Problem-based learning of research skills.
PURPOSE: To determine whether a short-term, problem-based educational intervention leads to increased research activity among health care practitioners. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Participant's success was evaluated as a composite of 2 outcomes. These were (1) reporting results for the project designed during the practicum and (2) conducting subsequent research activities. The study population included 36 clinical research outcomes projects developed by clinical practitioners, postgraduate trainees, and medical students during 6 separate practicums. All project teams received the same educational intervention, an "outcomes research practicum" that was divided into 4 primary learning modules administered over a 1 to 4 month period. Each module included a preparatory videotape lecture, supplemental readings, and a 90-minute interactive laboratory session during which faculty members worked with participants to develop answers to a series of predefined questions relating to the design of clinical outcomes research projects. Follow-up continued for a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 36 months. RESULTS: Eighty-three percent of project teams completed all 4 practicum modules, and 69% completed one of the study outcomes (50% completed their research project and 47% completing a subsequent research activity). Practitioners were more likely to complete subsequent research activities, whereas trainees were more likely to complete their study project. DISCUSSION: This short-term, problem-based educational intervention was successful in increasing the collective research activities of participants. Further, more rigorous structured research is needed to determine the ultimate impact on practice change and patient outcomes.
Davis, TH; Wagner, GS; Gleim, G; Andolsek, KM; Arheden, H; Austin, R; Courtney-Eighmy, A; Gradison, M; Leist, JC; Maynard, C; Noga, EM; Ostbye, T; Eisenstein, EL
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