Cardiopulmonary disease in newborns: a study in continuing medical education

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A film emphasizing the importance of tachypnea as an early manifestation of congenital heart disease was shown to physicians and nurses at 27 hospitals as part of their regular continuing medical education activities. To evaluate the effects of the program, investigators developed a pretest-posttest design which included a nonequivalent control group. Pretest and posttest data were obtained through chart audit of referrals from subjects in experimental and control groups. Dependent variables used to test the hypothesis included the age at which infants were referred and the age at which tachypnea was noted. Analysis of the data yielded significant gain scores for the experimental group, while changes in the control group were not significant. The findings indicate that a need-oriented educational program can have a measurable impact on improving the quality of patient care.

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