The translation of evidence-based guidelines for sexually transmitted disease (STD) care into clinical practice is crucial for the prevention and control of STDs.
Participants in a hands-on, multifaceted, small-group STD Clinical Intensive Course from 2006 to 2013 were asked to complete a survey regarding course content and value compared with other continuing education courses. Survey respondents with demographic and professional information were compared with all other course participants. χ2 Statistics were used to test for differences in proportions; the Cochran-Armitage trend test was used to evaluate for trends in response rate by year of training.
Of 113 respondents (35.9% response rate), 92.9% felt that clinical knowledge stayed longer, 84.1% changed clinical practice more, and 90.3% recommended the course more, compared with other continuing education programs in which they had participated previously. Respondents' average suggested registration fee should the course no longer be free was $188.90. Physician assistants and advanced practice nurses were overrepresented among respondents (69.4% vs. 58.1%, P = 0.04); more recent course participants were more likely to respond (P < 0.01).
These findings suggest that this STD experiential clinical training program is still relevant to participants in the digital age and is valued more highly than other continuing education experiences. A significant disconnect was identified between what participants are willing/able to pay versus actual course costs, indicating that cost is likely to become a barrier to participation should the course no longer be free.
A survey of participants in a hands-on STD Clinical Intensive Course found that experiential training is still relevant and valuable in the digital age.
From the *Ratelle STD/HIV Prevention Training Center, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Jamaica Plain, MA; †Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases & Immunology, UMass Memorial Children's Medical Center, Worcester, MA; ‡JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc, Boston, MA; and §Section of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA
Acknowledgments: The authors thank Rebecca Millock, BA, of JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc, for her assistance with data analysis; Kevin Cranston, MDiv, and Alfred DeMaria, Jr, MD, of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Edward W. Hook III, MD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Alabama, for critical review of the manuscript.
Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: W. Chow and T. Calise receive ongoing funding via their institution (JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc.) to serve as external evaluators for the STD Clinical Intensive Course; no additional funds were received for the present manuscript. This work was supported by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health through CDC-RFA-PS09-902.
Correspondence to: Zoon Wangu, MD, Ratelle STD/HIV Prevention Training Center, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 305 South St, Stables Floor 2, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Received for publication August 6, 2015, and accepted November 4, 2015.