Evaluation of a national evidence-based health care course via teleconference in a developing country

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Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
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MacEdo C.R.
MacEdo E.C.
Torloni M.R.
Atallah A.N.
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Rationale, aims and objectives Continuing health education is essential but challenged. In 2006, the Brazilian Cochrane Center, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, launched a mass teaching initiative in evidence-based health care (EBH) for public-sector professionals via teleconferencing. This 152-hour, interactive EBH course has enrolled over 4500 professionals. This study aimed to assess the acquisition EBH knowledge and skills, as well as the attitudes and perceptions of a sample of students enrolled in the 2009 course via teleconferencing. Methods This prospective cohort study analyzed three aspects of this 152-hour EBH course that recruited 1040 volunteer participants, all public health sector employees working in 131 different hospitals or health agencies. Pre- and post-course tests using a modified version of the Berlin questionnaire with 20 multiple-choice questions were used to examine knowledge acquisition in a sample of 297 students. Tests were completed upon registration and at course completion. The research projects submitted by 872 participants were evaluated to assess skill acquisition. Answers to an anonymous survey assessed the attitudes and perceptions of 914 participants. Results There was a significant increase in knowledge from baseline to course completion (mean scores 8.2 ± 3.3 versus 13.7 ± 3.0, P < 0.001). Over 90% of the research projects were judged to be of adequate quality (appropriate rationale for the study, well-formulated research question and feasible execution); over 95% of the participants were satisfied with the course. Conclusion The Brazilian EBH course via teleconference improved the knowledge and skills of public-sector health professionals and was approved by the vast majority of students. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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