Sleep-Wake Disorders: Can a CMe Panel Discussion Activity Improve Clinical Practice?

Sean Hayes, Kayla Cytryn, Monique Johnson, Thomas Roth, Suzanne Murray


Background: Sleep-wake disorders affect 50 to 70 million Americans, yet these disorders remain underdiagnosed and undertreated. A live CME activity featuring a faculty panel discussion with an extended question-and-answer session addressed knowledge and practice gaps in assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and appropriate referral for sleep-wake dis-orders, and the activity was evaluated for educational effectiveness.

Methods: Activity evaluation was with a mixed-methods design that included questionnaires immediately after and 2 weeks after the activity, as well as semi-structured, in-depth interviews before the activity and 2 months after the activity (con-ducted independently and under institutional review board auspices). Mixed-methods design was applied so that both types of data could be triangulated, strengthening the reliability, causal understanding, and trustworthines

Results: In immediate post-activity questionnaires, 90% of respondents to the posttest (n = 824) correctly answered all  3 knowledge items regarding assessment, and 95% of respondents correctly answered 4 of the 5 knowledge questions regarding diagnostic tools. Roughly 56% of respondents responded correctly to the item related to the Insomnia Severity Index. Two weeks after the activity, 56% of respondents (n = 27) expressed intent to use tools discussed, and 55% expressed intent to increase referrals for sleep consults. Via the in-depth interviews 2 months after the activity (n = 14), physicians reported that content presented multiple perspectives, was not overly “research-oriented,” and was relevant to clinical practice. They described increased awareness of impact, triggers, and frequency of assessment of sleep-wake disorders. They also an ongoing need to improve skill in differential diagnosis, reported feeling that many diagnostic tools were too research-oriented, and expressed concern about barriers in referring patients.

Conclusion: Findings suggest the effectiveness of a CME TV broadcast/webcast in addressing gaps in knowledge and clini-cal competence and the realistic impact of this single activity in effecting practice change and providing direction for future educational interventions in this therapeutic area.

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