The reported validity and reliability of methods for evaluating continuing medical education: A systematic review

acadmed.jpg  This review appears in the March 2008 issue of Academic Medicine [subscription required]:

Ratanawongsa N, Thomas PA, Marinopoulos SS, Dorman T, Wilson LM, Ashar BH, Magaziner JL, Miller RG, Prokopowicz GP, Qayyum R, Bass EB. The reported validity and reliability of methods for evaluating continuing medical education: A systematic reviewAcad Med 2008; 83(3):274-283.

PURPOSE: To appraise the reported validity and reliability of evaluation methods used in high-quality trials of continuing medical education (CME).
METHOD: The authors conducted a systematic review (1981 to February 2006) by hand-searching key journals and searching electronic databases. Eligible articles studied CME effectiveness using randomized controlled trials or historic/concurrent comparison designs, were conducted in the United States or Canada, were written in English, and involved at least 15 physicians. Sequential double review was conducted for data abstraction, using a traditional approach to validity and reliability.
CONCLUSIONS: The evidence for CME effectiveness is limited by weaknesses in the reported validity and reliability of evaluation methods. Educators should devote more attention to the development and reporting of high-quality CME evaluation methods and to emerging guidelines for establishing the validity of CME evaluation methods.
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