Consequences of a Lack of Standardization of Continuing Education Terminology: The Case of Practice Facilitation and Educational Outreach


  • Disclosures: The authors report none.


Systematic reviews published in the quality improvement and continuing education literature have noted that the lack of standardized terminology for categorizing and describing various interventions in published studies is a major obstacle to drawing conclusions about their effectiveness. A case in point is practice facilitation and educational outreach. Although they are 2 long-standing interventions with some common characteristics, researchers studying 1 intervention may be unfamiliar with the other given the relatively separate literatures that have developed around both sets of terms. A comparison of articles included in recent systematic reviews of practice facilitation and educational outreach revealed a small but significant overlap of articles, journals, key words, and noncorresponding authors, but no overlap of corresponding authors. Based on these findings, the authors join the call for the creation of an intervention taxonomy and its application to these and other continuing education interventions.