JMIR Publications

JMIR Medical Education

 Technology, innovation and openess in medical education in the information age

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Journal Description

JMIR Medical Education (JME) is a Pubmed-indexed, peer-reviewed journal with focus on technology, innovation and openess in medical education. Another focus is on how to train health professionals in the use of digital tools. We publish original research, reviews, viewpoint and policy papers on innovation and technology in medical education. As an open access journal we have a special interest in open and free tools and digitial learning objects for medical education, and urge authors to make their tools and learning objects freely available (we may also publish them as Multimedia Appendix). We also invite submissions of non-conventional articles (e.g. open medical education material and software resources that are not yet evaluated but free for others to use/implement). 

In our "Students' Corner", we invite students and trainees in the health professions to submit short essays and viewpoints on all aspects of medical education, but in particular suggestions on how to improve medical education, and suggestions for new technologies, applications and approaches (no article processing fees).

A sister journal of the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), a leading eHealth journal (Impact Factor 2015: 4.532), the scope of JME is broader and includes non-Internet approaches to improve education, training and assessment for medical professionals and allied health professions.

Articles published in JME will be submitted to PubMed and Pubmed Central. JME is open access.

 

Recent Articles:

  • Simulator media display. Selecting a media option from the media drop-down displays a pop-up with the relevant image, lab results, or video. Source: Figure 2 from http://mededu.jmir.org/2017/1/e8; Copyright: the authors; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Simulation Training: Evaluating the Instructor’s Contribution to a Wizard of Oz Simulator in Obstetrics and Gynecology Ultrasound Training

    Abstract:

    Background: Workplaces today demand graduates who are prepared with field-specific knowledge, advanced social skills, problem-solving skills, and integration capabilities. Meeting these goals with didactic learning (DL) is becoming increasingly difficult. Enhanced training methods that would better prepare tomorrow’s graduates must be more engaging and game-like, such as feedback based e-learning or simulation-based training, while saving time. Empirical evidence regarding the effectiveness of advanced learning methods is lacking. Objective quantitative research comparing advanced training methods with DL is sparse. Objectives: This quantitative study assessed the effectiveness of a computerized interactive simulator coupled with an instructor who monitored students’ progress and provided Web-based immediate feedback. Methods: A low-cost, globally accessible, telemedicine simulator, developed at the Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel—was used. A previous study in the field of interventional cardiology, evaluating the efficacy of the simulator to enhanced learning via knowledge exams, presented promising results of average scores varying from 94% after training and 54% before training (n=20) with P<.001. Two independent experiments involving obstetrics and gynecology (Ob-Gyn) physicians and senior ultrasound sonographers, with 32 subjects, were conducted using a new interactive concept of the WOZ (Wizard of OZ) simulator platform. The contribution of an instructor to learning outcomes was evaluated by comparing students’ knowledge before and after each interactive instructor-led session as well as after fully automated e-learning in the field of Ob-Gyn. Results from objective knowledge tests were analyzed using hypothesis testing and model fitting. Results: A significant advantage (P=.01) was found in favor of the WOZ training approach. Content type and training audience were not significant. Conclusions: This study evaluated the contribution of an integrated teaching environment using a computerized interactive simulator, with an instructor providing immediate Web-based immediate feedback to trainees. Involvement of an instructor in the simulation-based training process provided better learning outcomes that varied training content and trainee populations did not affect the overall learning gains.

  • Image of virtual patient and physician. Source: JMIR Medical Education; Copyright: Ron Goldman; URL: http://mededu.jmir.org/2017/1/e7/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Simulated Conversations With Virtual Humans to Improve Patient-Provider Communication and Reduce Unnecessary Prescriptions for Antibiotics: A Repeated...

