Lipner RS, Baranowski RA, Johnston-Fleece M. — American Board of Internal Medicine
Presented: American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, April 2012
Background: Although U.S. health care quality is improving, disparities in care are not. Residency programs are developing curricula to address these inadequacies in knowledge, but many physicians already in practice have not had the benefit of social medicine education during their residency training years.
Objective: To determine the value of the tool known as the Care for the Underserved Self-Evaluation of Medical Knowledge Module, we analyzed the properties of the module from measurement and satisfaction perspectives, and to better understand the predictors of this knowledge base.
Participants: 1,219 physicians who completed the module through participation in ABIM's Maintenance of Certification program.
Main Measures: The Care for the Underserved module was used to assess physicians' knowledge base regarding care for underserved populations. Physicians completed two surveys. Demographic data from registration files were used and underserved practice areas were identified through the Area Resource File. Analyses included descriptive statistics, factor analysis and a multiple linear regression.
Key Results: Performance on the module was good (mean of 73%) but left room for improvement. Factor analysis provided evidence of validity, and reliability was respectable (0.67). Certain physicians had a better knowledge base (e.g., U.S./Canadian born and trained, in group practice). Physicians found the process valuable but requested better guidance for improvement.
Conclusions: Our research recognizes the importance of a sound knowledge base in order to close the gap in the disparities of care, and the Care for the Underserved module helps address the knowledge deficit. Incorporating this module as an option for fulfilling physicians’ MOC requirements is an initial step toward eliminating disparities in care for the underserved.
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