Comprehensive Evaluation of the Online Lifelong Education Course Prevention and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders for Physicians in the Czech Republic: Study Protocol
The course Prevention of Harmful Substance Use and Addiction Treatment is an integral and mandatory part of postgraduate medical education in the Czech Republic. Its aim is to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and competences (learning outcomes) for good medical practice, screening and brief intervention. The course includes an international curriculum for treatment and prevention in addictology and a comparison with competency models. Part of the course is also testing attitudes with a focus on discrimination related to substance use.
The aim of this study is to assess the quality of the newly prepared e-learning course for addictology education of physicians and attitudes of physicians to a selected group of addictive substances and their users. The measured attitudes will be compared between the course participants and the control group and will also be compared with the general public.
The research sample will consist of medical graduates who have completed the course ~1000 respondents (group A) and the control group ~150 respondents (group B) with the same educational parameters, but did not complete the course.
A complete evaluation will be performed in order to verify the effectiveness of the course using pre-test, post-test and after six months of follow-up test. The main purpose will be the evaluation of educational outcomes, the secondary purpose will be the evaluation of attitudes with a focus on discrimination against drug users and their structural stigma. The research will take place between 2021 and 2024.
The aim of the course is not only to follow the letter of the law, but also to create a functional model useful for physicians and their patients which will help them to identify the symptoms of addiction behaviours and send these patients to a specialist in time. The course is integrated into the lifelong education of physicians in the field of addictology. The quality and success of the course can be assessed using the information and data gained: whether the course participants achieved the required knowledge and competences and whether the goals of the course were met. The results of the study will clearly show if the knowledge and competences acquired are used in practice and the relationship between the perceived usefulness of the course and its practicality and benefits for professional development have been proved. The results of the course evaluation can also be compared to other countries implementing identical models in addictology education, together with possible participation in international programmes and comparison of the outcomes from the individual countries and universities.