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2009 Southern Regional Meeting Abstracts

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Session: SSGIM Research Abstract Session C

Estrada C1,2, Krishnamoorthy P2, Smith A2, Staton L3, Houston T1,2. 1Birmingham VAMC, Birmingham, AL; 2The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL and 3University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN.

Purpose of Study: Participation in online educational activities usually decreases over time; measuring participation may guide recruitment. We explored whether participation changed over time in an online cultural competence curriculum.
Methods Used: In the first month, the URL was distributed to organizations focusing on cultural diversity or CME or cardiovascular disease, and to attendees at a national workshop. We measured use on four areas: a) Web (number of visits), b) engagement (number of pages per visit), c) traffic sources (how users came to the site), and d) CME requests. We used Urchin Software 5.0 (Google Analytics) to analyze Web server log files.
Summary of Results: Web use: site was visited 1,738 times; average length was 2min 34sec. Number of pages viewed/day and number of visits/day increased since site was launched (mean pages/day for each month 48.5, 84.2, 90.5, 168.5; mean visits/day for each month, 4.6, 10.3, 8.7, 25.8; both p<0.001). Engagement: although not statistically significant, the number of pages viewed/visit declined (10.0, 7.4, 9.9, 6.8; p=0.32).
Traffic sources: of 1,738 visits, the main site was accessed directly in 687 (40%), by referral from search engines in 548 (32%), by referral from a site with a link to the online curriculum in 449 (26%), and others in 54 (3%). Of the 548 visits resulting from search engines, the search terms were related to cultural issues in 29%, to cardiovascular disease 9%, to medications 41%, and to other terms 21%.
CME was requested by 72 participants, 66% physicians, 8% residents, 7% medical students, and 19% others; 24 requested CME once, 24 twice. The number of CME requests varied for each month since launch (25, 14, 29, 4).
Conclusions: While participation increased in month 4, after extensive posting of the URL, engagement per visit tended to decline. CME was requested by a small proportion of visitors to the site, suggesting that the user did not need or want CME (either clinicians or non-clinicians), or that the content was not relevant. Participation measurement of web-based educational curricula can determine how users interact with the site.

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