Mixed Methods Evaluation of an International Internet-based Continuing Medical Education Course for Pediatric HIV Providers in Pune, India
R Ramanathan1, R Aldis2, S Gupta3, M Desai4, RC Bollinger5, VA Reed6
1 Department of Surgery, Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, Richmond, VA, USA
2 Department of Psychiatry; Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
3 Department of Surgery, UCSF East Bay Program, CA, USA
4 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Camden, London, United Kingdom
5 Global Health Education, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
6 Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH, USA
Department of Surgery, Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, Richmond VA
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Context: Studies of HIV care in Pune, a high-HIV-prevalence city in India, have shown that a significant proportion of
practitioners were not adhering to national guidelines due to inadequate awareness and understanding.
Objectives: This study examined the effectiveness of a pilot Internet-based continuing medical education course in increasing knowledge of pediatric HIV diagnosis and treatment among providers in Pune. The study also explored perceived factors limiting the effectiveness of the pilot course.
Methods: The mixed methods evaluation design consisted of quantitative pre- and post-course knowledge assessments, and qualitative focus groups and in-depth interviews conducted on site with healthcare providers with experience treating HIV to explore the barriers to optimal course utilization, the applicability of the course content, and the systemic barriers to the implementation of physician knowledge.
Findings: There were significant increases (p<0.05) in mean knowledge scores on the global knowledge assessment and for two of five individual course modules. Perceived barriers to optimal course utilization were identified as being related to Internet access. The course content was reported to be generally useful, although certain guidelines and information were described as not congruent with local resource availability. Participants reported that the major barriers to implementing their knowledge were stigma that prevented patients from seeking care and financial resource limitations affecting physician practice.
Discussion and Conclusions: This course resulted in a modest increase in pediatric HIV knowledge among Pune healthcare providers. Identification of perceived factors limiting the effectiveness of the course provides guidance for improving future Internet-based courses.