A Call for Calculating Effect Size in CME Educational Outcome Measurement

Jason Olivieri, Donna Harris, Derek T. Dietze, Christopher Viereck


Continuing medical education outcome measurement (EOM) should address, at least, the following questions: 1) was there an educational effect? 2) if so, how big was this effect? and 3) how does this effect compare with the effect achieved in other continuing medical education (CME) activities? Traditionally, EOM has relied on statistical tests of significance to answer these questions, whereas effect size measures are more appropriate. This paper calls on the CME community to include effect size measures in all EOMs to address these fundamental questions. We compare the application of statistical tests of significance and effect-size measures (specifically, Cohen’s d) to CME EOM and provide step-by-step instruction for calculating effect size for a CME activity.

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