Targeted COPD Education Is Helpful for Primary Care Teams

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States, but many cases go undiagnosed. Despite its efficacy in disease diagnosis, spirometry is not recommended for COPD screening, nor is it widely accessible.

As part of the CAPTURE (COPD Assessment in Primary Care To Identify Undiagnosed Respiratory Disease and Exacerbation Risk) study, healthcare providers received education on identifying and managing COPD in primary care practices; the general healthcare provider community can also access the education via an online platform. A study presented at the CHEST Annual Meeting 2020 reported the educational outcomes of the CAPTURE study.

Certified continuing education was available live and online. For the CAPTURE study, participating primary care teams were required to view COPD 101: Basic Diagnosis and Management; they then took part in a virtual discussion with study investigators. Participating clinic sites completed pre- and post-education tests.

A total of 616 CAPTURE study healthcare professionals took part in 62 live educational sessions. All sites demonstrated significant learning gains; the aggregate relative knowledge gain was 38%, and the aggregate effect size was 0.61. The online module had 267 participants and yielded a 47% overall relative knowledge gain and aggregate effect size of 0.61. Live and online education were both associated with increased knowledge of applying updated clinical practice guidelines to diagnosing and managing patients with COPD.

Participants were asked to evaluate their educational experience, including their satisfaction and intent to implement changes; 250 live and 234 online education participants completed the evaluation. Overall, 97% of respondents said the program met their educational needs and felt it reinforced/improved their current skills; 95% said they planned to implement changes in their practices directly related to the education.

“This study indicates that targeted COPD education provided online and in live sessions for primary care teams improved knowledge, skills, and intent to change practice by employing evidence-based recommendations to appropriately diagnose and manage patients with COPD,” the authors concluded.