Publication Details

Schutze, H., Shell, A. & Brodaty, H. (2018). Development, implementation and evaluation of Australia's first national continuing medical education program for the timely diagnosis and management of dementia in general practice. BMC Medical Education, 18 (1), 194-1-194-9.


Background: Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia. Over half of patients with dementia are undiagnosed in primary care. This paper describes the development, implementation and initial evaluation of the first national continuing medical education program on the timely diagnosis and management of dementia in general practice in Australia. Methods: Continuing medical education workshops were developed and run in 16 urban and rural locations across Australia (12 were delivered as small group workshops, four as large groups), and via online modules. Two train-the-trainer workshops were held. The target audience was general practitioners, however, international medical graduates, GP registrars, other doctors, primary care nurses and other health professionals were also welcome. Self-complete questionnaires were used for the evaluation. Results: Of 1236 people (GPs, other doctors, nurses and other health professionals) who participated in the program, 609 completed the full program (small group workshops (282), large group workshops (75), online modules (252)); and 627 elected to undertake one or more individual submodules (large group workshops (444), online program (183)). Of those who completed the full program as a small group workshop, 14 undertook the additional Train-the-trainer program. 76% of participants felt that their learning needs were entirely met and 78% felt the program was entirely relevant to their practice. Conclusion: Continuing medical education programs are an effective method to deliver education to GPs. A combination of face-to-face and online delivery modes increases reach to primary care providers. Train-the-trainer sessions and online continuing medical education programs promote long-term delivery sustainability. Further research is required to determine the long-term knowledge translation effects of the program.



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