Overview

This trial is active, not recruiting.

Condition medical and nursing students' evidence retrieval skills
Treatments intervention a - online clinical questions recorder, intervention b - online evidence retrieval coach, intervention c - online audit and feedback
Sponsor McMaster University
Collaborator Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Start date September 2014
End date August 2015
Trial size 800 participants
Trial identifier NCT02240095, FRN86465, FRN86465-B

Summary

Translation of new knowledge from research into evidence-informed health care is a shared obligation of the clinical and the scientific communities. Unfortunately, studies of quality of care continue to show that this goal is substantially unrealized. One main barrier is lack of quick and easy identification, appraisal and synthesis of current best evidence. This start with medical and nursing students, which have numerous clinical-related questions daily, but face a large volume of 3000 articles published every day, accessible in many scattered resources.

To address theses problems, McMaster's Health Information Research Unit (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) has developed and implemented "McMaster Premium LiteratUre Service Federated Search" (MPFS), an online search engine that provides a unique 1-stop search and organized access to current best evidence in daily practice. However additional barriers need to be overcome for students to actually search and use this evidence in their learning and practice. Theses include logistical barriers (time constraints, forgotten questions), as well as educational barriers (eg, lack of awareness of the "architecture" of evidence, limited searching skills, and lack of reference standards among peers for finding best evidence).

In a previous trial, the investigators tested 3 innovative online interventions among clinicians registered to MPFS to overcome these barriers and increase the quantity and quality of searching for current best evidence to answer clinical questions (NCT02038439). The investigators seek to conduct a second randomized trial testing the same 3 interventions, this time among medical and nursing students registered in MPFS.

United States No locations recruiting
Other Countries No locations recruiting

Study Design

Allocation randomized
Intervention model factorial assignment
Masking single blind (investigator)
Arm
(Experimental)
See Interventions Description. In this arm, students will be offered all 3 online interventions combined: Intervention A - Online Clinical Questions Recorder Intervention B - Online Evidence Retrieval Coach Intervention C - Online Audit and Feedback
intervention a - online clinical questions recorder
Students allocated to this intervention will receive access to an online recorder for the clinical questions at the point of care. The recorder is accessible across a wide range of devices including phones, tablets, and desktop computers.
intervention b - online evidence retrieval coach
Students allocated to this intervention will receive online guidance, embedded in the MPFS search engine, in the form of short videos, animations, demos and tips and tricks regarding evidence retrieval.
intervention c - online audit and feedback
Students allocated to this intervention will receive feedback on their current search performance compared to their peers, both online when using MPFS as well as by e-mail.
(Experimental)
See Interventions Description. In this arm, students will be offered the 2 following interventions combined: Intervention A - Online Clinical Questions Recorder Intervention B - Online Evidence Retrieval Coach
intervention a - online clinical questions recorder
Students allocated to this intervention will receive access to an online recorder for the clinical questions at the point of care. The recorder is accessible across a wide range of devices including phones, tablets, and desktop computers.
intervention b - online evidence retrieval coach
Students allocated to this intervention will receive online guidance, embedded in the MPFS search engine, in the form of short videos, animations, demos and tips and tricks regarding evidence retrieval.
(Experimental)
In this arm, students will be offered the 2 following online interventions combined: Intervention A - Online Clinical Questions Recorder Intervention C - Online Audit and Feedback
intervention a - online clinical questions recorder
Students allocated to this intervention will receive access to an online recorder for the clinical questions at the point of care. The recorder is accessible across a wide range of devices including phones, tablets, and desktop computers.
intervention c - online audit and feedback
Students allocated to this intervention will receive feedback on their current search performance compared to their peers, both online when using MPFS as well as by e-mail.
(Experimental)
See Interventions Description. In this arm, students will be offered the 2 following online interventions combined: Intervention B - Online Evidence Retrieval Coach Intervention C - Online Audit and Feedback
intervention b - online evidence retrieval coach
Students allocated to this intervention will receive online guidance, embedded in the MPFS search engine, in the form of short videos, animations, demos and tips and tricks regarding evidence retrieval.
intervention c - online audit and feedback
Students allocated to this intervention will receive feedback on their current search performance compared to their peers, both online when using MPFS as well as by e-mail.
(Experimental)
See Interventions Description. In this arm, students will be offered only the following intervention: * Intervention A - Online Clinical Questions Recorder
intervention a - online clinical questions recorder
Students allocated to this intervention will receive access to an online recorder for the clinical questions at the point of care. The recorder is accessible across a wide range of devices including phones, tablets, and desktop computers.
(Experimental)
See Interventions Description. In this arm, students will be offered only the following intervention: * Intervention B - Online Evidence Retrieval Coach
intervention b - online evidence retrieval coach
Students allocated to this intervention will receive online guidance, embedded in the MPFS search engine, in the form of short videos, animations, demos and tips and tricks regarding evidence retrieval.
(Experimental)
See Interventions Description. In this arm, students will be offered only the following intervention: * Intervention C - Online Audit and Feedback
intervention c - online audit and feedback
Students allocated to this intervention will receive feedback on their current search performance compared to their peers, both online when using MPFS as well as by e-mail.
(No Intervention)
In this arm, students will be offered none of the 3 online interventions, but will just be using the usual features of the search engine available to all users.

