Controversies in MS: Educational Intervention Improves Understanding of Key Concepts
Objectives: To help address any deficits in clinical practice, a study was conducted to determine whether an online continuing medical education (CME) panel discussion could improve neurologists’ knowledge of relapse risk, treatment endpoints, and efficacy of investigational therapies for treatment of MS and related symptoms.
Methods: The effectiveness of an online CME activity focused on improving knowledge of controversial topics in the management of MS was analyzed. The format consisted of a video panel discussion with 3 expert faculty and developed for a target audience of neurologists. Educational effect was assessed by comparing a matched sample of participants’ responses to 4 questions presented before and directly after exposure to the intervention. A chi-square test was used to identify significant differences between pre- and post-assessment responses of the learners. P values were calculated and those <0.05 were considered statistically significant. Cramer’s V was used to calculate the effect size of the online education. Data from the educational intervention were collected between June 16, 2015 and August 20, 2015.
Results: Participation of neurologists in the online activity improved overall knowledge as evidenced by a medium educational effect size (n=94; V=0.289; P <.05). Significant improvements were observed in understanding several controversial topics in MS management: use of cannabinoids for spasticity (15%; P <.05), components of no-evidence-of-disease-activity (NEDA) (28%; P <.05), risk factors for relapse when switching between disease-modifying therapies (48%; P <.05), and clinical trial data relating to the use of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for relapse refractory MS (179%; P <.05).
Conclusions: The results of assessment for this online CME-certified panel discussion indicated success in improving neurologists’ knowledge regarding the management of spasticity, the components of NEDA, relapse risk when switching between DMTs, and novel investigational treatment for relapse refractory MS. Neurologists may benefit from additional education on relapse risk when switching between DMTs and novel investigational therapies.