Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Effects of an Asynchronous Educational Curriculum on Resident Attitudes Towards the Use of Asynchronous Education in Professional Development

Jeffrey Hill, MD, MEd
University of Cincinnati/University Hospital

Asychronous educational curricula and resources are increasingly being utilized in post-graduate education and offered for continuous professional development. To date, studies evaluating learners attitudes towards asynchronous educational resources have focused only on the direction of the learners attitude (positive or negative). In this study, we performed detailed exploration of the attitude components that have previously been shown to affect behavior. Using the Technology Acceptance Model and Azjen and Madden’s Theory of Planned Behavior as a framework, the attitudes of fourteen PGY-1 Emergency Medicine residents were quantitatively assessed before and after exposure to an asynchronous educational curriculum. In addition, responses to open ended questions were also used to qualitatively assess residents attitude after exposure to the asynchronous educational curricula. Ten out of 14 residents responded to the pre-intervention survey (71%). Of these, 5 responded to the post-intervention survey resulting in an overall response rate for the quantitative data of 36%. Of the 14 residents, 11 (79%) responded to the post-intervention qualitative survey. There were no statistically significant changes in the components of the attitude-behavior relationship when comparing the pre- and post-intervention assessments. The residents reporting a decrease in behavioral intention also reported a decrease in perceived usefulness, a decreasingly positive view of asynchronous educational resources, and a decrease in the perceived support of their supervising physicians. The resident’s reporting an increase in intention to use asynchronous educational resources concurrently reported an increase in perceived usefulness and an increasingly positive attitude towards the use of asynchronous educational resources. Though limited, data from this study offer support for the use of the Theory of Planned Behavior as a viable frameworks to facilitate understanding of the the attitude-behavior relationships for physician use of asynchronous educational resources in professional development.