Perceived barriers to completing an e-learning program on evidence-based medicine

Marie-Pierre Gagnon, France L_gar_, Michel Labrecque, Pierre Fr_mont, Michel Cauchon, Marie Desmartis


Purpose The Continuing Professional Development Center of the Faculty of Medicine at Laval University offers an internet-based program on evidence-based medicine (EBM). After one year, only three physicians out of the 40 who willingly paid to register had completed the entire program. This descriptive study aimed to identify physicians' beliefs regarding their completion of this online program.
Methods Using theoretical concepts from the Theory of Planned Behaviour, a semi-structured telephone interview guide was developed to assess respondents' attitudes, perceived subjective norms, perceived obstacles and facilitating conditions with respect to completing this internet-based program. Three independent reviewers performed content analysis of the interview transcripts to obtain an appropriate level of reliability. Findings were shared and organised according to theoretical categories of beliefs.
Results A total of 35 physicians (88% response rate) were interviewed. Despite perceived advantages to completing the internet-based program, barriers remained, especially those related to physicians' perceptions of time constraints. Lack of personal discipline and unfamiliarity with computers were also perceived as important barriers.
Conclusions This study offers a theoretical basis to understand physicians' beliefs towards completing an internet-based continuing medical education (CME) program on EBM. Based upon respondents' insights, several modifications were carried out to enhance the uptake of the program by physicians and, therefore, its implementation.


continuing medical education; e-learning; evidence-based medicine

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