Feasibility, appreciation and costs of a tailored continuing professional development approach for general practitioners

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Background There is a growing tendency to develop more complex interventions for continuing professional development (CPD) of physicians in order to enhance effectiveness. Besides their effectiveness, it is interventions' feasibility and the appreciation of stakeholders that are increasingly regarded as key features for their implementation in daily educational routines.

Objective To study the feasibility and appreciation of a tailored approach to CPD in which general practitioners (GPs) work in small groups to improve demonstrated deficiencies.

Design Cohort study.

Setting General practices in The Netherlands.

Participants Forty-three volunteering GP participants.

Main outcome measures The ability of GPs and supporting staff to perform the intervention; costs per hour; participants' appreciation of (aspects of) the educational intervention.

Results GPs accept and are able to perform a CPD intervention that starts with a needs assessment and that subsequently supports the individual selfdirected learning process. GPs need on average 22.3 hours for the assessments, small-group meetings and work in their practices. Costs are E 117.56 per hour. The mean appreciation is 6.8 on a 10point scale. Appreciation of and participation in the intervention are dependent on the topic studied.

Conclusions The approach towards CPD is feasible and acceptable. It requires a context in which sufficient resources are available with respect to budget, educational materials and skilled support staff. Furthermore, GPs must be really interested in the topic studied and probably also in the specific approach.


Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: GP Researcher, Department of General Practice, Centre for Quality of Care Research 2: Professor of Logistics and Operations Management in Health Care, Department of Health Organisation Policy and Economics 3: Professor of Educational Development and Research, Department of Health Organisation Policy and Economics 4: Professor of Quality in Health Care, Department of General Practice, Centre for Quality of Care Research

Publication date: December 1, 2004

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