What GPs need to know about paediatric COVID-19: CME curriculum

Lyubima Despotova-Toleva

Keywords: children, COVID-19, SARS-COV-2, General practitioners, continuing medical education

The COVID-19 pandemic has become perhaps the biggest global health crisis in recent history - especially in the absence of a safe and effective antiviral treatment. The growing number of published scientific studies has shown that the course of the disease in majority of affected children is not so severe, but there are some very worrying facts.

Research questions:
What GPs need to know about paediatric COVID-19in order to ensure better care for their paediatric patients?

For the development of the named above curriculum we have combined elements of five methods for curriculum development (traditional, thematic, programmed, classical, and technological). The methodology was focused mainly on defining needs, selecting appropriate for GPs content and creating teaching materials, incl. “teaching with cases”.

We have developed 20 hours curriculum about paediatric COVID-19 for GPs. After defining the emergency need of such an education, a national project on COVID-19 was developed. In the frame of this project specialists in clinical virology, infections diseases, paediatrics and general practice were involved. Based on currently published international and national data and research the following topics were selected: SARS-COV-2,clinical virology and immunology, focused on children; COVID-19 pathophysiology in relation to child growth and development; respiratory pathology; cardiovascular pathology, multisystem inflammatory syndrome; neurological and psycho symptoms etc; COVID-19 therapeutic options; short term and long-term evaluation of children during COVID-19 pandemic. The final step (Implementation and Evaluation of the curriculum) will be finished hopefully to the end of this 2021 year.

The CME paediatric COVID-19 course for GPs will contribute to (1) better understanding the varieties of underlying immunology mechanisms and clinical course of paediatric COVID-19 patients in General practice; (2) to acquiring more knowledge and skills to manage COVID-19 paediatric patients; (3) betimes to recognize emergencies, incl. multi system inflammatory syndrome and other life threatening conditions.

Points for discussion:
1. Do GPs need training how to speak with parents of COVID-19 paediatric patients, having in mind the controversial info in massmedia?

2. What kind of support is needed for GPs to provide better care for paediatric COVID-19 patients?

3. How this kind of training help GPs research to provide “evidence based” decisions about paedicatric COVID-19 patients applicable in General Practice?