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Int J Health Care Qual Assur. 2017 Feb 13;30(1):79-88. doi: 10.1108/IJHCQA-04-2016-0047.

Academic detailing among psychiatrists - feasibility and acceptability.

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Department of Psychiatry, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, Canada.
Department of Continuing Professional Development, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, Canada.


Purpose Research has shown that academic detailing (AD), which includes repeated in-person educational messages in an interactive format in a physician's office, is among the most effective continuing medical education (CME) forms for improving prescribing practices and reducing drug costs. The purpose of this paper is to investigate AD's feasibility and acceptability as an educational tool among psychiatrists and its ability to facilitate positive changes in antipsychotic prescribing. Design/methodology/approach All psychiatrists practicing in Southwestern Ontario, Canada were invited to participate. Participants (32/299(10.7 percent)) were provided with two educational sessions by a healthcare professional. Participants evaluated their AD visits and completed a pre- and post-AD questionnaire measuring various prescribing practice aspects. Findings A total of 26 out of 32 (81.3 percent) participants completed the post-AD evaluation; most of them (61.5 percent, n=16) felt that AD gave noteworthy information on tools for monitoring side-effects and 50.0 percent ( n=13) endorsed using these in practice. In total, 13 participants (50.0 percent) felt that the AD sessions gave them helpful information on tools for documenting polypharmacy use, which 46.2 percent ( n=12) indicated they would implement in their practice. No significant differences were found between participants' pre- and post-assessment prescribing behaviors. Practical implications There is great need for raising AD program's awareness and improving physician engagement in this process locally, provincially and nationally. Originality/value To the authors' knowledge, this is the first AD program in Canada to target specialists solely. Participant psychiatrists accepted the AD intervention and perceived it as a feasible CME method.


Academic detailing; Antipsychotic prescribing; Continuing medical education; Polypharmacy; Quality improvement

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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