We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Review |

Effectiveness of Teaching Quality Improvement to Clinicians A Systematic Review

Romsai T. Boonyasai, MD, MPH; Donna M. Windish, MD, MPH; Chayan Chakraborti, MD; Leonard S. Feldman, MD; Haya R. Rubin, MD, PhD; Eric B. Bass, MD, MPH
JAMA. 2007;298(9):1023-1037. doi:10.1001/jama.298.9.1023.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Context Accreditation requirements mandate teaching quality improvement (QI) concepts to medical trainees, yet little is known about the effectiveness of teaching QI.

Objectives To perform a systematic review of the effectiveness of published QI curricula for clinicians and to determine whether teaching methods influence the effectiveness of such curricula.

Data Sources The electronic literature databases of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and ERIC were searched for English-language articles published between January 1, 1980, and April 30, 2007. Experts in the field of QI were queried about relevant studies.

Study Selection Two independent reviewers selected studies for inclusion if the curriculum taught QI principles to clinicians and the evaluation used a comparative study design.

Data Extraction Information about the features of each curriculum, its use of 9 principles of adult learning, and the type of educational and clinical outcomes were extracted. The relationship between the outcomes and the number of educational principles used was assessed.

Results Of 39 studies that met eligibility criteria, 31 described team-based projects; 37 combined didactic instruction with experiential learning. The median number of adult learning principles used was 7 (range, 2-8). Evaluations included 22 controlled trials (8 randomized and 14 nonrandomized) and 17 pre/post or time series studies. Fourteen studies described educational outcomes (attitudes, knowledge, or skills or behaviors) and 28 studies described clinical process or patient outcomes. Nine of the 10 studies that evaluated knowledge reported only positive effects but only 2 of these described a validated assessment tool. The 6 assessments of attitudes found mixed results. Four of the 6 studies on skill or behavior outcomes reported only positive effects. Eight of the 28 studies of clinical outcomes reported only beneficial effects. Controlled studies were more likely than other studies to report mixed or null effects. Only 4 studies evaluated both educational and clinical outcomes, providing limited evidence that educational outcomes influence the clinical effectiveness of the interventions.

Conclusions Most published QI curricula apply sound adult learning principles and demonstrate improvement in learners' knowledge or confidence to perform QI. Additional studies are needed to determine whether educational methods have meaningful clinical benefits.

Figures in this Article

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?


Figure. Literature Search and Study Selection Process
Graphic Jump Location



Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

131 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

See Also...
Related Multimedia

Author in the Room

audio player

Articles Related By Topic
PubMed Articles

Users' Guides to the Medical Literature: A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice, 3rd ed