Primary Outcomes

Measure
Utilization of evidence-based resources on MPFS as measured by rate of searches/month/user
time frame: 6 months

Secondary Outcomes

Measure
Utility (satisfaction in meeting users' information needs) as assessed by the Impact Assessment Measure questionnaire
time frame: 6 months
Use (application of evidence in practice) as assessed by the Impact Assessment Measure questionnaire
time frame: 6 months
Perceived Usefulness in patient care and outcomes as assessed by the Impact Assessment Measure questionnaire
time frame: 6 months

Eligibility Criteria

Male or female participants of any age.

Inclusion Criteria: - All medical and nursing students currently registered for more than one month in the MPFS search engine, - And learning in the teaching hospitals and clinics of the Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. Exclusion Criteria: - Registrants that are no longer working or training at McMaster University, - Registrants that never logged in MPFS during the last 12 months counting back from the beginning of the trial.

Additional Information

Official title Multifaceted Online Interventions to Increase Medical and Nursing Students Searching of Current Best Evidence to Answer Clinical Questions (MPFS-2)
Principal investigator Thomas Agoritsas, MD
Description 1. Rationale & Objectives One main barrier to achieving evidence-informed care by clinicians is lack of quick and easy identification, appraisal and synthesis of current best evidence. Clinicians and students information needs are considerable - but about 3000 articles are published in Medline every day. Numerous evidence-based resources have been developed to filter and process the evidence, but although increasingly used, each offer a fragmented and scattered view of information, and none provides comprehensive topic coverage or satisfactory updating. To address theses problems, McMaster's Health Information Research Unit (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) has developed and implemented "McMaster Premium LiteratUre Service Federated Search (MPFS)", an online search engine that provides a unique 1-stop search and organized access to current best evidence in daily practice. MPFS provides both alerts to users about new research, and a novel federated search function, with the particular feature of organizing information according to the "pyramid of evidence-based resources", with the most clinically applicable evidence at the top. Thus MPFS simultaneously retrieves evidence from Studies ("Medline", both filtered and unfiltered, at the bottom), then Systematic reviews; Synopses of studies and systematic reviews (selected for methodological rigor and clinical relevance), and, at the top level, online widely used Summaries (e.g."Best Practice"). Combining features of the current best evidence-based resources is not enough to increase access and use of current best evidence. Additional well-known barriers that need to be overcome include logistical barriers (time constraints, forgotten questions, and simplicity of using one single albeit limited resource), as well as educational barriers (eg, lack of awareness of the "architecture" of evidence and limits of other single resources, lack of knowledge and experience of what federated searches can offer, limited searching skills, and lack of reference standards among peers for finding best evidence). 2. Hypothesis This trial seeks to test 3 innovative online interventions among medical and nursing students registered to MPFS to overcome these barriers and increase the quantity and quality of searching for current best evidence to answer the learning needs and clinical questions. These interventions build on effective models for the teaching of clinical skills at the point of care, so that they are facilitated in using the search engine as a clinical tool, and perceive evidence retrieval skills as true clinical skills. 3. Methods 1. Study design: Randomized Factorial Controlled Trial. 2. Setting and Participants: The trial will be conducted among medical and nursing students registered in MPFS and working in the teaching hospitals and clinics of McMaster University (see eligibility criteria below) 3. Participating clinicians will be randomized to 3 online interventions (see description below) in a factorial design (A x B x C), whose permutation results in 8 allocation arms (A+B+C, A+B, A+C, B+C, A, B, C, no intervention, see details below) 4. Randomization: will be computer-generated, and stratified for medical vs. nursing students. Registrants will be randomly allocated to each study arms. Allocation will be concealed from research staff. 5. Blinding and control group: Although participants cannot be blinded to the interventions, they will not be told of the different features offered, and all will receive usual searching features of MPFS.
Trial information was received from ClinicalTrials.gov and was last updated in April 2015.
Information provided to ClinicalTrials.gov by McMaster University.