Opportunities of e-Learning in Education in Psychiatry

  • Federica Caputo
  • Eleonora Merlotti
  • Olivier Andlauer
  • Silvana GalderisiEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the Mental Health and Illness Worldwide book series (MHIW)


e-Learning is an expanding field in which many psychiatrists play an active role by teaching, training, and pursuing their continuing professional development. In this chapter, we describe the use of e-learning systems and its outcomes in psychiatric education. Research studies were identified through a literature search using PubMed, with the following terms: “e-learning,” “online,” “psychiatry training,” and “medical training” and examining e-learning related documents published by the European Psychiatry Association (EPA). Several studies have revealed that e-learning has similar, if not better, outcomes in comparison to traditional educational systems led onsite by teachers. Although e-learning has been considered cost-effective, the costs relative to the development of a system with high technical and educational quality standards need to be considered. While e-learning is spreading in other medical fields, its use has been limited in psychiatry due to some intrinsic limitations, such as the lack of live interaction with patients. Nevertheless, research studies prove that e-learning can be successfully applied in psychiatry, with better outcomes obtained when these systems are blended with the more traditional ones. While e-learning may attract students’ interest, several critical factors, such as appropriate time management, efficient use of educational materials and techniques, and adequate on-line participation, need to be further considered. Expectations for the future are that e-learning will spread in the field of psychiatry, hopefully contributing to the harmonization of education across countries and to the exchange of opinions and experiences on emergent topics.


e-Learning Psychiatry Training programs Online course 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Federica Caputo
    • 1
  • Eleonora Merlotti
    • 1
  • Olivier Andlauer
    • 2
  • Silvana Galderisi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Campania Luigi VanvitelliNaplesItaly
  2. 2.East London NHS Foundation TrustLondonUK

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