MANUSCRIPT: Continuing medical education revisited: theoretical assumptions and practical implications: a qualitative study
Recent research has evidenced that although investment in Continuing Medical Education CME, both in terms of participation as well as financial resources allocated to it, has been steadily increasing to catch up with accelerating advances in health information and technology, effectiveness of CME is reported to be rather limited. Poor and disproportional returns can be attributed to failure of CME courses to address and stimulate an adult audience.MethodsThe present study initially drew on research findings and adult learning theories, providing the basis for comprehending adult learning, while entailing practical implications on fostering effectiveness in the design and delivery of CME. On a second level, a qualitative study was conducted with the aim to elucidate parameters accounting for effectiveness in educational interventions. Qualitative data was retrieved through 12 in-depth interviews, conducted with a random sample of participants in the 26th European Workshop of Advanced Plastic Surgery EWAPS. The data underwent a three level qualitative analysis, following the ¿grounded theory¿ methodology, comprising `open coding¿, `axial coding¿ and `selective coding¿.ResultsFindings from the EWAPS study come in line with relevant literature, entailing significant implications for the necessity to apply a more effective and efficient paradigm in the design and delivery of educational interventions, advocating for implementing learner-centered schemata in CME and benefiting from a model that draws on the learning environment and social aspects of learning.ConclusionsWhat emerged as a pivotal parameter in designing educational interventions is to focus on small group educational events which could provide a supportive friendly context, enhance motivation through learner-centered approaches and allow interaction, experimentation and critical reflection. It should be outlined however that further research is required as the present study is limited in scope, having dealt with a limited sample.