Abstract

Integrating evidence-based clinical practice guidelines on gastroesophageal reflux disease into medical practice is of prime importance in Latin America, given its high prevalence in this region. The aim of this project was to implement and assess an educational intervention on gastroesophageal reflux disease, aimed at primary care physicians in Latin America, with contents based on current clinical guidelines. The course included initial activities, whether face-to-face or through distance learning, and a 2-month period of Internet study and interaction. A pilot test was carried out in Uruguay, which was then repeated in 5 countries (Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and again in Uruguay). A global template was designed, which was then adapted to each of the countries: this was done with the participation of local institutions and leaders. Local credits were given for recertification. Participation was free. Of 3,110 physicians invited to participate, 1,143 (36.8%) started the course. Of these, 587 (51.4%) accessed at least half the contents of the course and 785 (68.7%) took part in the clinical discussions. A total of 338 (29.6%) completed all the requirements of the course and received a certificate. Among physicians who took both the pre- and post-intervention knowledge tests, scores improved from 60 to 80% (P<.001). Ninety-two percent of planned changes in clinical practice were related to the pedagogic aims of the course. In conclusion, a multifaceted, 2-phase continuing education course was successfully imparted in Latin America, with an overall design that was adapted to each country. Determination of specific needs and the participation of national experts were fundamental to the success of the course.

KEYWORDS:

Atención primaria; Continuing medical education; Educación médica continua; Enfermedad por reflujo gastroesofágico; Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Information and communication technologies; Latin America; Latinoamérica; Primary care; Tecnologías de la información y la comunicación