Evaluation of Pharmacy and Therapeutic (P&T) Committee member knowledge, attitudes and ability regarding the use of comparative effectiveness research (CER) in health care decision-making

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Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy


Background: Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is a constellation of research methods designed to improve health care decision making. Educational programs that improve health care decision makers' CER knowledge and awareness may ultimately lead to more cost-effective use of health care resources. Objectives: This study was conducted to evaluate changes in CER knowledge, attitudes, and ability among Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) Committee members and support staff after attending a tailored educational program. Methods: Physicians and pharmacists from two professional societies and the Indian Health Service who participated in the P&T process were invited via email to participate in this study. Participants completed a questionnaire, designed specifically for this study, prior to and following the 4-hour live, educational program on CER to determine the impact on their related knowledge, attitudes, and ability to use CER in decision-making. Rasch analysis was used to assess validity and reliability of subsections of the questionnaire and regression analysis was used to assess programmatic impact on CER knowledge, attitude, and ability. Results: One hundred and forty of the 199 participants completed both the pre- and post-CER session questionnaires (response rate=70.4%). Most participants (>75%) correctly answered eight of the ten knowledge items after attending the educational session. More than 60% of the respondents had a positive attitude toward CER both before and after the program. Compared to baseline (pretest), participants reported significant improvements in their perceived ability to use CER after attending the session in these areas: using CER reviews, knowledge of CER methods, identifying problems with randomized controlled trials, identifying threats to validity, understanding of evidence synthesis approaches, and evaluating the quality of CER (all P values<0.001). The questionnaire demonstrated acceptable reliability and validity evidence (limited evidence of construct under-representation and construct irrelevant variance). Conclusions: The CER educational program was effective in increasing participants' CER knowledge and self-perceived ability to evaluate relevant evidence. Improving knowledge and awareness of CER and its applicability is a critical first step in improving its use in health care decision making.

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