    Abstract:

    Background: Despite clear evidence that antibiotics do not cure viral infections, the problem of unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics in ambulatory care persists, and in some cases, prescribing patterns have increased. The overuse of antibiotics for treating viral infections has created numerous economic and clinical consequences including increased medical costs due to unnecessary hospitalizations, antibiotic resistance, disruption of gut bacteria, and obesity. Recent research has underscored the importance of collaborative patient-provider communication as a means to reduce the high rates of unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics. However, most patients and providers do not feel prepared to engage in such challenging conversations. Objectives: The aim of this pilot study was to assess the ability of a brief 15-min simulated role-play conversation with virtual humans to serve as a preliminary step to help health care providers and patients practice, and learn how to engage in effective conversations about antibiotics overuse. Methods: A total of 69 participants (35 providers and 34 patients) completed the simulation once in one sitting. A pre-post repeated measures design was used to assess changes in patients’ and providers’ self-reported communication behaviors, activation, and preparedness, intention, and confidence to effectively communicate in the patient-provider encounter. Changes in patients’ knowledge and beliefs regarding antibiotic use were also evaluated. Results: Patients experienced a short-term positive improvement in beliefs about appropriate antibiotic use for infection (F1,30=14.10, P=.001). Knowledge scores regarding the correct uses of antibiotics improved immediately postsimulation, but decreased at the 1-month follow-up (F1,30=31.16, P<.001). There was no change in patient activation and shared decision-making (SDM) scores in the total sample of patients (P>.10) Patients with lower levels of activation exhibited positive, short-term benefits in increased intent and confidence to discuss their needs and ask questions in the clinic visit, positive attitudes regarding participation in SDM with their provider, and accurate beliefs about the use of antibiotics (P<.10). The results also suggest small immediate gains in providers’ attitudes about SDM (mean change 0.20; F1,33= 8.03, P=.01). Conclusions: This pilot study provided preliminary evidence on the efficacy of the use of simulated conversations with virtual humans as a tool to improve patient-provider communication (ie, through increasing patient confidence to actively participate in the visit and physician attitudes about SDM) for engaging in conversations about antibiotic use. Future research should explore if repeated opportunities to use the 15-min simulation as well as providing users with several different conversations to practice with would result in sustained improvements in antibiotics beliefs and knowledge and communication behaviors over time. The results of this pilot study offered several opportunities to improve on the simulation in order to bolster communication skills and knowledge retention.

  • Hemophilia. Source: www.flickr.com; Copyright: Michael Schultz via flickr; URL: https://goo.gl/B7YZXF; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    The Coags Uncomplicated App: Fulfilling Educational Gaps Around Diagnosis and Laboratory Testing of Coagulation Disorders

    Abstract:

    Background: Patients with coagulation disorders may present to a variety of physician specialties; however, accurate and efficient diagnosis can be challenging for physicians not specialized in hematology, due to identified gaps in knowledge around appropriate laboratory assays and interpretation of test results. Coags Uncomplicated was developed to fill this unmet educational need by increasing practical knowledge of coagulation disorders among nonexpert physicians and other health care professionals (HCPs) in a point-of-care (POC) setting. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess patterns of use of the mobile app Coags Uncomplicated, a tool designed to support education regarding accurate and efficient diagnosis of bleeding disorders. Methods: App metrics were obtained by tracking registered user data. Additionally, a survey was distributed to registered users, to assess circumstances and frequency of use. Results: The most common specialties of 7596 registered US users were hematology-oncology (n=1534, 20.19%), hematology (n=1014, 13.35%), and emergency medicine (n=1222, 16.09%); most identified as physicians (n=4082, 53.74%). Specialties accounting for the greatest numbers of screen views were hematology-oncology (99,390 views), hematology (47,808 views), emergency medicine (23,121 views), and internal medicine (22,586 views). The most common diagnostic endpoints reached were disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC; 2713 times), liver disease effect (2108 times), and vitamin K deficiency (1584 times). Of 3424 users asked to take the survey, 262 responded (7.65%); most were physicians in direct clinical care (71%) and specialized in hematology-oncology (39%) or emergency medicine (21%). Most frequent use was reported by hematologists (69%, ≥6 times) and hematologists-oncologists (38%, ≥6 times). Most physicians (89.2%) reported using the app for patient-case-related education around appropriate use of laboratory tests in diagnostic evaluation. Physicians rated Lab Value Analyzer (mean 4.43) and Lab Test Algorithm (mean 4.46) tools highly on a 5-point “how helpful” scale and were likely to recommend the app to colleagues. Conclusions: App use among physicians and other HCPs is consistent with value as a POC educational tool, which may facilitate differential diagnoses and appropriate early consultation with hematologists.

