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The mCME Project:Delivering Continuing Medical Education for Community Health Workers Via SMS Text Messages (mCME project)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02381743
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : March 6, 2015
Last Update Posted : January 12, 2016
Sponsor:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Christopher J. Gill, Boston University

Brief Summary:
Community health workers (CHWs) provide essential basic medical care to hundreds of millions of people across the globe. CHWs offer a myriad of services including community sanitation, breast feeding counseling, family planning, management of febrile children, and malaria control and prevention, to name but a few. In fact, CHWs are often the only source of primary health care available to some of the most disadvantaged populations in the world. However, to be effective, CHWs must be trained - and retrained - at regular intervals, and the costs for such trainings can be substantial. In the US, clinicians are required to stay current and maintain their competence through continuing medical education (CME). Increasingly, CME activities are delivered via internet-based, self-teaching modules. A typical example would be a set of topical readings followed by multiple-choice questions, with the answers, and CME credit, provided to the user upon satisfactory completion of the module. This content is typically delivered over the Internet. However, there is no intrinsic reason why this approach could not be adapted so that CME activities are delivered using standard cell phones via SMS text messaging. This would significantly expand professional training opportunities to a far greater range of CHWs than possible through computer/tablet/smart phone platforms, and would be particularly valuable in poorer countries with limited training budgets. In the mCME project, the investigators propose to test the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of a mobile phone-based CME delivery strategy among Vietnamese community-based physician assistants (CBPAs), a cadre of CHW mandated to provide primary health care to rural and disadvantaged populations. The investigators hypothesize that providing CME activities over a mobile platform will significantly improve their professional knowledge, and may also improve their job satisfaction and self-efficacy.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Medical Knowledge Behavioral: Group 2 intervention daily SMS bullet point Behavioral: Group 3 intervention daily SMS bullet point Not Applicable

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 638 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Health Services Research
Official Title: The mCME Project:Delivering Continuing Medical Education for Community Health Workers Via SMS Text Messages
Study Start Date : May 2015
Actual Primary Completion Date : November 2015
Actual Study Completion Date : November 2015

Arm Intervention/treatment
No Intervention: Group 1
Weekly non-medical SMS messages
Experimental: Group 2
Receipt of a daily SMS text message describing various aspects of clinical practice
Behavioral: Group 2 intervention daily SMS bullet point
Group 2 subjects receive a daily SMS bullet point, summarizing a key clinical point pertinent to the CBPA's daily work.
Other Name: non interactive model CME

Experimental: Group 3
Receipt of a daily SMS text message describing various aspects of clinical practice, but phrased as multiple choice question
Behavioral: Group 3 intervention daily SMS bullet point
Group 3 subjects receive a c phrased as a multiple choice question. The content mirrors that of group 2, but is presented as a question to render it interactive
Other Name: Interactive model CME




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Medical knowledge (Score on medical knowledge exams) [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    Score on medical knowledge exams administered at baseline and at the end of six months of the intervention


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Job satisfaction (Score on likert scale) [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    Score on likert scale measuring job satisfaction

  2. Self efficacy (Score in likert scale) [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    Score in likert scale measuring self efficacy


Other Outcome Measures:
  1. cost effectiveness analysis of the mCME intervention in terms of costs to increase a study test score by X % [ Time Frame: Duration of project ]
    costs and cost effectiveness analysis of the mCME intervention in terms of costs to increase a study test score by X %



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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 99 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Graduated from a CBPA training program
  2. Possesses their own cell phone
  3. Phone able to send/receive text messages
  4. Aged 18 years or older

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Unwilling to sign informed consent
  2. Lives/operates in an area without cellular coverage
  3. Unwilling to be randomized
  4. Unwilling to adhere to study procedures

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): NCT02381743


Sponsors and Collaborators
Boston University
Investigators
Principal Investigator: Christopher J Gill, MD MS Boston University