The educational effectiveness of problem-based learning discussions as evaluated by learner-assessed satisfaction and practice change

J Clin Anesth. 2004 Dec;16(8):596-601. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinane.2003.12.015.


Study objective: To elicit attendees' opinions and perceptions of problems-based learning and to asses the ability of this format to influence practitioner behavior.

Design: Analysis of quality assurance material as part of the evaluation process of the Problem-Based Learning Discussion (PBLD) Committee of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).

Participants: Attendees of the 2002 PBLD Program and the annual meeting of the ASA, Orlando, FL.

Measurements and main results: Exit and 6-months post-PBLD evaluations of individual PBLD sessions were offered to attendees of the program. A total of 742 evaluations were completed and collected at the conclusion of the individual sessions. Of the participants, 98.2% rated their sessions either good or excellent, 98.5% of whom enjoyed the interactive nature and 98% expressing a willingness to participate in future PBLD sessions. There were 221 questionnaires (17% response rate) completed after 6 months. Actual changes in practice were few, but attendees reported an increased ability to anticipate problems and/or complications and an increased knowledge and awareness about issues regarding patient care. 95.4% considered PBLD a worthwhile learning experience.

Conclusions: PBLD remains a popular educational offering. Although 6 months may be too short an interval to gauge the ability of PBLD to change physician practices, attendees feel that it does confer increased knowledge and awareness about patient care issues.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesiology / education*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Educational Measurement*
  • Humans
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Problem-Based Learning*
  • Professional Practice
  • Program Evaluation*