Exploring the effectiveness of Continuing Medical Education programs accredited by UAE University on Health care professional’s knowledge: Expectations vs. satisfaction

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
It is common notion that Continuing Medical Education (CME) has positive effects on the knowledge and competencies of health care professionals (HCP), however, this notion has not yet been fully proven in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) health care context as there is very limited research conducted in this area to confirm this notion. The aim of this research study is to investigate the effects of CME on the knowledge and competency of HCP in the UAE based the UAE University (UAEU) accredited postgraduate CME programs in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi for healthcare professionals. Measuring the effectiveness of educational programs is a consensus by all education theorists, the first two level of Kirkpatrick training evaluation model was used to in this study. Based on a mixed method approach, quantitative data was collected from 302 health care professionals (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, others) who attended 4 CME accredited programs by UAEU, in Al Ain city and qualitative data were collected from 14 health care professionals using semi structured interviews with participants who agreed to be interviewed. The research results showed that the UAEU accredited CME programs were effective in terms of exceeding health care professionals learning expectations, the achievement of educational programs learning objectives, and significant increase in HCP knowledge in the topics discussed in these programs. However, the results also indicate that the need for training, patient no compliance and insurance cost were the major barriers to transfer learning from CME experience to their work place; 95% of the participants specified these as barriers. The study also provides recommendations for improving CME programs. These programs should be designed to meet the special and individual learning needs of HCPs, and the outcomes should be evaluated using professional appraisals. The adoption of multimedia and instructional techniques, such as online CME, videoconferencing, virtual education, and self-directed learning by scientific medical associations and community hospitals, is recommended. Comprehensive evaluation methods should be developed to assess the effectiveness of CME programs.
Health education -- Study and teaching., United Arab Emirates (UAE), Health care professional