  • Man holds digital tablet in his hands. Source: Pexels; URL: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-holds-digital-tablet-in-his-hands-6363/; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Continuing Professional Development via Social Media or Conference Attendance: A Cost Analysis

    Abstract:

    Background: Professional development is essential in the health disciplines. Knowing the cost and value of educational approaches informs decisions and choices about learning and teaching practices. Objective: The primary aim of this study was to conduct a cost analysis of participation in continuing professional development via social media compared with live conference attendance. Methods: Clinicians interested in musculoskeletal care were invited to participate in the study activities. Quantitative data were obtained from an anonymous electronic questionnaire. Results: Of the 272 individuals invited to contribute data to this study, 150 clinicians predominantly from Australia, United States, United Kingdom, India, and Malaysia completed the outcome measures. Half of the respondents (78/150, 52.0%) believed that they would learn more with the live conference format. The median perceived participation costs for the live conference format was Aus $1596 (interquartile range, IQR 172.50-2852.00). The perceived cost of participation for equivalent content delivered via social media was Aus $15 (IQR 0.00-58.50). The majority of the clinicians (114/146, 78.1%, missing data n=4) indicated that they would pay for a subscription-based service, delivered by social media, to the median value of Aus $59.50. Conclusions: Social media platforms are evolving into an acceptable and financially sustainable medium for the continued professional development of health professionals. When factoring in the reduced costs of participation and the reduced loss of employable hours from the perspective of the health service, professional development via social media has unique strengths that challenge the traditional live conference delivery format.

  • Image source: Copyright stocksnap.io. https://goo.gl/dPhvgt. Licensed under Creative Commons CC0 license. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.

    When Educational Material Is Delivered: A Mixed Methods Content Validation Study of the Information Assessment Method

    Abstract:

    Background: The Information Assessment Method (IAM) allows clinicians to report the cognitive impact, clinical relevance, intention to use, and expected patient health benefits associated with clinical information received by email. More than 15,000 Canadian physicians and pharmacists use the IAM in continuing education programs. In addition, information providers can use IAM ratings and feedback comments from clinicians to improve their products. Objective: Our general objective was to validate the IAM questionnaire for the delivery of educational material (ecological and logical content validity). Our specific objectives were to measure the relevance and evaluate the representativeness of IAM items for assessing information received by email. Methods: A 3-part mixed methods study was conducted (convergent design). In part 1 (quantitative longitudinal study), the relevance of IAM items was measured. Participants were 5596 physician members of the Canadian Medical Association who used the IAM. A total of 234,196 ratings were collected in 2012. The relevance of IAM items with respect to their main construct was calculated using descriptive statistics (relevance ratio R). In part 2 (qualitative descriptive study), the representativeness of IAM items was evaluated. A total of 15 family physicians completed semistructured face-to-face interviews. For each construct, we evaluated the representativeness of IAM items using a deductive-inductive thematic qualitative data analysis. In part 3 (mixing quantitative and qualitative parts), results from quantitative and qualitative analyses were reviewed, juxtaposed in a table, discussed with experts, and integrated. Thus, our final results are derived from the views of users (ecological content validation) and experts (logical content validation). Results: Of the 23 IAM items, 21 were validated for content, while 2 were removed. In part 1 (quantitative results), 21 items were deemed relevant, while 2 items were deemed not relevant (R=4.86% [N=234,196] and R=3.04% [n=45,394], respectively). In part 2 (qualitative results), 22 items were deemed representative, while 1 item was not representative. In part 3 (mixing quantitative and qualitative results), the content validity of 21 items was confirmed, and the 2 nonrelevant items were excluded. A fully validated version was generated (IAM-v2014). Conclusions: This study produced a content validated IAM questionnaire that is used by clinicians and information providers to assess the clinical information delivered in continuing education programs.

