Pain Mgment CME Changes Physican Practice Patterns

Pain management (PM) continuing medical education (CME) changes physician practice patterns.

L. A. Leong, R. Morgan, N. Slatkin, M. Rhiner, L. Schroeder, B. Pritt;

City of Hope, Duarte, CA

Abstract: Background: Society is recognizing the importance of education in improving treatment of pain and suffering. California Bill AB487 requires all practicing physicians to obtain 12 hours of CME in PM before 2006 for license renewal.

The effectiveness of this mandate has not been systematically evaluated

Methods: We conducted the first of five annual PM seminars. Topics included management of malignant and non-malignant pain, pharmacology and management of side-effects of opiate and non-opiate analgesics, and adjunctive therapies (depression management, spirituality issues).

Immediate post-attendance and 4-month follow-up questionnaires were sent to participants.

Results: Of the 81 physicians representing 17 medical specialties, 51 responded to the immediate questionnaire.

31 responses were received to the 4 month follow-up questionnaire: Responses were as follows: (Early, 4 months) I will change my practice 34 (67%), 28 (90%) I see no need to change my practice 6 (12%), 2 (6%) I will await further information 7 (14%), 1 (3%) No Response regarding practice change 4 (8%) Responses of those who changed their practices included: Increased use of known modalities for pain control 21 Earlier referrals to specialists 14 More attention to psychosocial aspects 14 Use of new drugs/modalities of care 11 Specific comments regarding practice changes are consistent with topics presented at the seminar.

Conclusions: These results indicate that this cohort of physicians was overwhelmingly open to changing practice patterns in the area of PM and palliative care. 67% expressed an interest in changing their practice immediately following this intensive educational experience. 90% responding to the follow-up evaluation indicated that their practices had changed.

These data show that CME can effectively influence physician practice patterns. (Supported by CA62505)

Abstract No: 6155

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