Standard knowledge delivery formats for CME may have limited impact on long-term practice change. A community of practice (CoP) is one tool that may enhance competencies and support practice change. This study explores the utility of an interprofessional CoP as an adjunct to a CME program in tobacco addiction treatment (Training Enhancement in Applied Counselling and Health [TEACH] Project) to promote and sustain practice change.
A prospective cohort design was utilized to examine the long-term impact of the TEACH CoP on practice change. An online survey was administered to TEACH-trained practitioners to assess perceived feasibility, importance, and confidence related to course competencies, involvement in TEACH CoP activities, engagement in knowledge transfer (KT), and implementation of new programming. Chi-square tests were used to detect differences in KT and program development associated with CoP participation. Course competency scores from immediate postcourse surveys and long-term follow-up surveys were compared.
No significant differences in participant characteristics were found between those who did (n = 300) and did not (n = 122) participate in the TEACH CoP. Mean self-perceived competency scores were greater immediately after course than at long-term follow-up; however, self-ratings of competency in pharmacological interventions and motivational interviewing were higher at follow-up. TEACH CoP participation was associated with significantly greater engagement in KT and implementation of new programming after training.
The findings from this evaluation suggest the value of interprofessional CoPs offered posttraining as a mechanism to enhance practice. CME providers should consider offering CoPs as a component of training programs to promote and sustain practice change.