Carole Drexel, PhD

Inclusion of the patient voice into continuing medical education (CME) was linked with effective initiation of a proactive approach by healthcare professionals to the diagnosis and management of chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU).

Carole Drexel, PhD, vice president of medical education at PlatformQ Health, and colleagues joined forces with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) to deliver a 1-hour online CME activity broadcast live and available on-demand for 1 year. “Patient surveys have shown that people who have CSU can take years before getting a diagnosis, and when they finally have a diagnosis, they continue to suffer from high disease burden because they are undertreated,” Dr. Drexel says, “This study examines the impacts of continuing medical education on clinicians’ ability to step up therapy in a timely manner.”

Majority of Respondents Conducted Allergy Testing During Diagnostic Work-Up

To represent the patient voice, video segments of a patient interview were included in the CME activity. The study team analyzed responses to test questions (pre-, immediate post-, and 2 months post-activity) to examine lessons learned and gaps in education (Chi-square P<0.05). A total of 3,781 HCPs participated (52% primary care physicians, 10% dermatologists/allergists/immunologists). The majority (86%) responded positively when asked if they perform allergy testing during diagnostic work-ups. However, 34% reported no experience managing patients who do not respond to antihistamines.

Participation (N=3,781 pre-activity; N=2,435 post-activity; N=104 follow-up) increased proficiency in enhancing antihistamine dose by 56% and expanded knowledge of the therapeutic use and limitations of omalizumab and emerging agents by 58% and 64%, respectively. As a result, clinical practices gained an improved ability to correctly diagnose and aggressively treat CSU.

“Based on this activity, it is expected that PCPs and dermatologists who participated in the CME activity will apply the learnings and be more confident in their management approaches of patients with CSU,” Dr. Drexel notes. “We expect that they will more proactively optimize antihistamine doses and prescribe biologic agents for their patients who qualify.”

The study results are also scheduled for presentation at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.