Publication Only: Myeloma and other monoclonal gammopathies - Clinical
The treatment paradigm for multiple myeloma (MM) has evolved rapidly following new drug approvals and combinations. These improvements have the potential to improve outcomes for patients, but only if specialists in hematology/oncology (hem/oncs) have up-to-date knowledge on selection of treatments, prevention and management of adverse events (AEs), and comfort with emerging clinical trial data.
We sought to determine if a curriculum of online continuing medical education (CME) activities could improve hem/onc knowledge and competence in treating patients with MM.
This analysis included hem/onc data from a MM curriculum spanning over 4 years, with 54 activities. For each year of the curriculum, an expert panel identified knowledge/competence gaps to be addressed through CME. Within the analysis, assessment questions were grouped into learning topics and the average for pre and post-education was calculated for 2016-2018 of the curriculum for each topic. The analysis elucidated the impact of the curriculum on narrowing gaps in knowledge/competence using a pre/post design. Statistical significance was assessed using a chi-square statistic (P < .05 level).
As of December 2018, the curriculum had reached 33,699 US hem/onc learners and 2144 participated in the outcomes assessment. Treatment Selection: The curriculum significantly improved hem/onc knowledge/competence over time for selecting treatment for patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) MM (pre/post: 2016, 41%/51%, P < .001; 2018, 48%/64%, P < .001). Managing AEs: The curriculum led to sustained knowledge gains for hem/oncs over time related to managing treatment-related AEs in patients with MM (pre/post: 2016, 39%/53%, P < .001; 2018, 80%/84%, P = .427). Knowledge of Clinical Trial Data: Activities within the curriculum also significantly improved hem/onc knowledge of clinical trial data for consolidation and maintenance therapy (pre/post: 2016, 63%/76%, P < .001; 2017, 68%/74%, P < .05; 2018, 62%/76%, P < .001). Potential Patient Impact: The reach of Medscape Oncology CME has a large impact on how US hem/oncs treat patients with MM. Of all hem/onc specialists with MM diagnostic encounters, 64% are members of Medscape. Additionally, 70% of all high decile (deciles 7-10) hem/onc specialists with MM diagnostic encounters are members of Medscape. Based on the number of learners for the curriculum and the average number of patient encounters, this education has the potential to impact 33,894 MM patient encounters.[IQVIA Data]
This analysis shows that online CME, as part of a sustained educational curriculum, using various formats (video, text, panel discussion, case-based) can significantly improve the knowledge and competence of hem/oncs in multiple areas related to MM. Statistically significant gains in knowledge and competence selecting treatment for R/R MM were seen even with the introduction of new clinical evidence in this area. The analysis also shows the potential impact on patients and the large reach that is achievable with online education. As new therapies and combinations of treatments continue to change practice, additional education is needed to aid hem/oncs in staying abreast of new data, managing AEs, and tailoring therapy selection for individual patients with MM.