ABSTRACT: Impact of an Online Survivorship Primer on Clinician Knowledge and Intended Practice Changes
The number of adult cancer survivors in the USA is expected to double by the year 2050. A call for increased survivorship care and provider training came from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in the form of a landmark report in 2006. A shortage of physicians complicates the burden of survivorship care. The purpose of this effort was to design, develop, and evaluate a fully accredited, evidence-based continuing medical education (CME) and continuing education (CE) intervention to address the established knowledge gap for breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivorship education. Delivered through the Medscape Education (WebMD) platform, the course covered epidemiology, survivor issues, and currently available guidelines using illustrative patient cases. Knowledge gain was evaluated using a pretest-posttest design. Program evaluation was assessed by survey. Additional areas examined included post-intervention inquiry regarding expected changes to clinical practice. The results of this educational intervention demonstrated the effectiveness of internet-based CME/CE for cancer survivorship. Learning gain was significant (p < 0.0005). Effect size (d = 1.71) suggested extremely high practical significance, as the difference between the means was larger than 1 standard deviation. Significant knowledge gains were observed for each survivorship knowledge question across all clinical specialties studied. Nearly 100 % of participants agreed that the course contributed to survivorship care and was organized effectively. Participants reported that the course was designed effectively (97.2 %), and 68.1 % responded in favor of adopting alternative communication strategies with patients and families upon completion of the course.