  • ReferaSmoker.org with Virtual Patient. Image sourced and copyrighted by authors.

    Virtual Patient Technology: Engaging Primary Care in Quality Improvement Innovations

    Abstract:

    Background: Engaging health care staff in new quality improvement programs is challenging. Objective: We developed 2 virtual patient (VP) avatars in the context of a clinic-level quality improvement program. We sought to determine differences in preferences for VPs and the perceived influence of interacting with the VP on clinical staff engagement with the quality improvement program. Methods: Using a participatory design approach, we developed an older male smoker VP and a younger female smoker VP. The older male smoker was described as a patient with cardiovascular disease and was ethnically ambiguous. The female patient was younger and was worried about the impact of smoking on her pregnancy. Clinical staff were allowed to choose the VP they preferred, and the more they engaged with the VP, the more likely the VP was to quit smoking and become healthier. We deployed the VP within the context of a quality improvement program designed to encourage clinical staff to refer their patients who smoke to a patient-centered Web-assisted tobacco intervention. To evaluate the VPs, we used quantitative analyses using multivariate models of provider and practice characteristics and VP characteristic preference and analyses of a brief survey of positive deviants (clinical staff in practices with high rates of encouraging patients to use the quit smoking innovation). Results: A total of 146 clinical staff from 76 primary care practices interacted with the VPs. Clinic staff included medical providers (35/146, 24.0%), nurse professionals (19/146, 13.0%), primary care technicians (5/146, 3.4%), managerial staff (67/146, 45.9%), and receptionists (20/146, 13.7%). Medical staff were mostly male, and other roles were mostly female. Medical providers (OR 0.031; CI 0.003-0.281; P=.002) and younger staff (OR 0.411; CI 0.177-0.952; P=.038) were less likely to choose the younger, female VP when controlling for all other characteristics. VP preference did not influence online patient referrals by staff. In high-performing practices that referred 20 or more smokers to the ePortal (13/76), the majority of clinic staff were motivated by or liked the virtual patient (20/26, 77%). Conclusions: Medical providers are more likely motivated by VPs that are similar to their patient population, while nurses and other staff may prefer avatars that are more similar to them.

  • As Seen on Social Media: Residents at Happy Hour. Photo by Aman Chauhan; used with permission.

    Pediatric Residents’ Perceptions of Potential Professionalism Violations on Social Media: A US National Survey

    Abstract:

    Background: The ubiquitous use of social media by physicians poses professionalism challenges. Regulatory bodies have disseminated guidelines related to physicians’ use of social media. Objective: This study had 2 objectives: (1) to understand what pediatric residents view as appropriate social media postings, and (2) to recognize the degree to which these residents are exposed to postings that violate social media professionalism guidelines. Methods: We distributed an electronic survey to pediatric residents across the United States. The survey consisted of 5 postings from a hypothetical resident’s personal Facebook page. The vignettes highlighted common scenarios that challenge published social media professionalism guidelines. We asked 2 questions for each vignette regarding (1) the resident’s opinion of the posting’s appropriateness, and (2) their frequency of viewing similar posts. We also elicited demographic data (age, sex, postgraduate year level), frequency of Facebook use, awareness of their institutional policies, and prior social media training. Results: Of 1628 respondents, 1498 (92.01%) of the pediatric residents acknowledged having a Facebook account, of whom 888/1628 (54.55%) reported daily use and 346/1628 (21.25%) reported using Facebook a few times a week. Residents frequently viewed posts that violated professionalism standards, including use of derogatory remarks about patients (1756/3256, 53.93%) and, much less frequently, about attending physicians (114/1628, 7.00%). The majority of the residents properly identified these postings as inappropriate. Residents had frequently viewed a post similar to one showing physicians drinking alcoholic beverages while in professional attire or scrubs and were neutral on this post’s appropriateness. Residents also reported a lack of knowledge about institutional policies on social media (651/1628, or 40.00%, were unaware of a policy; 204/1628, or 12.53%, said that no policy existed). A total of 372/1628 respondents (22.85%) stated that they had never received any structured training on social media professionalism. Conclusions: Today’s residents, like others of their generation, use social media sites to converse with peers without considering the implications for the profession. The frequent use of social media by learners needs to change the emphasis educators and regulatory bodies place on social media guidelines and teaching professionalism in the digital age.

