Effect of a primary care continuing education program on clinical practice of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: translating theory into practice

Mayo Clin Proc. 2012 Sep;87(9):862-70. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2012.02.028.


Objectives: To describe the development and implementation process and assess the effect on self-reported clinical practice changes of a multidisciplinary, collaborative, interactive continuing medical education (CME)/continuing education (CE) program on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Methods: Multidisciplinary subject matter experts and education specialists used a systematic instructional design approach and collaborated with the American College of Chest Physicians and American Academy of Nurse Practitioners to develop, deliver, and reproduce a 1-day interactive COPD CME/CE program for 351 primary care clinicians in 20 US cities from September 23, 2009, through November 13, 2010.

Results: We recorded responses to demographic, self-confidence, and knowledge/comprehension questions by using an audience response system. Before the program, 173 of 320 participants (54.1%) had never used the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease recommendations for COPD. After the program, clinician self-confidence improved in all areas measured. In addition, participant knowledge and comprehension significantly improved (mean score, 77.1%-94.7%; P<.001). We implemented the commitment-to-change strategy in courses 6 through 20. A total of 271 of 313 participants (86.6%) completed 971 commitment-to-change statements, and 132 of 271 (48.7%) completed the follow-up survey. Of the follow-up survey respondents, 92 of 132 (69.7%) reported completely implementing at least one clinical practice change, and only 8 of 132 (6.1%) reported inability to make any clinical practice change after the program.

Conclusion: A carefully designed, interactive, flexible, dynamic, and reproducible COPD CME/CE program tailored to clinicians' needs that involves diverse instructional strategies and media can have short-term and long-term improvements in clinician self-confidence, knowledge/comprehension, and clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians, Primary Care / education*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • United States