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Multifaceted Online Interventions to Increase Clinicians Searching of Current Best Evidence to Answer Clinical Questions (MPFS)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02038439
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : January 16, 2014
Last Update Posted : April 8, 2015
Sponsor:
Collaborator:
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
McMaster University

Brief Summary:

Translation of new knowledge from research into evidence-informed health care is a shared obligation of the clinical and the scientific communities. Unfortunately, studies of quality of care continue to show that this goal is substantially unrealized. One main barrier is lack of quick and easy identification, appraisal and synthesis of current best evidence. Clinicians' information have 5 to 8 questions about individual patients per daily shift, but face a large volume of 3000 articles published every day, accessible in many scattered resources.

To address theses problems, McMaster's Health Information Research Unit (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) has developed and implemented "McMaster Premium LiteratUre Service Federated Search" (MPFS), an online search engine that provides a unique 1-stop search and organized access to current best evidence in daily practice. However additional barriers need to be overcome for clinicians to actually search and use this evidence in their practice. Theses include logistical barriers (time constraints, forgotten questions), as well as educational barriers (eg, lack of awareness of the "architecture" of evidence, limited searching skills, and lack of reference standards among peers for finding best evidence).

This randomized trial seeks to test 3 innovative online interventions among clinicians registered to MPFS to overcome these barriers and increase the quantity and quality of searching for current best evidence to answer clinical questions. These interventions build on effective models for the teaching of clinical skills at the point of care, so that clinicians are facilitated in using the search engine as a clinical tool, and perceive evidence retrieval skills as true clinical skills.


Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Physicians Evidence Retrieval Skills Behavioral: Intervention A - Online Clinical Questions Recorder Behavioral: Intervention B - Online Evidence Retrieval Coach Behavioral: Intervention C - Online Audit and Feedback Not Applicable

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Detailed Description:
  1. Rationale & Objectives

    One main barrier to achieving evidence-informed care by clinicians is lack of quick and easy identification, appraisal and synthesis of current best evidence. Clinicians' information needs are considerable - but about 3000 articles are published in Medline every day. Numerous evidence-based resources have been developed to filter and process the evidence, but although increasingly used by clinicians, each offer a fragmented and scattered view of information, and none provides comprehensive topic coverage or satisfactory updating.

    To address theses problems, McMaster's Health Information Research Unit (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) has developed and implemented "McMaster Premium LiteratUre Service Federated Search (MPFS)", an online search engine that provides a unique 1-stop search and organized access to current best evidence in daily practice. MPFS provides both alerts to users about new research in their chosen disciplines, and a novel federated search function, with the particular feature of organizing information according to the "pyramid of evidence-based resources", with the most clinically applicable evidence at the top. Thus MPFS simultaneously retrieves evidence from Studies ("Medline", both filtered and unfiltered, at the bottom), then Systematic reviews; Synopses of studies and systematic reviews (selected for methodological rigor and clinical relevance), and, at the top level, online widely used Summaries (e.g."Best Practice").

    Combining features of the current best evidence-based resources is not enough to increase access and use of current best evidence, as shown by the relatively low utilization of searching features among the hundreds of clinicians currently registered at McMaster University and using the alerting system. Additional well-known barriers that need to be overcome include logistical barriers (time constraints, forgotten questions, and simplicity of using one single albeit limited resource), as well as educational barriers (eg, lack of awareness of the "architecture" of evidence and limits of other single resources, lack of knowledge and experience of what federated searches can offer, limited searching skills, and lack of reference standards among peers for finding best evidence).

  2. Hypothesis

    This trial seeks to test 3 innovative online interventions among clinicians registered to MPFS to overcome these barriers and increase the quantity and quality of searching for current best evidence to answer clinical questions. These interventions build on effective models for the teaching of clinical skills at the point of care, so that clinicians are facilitated in using the search engine as a clinical tool, and perceive evidence retrieval skills as true clinical skills.

  3. Methods

    1. Study design: Randomized Factorial Controlled Trial.
    2. Setting and Participants: The trial will be conducted among postgraduate and faculty MD registered in MPFS and working in the teaching hospitals and clinics of McMaster University (see eligibility criteria below)
    3. Participating clinicians will be randomized to 3 online interventions (see description below) in a factorial design (A x B x C), whose permutation results in 8 allocation arms (A+B+C, A+B, A+C, B+C, A, B, C, no intervention, see details below)
    4. Randomization: will be computer-generated, stratified training level (post-graduate MD, faculty MD), and baseline frequency of searching for evidence on MPFS. Registrants will be randomly allocated to each study arms. Allocation will be concealed from research staff.
    5. Blinding and control group: Although participants cannot be blinded to the interventions, they will not be told of the different features offered, and all will receive usual searching features of MPFS.
    6. Primary and secondary outcomes (see below).

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 908 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: Single (Investigator)
Official Title: Multifaceted Online Interventions to Increase the Quantity and Quality of Searching for Current Best Evidence to Answer Clinical Questions
Study Start Date : January 2014
Actual Primary Completion Date : October 2014
Actual Study Completion Date : October 2014

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Interventions: A + B + C

See Interventions Description. In this arm, clinicians will be offered all 3 online interventions combined:

  • Intervention A - Online Clinical Questions Recorder
  • Intervention B - Online Evidence Retrieval Coach
  • Intervention C - Online Audit and Feedback
Behavioral: Intervention A - Online Clinical Questions Recorder
Clinicians allocated to this intervention will receive access to an online recorder for the clinical questions at the point of care. The recorder is accessible across a wide range of devices including phones, tablets, and desktop computers.

