Sustainability of change with quality general practitioner education in adolescent health: a 5-year follow-up

Med Educ. 2005 Jun;39(6):557-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2929.2005.02172.x.


Objective: To determine whether improvements gained in general practitioners' (GPs') self-perceived competency, attitudes and knowledge after an intervention in adolescent health care designed with evidence-based strategies in continuing medical education, are maintained longterm, 5 years post intervention. The intervention was designed with evidence-based strategies in continuing medical education.

Design: We carried out a follow-up postal survey of the cohort of metropolitan Australian GPs trained in the intervention 5 years previously. Measures Subsets of the original measures, used in the randomised controlled trial of the intervention, were selected to re-assess the GPs by postal survey. Self-perceived competency, attitude and knowledge were measured. Doctors were also asked about further training in adolescent health over the 5 years since the intervention and about self-reported practice.

Results: A total of 46 of 54 (85%) of the original intervention group returned a questionnaire. Scores at 5 years were all higher than at baseline (P < 0.01) and improvements were sustained in all measures from 12 months to 5 years after the intervention. In all, 25/46 (54%) doctors had received further training in related areas over the 5 years, but this did not improve sustainability. A total of 45/46 (98%) reported maintaining their clinical approach to youth and 22/46 (46%) reported maintaining practices to address systemic barriers to adolescent health care access.

Conclusions: Quality education designed according to evidence-based strategies of effectiveness has advantages for longterm sustainability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services / standards*
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / standards*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / standards*
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Family Practice / standards
  • Humans
  • Victoria