The Study Guide Cluster Randomized Control Trial

Overview

Spaced education is a promising theory-driven strategy to improve clinical competence. Our aim is to improve the clinical competence of Family Physicians, an outcome associated with the quality of care delivered to Canadians.

Full Title of Study: “Can an App Improve the Examination Scores of Family Medicine Residents? A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Other
    • Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: May 31, 2019

Detailed Description

Research Question: Among family medicine residents, does enhanced feedback through an app providing alerts and test questions (spaced education), compared to the same app without alerts and enhanced feedback (no spaced education), improve competence as measured by the certification examination? In building this proposal for a definitive trial, the investigators have support from coast to coast. In addition to key clinician educators, the team includes knowledge users from the organization responsible for the certification examination in Family Medicine, methodologists and experienced researchers who study how mobile apps can promote engagement with clinical information. The team has the right blend of expertise in medical education and cluster randomized trials.

Approach and Methods: The investigators will follow an organizational participatory research approach, and propose a cluster randomized controlled trial. Setting: All incoming family medicine residents in Canada will be eligible to participate. Intervention site residents will receive alerts through an app to adaptively reinforce the learning of clinical content based on cases and test questions (spaced education). Residents in the control group will receive the same app providing identical clinical cases and test questions-on-demand, but with alerts inactivated (no spaced education). The primary outcome will be scores on the certification examination. This routinely collected data will be provided to the team by the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Expected Results and Conclusion: Spaced education will improve examination scores. This will inform educational practice by providing evidence to optimize the training of residents.

Interventions

  • Behavioral: Spaced educational intervention
    • A spaced educational intervention will be provided to participants

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Intervention
    • Intervention site residents will receive alerts through an app to adaptively reinforce the learning of clinical content based on cases and test questions (spaced education).
  • No Intervention: Control
    • Residents in the control group will receive the same app providing identical clinical cases and test questions-on-demand, but with alerts inactivated (no spaced education).

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Scores on the certification examination
    • Time Frame: 2 years
    • This is the score on the written component of the examination of the College of Family Physicians of Canada

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • incoming family medicine residents in Canada (July 2017)

Exclusion Criteria

  • not a family medicine resident
  • did not start residency on July 1, 2017

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: N/A

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Jewish General Hospital
  • Collaborator
    • Western University, Canada
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Roland Grad, Associate Professor, McGill University Dept. of Family Medicine, Director of the Clinician Scholar Program – Jewish General Hospital

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