We’re almost ready. Our Motivational Interviewing for Smoking Cessation Continuing Medical Educationn (CME) program is about to begin. And what a mouthful of a title that is. But each word of the title is significant. The main goal of this workshop program is to help healthcare providers (HCPs) help their patients to stop smoking. The participants will use motivational interviewing to do that. And the program provides continuing medical education, for which the attendees will earn AMA PRA Category 1 or AAFP prescribed CME credit. And there is no charge for participation.
The program, sponsored by the CS2Day collaborative, consists of three consecutive in-world events (May 18, May 25, and June 1), two hours each, conducted in the virtual world of Second Life. Here’s a photo of the event venue:
There will be 25 healthcare professionals (nurse practitioners, family practice doctors, and residents) in attendance, along with our team (10 of us). And here’s the overall curriculum plan for the three events:
As you can see, role-play is a critical program element. Participating HCPS will have roughly three hours of role play practice, with standardized patients, on a variety of patient cases. This is a solid application of virtual world technology – a chance to try it out, in a low-stakes setting, where everyone can enjoy the anonymity of role-playing as an avatar. Practice makes perfect, afterall.
But why do this in an online virtual world instead of a webinar? Virtual worlds give the participants an added feeling of presence – of being there. We hope that this immersive quality will enhance the effectiveness of the program.
The role play sessions will be preceded by information giving sessions and model interviews, with our two content experts: Jay Lee (MD, MPH, Director of Health Policy, Long Beach Memorial Family Medicine Residence Program) and Suzanne Mitchell (MD, MS Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at Boston University Medical School).
In between the second and third events, the participants be assigned homework. They will visit a blog site where videos of their in-world role plays will be posted for review. They will be asked to review (and comment upon) their own video and the videos of two other participants. This sort of intentional, thoughtful scrutiny and assessment of their role plays will lead to a fuller and more nuanced understanding of the delicate dance that is motivational interviewing.
Our program includes a companion research portion. Volunteers HCPs are participating in “pre” and “post” patient/doctor interviews, conducted and recorded via Skype, with a standardized patient. The difference in their MI-effectiveness (from before the 3-event program to after) will be measured. Stay tuned for results and details!