General practitioners as educators in adolescent health: a training evaluation

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Van de Mortel, Thea
Bird, Jennifer
Chown, Peter
Trigger, Robert
Ahern, Christine
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2016
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Abstract

Background: General practitioners play an important role in the primary care of adolescents in both community and clinical settings. Yet studies show that GPs can lack confidence, skills and knowledge in adolescent health. This study evaluates the effectiveness of an innovative training intervention on medical participants’ knowledge and confidence as adolescent health educators in a school setting.

Methods: 15 general practitioners, 12 general practice registrars and 18 medical students participated in an adolescent health education workshop followed by field experience in health education sessions in secondary schools. The mixed method design included a pre and post intervention survey and focus group interviews.

Results: Mean scores on the Confidence to Teach scale increased significantly (3.34 ± 0.51 to 4.09 ± 0.33) (p < .001) as did confidence to communicate with adolescents (3.64 ± 0.48 to 4.19 ± 0.33) (p < .001). Mean knowledge scores increased significantly (7.00 ± 1.22 to 8.98 ± 1.11) (p < .001). Participants highlighted the value of learning about adolescent health issues and generic teaching skills especially lesson planning and design, practicing experiential teaching strategies and finding the ‘sweet spot’ when communicating with adolescents. Some participants reported that these skills would transfer to the practice setting.

Conclusion: An applied training intervention that uses evidence-based, experiential teaching strategies and focuses on developing knowledge and practical teaching skills appropriate for the health education of adolescents can enhance knowledge and confidence to engage in community-based adolescent health education.

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BMC Family Practice

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17

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32

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© 2016 Van de Mortel et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/ zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Nursing

Health services and systems

Public health

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