. Researchers from Laval University in Quebec are measuring the effect of two continuing education (CE) activities on TPE among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The first CE activity incorporates a role-playing simulation and involves a small group of participants (experimental group). The second CE activity features a lecture on TPE presented to a larger set of participants (comparison group). The two activities will be contrasted in regard to satisfaction, learning, self-report of competence, performance of the COPD educators, and outcomes of the COPD patients. In the experimental group, learning activities will include a lecture and group discussion on TPE; demonstrations and case studies on how to demonstrate TPE skills while taking a COPD patient's medical history and interpreting an action plan; demonstrations of how to ensure TPE skills while teaching a patient to use and maintain medication delivery devices; and a role-playing simulation relating to a COPD patient's initial and follow-up TPE visits. In the comparison group, about twice as many educators will participate in a seven-hour lecture on TPE in which learning will be mostly passive. The evaluation for this group will include a questionnaire that gauges the memorization of TPE concepts and procedures. The researchers believe this "is the first controlled mixed methods study to compare the impact of two CE activities on TPE in regard to five educational outcomes." The findings, they suggest, "could increase COPD educators' performance levels in delivering effective TPE interventions, and, in turn, COPD patient outcomes."

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