Immediate and 8-Month Impact of a Medical Educational Course for General Practitioners on Knowledge About Schizophrenia and Its Treatment: Results of a 3-Phase Study From Brescia, Italy

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Objective: To test the efficacy of a training course on the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia, tailored for the general practitioner.

Method: A course, in a 3-session format, was given to 215 primary care doctors from the city of Brescia and its province, in Italy. All 706 doctors working in primary care were asked to participate. Of these doctors, 30.5% took part in the study. The first session (215 doctors) assessed baseline knowledge of schizophrenia (June 2002), the second (173 doctors) gave formal teaching and assessed post-lesson knowledge (October 2002), and the third (130 doctors) evaluated the retention of knowledge after 8 months (July 2003). The main outcome measures were total number of schizophrenia symptoms identified, total number of antipsychotics identified, and knowledge about antipsychotic-related adverse events.

Results: Post-lesson, general practitioners could identify 6.5 more symptoms (p

Conclusions: The teaching course on schizophrenia for general practitioners was effective, and the knowledge gained after teaching was stable across time.

Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2008;10(6):457-461