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PLoS One. 2017 May 1;12(5):e0176678. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0176678. eCollection 2017.

Responsiveness of a simple tool for assessing change in behavioral intention after continuing professional development activities.

Author information

CHU de Québec Research Centre, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
Department of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada.
Office of the Vice-Dean of Education and Continuing Professional Development, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval, Quebec, Quebec, Canada.
Advisor in Continuing Professional Development, Saint-Adolphe-d'Howard, Quebec, Canada.
Continuing Health Professional Education Office, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Faculty of Nursing, Université Laval, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
Centre de pédagogie appliquée aux sciences de la santé, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Quebec, Canada.
Division of Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada.



Continuing professional development (CPD) activities are one way that new knowledge can be translated into changes in practice. However, few tools are available for evaluating the extent to which these activities change health professionals' behavior. We developed a questionnaire called CPD-Reaction for assessing the impact of CPD activities on health professionals' clinical behavioral intentions. We evaluated its responsiveness to change in behavioral intention and verified its acceptability among stakeholders.


We enrolled 376 health professionals who completed CPD-Reaction before and immediately after attending a CPD activity. We contacted them three months later and asked them to self-report on any behavior change. We compared the mean rankings on each CPD-Reaction construct before and immediately after CPD activities. To estimate its predictive validity, we compared the median behavioral intention score (post-activity) of health professionals reporting a behavior change three months later with the median behavioral intention score of physicians who reported no change. We explored stakeholders' views on CPD-Reaction in semi-structured interviews. Participants were mostly family physicians (62.2%), with an average of 19 years of clinical practice. Post-activity, we observed an increase in intention-related scores for all constructs (P < 0.001) with the most appreciable for the construct beliefs about capabilities. A total of 313 participants agreed to be contacted at follow up, and of these only 69 (22%) reported back. Of these, 43 (62%) self-reported a behavior change. We observed no statistically significant difference in intention between health professionals who later reported a behavior change and those who reported no change (P = 0.30). Overall, CPD stakeholders found the CPD-Reaction questionnaire of interest and suggested potential solutions to perceived barriers to its implementation.


The CPD-Reaction questionnaire seems responsive to change in behavioral intention. Although CPD stakeholders found it interesting, future implementation will require addressing barriers they identified.

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