Development and Assessment of an E-Learning Course on Breast Imaging for Radiographers: A Stratified Randomized Controlled Trial
Background: Mammography is considered the best imaging technique for breast cancer screening, and the radiographer plays an important role in its performance. Therefore, continuing education is critical to improving the performance of these professionals and thus providing better health care services. Objective: Our goal was to develop an e-learning course on breast imaging for radiographers, assessing its efficacy, effectiveness, and user satisfaction. Methods: A stratified randomized controlled trial was performed with radiographers and radiology students who already had mammography training, using pre- and post-knowledge tests, and satisfaction questionnaires. The primary outcome was the improvement in test results (percentage of correct answers), using intention-to-treat and per-protocol analysis. Results: A total of 54 participants were assigned to the intervention (20 students plus 34 radiographers) with 53 controls (19+34). The intervention was completed by 40 participants (11+29), with 4 (2+2) discontinued interventions, and 10 (7+3) lost to follow-up. Differences in the primary outcome were found between intervention and control: 21 versus 4 percentage points (pp), P<.001. Stratified analysis showed effect in radiographers (23 pp vs 4 pp; P=.004) but was unclear in students (18 pp vs 5 pp; P=.098). Nonetheless, differences in students’ posttest results were found (88% vs 63%; P=.003), which were absent in pretest (63% vs 63%; P=.106). The per-protocol analysis showed a higher effect (26 pp vs 2 pp; P<.001), both in students (25 pp vs 3 pp; P=.004) and radiographers (27 pp vs 2 pp; P<.001). Overall, 85% were satisfied with the course, and 88% considered it successful. Conclusions: This e-learning course is effective, especially for radiographers, which highlights the need for continuing education.