Continuing Education Boosts Long-term Confidence in Administering Outcome Measures

Researchers from the University of Washington, the Miami VA Healthcare System, and the University of Miami found that continuing education (CE) has a long-term impact on prosthetists' confidence in administering outcome measures and may influence their clinical practices. However, barriers to using standardized measures need to be addressed to keep practitioners current with evolving practice expectations, according to the study, which was published September 16 online before print in Prosthetics and Orthotics International (POI).

To evaluate the effect of CE, a total of 66 prosthetists were surveyed before, immediately after, and two years after outcomes measurement education and training. Prosthetists were grouped as routine or nonroutine outcome measures users, based on their experience reported prior to training. On average, prosthetists were just as confident administering measures one to two years after CE as they were immediately after the CE.

In all, 20 percent of the prosthetists who were initially classified as nonroutine users were subsequently classified as routine users at follow-up. Routine and nonroutine users' opinions differed on whether outcome measures contributed to efficient patient evaluations (79.3 percent and 32.4 percent, respectively). Both routine and nonroutine users reported challenges integrating outcome measures into normal clinical routines (20.7 percent and 45.9 percent, respectively).