Chapter 34. Keeping up to Date through Lifelong Learning

  1. R. Williams3,
  2. W. Herman4,
  3. A.-L. Kinmonth6 and
  4. N. J. Wareham5
  1. David Pencheon1 and
  2. John Wright2

Published Online: 9 APR 2003

DOI: 10.1002/0470846585.ch34

The Evidence Base for Diabetes Care

The Evidence Base for Diabetes Care

How to Cite

Pencheon, D. and Wright, J. (2002) Keeping up to Date through Lifelong Learning, in The Evidence Base for Diabetes Care (eds R. Williams, W. Herman, A.-L. Kinmonth and N. J. Wareham), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/0470846585.ch34

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Nuffield Institute for Health, University of Leeds, 71-75 Clarendon Road, Leeds LS2 9PL, UK

  2. 4

    Department of Internal Medicine and Epidemiology, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, 3920 Taubman Center, Box 0345, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA

  3. 5

    Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Institute of Public Health, University Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 2SR, UK

  4. 6

    General Practice and Primary Care Research Unit, Dept. of Public Health & Primary Care, Institute of Public Health, University Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 2SR, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    Eastern Region Public Health Observatory, Institute of Public Health, University Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 2SR, UK

  2. 2

    Bradford Royal Infirmary, Bradford BD9 6RJ, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 9 APR 2003
  2. Published Print: 27 AUG 2002

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471988762

Online ISBN: 9780470846582

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Keywords:

  • learning skills;
  • education;
  • lifelong learning;
  • information retrieval;
  • information technology;
  • database;
  • decision making

Summary

Information about diabetes management is expanding too quickly for us to rely on simple human skills of reading and memory to remain competent. We need to move from a “just in case” approach to learning to a “just in time” approach. We must recognise our educational needs and address these with skills such as searching, appraising and implementing high quality and relevant research evidence of all types. Traditional methods of staying up to date are largely ineffective. Creating a culture of personal and organisational lifelong learning and combining it with simple systems of prompts, rewards, and deterrents in clinical practice may do far more to improve patient care than expensive and inefficient lectures. Modern approaches need good decision support using information technology and databases such as Medline and the Cochrane Library, remembering that evidence that influences decision making comes from many directions, people and methods. The important issues include the clarity of the question being addressed, the selection of the correct method to address this question, and the correct execution of this method. The challenge for the professional is to evolve from being considered as primary source of knowledge to becoming a facilitator of the methods of finding, appraising and using that knowledge in partnership with patients. The most important attribute for professionals is a questioning and open attitude to the knowledge and values that underpin decision making at every level.