Increasing Advocacy Awareness in Early Career Rheumatologists: A Web-Based Educational Tool

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2021 May 31. doi: 10.1002/acr.24719. Online ahead of print.


Objective: To evaluate the utility of a web-based advocacy training tool in increasing advocacy awareness METHODS: Early career rheumatologists who attended 2019 ACR-Advocacy 101 were invited to participate. A web-based tool consisting of 9 cases covering various aspects of advocacy was developed and included the opportunity for continuing medical education credit. A pre-participation questionnaire surveyed prior involvement, knowledge, and willingness to participate in an advocacy program. Participants rated cases based on educational quality, relevance of content, achievement of training goals, competency, and evidence of bias. Two web-based conferences were held to address technical questions, review and discussion of cases and responses, and to obtain feedback.

Results: Twenty-one early career rheumatologists from 9 academic institutions enrolled, with 15 (75%) completing all cases. Correct CME answers were scored on 85% of cases. Overall educational quality of content received a mean rating of 4.3 out of 5. Seven cases achieved positive ratings for relevance of case content, achievement of training goals, objectivity, and competency. All cases were assessed free of bias. Feedback indicated 30 minutes was dedicated to each case, and a combination of skill set and content learning to be most effective. Pre- and post-questionnaire scores indicated significant improvement in knowledge of advocacy matters (p< 0.0001).

Conclusion: A web-based advocacy training tool was successful in significantly improving awareness and knowledge of advocacy matters among early career rheumatologists. This innovative educational tool may play a vital role in shaping the future of rheumatology for both patients and physicians.