Background: Continuing medical education (CME) activities are required for physician board certification, licensure, and hospital privileges. CME activities are designed to specifically address professional knowledge or practice gaps. We examined statements taken from participants of their “intent-to-change” as data to determine whether the CME activity content achieved a stated learning objective.
Methods: We performed a retrospective mixed-method thematic content analysis of written and electronic records from American Association of Neurological Surgery (AANS) sponsored CME activities. Data was analyzed using a quantitative, deductive content analysis approach. Meeting objectives were examined to determine if they resulted in specific intent-to-change statements in learners’ evaluation of the CME activity on a direct basis for one year as well as longitudinally over 6 consecutive years. Intent-to-change data that did not align with meeting objectives were further analyzed inductively using a qualitative content analysis approach to explore potential unintended learning themes.
Results: We examined a total of 85 CME activities, averaging 12–16 meetings per year over 6 years. This yielded a total of 424 meeting objectives averaging 58–83 meeting objectives each year. The objectives were compared with a total of 1950 intent-to-change statements (146–588 intent-to-change statements in a given year). Thematic patterns of recurrent intent-to-change statements that matched with meeting objectives included topics of resident education, complication avoidance, and clinical best practices and evidence. New innovations and novel surgical techniques were also common themes of both objectives and intent-to-change statements.
Intent-to-change statements were not related to any meeting objective an average of 37.3% of the time. Approximately a quarter of these unmatched statements led to subsequent CME activity new learning objectives. However, the majority of intent-to-change statements were repeated over a number of years without an obvious change in subsequent meeting learning objectives. An examination of CME learning objectives found that 15% of objectives had no intent-to-change statements associated with those objectives.
Conclusion: An examination of CME learning objectives and participant intent-to-change statements provides information for examination of both meeting planner and learner attitudes for future CME activity planning.
Return to Table of Contents:American Association of Neurological Surgeons Joint Sponsored Activities: A longitudinal comparison of learning objectives and intent-to-change statements by meeting participants (Abstract) by Blake Dunson, Yoon Soo Park, PhD, Boyd F. Richards, PhD, Laura Hirshfield, PhD & Randy L. Jensen, MD, PhD, MHPE