  • Chat technology. Image sourced https://www.pexels.com/photo/apple-iphone-app-iphone-6-46924/. Author: Anton. Copyright: CC0 license.

    Social Media in Health Science Education: An International Survey

    Abstract:

    Background: Social media is an asset that higher education students can use for an array of purposes. Studies have shown the merits of social media use in educational settings; however, its adoption in health science education has been slow, and the contributing reasons remain unclear. Objective: This multidisciplinary study aimed to examine health science students’ opinions on the use of social media in health science education and identify factors that may discourage its use. Methods: Data were collected from the Universitas 21 “Use of social media in health education” survey, distributed electronically among the health science staff and students from 8 universities in 7 countries. The 1640 student respondents were grouped as users or nonusers based on their reported frequency of social media use in their education. Results: Of the 1640 respondents, 1343 (81.89%) use social media in their education. Only 462 of the 1320 (35.00%) respondents have received specific social media training, and of those who have not, the majority (64.9%, 608/936) would like the opportunity. Users and nonusers reported the same 3 factors as the top barriers to their use of social media: uncertainty on policies, concerns about professionalism, and lack of support from the department. Nonusers reported all the barriers more frequently and almost half of nonusers reported not knowing how to incorporate social media into their learning. Among users, more than one fifth (20.5%, 50/243) of students who use social media “almost always” reported sharing clinical images without explicit permission. Conclusions: Our global, interdisciplinary study demonstrates that a significant number of students across all health science disciplines self-reported sharing clinical images inappropriately, and thus request the need for policies and training specific to social media use in health science education.

  • Participant flowchart. Image sourced and copyright owned by authors,.

    Teaching Shared Decision Making to Family Medicine Residents: A Descriptive Study of a Web-Based Tutorial

    Abstract:

    Background: DECISION+2, a Web-based tutorial, was designed to train family physicians in shared decision making (SDM) regarding the use of antibiotics for acute respiratory infections (ARIs). It is currently mandatory for second-year family medicine residents at Université Laval, Quebec, Canada. However, little is known about how such tutorials are used, their effect on knowledge scores, or how best to assess resident participation. Objective: The objective of our study was to describe the usage of this Web-based training platform by family medicine residents over time, evaluate its effect on their knowledge scores, and identify what kinds of data are needed for a more comprehensive analysis of usage and knowledge acquisition. Methods: We identified, collected, and analyzed all available data about participation in and current usage of the tutorial and its before-and-after 10-item knowledge test. Residents were separated into 3 log-in periods (2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015) depending on the day of their first connection. We compared residents’ participation rates between entry periods (Cochran-Armitage test), assessed the mean rank of the difference in total scores and category scores between pre- and posttest (Wilcoxon signed-rank test), and compared frequencies of each. Subsequent to analyses, we identified types of data that would have provided a more complete picture of the usage of the program and its effect on knowledge scores. Results: The tutorial addresses 3 knowledge categories: diagnosing ARIs, treating ARIs, and SDM regarding the use of antibiotics for treating ARIs. From July 2012 to July 2015, all 387 second-year family medicine residents were eligible to take the Web-based tutorial. Out of the 387 eligible residents, 247 (63.8%) logged in at least once. Their participation rates varied between entry periods, most significantly between the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 cohorts (P=.006). For the 109 out of 387 (28.2%) residents who completed the tutorial and both tests, total and category scores significantly improved between pre- and posttest (all P values <.001). However, the frequencies of those answering correctly on 2 of the 3 SDM questions did not increase significantly (P>.99, P=.25). Distribution of pre- or posttest total and category scores did not increase between entry periods (all P values >.1). Available data were inadequate for evaluating the associations between the tutorial and its impact on the residents’ scores and therefore could tell us little about its effect on increasing their knowledge. Conclusion: Residents’ use of this Web-based tutorial appeared to increase between entry periods following the changes to the SDM program, and the tutorial seemed less effective for increasing SDM knowledge scores than for diagnosis or treatment scores. However, our results also highlight the need to improve data availability before participation in Web-based SDM tutorials can be properly evaluated or knowledge scores improved.

