Mobile Learning and Smartphone use amongst Wessex GPs

I have finally got around to disseminating a questionnaire to the good GPs and GPSTs of Wessex to assess the use of smartphones and their use for M-learning and CPD.  More to come but I have drafted an abstract of my findings below.

Background and Aims

There is an increasing use of smart phones for both under and postgraduate medical education. Despite this, uptake amongst general practitioners is poor. This survey examined the current use of smartphones for medical education amongst a cohort of Wessex GPs and GPSTs. Also explored was the use of social media for medical education.

Method

An online questionnaire invite was sent out via email. The questions included closed demographic questions and open free text responses. The survey population was composed of GPSTs and GPs on the Wessex PBSGL database. Responses were analysed using a grounded theory approach to identify themes.

Results

There were 61 respondents from 253 invitees. 98% had smartphones, 77% used smartphones for medical apps, 65% used smartphones for medical education, 69% used smartphones for social media and 20% used social media for medical education.  Thematic analysis of free text responses identified 58 nodes which were grouped into 21 minor themes in 8 categories.  These were: Accessing learning; Educational impact of online and m-learning; Educational networking; Learning involves social interaction with peers and mentor; Physical constraints of mobile devices; Signposting to guidelines and learning via the Internet; Technical challenges of online and m-learning; Work life balance

Conclusions

This is a snapshot of a small population but does raise some important key messages.  There is a training requirement for GPs in how to use social media for education.  GPs valued the networking between colleagues at courses and conferences.  However, most respondents recognised the future benefits of mobile learning platforms and wanted to engage more.

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