BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer in men and the second in women worldwide. During the period 2017-2018, in France, 32.1% of the eligible population completed screening, which is under the acceptable uptake rate. The FORCEPS study aimed to test whether a training program focused on improving general practitioners’ (GPs’) communication skills could increase their patients’ CRC screening rate. Our study reports on the construction of, participation in and evaluation of the e-learning training program tested in the FORCEPS study.
METHODS: An interdisciplinary team designed an e-learning program for French GPs on the Moodle® platform. Learning activities related to the stated learning objectives and interactive approaches were specified. Two sessions took place, in May and November 2018. The training lasted 6 weeks.
RESULTS: In all, 116 GPs registered for the training program. Seventy per cent of the GPs who registered for the first session opted to follow the training via e-learning rather than in person. Among the participants, 36.0% followed the training in its entirety during session 1, as did 24.0% during session 2. At the end of the training, none of the participating GPs self-assessed themselves as a “novice”, and the number of GPs self-assessing as “intermediate” or “experienced” increased. Overall, 62.9% of the participants were generally satisfied with the e-learning course.
CONCLUSIONS: The web-based program focused on improving GPs’ communication skills to encourage CRC screening was chosen by a large majority of the participating GPs and received positive reviews. While GPs’ theoretical knowledge can be improved through our training program, it remains to be seen whether or not this will be reflected in their everyday practice, thus resulting in an increased CRC screening participation rate among patients.