  • IT for Health Professionals. Image sourced and copyright owned by authors.

    Information and Communication Technologies for the Dissemination of Clinical Practice Guidelines to Health Professionals: A Systematic Review

    Abstract:

    Background: The transfer of research knowledge into clinical practice can be a continuous challenge for researchers. Information and communication technologies, such as websites and email, have emerged as popular tools for the dissemination of evidence to health professionals. Objective: The objective of this systematic review was to identify research on health professionals’ perceived usability and practice behavior change of information and communication technologies for the dissemination of clinical practice guidelines. Methods: We used a systematic approach to retrieve and extract data about relevant studies. We identified 2248 citations, of which 21 studies met criteria for inclusion; 20 studies were randomized controlled trials, and 1 was a controlled clinical trial. The following information and communication technologies were evaluated: websites (5 studies), computer software (3 studies), Web-based workshops (2 studies), computerized decision support systems (2 studies), electronic educational game (1 study), email (2 studies), and multifaceted interventions that consisted of at least one information and communication technology component (6 studies). Results: Website studies demonstrated significant improvements in perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use, but not for knowledge, reducing barriers, and intention to use clinical practice guidelines. Computer software studies demonstrated significant improvements in perceived usefulness, but not for knowledge and skills. Web-based workshop and email studies demonstrated significant improvements in knowledge, perceived usefulness, and skills. An electronic educational game intervention demonstrated a significant improvement from baseline in knowledge after 12 and 24 weeks. Computerized decision support system studies demonstrated variable findings for improvement in skills. Multifaceted interventions demonstrated significant improvements in beliefs about capabilities, perceived usefulness, and intention to use clinical practice guidelines, but variable findings for improvements in skills. Most multifaceted studies demonstrated significant improvements in knowledge. Conclusions: The findings suggest that health professionals’ perceived usability and practice behavior change vary by type of information and communication technology. Heterogeneity and the paucity of properly conducted studies did not allow for a clear comparison between studies and a conclusion on the effectiveness of information and communication technologies as a knowledge translation strategy for the dissemination of clinical practice guidelines.

  • Social Media. Image source:https://pixabay.com/en/social-media-blocks-blogger-488886/. License:CC0 Public Domain.

    Use of Social Media for Professional Development by Health Care Professionals: A Cross-Sectional Web-Based Survey

    Authors List:

    Abstract:

    Background: Social media can be used in health care settings to enhance professional networking and education; patient communication, care, and education; public health programs; organizational promotion; and research. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the use of social media networks for the purpose of professional development among health care professionals in Saudi Arabia using a purpose-designed Web-based survey. Methods: A cross-sectional web-based survey was undertaken. A link to the survey was posted on the investigator’s personal social media accounts including Twitter, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp. Results: A total of 231 health care professionals, who are generally social media users, participated in the study. Of these professionals, 70.6% (163/231) use social media for their professional development. The social media applications most frequently used, in the descending order, for professional development were Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. The majority of respondents used social media for professional development irrespective of their age group, with the highest proportion seen in those aged 20-30 years. Social media were perceived as being most beneficial for professional development in terms of their impact on the domains of knowledge and problem solving and least helpful for enhancing clinical skills. Twitter was perceived as the most helpful type of social media for all domains listed. Respondents most frequently reported that social media were useful for professional development for the reasons of knowledge exchange and networking. Conclusions: Social media are frequently used by health care professionals in Saudi Arabia for the purposes of professional development, with Twitter most frequently used for this purpose. These findings suggest that social media networks can be powerful tools for engaging health care professionals in their professional development.

  • Source: http://www.freepik.com/free-photo/finger-pressing-a-social-network-button-on-a-touch-screen_903499.htm#term=network&page=2&position=24; CC-BY; Designed by Onlyyouqj - Freepik.com.

