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Abstract

Background: Interprofessional education (IPE) is central when competences needed in managing complex patient service chains, like the diagnostic process of breast cancer is being taught. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the e-learning modules related to early detection of breast cancer produced in earlier phases of the project for biomedical laboratory scientists, midwifes, nurses, public health nurses and radiographers. Methods: An evidence-based developmental method was applied for the preparation of modules on early detection of breast cancer for health care professionals (the EBreast project). The learning modules were evaluated by the relevance of the content, technical quality and achievement of learning outcomes by health care students and professionals in the five European countries (totalling 176 evaluations). Also, usefulness of the modules was evaluated by 13/21 health care staff members and lecturers participating in the intensive course related to the implementation of project outcomes. Results: The students and health care professionals in the countries participating in the EBreast project evaluated the materials related to the interprofessional way of working and radiation safety as most relevant, and the technical quality as good. As for achieving the learning outcomes, basic issues related to the breast cancer diagnostic process were learned the best. The participants of the project related to the intensive course perceived this course as useful or very useful. They thought that they can use the materials either module by module, or as a whole course in CPD or as a part of basic degree education for all the professional groups it is intended for. Conclusions: Although e-learning is not the best way for acquiring interprofessional skills or practical competences, nevertheless, this is a suitable way to offer education about the diagnostic process of breast cancer to a wider audience across the world, harmonizing health care education and clinical processes. From the clinical practice point of view e-learning is a suitable way of orientating new beginners in mammography into breast cancer diagnostics and the process in all. In larger educational development projects multiphase evaluation methods like the ones used in this project are recommendable to use.

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