The CPD program was developed by the Internal Medicine CPD Committee at the Faculty of Medicine, UAE University. The two RRCs were delivered in a conference facility at Al Ain, UAE between February 2009 and July 2009. The CPD committee meets once per month to develop CME activities according to needs assessment and to identify speakers, and organize the events. The goal of the CPD committee is to create a high level educational culture and enrich the clinical practice among healthcare professionals within Al Ain City and subsequently, the UAE. The target CME activities include practicing physicians, residents, medical students, nurses and pharmacists. The CPD committee adheres to the accreditation requirements in UAE. All CPDC members contribute to the organization and monitoring of the activities to ensure high standard in accordance with Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) Guidelines.
The study population consisted of 150 health providers including; medical physicians, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists and medical students. All participants gave their consent. The complete self-reported questionnaires were collected by the organizers. The participants completed the study questionnaires which were tendered to the organizers at the end of the educational activity. Participants answered questions pertaining to sociodemographic profile, age (age strata-years), gender, nationality, marital status, qualifications, place of work (public sector, private sector), nature of clinical practice (hospital, polyclinic and clinic), profession, and home language (Arabic, Urdu/Hindu, English, African, Farsi, Latin, French, Dutch, Tagalog, and others).
Each event included case based lecturers presented by six to eight speakers. The last lecture in the row was a case-based panel discussion and summary delivered by the RRC program director (AS). Each of the RRC syllabuses have been revised (by a panel of experts), validated in terms of objectives, contents and appropriateness to the benchmark review courses in the United States and Europe, and subsequently the courses were delivered as a full-day event. Each of these events was CME accredited.
Each RRC covered all aspects of the common condition in question (disease, investigations, management, evidence-based approach, case studies and interactive cases scenarios). Each RRC was delivered over 6 hours on a weekend. The period between both programs was one month. Each of the RRCs was delivered by professors from the FMHS-UAE University and consultant physicians from across UAE hospitals.
The one-day course of topics presented at the RRC covered relevant areas of Nephrology curriculum (hematuria, glomerular diseases, acute renal failure, chronic kidney disease, and end-stage renal failure [ESRF]) and Rheumatology curriculum (gout, pseudo gout, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus [SLE], spondyloarthropathies, polymyosistis, dermatomyosistis, fibromyalgia) detailing the pathological disease process, symptoms, diagnosis and management, delivered in structured fashion. The participants' understanding of the course content was evaluated by using a 5-point Likert Scale (the sum of responses on several Likert Scale items) according to common criterion; speaker, content, presentation and interactiveness. At the end of each RRC, a panel discussion consisting of the program director and speakers was followed by case scenarios relevant to the course curriculum.
A questionnaire developed by the IMCPDC was used to examine the views of healthcare providers towards the RRC program and demonstrate the correlates of demographics. The first part of the questionnaire included questions pertaining to general socio-demographics like age, gender, marital status, etc. The second part included 10-statement questions of which the first four statements were to identify challenges in internet access and individuals' ability to identify reliable medical information on the internet. The remaining six statements were designed to identify the participant’s views and satisfaction level about the course material, delivery, and the usefulness of these RRC in improving their knowledge for day-to-day practice. Each statement was provided with five choices: strongly agree (5), agree (4), neutral (3), disagree (2), and strongly disagree (1), and the mean value on the Likert Scale was calculated.
Data are presented as proportions, Medians or Means±Standard Deviations (SDs) as appropriate. Differences in categorical variables between respective comparison groups were analyzed using the Chi-square test. The continuous variables were analyzed using one way analysis of variance. A p-value of <0.05 was considered significant. Data analyses were carried out using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences, version 17 (SPSS Inc., Cary, NC, USA).