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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 52-60

Getting a Grip on Arthritis Online: Responses of rural/remote primary care providers to a web-based continuing medical education programme

1 Arthritis Rehabilitation and Education Program, Arthritis Society, Ontario, Canada
2 Office of Professional Development, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Canada
3 Department of Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Ontario, Canada
4 Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Canada
5 Centre de Santé et de Services Sociaux du Témiscamingue, Quebec, Canada
6 Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Sydney C Lineker
Arthritis Rehabilitation and Education Program, Arthritis Society, Ontario
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/CJRM.CJRM_10_18

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Introduction: Physicians are often challenged with accessing relevant up-to-date arthritis information to enable the delivery of optimal care. An online continuing medical education programme to disseminate arthritis clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) was developed to address this issue. Methods: Online learning modules were developed for osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) using published CPGs adapted for primary care (best practices), input from subject matter experts and a needs assessment. The programme was piloted in two rural/remote areas of Canada. Knowledge of best practice guidelines was measured before, immediately after completion of the modules and at 3-month follow-up by assigning one point for each appropriate best practice applied to a hypothetical case scenario. Points were then summed into a total best practice score. Results: Participants represented various professions in primary care, including family physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and nurses (n = 89) and demonstrated significant improvements in total best practice scores immediately following completion of the modules (OA pre = 2.8/10, post = 3.8/10, P < 0.01; RA pre = 3.9/12, post = 4.6/12, P < 0.01). The response rate at 3 months was too small for analysis. Conclusions: With knowledge gained from the online modules, participants were able to apply a greater number of best practices to OA and RA hypothetical case scenarios. The online programme has demonstrated that it can provide some of the information rural/remote primary care providers need to deliver optimal care; however, further research is needed to determine whether these results translate into changes in practice.

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