The Web-based malaria educational module was developed using information from the 2004 recommendations of Canada’s Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine and Travel, the 2006 guidelines of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the 2006 guidelines of the World Health Organization, other relevant literature, and expert advice. The educational content consisted of general information about malaria and its management (e.g., background, life cycle of the parasite, dosing regimens for antimalarial drugs, monitoring), updated regional monographs about IV administration of quinine (for adults and children), procedures concerning supplies of quinine in the Calgary Health Region, frequently asked questions, and a section containing links to other reliable malaria- related information.
After ethics approval for the study was obtained from the University of Calgary Conjoint Ethics Board and continuing education accreditation for the module was granted by the Alberta College of Pharmacists, the module was made available via a link on the main Pharmacy Services web page of the internal Calgary Health Region website from March 16 to May 16, 2007 (62 days). Data collection was undertaken during this time. Three reminder e-mails were sent to all of the region’s pharmacists (at baseline, at 3 weeks, and at 6 weeks) to solicit participation. An e-mail address was provided within the module to which pharmacists could send specific questions or feedback. Pharmacists who completed both the pre- and the post-tests (described below) were awarded 2 h of provincial continuing education credits. viagra jelly
We used a prospective pre-post test study to measure the effectiveness of the educational module. Within the educational module, users first encountered an introductory page stating that the malaria educational materials and the pre- and post-tests were part of a pharmacy residency research project approved by the University of Calgary Conjoint Ethics Board. The reasons for collecting the data, what was to be done with the data, and who was involved were clearly stated, to ensure that pharmacists would be fully informed about the study. Participation in the learning assessment was voluntary, and completion of the module and the associated tests implied informed consent. A link at the bottom of the introductory page directed pharmacists first to the pre-test and then to the educational module. However, in the event of an actual case of malaria requiring urgent access to information, pharmacists did not have to complete the pre-test to access the educational materials. After reviewing the educational materials, pharmacists were directed to the post-test (which was identical with the pre-test). Web links allowed pharmacists to move back and forth between screens at any time.