This study compared the impact of multipoint videoconferencing (VC) versus standard lecturing (ST) on primary care providers' (MDs, NPs/PAs, and RNs) education regarding hepatitis C virus (HCV). The hypothesis was that the educational impact of teaching through telemedicine is comparable to the traditional method. The aim was to provide participants clinically relevant information and knowledge about the natural history, diagnosis, and management of HCV. Improved knowledge was scored from a 10-item quiz administered before and after the educational intervention. Comparison of the pretest knowledge scores within provider groups showed no statistically significant difference in baseline knowledge for the ST versus VC method. However, for all practitioners combined, the VC group scored significantly lower on the pretest than the ST group (p < 0.05). All three types of learners improved their knowledge scores following intervention. On average, MDs and NP/PAs correctly answered two to 3.5 more questions in the posttest. RNs showed the greatest improvements, correctly answering an average of four to five more questions following intervention. Improvement in knowledge scores between the two methods was statistically significant in favor of VC for the MDs (VC = 3.56 ± 1.92 vs. ST = 2.13 ± 1.89, p < 0.001) and all groups combined (VC 4.37 ± 1.92 vs ST 3.06 ± 1.89, p < 0.001). The results of this study indicate that VC is equivalent, if not better, than standard continuing medical education (CME). VC can potentially improve clinician education regarding the history, diagnosis, and management of HCV, thereby making a substantial impact on the clinical course of patients with this condition. In addition, VC has the potential to eliminate the financial and geographic barriers to professional education for rural practitioners.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Media Technology