Assessing GP trauma refresher education needs using theories of adult education

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemerapeer-review


GPs manage severely injured patients in rural Australia but their relatively infrequent exposure to these cases is an important educational issue in terms of providing refresher training. The Early Management of Severe Trauma (EMST) course provides Australian doctors with the skills to manage injured patients but one expects a natural loss of skills over time. In this paper our aim is to use focus groups to determine trauma resuscitation refresher needs in GPs who have previously completed the EMST course.

Twenty-four Western Australian GPs participated in a trauma assessment workshop. They completed three trauma clinical examination stations before proceeding to focus group sessions to discuss their trauma refresher needs. Focus groups were recorded and transcripts analysed drawing on the theories of adult education.

Principal findings
GPs had completed an EMST course on average six years ago and infrequently managed severely injured patients. GPs perceived a need for refresher training in practical and procedural skills. They felt their needs could be met by working in the hospital system under a supportive mentor or by using relevant clinical simulators. GPs also discussed the importance of teamwork in trauma management and mock disaster scenarios.

Using the theories on adult education framework, these findings indicate that the trauma refresher (a) should be clinically relevant to thei1· needs,
(b) have clearly defined goals, (c) involve participants in the learning process, and (d) provide feedback to participants.

Implications for policy, delivery or practice
The theories of adult education provide a framework for developing trauma refresher education for GPs. These findings will be presented to the EMST Committee, Western Australian Trauma Education Committee and relevant educational organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event2007 General Practice and Primary Health Care Research Conference - Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 23 May 200725 May 2007


Conference2007 General Practice and Primary Health Care Research Conference


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