Background: Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) have been developed with the aim of helping health professionals, patients, and caregivers make decisions about their health care, using the best available evidence. In many cases, incorporation of these recommendations into clinical practice also implies a need for changes in routine clinical practice. Using educational games as a strategy for implementing recommendations among health professionals has been demonstrated to be effective in some studies; however, evidence is still scarce. The primary objective of this study is to assess the effectiveness of a teaching strategy for the implementation of CPGs using educational games (e-learning EDUCAGUIA) to improve knowledge and skills related to clinical decision-making by residents in family medicine. The primary objective will be evaluated at 1 and 6months after the intervention. The secondary objectives are to identify barriers and facilitators for the use of guidelines by residents of family medicine and to describe the educational strategies used by Spanish teaching units of family and community medicine to encourage implementation of CPGs.
Methods/design: We propose a multicenter clinical trial with randomized allocation by clusters of family and community medicine teaching units in Spain. The sample size will be 394 residents (197 in each group), with the teaching units as the randomization unit and the residents comprising the analysis unit. For the intervention, both groups will receive an initial 1-h session on clinical practice guideline use and the usual dissemination strategy by e-mail. The intervention group (e-learning EDUCAGUIA) strategy will consist of educational games with hypothetical clinical scenarios in a virtual environment. The primary outcome will be the score obtained by the residents on evaluation questionnaires for each clinical practice guideline. Other included variables will be the sociodemographic and training variables of the residents and the teaching unit characteristics. The statistical analysis will consist of a descriptive analysis of variables and a baseline comparison of both groups. For the primary outcome analysis, an average score comparison of hypothetical scenario questionnaires between the EDUCAGUIA intervention group and the control group will be performed at 1 and 6months post-intervention, using 95% confidence intervals. A linear multilevel regression will be used to adjust the model.
Discussion: The identification of effective teaching strategies will facilitate the incorporation of available knowledge into clinical practice that could eventually improve patient outcomes. The inclusion of information technologies as teaching tools permits greater learning autonomy and allows deeper instructor participation in the monitoring and supervision of residents. The long-term impact of this strategy is unknown; however, because it is aimed at professionals undergoing training and it addresses prevalent health problems, a small effect can be of great relevance. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02210442.
- Health personnel/education
- Practice guidelines as a topic
- Problem solving
- Professional competence