A Web-Based Alcohol Clinical Training (ACT) Curriculum: Is In-Person Faculty Development Necessary to Affect Teaching?
Alford, Daniel P.
Richardson, Jessica M.
Chapman, Sheila E.
Dubé, Catherine E.
Schadt, Robert W.
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CitationAlford, Daniel P, Jessica M Richardson, Sheila E Chapman, Catherine E Dubé, Robert W Schadt, Richard Saitz. "A web-based Alcohol Clinical Training (ACT) curriculum: Is in-person faculty development necessary to affect teaching?" BMC Medical Education 8:11. (2008)
BACKGROUND: Physicians receive little education about unhealthy alcohol use and as a result patients often do not receive efficacious interventions. The objective of this study is to evaluate whether a free web-based alcohol curriculum would be used by physician educators and whether in-person faculty development would increase its use, confidence in teaching and teaching itself. METHODS: Subjects were physician educators who applied to attend a workshop on the use of a web-based curriculum about alcohol screening and brief intervention and cross-cultural efficacy. All physicians were provided the curriculum web address. Intervention subjects attended a 3-hour workshop including demonstration of the website, modeling of teaching, and development of a plan for using the curriculum. All subjects completed a survey prior to and 3 months after the workshop. RESULTS: Of 20 intervention and 13 control subjects, 19 (95%) and 10 (77%), respectively, completed follow-up. Compared to controls, intervention subjects had greater increases in confidence in teaching alcohol screening, and in the frequency of two teaching practices – teaching about screening and eliciting patient health beliefs. Teaching confidence and teaching practices improved significantly in 9 of 10 comparisons for intervention, and in 0 comparisons for control subjects. At follow-up 79% of intervention but only 50% of control subjects reported using any part of the curriculum (p = 0.20). CONCLUSION: In-person training for physician educators on the use of a web-based alcohol curriculum can increase teaching confidence and practices. Although the web is frequently used for disemination, in-person training may be preferable to effect widespread teaching of clinical skills like alcohol screening and brief intervention.