Background: In 2012 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug emtricitabine/tenofovir for use as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) after proving to be safe and effective at preventing HIV in multiple peer-reviewed studies. Despite the proven safety and value of PrEP treatment, use remains low in practice. Research has shown that low clinical use corresponds to low levels of understanding of PrEP among providers. Academic detailing is a method of innovation diffusion through provider education that results in changes in knowledge and practice. The purpose of this project was to investigate the effects of academic detailing on primary care provider knowledge, attitudes, and willingness to prescribe PrEP.
Methods: An academic detailing session was provided by the Florida Department of Health in Broward County to primary care providers (PCPs) at a private clinic in the Southeastern US. The Conceptual Model of Nursing and Population Health (CMNPH) and the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services Framework (PARIHS) were used as guides for project design and evidence-based practice implementation. There were five participants in the academic detailing session including: a physician, a physician assistant (PA), and three medical students. PCP PrEP knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors were measured using pre and post intervention surveys. PrEP prescription, HIV/Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) screening, and HIV testing were measured using aggregate data queries for the time periods of four and eight weeks before and four and eight weeks after the educational intervention. No personal identifying information was obtained.
Results: Pre and post surveys were analyzed using Wilcoxon signed rank testing to examine differences between matched pairs of ordinal data. Significant PrEP screening and HIV/STI testing were analyzed pre and post intervention using paired t tests to compare pre and post intervention practices. Significant differences were found in the results (Z = 2.03, 1.84, and 1.83 respectively, p > 0.1) The academic detailing intervention significantly improved knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of primary care providers and medical students regarding PrEP. The mean of active qualifying ICD 10 codes prior to the intervention versus post intervention were 5 (sd = 5.64) vs. 4.2 (sd = 4.87) respectively. No significant difference was found between active ICD 10 codes for patient visits before compared to after the intervention (t (9) = 1.12, p>.1).
Conclusions: This project found that academic detailing improved provider self-reported knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding PrEP. However, self-reported survey scores were not correlated with changes in clinical practice based on ICD 10 codes. Additional clinical implications may include fostering clinical outreach and cooperation between the county health department and local primary care clinics. Further research is needed on the effects of PrEP academic detailing on clinical practice.