The purpose of this project is to improve the quality, safety, and effectiveness of patient care with regard to the off-label use of atypical antipsychotics. This proposal describes the development of a novel application of interactive learning modules delivered via e-mail to help educate physicians on the risks, benefits, and costs of off-label medication use, in order to provide the safest and most effective patient care. The American Psychiatric Association Division of Education proposes to disseminate critical information about the off label use of antipsychotics in the treatment of patients with specific DSM IV TR diagnoses in order to promote physician knowledge and clinical awareness about the effective uses of these medications and inform clinical practice. The 2011 AHRQ Review, Off-Label Use of Atypical Antipsychotics: An Update will be used as a key reference in providing up-to-date information about the evidence for off-label use, in addition to Practice Guidelines and published studies. An innovative combination of multiple learning strategies will be used to educate practicing psychiatrists about evidence for use of atypical antipsychotic medications in FDA off- label clinical situations, including email and web-based video and graphics, an online CME course, and in-person interactive training The core innovative education activity will be email distribution of clinical vignettes (using text and video) that will offer physician learners clinical decision making choices, and immediate peer comparisons of all physician responses. It will offer psychiatrists an opportunity to earn CME credits as well as American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology credit for Self-Assessment, Part 2 of Maintenance of Certification. The curriculum created for this email activity will be the basis of an online CME course and interactive meeting sessions. We will use multiple strategies to evaluate this educational program. Given the benefits and harms of off-label use of powerful medications, physicians must be made aware of the available clinical evidence for their use.
The specific aims of the proposed study are 1) To educate psychiatrists about existing evidence for off label use of atypical antipsychotics;2) To use technology and innovative combinations of educational methods to enhance learning and retention of knowledge;3) To evaluate this educational program.

Public Health Relevance

This study will educate psychiatrists about the off-label use of atypical antipsychotic medications. Given the benefits and harms of off-label use of powerful medications, physicians must be made aware of the available clinical evidence for their use, to improve patient safety and quality of care.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Research Demonstration and Dissemination Projects (R18)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHS1)
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James, Marian
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American Psychiatric Foundation
United States
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