Is a CD-ROM computer assisted learning package (CAL) a viable and
acceptable method of providing a training package in a community setting?
Consultant, Centre for Contraception and Sexual Health, Nottingham, UK
Introduction: E-learning is increasingly becoming adopted as an
essential part of training and education for healthcare professionals.
E-learning can take many forms including CD-ROM, the internet, intranets,
interactive computer/TV etc. The use of a CD-ROM overcomes current limitations
in intranet delivered package and offers increased flexibility for the user.
They have been proved to be an acceptable and valuable method of providing
undergraduate medical education but there is less evidence from postgraduate
education and in particular multidisciplinary training. This training package
was developed for doctors and nurses working in a community contraception and
sexual health service.
Methodology: A CD ROM CAL package was developed for nurses and doctors
who were going to provide chlamydia screening in a community setting. The
package included background information, rationale for screening programme,
practicalities of providing screening, self assessment quiz, mock video
consultations and useful documents and website links. It was developed and then
piloted by experts in GUM, C&SH and existing staff to examine usability,
accuracy etc. Amendments were made and it was distributed to 42 doctors and
nurses. It was then evaluated using a semi-structured questionnaire. This
examined 4 main areas. Baseline information about individuals including previous
GUM training and knowledge in relative to chlamydia screening, computer use, use
of package and finally whether they would like further packages.
Results: 26 out of 42 returned evaluation forms. There was a lower
reply from nurses and those who worked the least hours in the department. There
was a variable level of existing knowledge and confidence in dealing with
chlamydia screening in the community. Computer usage and skills were generally
moderate to low with 19 never training used a CAL package previously. Despite
this, the majority (21) had no problem using the package and rated it very high
in relation to ease of use and use as an educational resource. After using the
package there was general trend for users to rate their knowledge and confidence
of chlamydia screening higher than prior to users of the package. And finally,
all users stated they would recommend to a colleague and would use further
Conclusion: Community based doctors and nurses in our setting had
little experience of using CAL packages. Despite this they found it a high
acceptable way of receiving a training package wanted further training packages.
The small pilot has led to the development of IUD/IUS training and updating
package which be distributed and evaluated to 16,000 nurses and doctors working
in the community and Primary care.