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J Clin Densitom. 2007 Jan-Mar;10(1):10-20. Epub 2006 Nov 28.

Can an online osteoporosis lecture increase physician knowledge and improve patient care?

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Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53792, USA.


Internet-based lectures are a popular means of disseminating medical knowledge, but the impact of osteoporosis lectures on physician knowledge and patient care is unknown. We designed an Internet-based lecture discussing the prevalence of, screening guidelines for, risk factors for, and physical signs of osteoporosis. Immediately before and after viewing the lecture, 6 physician participants completed questionnaires to gauge change in knowledge. From each participant's clinic, we randomly selected and reviewed 10 charts of new female patients at least 60 yr old, half before and half after the lecture. Charts were blindly scored to determine physician attention to screening guidelines for, risk factors for, and signs of osteoporosis. Physician knowledge increased significantly after the lecture, with mean pretest and posttest scores of 63% and 99%, respectively (p=0.03). However, physician attention to patient risk factors for and signs of osteoporosis did not change after lecture "attendance." Surprisingly, no patients who met age-specific screening guidelines (age> or =65 yr and no prior dual energy X-ray absorptiometry [DXA]) were referred for DXA, either before or after study participation. We conclude that physician knowledge can increase after a single online osteoporosis lecture, but patient care is not altered. Further research is needed to discern optimal osteoporosis educational encounters that enhance patient care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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