Ability and use of comparative effectiveness research by P and T committee members and support staff: A 1-year follow-up

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Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy


BACKGROUND: In recent years, comparative effectiveness tools and methods have evolved to assist health care decision makers in identifying optimal therapies. In-person training programs on comparative effectiveness research may be helpful in understanding and applying this information. OBJECTIVE: To provide a follow-up assessment of the use of comparative effectiveness research (CER) in the pharmacy and therapeutics (P and T) committee decision-making process, using information collected from participants 1 year after attending a live continuing education program, in which participants were taught about CER designs and how to access available CER resources through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Effective Health Care (EHC) Program. METHODS: A retrospective, cross-sectional questionnaire was developed and mailed to 2 groups of individuals: CER workshop attendees and interested nonattendees (expressing an interest in attending a workshop but did not attend for unknown reasons). The questionnaire asked respondents to indicate personal and organizational use of CER in the decision-making process. Participants were asked to indicate whether their knowledge, ability, and use of CER studies increased since participating in the program. Data were analyzed using nonparametric tests to compare the responses of attendees and nonattendees, as well as overall reliability of the instrument. RESULTS: A total of 164 respondents completed the questionnaire (63 attendees and 101 nonattendees; overall response rate = 44[%]). The majority of respondents were pharmacists (n = 157, 95.7[%]) and were affiliated with a hospital (n = 106, 64.6[%]). Proportions of attendees and nonattendees differed significantly in the use of EHC research reviews/reports (45[%] and 28[%], respectively; P = 0.02) and EHC executive summaries of research reviews/reports (48[%] and 29[%], respectively; P = 0.01). At 1-year followup, the majority of attendees reported an increase ("somewhat" or "very much") in knowledge of CER (91.5[%]), ability to use CER (83.0[%]), and use of CER studies (58.7[%]). CONCLUSIONS: Health professionals attending a continuing education CER program reported higher use of EHC CER materials compared with nonattendees. Additionally, attendees reported increased use of CER in clinical decision making. A continuing education program such as this may provide an effective avenue for introducing CER methods and resources to the P and T committee and clinical decision-making processes.

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