Objectives: To evaluate effects of a continuing medical education (CME) curriculum on physicians' competence and performance in major depressive disorder (MDD). Methods: Primary care physicians (PCPs) and psychiatrists participated in 3 online CME activities using video lecture, case-based, and expert panel discussion formats. Case-based questions pre-, post-, and on follow-up 30-60 days after activities were used to assess responses from linked participants serving as their own controls. Statistical significance (P<0.05) and educational effect were calculated using McNemar's chi-squared tests and Cramer's V, respectively. Questions from each activity were also analyzed by MDD themes including neurobiology and therapeutic mechanisms, assessment, and treatment of residual symptoms. The activities launched between 10/28/14 and 12/22/2014, and data were collected for 105 days. Results: •Competence and performance of PCPs and psychiatrists improved after each CME activity, with moderate-to-robust effect sizes, ranging from V=0.298-0.199. •On average, PCPs improved by 26% (n=222; P<0.001) post-CME on MDD neurobiology/therapeutic mechanisms, and 55% of a smaller subset (n=34) improved or maintained performance on follow-up. •On average, PCPs performed 28% better (n=1048; P<0.001) and psychiatrists performed 39% better (n=2084; P<0.001) post-CME, on using MDD tools/scales, and 59% of a smaller subset (n=82 PCPs; n=153 psychiatrists) retained performance on follow-up. •Post-CME, PCPs (n=284) and psychiatrists (n=423) improved 57% and 36%, respectively, on treating cognitive deficits of MDD (P<0.001), and 47% of a smaller PCP sample (n=36) retained performance on follow-up. Conclusions: Online CME was effective in improving evidence-based decisions of PCPs and psychiatrists treating MDD, with implications for clinical practice.
Jovana Lubarda, PhD
Margaret McLaughlin, PhD/Scientific Director
Robert Braun, Senior Director of Medical Education
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