Using a Quasi Experimental Research Design to Assess Knowledge in Continuing Medical Education Programs
The objectives of continuing medical education (CME) programs include knowledge acquisition, skill development, clinical reasoning and decision making, and health care outcomes. We conducted a year-long medical education research study in which knowledge acquisition in our CME programs was assessed.
A randomized separate-sample pretest/past-test design, a quasi-experimental technique, was used. Nine CME programs with a sufficient number of participants were identified a priori. Knowledge acquisition was compared between the control group and the intervention group for the nine individual programs and for the combined programs.
A total of 667 physicians, nurses, and other health professionals participated. Significant gain in knowledge was found for six programs: Perinatology, Pain Management, Fertility Care 2, Pediatrics, Colorectal Diseases, and Alzheimer's Disease (each p < .001). Also, the intervention group differed from the control group when the nine programs were combined (p < .001), with an effect size of .84.
The use of sound quasi-experimental research methodology (separate-sample pretest/post-test design), the inclusion of a representative sample of CME programs, and the analysis of nearly 700 subjects led us to have confidence in concluding that our CME participants acquired a meaningful amount of new knowledge.
Markert, R. J.,
& Bhatia, S. C.
(2003). Using a Quasi Experimental Research Design to Assess Knowledge in Continuing Medical Education Programs. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 23 (3), 157-161.