    A Virtual Community of Practice for General Practice Training: A Preimplementation Survey

    Abstract:

    Background: Professional isolation is an important factor in low rural health workforce retention. Objective: The aim of this study was to gain insights to inform the development of an implementation plan for a virtual community of practice (VCoP) for general practice (GP) training in regional Australia. The study also aimed to assess the applicability of the findings of an existing framework in developing this plan. This included ascertaining the main drivers of usage, or usefulness, of the VCoP for users and establishing the different priorities between user groups. Methods: A survey study, based on the seven-step health VCoP framework, was conducted with general practice supervisors and registrars—133 usable responses; 40% estimated response rate. Data was analyzed using the t test and the chi-square test for comparisons between groups. Factor analysis and generalized linear regression modeling were used to ascertain factors which may independently predict intention to use the VCoP. Results: In establishing a VCoP, facilitation was seen as important. Regarding stakeholders, the GP training provider was an important sponsor. Factor analysis showed a single goal of usefulness. Registrars had a higher intention to use the VCoP (P<.001) and to perceive it as useful (P<.001) than supervisors. Usefulness independently predicted intention to actively use the VCoP (P<.001). Regarding engagement of a broad church of users, registrars were more likely than supervisors to want allied health professional and specialist involvement (P<.001). A supportive environment was deemed important, but most important was the quality of the content. Participants wanted regular feedback about site activity. Regarding technology and community, training can be online, but trust is better built face-to-face. Supervisors were significantly more likely than registrars to perceive that registrars needed help with knowledge (P=.01) and implementation of knowledge (P<.001). Conclusions: Important factors for a GP training VCoP include the following: facilitation covering administration and expertise, the perceived usefulness of the community, focusing usefulness around knowledge sharing, and overcoming professional isolation with high-quality content. Knowledge needs of different users should be acknowledged and help can be provided online, but trust is better built face-to-face. In conclusion, the findings of the health framework for VCoPs are relevant when developing an implementation plan for a VCoP for GP training. The main driver of success for a GP training VCoP is the perception of its usefulness by participants. Overcoming professional isolation for GP registrars using a VCoP has implications for training and retention of health workers in rural areas.

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    Date Submitted: Apr 5, 2017

    Open Peer Review Period: Apr 9, 2017 - Jun 4, 2017

    Background: Clinicians are stakeholders in the translation of well-designed research evidence into clinical practice for optimal patient care. However, knowledge translation theories and processes may...

    Background: Clinicians are stakeholders in the translation of well-designed research evidence into clinical practice for optimal patient care. However, knowledge translation theories and processes may present conceptual and practical challenges for clinicians. Online learning platforms are an effective means of delivering knowledge translation education, providing an interactive, time-efficient and affordable alternative to face-to-face education programmes. Objective: This study investigates the availability and accessibility of online knowledge translation learning opportunities for health professionals. Methods: We searched a range of databases and Google using nine knowledge translation terms to identify online knowledge translation learning resources. To be eligible, resources had to be free, aimed at clinicians, educational in intent, and interactive in design. The details of the first 100 websites retrieved by each term were entered into EndNote records. Websites captured were subsequently visited to determine their status as a learning resource. Eligible websites were also appraised for quality using the AACODs tool. Results: We identified 971 unique websites via our multiple search strategies. Of these, 43 were health-related and educational in intent. Once these sites were evaluated for interactivity, a single website matched our inclusion criteria (Dementia Knowledge Translation Learning Centre). Conclusions: Knowledge translation is an important but complex system of processes. These processes overlap with knowledge, practice, and improvement processes that go by a range of different names. For clinicians to be informed and competent in knowledge translation, they require better access to free learning opportunities. These resources should be designed from the viewpoint of the clinician, presenting knowledge translation’s multifaceted theories and processes in an engaging, interactive way. This learning should empower clinicians to contextualise and apply knowledge translation strategies within their own care settings.

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    Date Submitted: Feb 26, 2017

    Open Peer Review Period: Mar 18, 2017 - May 13, 2017

    In the digital age, search strategy plays a vital role for academic purposes such thesis, scholarly article, scientific writing and presentation. To date, physicians and scientists have experienced wi...

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