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Review: interactive, but not didactic, continuing medical education is effective in changing physician performance

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 QUESTION: How effective are formal continuing medical education (CME) interventions in changing physician performance and health care outcomes?

Data sources

Studies were identified by using the Research and Development Resource Base in CME at the University of Toronto, the Specialised Register of the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group, Medline (1993 to January 1999), CINAHL, ERIC, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, and PsycINFO and by searching bibliographies of relevant papers.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they were randomised controlled trials; if they used formal CME interventions of a didactic, an interactive, or a mixed didactic and interactive nature; if they objectively determined either physician performance in the workplace or health care outcomes, or both; and if ≥50% of the participants were practising …

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  • Source of funding: National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center.

  • For correspondence: Dr D Davis, University of Toronto, 150 College Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A8, Canada. Fax +1 416 971 2722.