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Open Access Research article

A pilot study evaluating alternative approaches of academic detailing in rural family practice clinics

Daniel M Hartung13*, Ann Hamer13, Luke Middleton13, Dean Haxby13 and Lyle J Fagnan23

Author Affiliations

1 Oregon State University College of Pharmacy, Oregon Health & Science University, 3303 SW Bond Ave; CH12C, Portland, OR, 97239, USA

2 Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd, Mail Code: L222, Portland, OR, 97239, USA

3 Alternative Methods for Disseminating Evidence-based Prescription Drug Information among Primary Care Clinicians in Rural Oregon: The Rural Oregon Academic Detailing Project (ROAD). American College of Clinical Pharmacy Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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BMC Family Practice 2012, 13:129  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-13-129

Published: 31 December 2012

Abstract

Background

Academic detailing is an interactive, convenient, and user-friendly approach to delivering non-commercial education to healthcare clinicians. While evidence suggests academic detailing is associated with improvements in prescribing behavior, uncertainty exists about generalizability and scalability in diverse settings. Our study evaluates different models of delivering academic detailing in a rural family medicine setting.

Methods

We conducted a pilot project to assess the feasibility, effectiveness, and satisfaction with academic detailing delivered face-to-face as compared to a modified approach using distance-learning technology. The recipients were four family medicine clinics within the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network (ORPRN). Two clinics were allocated to receive face-to-face detailing and two received outreach through video conferencing or asynchronous web-based outreach. Surveys at midpoint and completion were used to assess effectiveness and satisfaction.

Results

Each clinic received four outreach visits over an eight month period. Topics included treatment-resistant depression, management of atypical antipsychotics, drugs for insomnia, and benzodiazepine tapering. Overall, 90% of participating clinicians were satisfied with the program. Respondents who received in person detailing reported a higher likelihood of changing their behavior compared to respondents in the distance detailing group for five of seven content areas. While 90%-100% of respondents indicated they would continue to participate if the program were continued, the likelihood of participation declined if only distance approaches were offered.

Conclusions

We found strong support and satisfaction for the program among participating clinicians. Participants favored in-person approaches to distance interactions. Future efforts will be directed at quantitative methods for evaluating the economic and clinical effectiveness of detailing in rural family practice settings.