Can you teach an old doctor new tricks?

Feb 01, 2011

When it comes to changing the way physicians practice, guidelines and educational initiatives alone are not effective. An editorial by James A. Arrighi, M.D., a cardiologist with Rhode Island Hospital, explains the effective methods to change physician behavior and improve compliance to guidelines. The editorial is published online in advance of print of the February 8 edition of the American Heart Association's journal Circulation.

Arrighi's editorial is a response to an article on the implementation of appropriate use criteria (AUC) for a study at a large academic medical center. Arrighi, who is also a professor of medicine at The Warren Alpert medical School of Brown University, says, "A consistent finding in the literature is that simple educational approaches that use conferences and passive learning methods are not effective in altering physician behavior. Since the initial development of clinical guidelines in medicine, and now with the more recent development of the AUC, the real challenge is the development of effective methods for their implementation."

In his editorial, Arrighi points to ways to optimize educational efforts. He recommends multifaceted or multimedia approaches to educational initiatives; interactive approaches such as case discussions, role playing, peer discussions and case-based learning as opposed to passive forms of learning; sequential or longitudinal efforts rather than single point interventions; and techniques the reinforce the targeted behavior, especially ongoing personalized feedback.

Arrighi writes, "Relatively simple educational interventions are not likely to change provide behavior. Educational interventions should be multifaceted to maximize and maintain their impact. Education is not dead; like everything else, it's just a little more complicated than it used to be."

Explore further: Experts denounce clinical trials of unscientific, 'alternative' medicines

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Educational initiatives improve quality of care delivery

May 15, 2009

A study of targeted educational initiatives between the clinical staff at Fox Chase Cancer Center and the hospitals within their Partners program suggest that educational interventions by academic cancer centers can improve ...

What's the brain got to do with education?

Oct 29, 2007

Quite a lot -- according to teachers in a recent survey commissioned by The Innovation Unit and carried out by researchers at the University of Bristol. Although current teacher training programmes generally omit the science ...

Professional Development Key to Improving Math Achievement

Dec 04, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Teachers have a greater impact than new textbooks or computers when it comes to raising math scores, according to a comprehensive research review by the Johns Hopkins University School of Education's Center ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0