Hypoparathyroidism Management: Success of Aligned Healthcare Provider and Patient/Caregiver Education at Prompting Changes in Practice

Presentation Number: MON 344
Date of Presentation: April 3rd, 2017

Amy Larkin*1, Piyali Chatterjee1, Mary Kathryn Van Kleunen2, Susan Grady1, Karen Badal1, Haleh Kadkhoda1 and Julie Hunsaker3
1Medscape Education, 2Healthcare Performance Consulting, 3HypoPARAathyroidism Association, Inc.


Introduction: Hypoparathyroidism presents a considerable therapeutic challenge for physicians. We studied the effect of case-based online education designed to help clinicians implement strategies for more successful patient interactions, and aligned patient education to improve comprehension of the disease.

Methods: Educational need and clinical performance gaps related to hypoparathyroidism management informed content development. An online, case-based video educational activity was designed for clinicians and included 2 experts in the field discussing successful management plans for hypoparathyroidism. Faculty discussion of real world cases was reinforce with synchronized slides presenting supportive data. The activity was targeted to primary care physicians (PCPs) and endocrinologists who treat patients with hypoparathyroidism. A PCA survey was delivered immediately post-education to assess planned changes in clinician practice and, again, 8 weeks later to measure self-reported changes in practice. The patient/caregiver activity was developed as an interactive text activity with patient-video focusing on strategies for patients to help manage their hypoparathyroidism. A question was asked both before and after the activity to assess learning gains.


Results: A total of 119 clinicians in the target audience completed the survey following the first activity, with 94% of respondents indicating an average of 3.4 intended changes in practice. When re-engaged with the follow-up survey, 75% of those who responded reported having implemented an average of 2.8 changes in practice as a result of participation in this activity. Changes in practice were reported in the following areas: targeting lab values to minimize symptoms and complications (80% endocrinologists, 100% PCPs), ordering appropriate lab tests (40% endocrinologists, 100% PCPs), and making appropriate therapy adjustments when a patient’s calcium level is difficult to control (50% PCPs, 60% endocrinologists). The most commonly reported barriers to practice change included PCP’s lack of familiarity with new treatment options for PCPs, and, for endocrinology respondents, patient adherence to medication, and lab testing requirements. To date, 1,219 learners have participated in the patient/caregiver activity and completed the pre- and post-questions. A 31% increase in recognition of early signs of low calcium was observed among patients/caregivers after participation.


Conclusion: The metrics and outcomes gathered in this assessment are a strong indicator that the educational activity prompted changes in clinical performance by clinicians and in knowledge levels of patients/caregivers. Aligned professional and patient/care partner education on developing successful hypoparathyroidism management is a useful way to effect changes in practice and support shared decision making.


Nothing to Disclose: AL, PC, MKV, SG, KB, HK, JH