The effectiveness of E-learning in continuing medical education for tuberculosis health workers: a quasi-experiment from China.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Given the context of rapid technological change and COIVD-19 pandemics, E-learning may provide a unique opportunity for addressing the challenges in traditional face-to-face continuing medical education (CME). However, the effectiveness of E-learning in CME interventions remains unclear. This study aims to evaluate whether E-learning training program can improve TB health personnel's knowledge and behaviour in China. METHODS: This study used a convergent mixed method research design to evaluate the impact of E-learning programs for tuberculosis (TB) health workers in terms of knowledge improvement and behaviour change during the China-Gates TB Project (add the time span). Quantitative data was collected by staff surveys (baseline n = 555; final n = 757) and management information systems to measure the demographic characteristics, training participation, and TB knowledge. Difference-in-difference (DID) and multiple linear regression models were employed to capture the effectiveness of knowledge improvement. Qualitative data was collected by interviews (n = 30) and focus group discussions (n = 44) with managers, teachers, and learners to explore their learning experience. RESULTS: Synchronous E-learning improved the knowledge of TB clinicians (average treatment effect, ATE: 7.3 scores/100, P = 0.026). Asynchronous E-learning has a significant impact on knowledge among primary care workers (ATE: 10.9/100, P < 0.001), but not in clinicians or public health physicians. Traditional face-to-face training has no significant impact on all medical staff. Most of the learners (57.3%) agreed that they could apply what they learned to their practice. Qualitative data revealed that high quality content is the key facilitator of the behaviour change, while of learning content difficulty, relevancy, and hardware constraints are key barriers. CONCLUSIONS: The effectiveness of E-learning in CME varies across different types of training formats, organizational environment, and target audience. Although clinicians and primary care workers improved their knowledge by E-learning activities, public health physicians didn't benefit from the interventions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wang, Z-Y; Zhang, L-J; Liu, Y-H; Jiang, W-X; Jia, J-Y; Tang, S-L; Liu, X-Y

Published Date

  • May 18, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 72 -

PubMed ID

  • 34006313

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8129609

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2049-9957

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1186/s40249-021-00855-y


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England