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Randomized controlled trial comparing four strategies for delivering e-curriculum to health care professionals [ISRCTN88148532]

Author(s): Kemper Kathi | Gardiner Paula | Gobble Jessica | Mitra Ananda | Woods Charles

Journal: BMC Medical Education
ISSN 1472-6920

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 2;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Abstract Background Internet education is increasingly provided to health professionals, but little is known about the most effective strategies for delivering the content. The purpose of this study is to compare four strategies for delivering an Internet-based (e-) curriculum on clinicians' knowledge (K), confidence (CONF), and communication (COMM) about herbs and other dietary supplements (HDS). Methods This national randomized 2 × 2 factorial trial included physicians, pharmacists, nurses, nutritionists and trainees in these fields. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four curriculum delivery strategies for 40 brief modules about HDS: a) delivering four (4) modules weekly over ten (10) weeks by email (drip-push); b) modules accessible on web site with 4 reminders weekly for 10 weeks (drip-pull); c) 40 modules delivered within 4 days by email (bolus-push); and d) 40 modules available on the Internet with one email informing participants of availability (bolus-pull). Results Of the 1,267 enrollees, 25% were male; the average age was 40 years. The completion rate was 62%, without significant differences between delivery groups. There were statistically significant improvements in K, CONF and COMM scores after the course (P
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