Online CME Improves Knowledge of Emerging Treatments for Anemia

According to Amy Larkin, PharmD, CHCP, and colleague as the treatment of anemia in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) continues to improve with emerging therapies, an understanding of the mechanisms of action of those therapies is needed to help clinicians in decision making regarding the optimal therapy choice. The researchers conducted an analysis to determine whether online continuing medical education (CME) was effective in improving clinical knowledge of nephrologists as it relates to emerging therapies with hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hyproxylase inhibitors (HIFG-PHIs).

Results of the analysis were reported in a presentation at the NKF 2020 Spring Clinical Meetings. The presentation was titled Online CME Successful at Improving Nephrologist Understanding of Emerging Class to Treat Anemia Associated with CKD.

To determine the efficacy of online education, the researchers analyzed the effect of an online, CME-certified, roundtable video discussion. Before and after each activity, three multiple-choice knowledge/competence questions and one self-efficacy confidence question were presented.

The study used a repeated pairs pre-/post-assessment design; the educational effect of the CME activity was assessed using McNemar’s chi-squared test (5% significance level, P<.05). The effect size was calculated using Cramer’s V (0.06-0.15 is a noticeable effect, 0.16-0.26 considerable, and >0.26 extensive). The activity launched June 27, 2019, and data were collected through August 27, 2019.

A total of 62 nephrologists answered all pre- and post-assessment questions and were included in the analysis. Overall improvements were seen after participation in both CME activities: 24% of nephrologists (P<.05; V=.216) improved at correctly identifying the mechanism of action of HIF-PHIs; 11% (P<.05; V=.032) demonstrated improvement at selecting the recommended use of erythropoiesis stimulating agents (ESAs) in the treatment of anemia; 21% (P<.05; V=.181) improved at recognizing clinical trial data of HIF-PHIs; 47% reported increased confidence in understanding of HIF stabilizers in the treatment of anemia in patients with CKD.

There were some continued educational gaps identified: 52% of nephrologists did not recognize the mechanism of action of emerging HIF-PHIs; 47% did not recognize the role of ESAs in the treatment of anemia; 31% did not recognize clinical trial data for emerging HIF-PHIs.

In conclusion, the authors said, “This study demonstrated the success of online, video-based roundtable discussion on improving knowledge of nephrologist related to emerging treatments for anemia associated with CKD. Continued knowledge gaps were identified for future educational targets.”

Source: Larkin A, Anderson D, Boutsalis G. Online CME successful at improving nephrologist understanding of emerging class to treat anemia associated with CKD. Abstract of a poster presented at the National Kidney Foundation 2020 Spring Clinical Meetings; abstract #189.