J. Alvarez Argote1, C. Burbano1, M.P. Gagnon2, M. Cauchon2, J. Asua3, M. Labrecque2

1Universidad del Valle (COLOMBIA)
2Université Laval (CANADA)
3Health Technology Assessment Program (SPAIN)
Laval University has offered since 2002 an online course called the Infocritique which consist in several interactive self-learning modules that aim to facilitate and enhance learning of Evidence-Based Medicine skills, on the following topics: 1) Web information retrieval strategies, 2) new drug/intervention evaluation and optimisation of the physician - drug representative encounter, 3) appraisal of review articles, 4) appraisal of clinical practice guidelines, and 5) clinical diagnostic strategies and appraisal of articles on diagnostic test. Each module proposes various educational tools: theoretical concepts, clinical scenarios, critical appraisal worksheets, appraisal exercises with interactive feedback, post-test evaluation, hyperlinks with relevant Internet resources, and a glossary. The Modules are offered to workers in Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine, Nursing, Reproduction health, Physical therapy, and Alternative and Complementary Medicine. The clinicians that accomplish the modules receive evaluation and feedback from University Professors of Laval University.

To extend its reach to Spanish speaking countries, Laval University offered two research grants to the Universidad del Valle (Cali, Colombia) to adapt to Spanish the modules. One of the grants was offered for the Medicine Program and the other one for the Nursing Program. The adaptation is focused on health problems that are more prevalent and relevant in Latin-America and Spain, without losing the general perspective for every clinician. It was meant also to keep an international style so that the modules could be tried in all Spanish speaking countries.

To assess the feasibility of implementing in Latin America and Spain the modules, an evaluation of one of the modules was proposed. That module would be completely adapted to Spanish, and then evaluated by various universities in Mexico, Spain and Colombia. Actually, these modules are also part of the academic curriculum various postgraduate programs of Laval University, and probably implementing this feature in Latin America and Spain is going to be one of the points to estimate in this first evaluation.

The first module, Therapy, shows how to search the appropriate information after defining a specific question about a treatment. As with every module, this begins with some basic knowledge, in this case about the types of studies, and clinical and statistical significance. To this follows an exercise in which a clinical case was exposed and in which a critical analysis of a randomized clinical trial is imperative to decide the management to follow. To this follows an evaluation test, and finally, an appreciation form is stood, which is used as feedback for the authors.

The application of this project can be of great benefit to the knowledge transfer process implemented in Spanish speaking countries. The modules let acquire knowledge on Evidenced Based Medicine to be applied to clinical practice by clinicians. It will increase the education accessibility by giving the opportunity of studying without the need of being in an institution for full time. In the future, new modules can be created according to the demands of the educational environment in which the modules are implemented, meaning that this project can be adapted to health workers from different health areas.