Can you teach an old doctor new tricks?

February 1, 2011, Lifespan

When it comes to changing the way physicians practice, guidelines and educational initiatives alone are not effective. An editorial by James A. Arrighi, M.D., a cardiologist with Rhode Island Hospital, explains the effective methods to change physician behavior and improve compliance to guidelines. The editorial is published online in advance of print of the February 8 edition of the American Heart Association's journal Circulation.

Arrighi's editorial is a response to an article on the implementation of appropriate use criteria (AUC) for a study at a large academic medical center. Arrighi, who is also a professor of medicine at The Warren Alpert medical School of Brown University, says, "A consistent finding in the literature is that simple educational approaches that use conferences and passive learning methods are not effective in altering physician behavior. Since the initial development of clinical guidelines in medicine, and now with the more recent development of the AUC, the real challenge is the development of effective methods for their implementation."

In his editorial, Arrighi points to ways to optimize educational efforts. He recommends multifaceted or multimedia approaches to educational initiatives; interactive approaches such as case discussions, role playing, peer discussions and case-based learning as opposed to passive forms of learning; sequential or longitudinal efforts rather than single point interventions; and techniques the reinforce the targeted behavior, especially ongoing personalized feedback.

Arrighi writes, "Relatively simple educational interventions are not likely to change provide behavior. Educational interventions should be multifaceted to maximize and maintain their impact. Education is not dead; like everything else, it's just a little more complicated than it used to be."

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.