BACKGROUND: Low Chlamydia trachomatis screening rates create an opportunity to test innovative continuing medical education (CME) programs. Few studies of Internet-based physician learning have been evaluated with objective data on practice patterns.
DESIGN: This randomized controlled trial tested a multicomponent Internet CME (mCME) intervention for increasing chlamydia screening of at-risk women aged 16 to 26 years.
SETTING: Eligible physician offices had > or =20 patients at risk for chlamydia as defined by the Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS), had at least one primary care physician (internal medicine, family medicine/general practice, pediatrics) with Internet access, and participated in the study managed care organization. The 191 randomized primary care offices represented 20 states.
INTERVENTION: The intervention, available from February to December 2001, consisted of four case-based learning modules, was tailored in real time to each physician based on theory of behavior change, and included office-level feedback of chlamydia screening rates.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: HEDIS chlamydia screening rates for the pre-intervention (2000) and post-intervention (2002) periods. RESULTS: Pre-intervention screening rates for the intervention and comparison offices were 18.9% and 16.2% (p =0.135). Post-intervention screening rates for the intervention and comparison offices were 15.5% and 12.4%, respectively (p =0.044, adjusting for baseline performance).
CONCLUSIONS: The substantial decline in chlamydia screening rates observed in the comparison offices was significantly attenuated for the intervention offices. The mCME favorably influenced chlamydia screening by primary care physicians.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/catarina_kiefe/100/