Continuous Learning in Multiple Sclerosis Care: A Qualitative Study of the Expanded Learning Model for Systems

International Journal of Medical Education (06/28/19) Vol. 10, P. 122 Ravyn, Dana; Goodwin, Beth; Lowney, Rob

A preliminary study sought to define the impact of an online continuing education activity on the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of healthcare professionals who treat patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and investigated whether those changes mirrored hypothesized translational mechanisms proposed in The Expanded Learning Model for Systems (TELMS). Semi-structured interviews of 18 neurologists and nurses were conducted to evaluate whether and how translational mechanisms underpinning the TELMS theory might be inferred from learners' attitudes and practice behavior. Textual interpretation of interview data showed that MS providers perform in various situations that validate the principles of TELMS model of learning engagement, and components of TELMS-proposed translational mechanisms were consistently seen in the narrative reflections. Themes that emerged included the value of practices like setting goal, coordination of care, systems-level MS care, and economic considerations. TELMS concepts were highly valued by practitioners facing challenges in diverse cultural and sociocultural environments. Based on their findings, the researchers conclude that "elements of translational mechanisms underlying the process of continuous learning in TELMS were influential in a conventional educational intervention. Although the insights of TELMS emphasize the benefit of systems-based interventions that are integrated across the healthcare delivery system, our preliminary findings suggest that these principles are relevant to learners in provider-based learning activities."

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