Videoconferencing a stroke assessment training workshop: Effectiveness, acceptability, and cost
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INTRODUCTION: Videoconferencing (VC) is becoming a common method for the delivery of continuing education (CE) to clinicians in remote locations. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness, acceptability, and costs of a full-day training workshop (TW) delivered through two different formats: face-to-face (FTF) and VC. The TW was designed to teach administration and scoring guidelines for the Chedoke-McMaster Stroke Assessment, an outcome measure used by rehabilitation professionals. METHODS: The TW was delivered simultaneously in FTF and VC formats to a total of five remote communities on two separate occasions. Participants completed a test of scoring competency at the beginning (pretest) and end (posttest) of the TW as well as a feedback questionnaire. A cost comparison was also undertaken. RESULTS: Forty-four physical and occupational therapists participated. No significant between-group differences were found in posttest scoring competency related to delivery format (FTF or VC): (F(1,38) = 0.6, MSE = 3.6, p > 0.4), or for the two workshops: (F(1,38) = 1.4, MSE = 3.6, p > 0.2). Despite technical difficulties, participant experience was rated as "good" to "excellent." The VC method offered considerable cost savings to participants and their organizations, at a minimum of $7,437 (Canadian). CONCLUSION: Clinicians participating in the TW via VC performed as well as those in the FTF group on the competency test. Videoconferencing improves access to CE, is well received by participants, and provides a cost-effective method of course delivery. Further evaluation of other CE events delivered through VC is indicated.
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