Effectiveness of an Online Pediatric Primary Care Curriculum
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OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a supplementary online pediatric primary care (PPC) curriculum in reaching pediatric residents and increasing knowledge in selected primary care topics. METHODS: We conducted a nonrandomized, controlled, pre-test/post-test study comparing an online PPC curriculum supplement with the traditional formal, conference-based curriculum alone, both with identical content. We compared 2 groups of first-year categorical pediatric residents from 2 successive years: one group (from 2006-2007) was offered the online curriculum supplement (study group) and one (2005-2006) was not (control group). Comparisons were made using the following: 1) pre-testing and post-testing of knowledge; and 2) monitoring of attendance at the formal conferences and accessing the online curriculum. RESULTS: The control group of 33 residents and the study group of 34 residents were similar with respect to gender, age, and first-year in-training exam scores. In the first quarter of the year, 93% (mean) of the study group accessed the online curriculum; 43% accessed it in the last quarter of the year. For the same time periods, 33% and 30% of all of the residents (intervention and control groups combined) attended the noon conferences. The pre-test and post-test scores of the study group showed a significant increase (P < .001), and the post-test score comparison of study versus control group was also significant (P = .035). There were no significant differences in the in-training exam scores between the 2 groups for exams given at the beginning of their second year. CONCLUSION: An online PPC curriculum is an effective supplement to traditional resident education and reaches a significantly larger number of residents compared with the traditional conference-based format.
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