Case-Based On-Line Learning (CBOLL)


Funding Source: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

      Background: Past literature has demonstrated that:

          1.  Local norms and opinion leaders are considered important to the process of dissemination for changing practice;

          2.  Opportunities available to busy family physicians for local continuing education are scarce; and

          3.  Internet applications are reportedly being used for a variety of tasks by family physicians but have had limited formal evaluation.

This study evaluates the effectiveness of an education intervention to improve family practice. An innovative on-line discussion group education program of evidence-based guidelines (a program which showed much promise in a feasibility study) is being tested in a randomized, controlled trial using physician practice behaviours as the outcome. The main hypothesis is that family physicians randomized to the on-line case-based learning (CBOLL) group will more frequently exhibit targeted evidence-based practice behaviours than family physicians allocated to the wait-list control group.

Outcome measures: Outcome data is being collected by masked (incognito) standardized patient visits to the family physicians' offices, a chart audit and a physician knowledge questionnaire.

For further information: Please contact Cathy Thorpe, Research Associate.