Getting NICE guidelines into practice: can e‐learning help?

Kieran Walsh (BMJ Learning, London, UK)
John Sandars (University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)
Susheel S. Kapoor (Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Medical College & Sassoon General Hospitals, Pune, India)
Kamran Siddiqi (Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, Leeds, UK)

Clinical Governance: An International Journal

ISSN: 1477-7274

Publication date: 26 January 2010



The aim of this paper is to assess the impact of e‐learning resources based on NICE guidelines in improving knowledge and changing practice among health professionals.


NICE in collaboration with BMJ Learning developed a series of e‐learning modules based on NICE recommendations relating to osteoarthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, urinary tract infection in children, and antibiotic prophylaxis against infective endocarditis. The impact of these modules was evaluated by looking at the knowledge and skills of the learners before and after they did the modules and also asking the learners about resultant practice change.


A total of 5,116 users completed the modules. Completing them enabled users to increase their knowledge and skills score from the pre‐test to the post‐test by a statistically significant amount (p < 0.001): from a mean of 65 per cent to 85 per cent. Qualitative feedback to the modules was overwhelmingly positive. To test long‐term effectiveness, users were e‐mailed six weeks after they had completed the modules to assess practice change. The response rate to the survey was 22.2 per cent. In total 88.6 per cent of those who had cared for patients with these problems since completing the module said that it had helped them put NICE guidelines into practice.

Research limitations/implications

E‐learning modules have high uptake, are popular and effective at helping health professionals learn about NICE guidelines and help them to put these guidelines into practice.


The study is valuable as it shows how interactive and multimedia resources help health professionals learn about guidelines. No previous studies have been identified.



Walsh, K., Sandars, J., Kapoor, S. and Siddiqi, K. (2010), "Getting NICE guidelines into practice: can e‐learning help?", Clinical Governance: An International Journal, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 6-11.

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