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Economic evaluation of CPD activities for healthcare professionals: A scoping review

Orlik, Witold; Aleo, Giuseppe; Kearns, Thomas; Briody, Jonathan; Wray, Jane; Mahon, Paul; Gazi?, Mario; Radoš, Normela; García Vivar, Cristina; Lillo Crespo, Manuel; Fitzgerald, Catherine


Witold Orlik

Giuseppe Aleo

Thomas Kearns

Jonathan Briody

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Dr Jane Wray
Senior Lecturer in Nursing, Senior Clinical Nurse Advisor NHSEI

Paul Mahon

Mario Gazi?

Normela Radoš

Cristina García Vivar

Manuel Lillo Crespo

Catherine Fitzgerald


Context: Continuing professional development (CPD) activities for healthcare professionals are central to the optimisation of patient safety and person-centred care. Although there is some evidence on the economics of healthcare professionals training, very little is known about the costs and benefits of CPD. Methods: This study aimed to review the research evidence on economic evaluations of CPD activities for healthcare professionals. CINAHL, MEDLINE/PubMed, Scopus, Econlit and Web of Science databases were used to identify articles published between 2010 and 2021. Results: Of the 6791 titles identified, 119 articles met the inclusion criteria and were included in this scoping review. The majority of articles were partial economic evaluations of CPD programmes (n =70); half were from the USA. Studies that included multiple professions were most prevalent (n =54), followed by nurses (n =34) and doctors (n =23). Patient outcomes were the most commonly reported outcome (n =51), followed by change in clinical practice (n =38) and healthcare professionals' knowledge gain (n =19). Conclusions: There is an urgent call for more evidence regarding the economic evaluations of CPD. This is particularly important in view of the rising costs of healthcare globally. The majority of studies included in this review did not provide detailed information on the evaluations and many focused exclusively on the cost of CPD activities rather than outcomes.


Orlik, W., Aleo, G., Kearns, T., Briody, J., Wray, J., Mahon, P., …Fitzgerald, C. (2022). Economic evaluation of CPD activities for healthcare professionals: A scoping review. Medical Education,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 19, 2022
Online Publication Date Apr 21, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Apr 24, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Medical Education
Print ISSN 0308-0110
Electronic ISSN 1365-2923
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Continuing professional development; economic evaluation; health professionals
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Copyright Statement
© 2022 The Authors. Medical Education, published by Association for the Study of Medical Education and John Wiley & Sons Ltd
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

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