Developing a Community of Practice for HIV Care: Supporting Knowledge Translation in a Regional Training Initiative

J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2017 Winter;37(1):27-36. doi: 10.1097/CEH.0000000000000141.


Introduction: Ensuring knowledgeable, skilled HIV providers is challenged by rapid advances in the field, diversity of patients and providers, and the need to retain experienced providers while training new providers. These challenges highlight the need for education strategies, including training and clinical consultation to support translation of new knowledge to practice. New England AIDS Education and Training Center (NEAETC) provides a range of educational modalities including academic peer detailing and distance support to HIV providers in six states. We describe the interprofessional perspectives of HIV providers who participated in this regional program to understand success and areas for strengthening pedagogical modality, content, and impact on clinical practice.

Methods: This 2013 to 2014 mixed-methods study analyzed quantitative programmatic data to understand changes in training participants and modalities and used semistructured interviews with 30 HIV providers and coded for preidentified and emerging themes.

Results: Since 2010, NEAETC evolved modalities to a greater focus on active learning (case discussion, clinical consultation), decreasing didactic training by half (18-9%). This shift was designed to move from knowledge transfer to translation, and qualitative findings supported the value of active learning approaches. Providers valued interactive trainings and presentation of cases supporting knowledge translation. On-site training encouraged peer networking and sharing of lessons learned. Diversity in learning priorities across providers and sites validated NEAETC's approach of tailoring topics to local needs and encouraging regional networking.

Discussion: Tailored approaches resulted in improved provider-reported capacity, peer learning, and support. Future evaluations should explore the impact of this multipronged approach on supporting a community of practice and empowerment of provider teams.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Community Networks / trends*
  • Education, Continuing / methods*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / therapy*
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Qualitative Research
  • Teaching / standards
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / methods