Factors affecting the intention of providers to deliver more effective continuing medical education to general practitioners: a pilot study
Winzenberg, TM and Higginbotham, N, Factors affecting the intention of providers to deliver more effective continuing medical education to general practitioners: a pilot study, BMC Medical Education, 3, (Article number 1) pp. 1-6. ISSN 1472-6920 (2003) [Refereed Article]
Background: Despite the importance of continuing medical education (CME) for GPs, there has been little research into how providers decide what types of CME to deliver to GPs. This study aimed to identify factors affecting the intention of providers to provide more effective types of CME; and to design a survey instrument which can be used to test the applicability of Triandis' model of social behaviour to the provision of CME to general practitioners. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study on a convenience sample of 11 Australian providers of CME for interviews and a random sample of 25 providers for the pilot test. Open-ended interviews structured on Triandis' theory were performed with key informants who provide CME to GPs. These were used to develop a pilot survey instrument to measure the factors affecting intention, resulting in a revised instrument for use in further research. Results: There was a broad range of factors affecting providers' intention to deliver more effective forms of CME identified, and these were classifiable in a manner which was consistent with Triandis' model. Key factors affecting providers' intention were the attitude toward CME within organisations and the time and extra work involved. Conclusions: We identified a range of potential factors influencing the intention of providers to provide more effective forms of CME, in all categories of Triandis model. Those interested in increasing the choice of more effective CME activities available to GPs may need to broaden the methods used in working with providers to influence them to use more effective CME techniques. The interview material and questionnaire analysis of the pilot survey support the use of Triandis model. Further research is needed to validate Triandis'model for the intention to deliver more effective forms of CME. Such research will inform future strategies aimed at increasing the amount and choice of effective CME activities available for GPs.