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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

WashU: Online Training Improves Decision-Making Skills

An online training course in evidence-based cancer control improved the decision making of some public health professionals in Nebraska, according to new research from the Washington University in St. Louis – Brown School Public Health Programs.

In-person training has been shown to increase evidence-based decision making in implementing programs in areas such as diet and exercise that can reduce the risk of cancer. But in-person training isn’t always feasible, which led the Prevention Research Center (PRC) at WashU to develop an online training.

Researchers surveyed 201 Nebraska public health professionals at baseline and 123 who took part in the training. Those without advanced degrees who took the training reported higher evidence-based skills, while there was no difference among those with advanced degrees.

“The online training could be used as a cost-effective option to bridge the skills gap between these two groups,” concluded co-authors Dr. Alexandra B. Morshed of WashU and Dr. Ross C. Brownson, director of the PRC and Bernard Becker Professor.

[Photo: Dr. Ross C. Brownson]

“Online training and other distance-learning technologies have the potential to expand the scale of training where large groups of public health agencies could be combined into the same training system.”

The paper was published July 18 in Public Health.

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