Journal Article Content as Predictor of Commitment to Change among Continuing Medical Education Respondents

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Background: Journal reading is a time-tested means of continuing medical education (CME) among physicians. Asking physicians to make a written statement of commitment to change has been shown to increase the likelihood of eventual change in practice behavior when used in conjunction with CME lectures. We describe the type and medical content of articles responsible for commitment to change comments among readers of a large circulation primary care journal.

Methods: Response to the question “what change(s) do you plan to make in your practice as a result of reading the articles in this issue?” were analyzed from CME response cards associated with six issues (1 year’s publication) of the Archives of Family Medicine. Responses indicating a commitment to change were analyzed to characterize the type and content of articles responsible for their generation.

Results: During the 1-year study period, original contributions (reports of research trials) dealing with medicine and preventive medicine content accounted for the greatest number of comments. After adjusting for the frequency of article type and content, special articles and those dealing with complementary medicine accounted for the highest number of comments on a per-article basis.

Findings: Family physicians make commitment to change statements on the basis of a broad range of journal articles. Certain articles are more likely to generate statements of commitment to planned changes in practice.



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