E-learning to improve the drug prescribing in the hospitalized elderly patients: the ELICADHE feasibility pilot study
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- Franchi, C., Mari, D., Tettamanti, M. et al. Aging Clin Exp Res (2014) 26: 435. doi:10.1007/s40520-013-0187-6
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E-learning is an efficient and cost-effective educational method.
This study aimed at evaluating the feasibility of an educational e-learning intervention, focused on teaching geriatric pharmacology and notions of comprehensive geriatric assessment, to improve drug prescribing to hospitalized elderly patients.
Eight geriatric and internal medicine wards were randomized to intervention (e-learning educational program) or control. Clinicians of the two groups had to complete a specific per group e-learning program in 30 days. Then, ten patients (aged ≥75 years) had to be consecutively enrolled collecting clinical data at hospital admission, discharge, and 3 months later. The quality of prescription was evaluated comparing the prevalence of potentially inappropriate medications through Beer’s criteria and of potential drug–drug interactions through a specific computerized database.
The study feasibility was confirmed by the high percentage (90 %) of clinicians who completed the e-learning program, the recruitment, and follow-up of all planned patients. The intervention was well accepted by all participating clinicians who judged positively (a mean score of >3 points on a scale of 5 points: 0 = useless; 5 = most useful) the specific contents, the methodology applied, the clinical relevance and utility of e-learning contents and tools for the evaluation of the appropriateness of drug prescribing.
The pilot study met all the requested goals. The main study is currently ongoing and is planned to finish on July 2015.