Behavioral: Intervention B - Online Evidence Retrieval Coach
Clinicians allocated to this intervention will receive online guidance, embedded in the MPFS search engine, in the form of short videos, animations, demos and tips and tricks regarding evidence retrieval.

Behavioral: Intervention C - Online Audit and Feedback
Clinicians allocated to this intervention will receive feedback on their current search performance compared to their peers, both online when using MPFS as well as by e-mail.

Experimental: Interventions A + B

See Interventions Description. In this arm, clinicians will be offered the 2 following interventions combined:

  • Intervention A - Online Clinical Questions Recorder
  • Intervention B - Online Evidence Retrieval Coach
Behavioral: Intervention A - Online Clinical Questions Recorder
Clinicians allocated to this intervention will receive access to an online recorder for the clinical questions at the point of care. The recorder is accessible across a wide range of devices including phones, tablets, and desktop computers.

Behavioral: Intervention B - Online Evidence Retrieval Coach
Clinicians allocated to this intervention will receive online guidance, embedded in the MPFS search engine, in the form of short videos, animations, demos and tips and tricks regarding evidence retrieval.

Experimental: Interventions A + C

See Interventions Description. In this arm, clinicians will be offered the 2 following online interventions combined:

  • Intervention A - Online Clinical Questions Recorder
  • Intervention C - Online Audit and Feedback
Behavioral: Intervention A - Online Clinical Questions Recorder
Clinicians allocated to this intervention will receive access to an online recorder for the clinical questions at the point of care. The recorder is accessible across a wide range of devices including phones, tablets, and desktop computers.

Behavioral: Intervention C - Online Audit and Feedback
Clinicians allocated to this intervention will receive feedback on their current search performance compared to their peers, both online when using MPFS as well as by e-mail.

Experimental: Interventions B + C

See Interventions Description. In this arm, clinicians will be offered the 2 following online interventions combined:

  • Intervention B - Online Evidence Retrieval Coach
  • Intervention C - Online Audit and Feedback
Behavioral: Intervention B - Online Evidence Retrieval Coach
Clinicians allocated to this intervention will receive online guidance, embedded in the MPFS search engine, in the form of short videos, animations, demos and tips and tricks regarding evidence retrieval.

Behavioral: Intervention C - Online Audit and Feedback
Clinicians allocated to this intervention will receive feedback on their current search performance compared to their peers, both online when using MPFS as well as by e-mail.

Experimental: Intervention A alone

See Interventions Description. In this arm, clinicians will be offered only the following intervention:

* Intervention A - Online Clinical Questions Recorder

Behavioral: Intervention A - Online Clinical Questions Recorder
Clinicians allocated to this intervention will receive access to an online recorder for the clinical questions at the point of care. The recorder is accessible across a wide range of devices including phones, tablets, and desktop computers.

Experimental: Intervention B alone

See Interventions Description. In this arm, clinicians will be offered only the following intervention:

* Intervention B - Online Evidence Retrieval Coach

Behavioral: Intervention B - Online Evidence Retrieval Coach
Clinicians allocated to this intervention will receive online guidance, embedded in the MPFS search engine, in the form of short videos, animations, demos and tips and tricks regarding evidence retrieval.

Experimental: Intervention C alone

See Interventions Description. In this arm, clinicians will be offered only the following intervention:

* Intervention C - Online Audit and Feedback

Behavioral: Intervention C - Online Audit and Feedback
Clinicians allocated to this intervention will receive feedback on their current search performance compared to their peers, both online when using MPFS as well as by e-mail.

No Intervention: No intervention
In this arm, clinicians will be offered non of the 3 online interventions, but will just be using the usual features of the search engine available to all users.



Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Utilization of evidence-based resources on MPFS as measured by rate of searches/month/user [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    Each clinician participating in the trial has a personal online account in MPFS. When they are signed on their account, the system continuously tracks their searches and utilization of individual resources. We will record their utilization over the full duration of the trial (6 months) and analyze it in the end.


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Utility (satisfaction in meeting users' information needs) as assessed by the Impact Assessment Measure questionnaire [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    This Impact Assessment Measure questionnaire will be sent to clinicians after a random sample of searches and completed online for a random sample of searches.

  2. Use (application of evidence in practice) as assessed by the Impact Assessment Measure questionnaire [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    This Impact Assessment Measure questionnaire will be sent to clinicians after a random sample of searches and completed online for a random sample of searches.

  3. Perceived Usefulness in patient care and outcomes as assessed by the Impact Assessment Measure questionnaire [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    This Impact Assessment Measure questionnaire will be sent to clinicians after a random sample of searches and completed online for a random sample of searches.



Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Older Adult
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • All postgraduate and faculty physicians currently registered for more than one month in the MPFS search engine,
  • and working in the teaching hospitals and clinics of the Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Registrants that are no longer working or training at McMaster University,
  • Registrants that never logged in MPFS during the last 12 months counting back from the beginning of the trial.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02038439


Locations
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Canada, Ontario
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8S 4K1
Sponsors and Collaborators
McMaster University
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Thomas Agoritsas, MD McMaster University

Additional Information:
Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: McMaster University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02038439     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: FRN86465
First Posted: January 16, 2014    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: April 8, 2015
Last Verified: April 2015

Keywords provided by McMaster University:
Evidence-Based Medicine
Evidence Retrieval
Knowledge Translation
Medical Education