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Table 1 Study summary

From: General practice training and virtual communities of practice - a review of the literature

Author Approach Brief description Data Collection Participants Statistical analysis Themes generated by primary data
Andrew 2009 Informal case study Nursing academics online support site iCoP Analysis of weblog posts 14 nursing academics None. L,O,S,B,M,T
Booth 2007 Action research- mixed methods Constructing evidence-based nursing care guidance for gerontological nurses using CoP and Virtual College Focus groups, telephone interviews, analysis of online archives and documentary outputs 58 (30 in first CoP, 28 in second CoP) None reported. L,O,S,B,M,T,C
Brooks 2006 Case study organizational research Study of midwives as knowledge workers using online forum (subset of AEC project) Interviews, focus groups and analysis of online forum postings 42 participants Usage, message types- coded by 3 researchers. SPSS gave percentages. L,S,O,R,M,T,C
Brooks 2006 Qualitative study Assisted Electronic Communication (AEC) project for nurses, using an online forums 15 interviews and analysis of online forum postings 44 participants and 193 messages Communications coded into categories. Percentages presented. Interview data presented L,S,T,C
Curran and Murphy Mixed methods VCoP of Emergency clinicians in Canada Online posting analysis and ‘post’ survey 270 ED clinicians Percentages and descriptive statistics of content and surveys L,B,M,T,C
Falkman 2008* Mixed methods SOMWeb, an online CoP for oral surgeons in Sweden Interview, online message review, meeting observation and survey. 90 members 24 survey responses, 9 interviews and 10 meetings observed. Interviews with quotations. L,O,B,T,C
Falkman 2008** Mixed methods Another paper on SOMWeb – an online CoP for oral surgeons Online questionnaire and interviews Not reported Not reported L,O,T
Hara 2007 Mixed method case study Listserv for nurses in USA Analysis of online postings and interviews 27 interviews Qualitative review of observations and interviews, descriptive statistics for types of activity and knowledge data. L,O,R,M,T,C
Ho 2010 Project description Electronic detailing project on diabetes (TEAD) Description of electronic detailing project, mentions surveys and data collection. Not reported. No formal data presented None presented L,O,B,T,C
Li 2009 Systematic review Review of effectiveness of business and healthcare CoPs Electronic database search 18 primary business studies, 13 primary healthcare studies. Qualitative studies. No assessment of quality of studies Published as a systematic review of qualitative data. No theme counts or statistical analysis L,O,C
Nagy 2006 Case report An online PACS (radiology system administrator) community Description of successful project Site statistics- 2500 members. No formal data. None. L,O,R,T,C
Penn 2005 Project description An online suicide prevention site for mental health workers Description of design and background and some initial findings of ACROSSNet No data- project description only. None. L,O,B,R,T,C
Perotta 2006 Qualitative An online psychology community in Italy Analysis of online postings 20 discussion topics with average 12.5 postings. Theme count and interviewee quotations O,B,C
Poissant 2010 Research protocol The development of an e-collaborative platform for the Montreal Stroke Network Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable L,O,B,S,T,C
Poole 2008 Action research Women’s Health VCoPs in British Colombia Outcomes of webinars and description of resulting presentations and materials Six VCoPs. Total participants not reported. No formal analysis of outcomes L,O,S,B,T,C
Rolls 2008 Quantitative Intensive Care Unit clinician network in Australia Survey study Online survey. 113 respondents (26% response rate) Response percentages, total numbers and comment on statistical significance but method not reported L,O,S,B,T
Russell 2004 Qualitative CHAIN an email based evidence service in the NHS, UK Posting analysis, feedback both active and unsolicited, interviews 2800 members, 102 messages and 22 requests in study period. Three focus groups x 15 members each. None. Feedback examples given. L,O,S,B,T,C
Sharma 2006 Qualitative Study of an online incident reporting system for anaesthetists in UK Interviews 10 respondents, three interviews each Discussion of interview outcomes. No quotations. No method of interview analysis reported L,S,R,T,C
Thomas 2010 Case study GAPS project on sharing family planning information for WHO Moderated discussions analysed as part of case study 273 members of network. Three moderated forums analyzed. Participant numbers not reported. Themes from discussions reported. No quotations or theme counts. Methodology of theme generation not reported L,O,S,B,C
Tolson 2005 Qualitative Nurses used an online forum (Virtual College) for gerontological nursing Interview study 15 nurses, 20–30 minutes each interview Qualitative analysis with methods reported-cognitive mapping performed to generate themes. Five themes generated. L,O,S,B,R,T,C
Tolson 2008 Mixed methods Review of effect of a Virtual College and CoP on implementation of Best Practice Statements Focus groups, pre and post intervention audits 24 nurses. 476 ‘pre’ audits, 344 ‘post’ audits. Focus groups- numbers not reported. Statistical analysis of audits using t tests. Focus group quotations. L,O,S,B,R,M,T,C
Valaitis 2011 Q methodology Explored views of nurses using online CoP to support practice in homeless populations. Online survey and focus groups 66 statements collected from survey and groups, refined to 44. 16 nurses completed the Q-sort activity By-person factor analysis of Q-sort. L,E,T,B
  1. Key: L = Leadership, O = Objectives, S = Sponsorship, B = Boundary Spanning, R = Risk-free environment, M = Measurements, T = Technology, C = Community.
  2. Brooks 2006* = Nursing and Health Management and Policy.
  3. Brooks 2006** = International Journal of Nursing Studies.
  4. Falkman 2008* = Journal of Medical Internet Research.
  5. Falkman 2008** = Studies in Health Technology and Informatics.