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Effects of type and level of training on variation in physician knowledge in the use and acquisition of blood cultures: a cross sectional survey.


ABSTRACT:

Background

Blood culture (BCX) use is often sub-optimal, and is a user-dependent diagnostic test. Little is known about physician training and BCX-related knowledge. We sought to assess variations in caregiver BCX-related knowledge, and their relation to medical training.

Methods

We developed and piloted a self-administered BCX-related knowledge survey instrument. Expert opinion, literature review, focus groups, and mini-pilots reduced > 100 questions in multiple formats to a final questionnaire with 15 scored content items and 4 covariate identifiers. This questionnaire was used in a cross-sectional survey of physicians, fellows, residents and medical students at a large urban public teaching hospital. The responses were stratified by years/level of training, type of specialty training, self-reported practical and theoretical BCX-related instruction. Summary scores were derived from participant responses compared to a 95% consensus opinion of infectious diseases specialists that matched an evidence based reference standard.

Results

There were 291 respondents (Attendings = 72, Post-Graduate Year (PGY) = 3 = 84, PGY2 = 42, PGY1 = 41, medical students = 52). Mean scores differed by training level (Attending = 85.0, PGY3 = 81.1, PGY2 = 78.4, PGY1 = 75.4, students = 67.7) [p < or = 0.001], and training type (Infectious Diseases = 96.1, Medicine = 81.7, Emergency Medicine = 79.6, Surgery = 78.5, Family Practice = 76.5, Obstetrics-Gynecology = 74.4, Pediatrics = 74.0) [p < or = 0.001]. Higher summary scores were associated with self-reported theoretical [p < or = 0.001] and practical [p = 0.001] BCX-related training. Linear regression showed level and type of training accounted for most of the score variation.

Conclusion

Higher mean scores were associated with advancing level of training and greater subject-related training. Notably, house staff and medical students, who are most likely to order and/or obtain BCXs, lack key BCX-related knowledge. Targeted education may improve utilization of this important diagnostic tool.

SUBMITTER: Parada JP 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC1261264 | BioStudies | 2005-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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