Online Medical Education Improves Psychiatrist Knowledge and Competence in the Management of Clinically Challenging Cases of Narcolepsy

January 12, 2017

This poster was presented at the 29th Annual U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress, held October 21-24, 2016, in San Antonio, Texas.

Introduction: A study was conducted to determine if an online medical education activity could successfully improve the knowledge and competence of psychiatrists regarding management of clinically challenging cases of narcolepsy, which involve pregnancy, cardiovascular disease, and the impact of medications on objective sleep tests.

Methods: The online continuing medical education (CME) activity consisted of a 30-minute video panel discussion between experts on the management of narcolepsy. The educational effect was assessed by comparing a matched sample of responses to four identical questions before and directly after exposure to the education. A chi-square test was used to identify significant differences between pre- and post-assessment responses. Cramer's V was used to calculate the effect size of the online education. Data were collected between May 16, 2016, and June 21, 2016.

Results: Participation of psychiatrists in the online activity resulted in an overall improvement in knowledge and competence with a medium effect (n = 175; V=0.197; P <0.05). Significant improvements were observed in the following areas (P<.05): knowledge of diagnostic criteria for narcolepsy, selection of appropriate narcolepsy medication in comorbid cardiovascular disease, the effect of narcolepsy medications taken during pregnancy, and interpretation of diagnostic testing for narcolepsy in a patient taking an antidepressant.

Conclusions: The results show that an online CME-certified video-recorded panel discussion was effective at improving both knowledge and competence among psychiatrists in the management of clinically challenging cases of narcolepsy. Psychiatrists would benefit from additional education on patient factors that can impact the diagnosis and management of narcolepsy.

Thomas Finnegan, PhD
Stacey Ullman, MA
Michael Thorpy, MB, ChB
Sponsoring Organization: 
Presented By: 
Thomas Finnegan, PhD, Associate Director of Clinical Strategy, Medscape Education, LLC, New York, NY
Sleep Disorders