Outcomes Evaluation of a Skill-Based Workshop Targeting the Use of Spirometry in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Suzanne Murray, Kayla N. Cytryn, Theresa J. Barrett, Robert L. Meinzer


Background: This report presents the evaluation of a skill-based continuing education workshop on knowledge and use of spirometry in diagnosing and managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by family physicians (FP).Methods: A time series design included a pre-workshop discussion group and questionnaire, a post-workshop question-naire, and a 3-month post-workshop interview and questionnaire. Qualitative tools included open-ended probes. Question-naires included quantitative (5-point agreement rating) and qualitative (open-ended) items. Qualitative data were analyzed using content analysis; quantitative data using Friedman 2-way ANOVA by rank with Bonferroni correction. Twenty-nine FPs out of 129 participants from 5 workshop sites participated.

Results: Diagnosis: Following the workshop, participants indicated increased knowledge and ce in their skill using spirometry in diagnosing COPD and increased utilization of spirometry in practice. Quantitative results showed increased ce in using spirometry to diagnose COPD (X¯pre-workshop = 2.31, X¯post-workshop = 3.46, P ≤ .04), with X¯3 months post-workshop = 3.23 (P ≤ .29). Seve percent of respondants reported increased skill and intent to use spirometry (X¯pre-workshop = 2.92, X¯post-workshop = 4.62, P ≤ .00), with mean for long-term use X¯3 months post-workshop = 4.15 (P ≤ .23). Interpretation: Little change in skill in interpreting spirometry results was reported qualitatively, and initial ant changes were not maintained at 3 months (X¯pre-workshop =2.33, X¯3 months post-workshop = 3.08, P ≤ .66). Monitoring: Substantive increases were reported in knowledge of spirometry in monitoring COPD (X¯pre-workshop = 2.33, X¯3 months post-workshop = 3.50, P ≤ .01) and use or intent to use spirometry in practice (X¯pre-workshop = 3.00, X¯post-workshop = 4.77, P ≤ .01). At 3 months, little change was in clinical management of COPD (X¯pre-workshop = 3.54, X¯3 months post-workshop = 3.54, P ≤ 1.00).

Conclusions: This evaluation demonstrates the effectiveness of a skill-based continuing education workshop in increasing incorporation of spirometry in diagnosing COPD, less in monitoring and management, highlighting the importance of tailor-ing workshops to targeted clinical gaps.

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