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Developing a Community of Practice for HIV Care: Supporting Knowledge Translation in a Regional Training Initiative

Gallagher, Donna M. PhD, ANP, FAAN; Hirschhorn, Lisa R. MD, MPH; Lorenz, Laura S. PhD, MA, MEd; Piya, Priyatam MS

Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions: January 2017 - Volume 37 - Issue 1 - p 27–36
doi: 10.1097/CEH.0000000000000141
Original Research

Introduction: Ensuring knowledgeable, skilled HIV providers is challenged by rapid advances in the field, diversity of patients and providers, and the need to retain experienced providers while training new providers. These challenges highlight the need for education strategies, including training and clinical consultation to support translation of new knowledge to practice. New England AIDS Education and Training Center (NEAETC) provides a range of educational modalities including academic peer detailing and distance support to HIV providers in six states. We describe the interprofessional perspectives of HIV providers who participated in this regional program to understand success and areas for strengthening pedagogical modality, content, and impact on clinical practice.

Methods: This 2013 to 2014 mixed-methods study analyzed quantitative programmatic data to understand changes in training participants and modalities and used semistructured interviews with 30 HIV providers and coded for preidentified and emerging themes.

Results: Since 2010, NEAETC evolved modalities to a greater focus on active learning (case discussion, clinical consultation), decreasing didactic training by half (18–9%). This shift was designed to move from knowledge transfer to translation, and qualitative findings supported the value of active learning approaches. Providers valued interactive trainings and presentation of cases supporting knowledge translation. On-site training encouraged peer networking and sharing of lessons learned. Diversity in learning priorities across providers and sites validated NEAETC's approach of tailoring topics to local needs and encouraging regional networking.

Discussion: Tailored approaches resulted in improved provider-reported capacity, peer learning, and support. Future evaluations should explore the impact of this multipronged approach on supporting a community of practice and empowerment of provider teams.

Dr. Gallagher: Principle Investigator (PI), New England AIDS Education and Training Center (NEAETC), University of Massachusetts Medical School, Commonwealth Medicine, Shrewsbury, MA. Dr. Hirschhorn: Professor of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL; and Co-PI, NEAETC, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Commonwealth Medicine, Shrewsbury, MA. Dr. Lorenz: Visiting Scholar at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Schneider Institutes for Health Policy, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA; and Evaluation Consultant to NEAETC, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Commonwealth Medicine, Shrewsbury, MA. Dr. Piya: Data Coordinator for NEAETC, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Commonwealth Medicine, Shrewsbury, MA.

Correspondence: Donna M. Gallagher, PhD, ANP, FAAN, 471 California Street, Newtonville, MA 02460; e-mail: dmgallag@aol.com.

Disclosures: The authors declare no conflict of interest. Funding received from the Health Resources and Services Administration through Grant No. H4AHA00050. All authors are or have been associated as participating partners in training and technical assistance programs by the New England AIDS Education and Training Center (NEAETC).

© 2017 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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