DOI: 10.3390/healthcare11152186 ISSN: 2227-9032

Evaluation of a Webinar to Increase Health Professionals’ Knowledge about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)

Laura Froehlich, Jasmin Niedrich, Daniel B. R. Hattesohl, Uta Behrends, Claudia Kedor, Johannes-Peter Haas, Michael Stingl, Carmen Scheibenbogen
  • Health Information Management
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy
  • Leadership and Management

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a severe chronic illness and patients with ME/CFS are often medically underserved in Germany and other countries. One contributing factor is health professionals’ lack of knowledge about epidemiology, diagnostic criteria, and treatment of ME/CFS. Opportunities are scarce for health professionals to receive continuing medical education on ME/CFS. The current research addressed this need for further education and investigated the gain of knowledge from a webinar for German-speaking health professionals. In two studies (total sample: N = 378), participants in the intervention condition completed a knowledge test twice (before and after webinar participation). Study 2 also included a waiting-list control condition with repeated response to the knowledge test without webinar participation between measurements. Results showed that at baseline, most participants had seen patients with ME/CFS, but confidence in diagnosing and treating ME/CFS was only moderate-to-low. In the intervention condition, but not in the control condition, knowledge about ME/CFS increased between the first and the second knowledge test. These results indicate that the webinar was successful in increasing health professionals’ knowledge about ME/CFS. We concluded that webinars can be a cost-efficient and effective tool in providing health professionals with large-scale continuing medical education about ME/CFS.

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