Evaluation of a course for general practitioners on muscles and joints.
We attempted to evaluate a course on muscle and joint problems for general practitioners using a practice log diary and a factual test paper, which were completed both before and after the course by the doctors attending. A significant improvement was shown in the group score in the test paper taken after the course (p less than 0.001). Scores in the tests before and after had a negative correlation with age (p less than 0.001). In comparing the data in the second log diary with those in the first there was a significant reduction in the prescribing of drugs (p less than 0.001), use of heat treatment (p less than 0.001), and in "other" forms of treatment (p less than 0.01). No appreciable change in investigations or number of hospital referrals was shown. Those doctors who had low scores in the first factual test referred appreciably more patients to hospital and requested more x ray examinations (p less than 0.01).
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