Evaluation of an innovative tele-education intervention in chronic pain management for primary care clinicians practicing in underserved areas
INTRODUCTION: Inadequate knowledge and training of healthcare providers are obstacles to effective chronic pain management. ECHO (extension for community healthcare outcomes) uses case-based learning and videoconferencing to connect specialists with providers in underserved areas. ECHO aims to increase capacity in managing complex cases in areas with poor access to specialists.
METHODS: A pre-post study was conducted to evaluate the impact of ECHO on healthcare providers' self-efficacy, knowledge and satisfaction. Type of profession, presenting a case, and number of sessions attended were examined as potential factors that may influence the outcomes.
RESULTS: From June 2014 to March 2017, 296 primary care healthcare providers attended ECHO, 264 were eligible for the study, 170 (64%) completed the pre-ECHO questionnaire and 119 completed post-ECHO questionnaires. Participants were physicians (34%), nurse practitioners (21%), pharmacists (13%) and allied health professionals (32%). Participants attended a mean of 15 ± 9.19 sessions. There was a significant increase in self-efficacy (
DISCUSSION: This study shows that ECHO improved providers' self-efficacy and knowledge. We evaluated outcomes from a multidisciplinary group of providers practicing in Ontario. This diversity supports the generalisability of our findings. Therefore, we suggest that this project may be used as a template for creating other educational programs on other medical topics.
Furlan AD, Zhao J, Voth J, Hassan S, Dubin R, Stinson JN, Jaglal S, Fabico R, Smith AJ, Taenzer P, Flannery JF. Evaluation of an innovative tele-education intervention in chronic pain management for primary care clinicians practicing in underserved areas. J Telemed Telecare. 2019 Sep;25(8):484-492. doi: 10.1177/1357633X18782090. Epub 2018 Jul 10. PMID: 29991316.