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Int J Med Educ. 2019 Jun 28;10:122-128. doi: 10.5116/ijme.5cfa.29cb.

Continuous learning in multiple sclerosis care: a qualitative study of the expanded learning model for systems.

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CMEology, West Hartford, Connecticut, USA.



This study characterized how an online continuing education activity affected knowledge, attitudes, and practices of healthcare professionals who care for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and whether those changes reflected theorized translational mechanisms proposed in The Expanded Learning Model for Systems (TELMS).


This preliminary study used semi-structured interviews (thematic analysis) to assess whether and how translational mechanisms underpinning the TELMS theory might be revealed in learners' attitudes and practice behavior. Eighteen participants (primarily neurologists and nurses) were interviewed by telephone or online. Thematic analysis identified relevant themes according to sensitizing concepts derived from TELMS and the recognition of emergent themes.


Textual interpretation of interview data revealed that MS providers act in various scenarios that validate the principles of TELMS model of learning engagement. Further, elements of translational mechanisms proposed by TELMS were consistently observed in the narrative reflections. Emergent themes included the importance of practices such as goal setting, coordination of care, systems-level MS care, and economic considerations. Practitioners particularly drew on ideas from TELMS when facing challenges in diverse cultural and sociocultural settings.


We identified mechanisms of change reflected in the TELMS model that is useful for the design and evaluation of future educational activities. These include attitudes and beliefs about the application of evidence-aligned MS care, as well as the commitment to multidisciplinary strategies, enhanced coordination of care, and promotion of systems-based changes. Future studies are needed to further validate the TELMS model.


continuing education; coordination of care; healthcare environment; learning theory; multiple sclerosis; qualitative; systems

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