The Value of Experiential Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinical Training in the Digital Age

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The translation of evidence-based guidelines for sexually transmitted disease (STD) care into clinical practice is crucial for the prevention and control of STDs.


Participants in a hands-on, multifaceted, small-group STD Clinical Intensive Course from 2006 to 2013 were asked to complete a survey regarding course content and value compared with other continuing education courses. Survey respondents with demographic and professional information were compared with all other course participants. χ2 Statistics were used to test for differences in proportions; the Cochran-Armitage trend test was used to evaluate for trends in response rate by year of training.


Of 113 respondents (35.9% response rate), 92.9% felt that clinical knowledge stayed longer, 84.1% changed clinical practice more, and 90.3% recommended the course more, compared with other continuing education programs in which they had participated previously. Respondents' average suggested registration fee should the course no longer be free was $188.90. Physician assistants and advanced practice nurses were overrepresented among respondents (69.4% vs. 58.1%, P = 0.04); more recent course participants were more likely to respond (P < 0.01).


These findings suggest that this STD experiential clinical training program is still relevant to participants in the digital age and is valued more highly than other continuing education experiences. A significant disconnect was identified between what participants are willing/able to pay versus actual course costs, indicating that cost is likely to become a barrier to participation should the course no longer be free.

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