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Outcomes analysis of Internet-based CME initiatives for diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia patients: transition from education to physician behavior to patient health

Authors Somasekhar M, Berney, Rausch C, Degnan J

Received 6 August 2012

Accepted for publication 15 September 2012

Published 23 October 2012 Volume 2012:8 Pages 483—489

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S36780

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Melinda M Somasekhar,1 Steven Berney,2 Chris Rausch,1 James Degnan3

1The Albert J Finestone Office for Continuing Medical Education, 2Section of Rheumatology, Temple University School of Medicine, 3Measurement and Research Center, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Abstract: A well designed outcomes research study was performed in which 20 primary care physicians were selected to participate. Each physician had more than 30 fibromyalgia patients in their practice. The study design consisted of four phases. In phase one, physicians undertook a self-assessment of their practice. Phase two of the study involved diagnosis and treatment of a virtual case vignette. The third phase consisted of analysis of the data from phase two and providing feedback from an expert rheumatologist, and the fourth phase was to complete patient report forms for five patients in their practice. The year-long study was completed by 12 physicians and resulted in data on 60 patients. The results of this study provide an insight into how physicians are diagnosing and treating patients with fibromyalgia. In this study, we transition from continuing medical education to physician behavior to patient outcomes.

Keywords: outcomes analysis, Internet, continuing medical education, diagnosis, treatment, fibromyalgia

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