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Medical practitioners' perceptions and views of current continuing professional development programmes in the Kingdom of Eswatini: the design of an accessible model.

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Background Eswatini currently has no formal continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for doctors to renew their licenses. The Medical Council of Eswatini has embarked on a process to introduce an accredited CPD system possibly through the adaption of existing models, but there is lack of published local data to inform such a process. Moreover, even where formal CPD is available it may not necessarily translate to adequate levels of participation by practitioners. Methods The setting for this study was Eswatini. Firstly, a scoping review was done to derive lessons for the country from established databases and grey literature describing models of CPD. This was followed by a focus group discussion (FGD) and interview-based study to determine factors affecting participation in CPD by local practitioners. Lastly, a participatory action research study on how CPD in Eswatini could be improved and formalised was conducted. Results The scoping review provided an overview of the CPD models available in various global settings and highlighted perceptions and views of medical practitioners towards these. The FGDs and interviews provided insights on motivating and demotivating factors for doctors to participate in CPD activities in Eswatini. Motivating factors included professional responsibility and learning needs, while demotivating factors included lack of recognition for efforts and CPD activities not being relevant to one’s practice. The PAR identified three ways to improve CPD in Eswatini; making it compulsory, recognising achievements and ensuring that it is relevant to doctors’ practice areas. Conclusion There are many models for CPD which Eswatini can adopt; each has its own advantages and disadvantages. A CPD model that is formalised, compulsory, considers the needs of practitioners and recognises their efforts is likely to be viewed favourably. There are ways to improve CPD which consider these identified issues and these form important considerations for Eswatini as it endeavours to develop its own model.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.