Fewer than 1% of docs sees bias in online CME, survey finds

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A Medscape-sponsored survey of a million physicians participating in online CME found that fewer than 1% perceived bias, regardless of whether or not it was commercially supported.

Overall, 93.48% of the 1,064,642 respondents said didn't perceive bias in the CME they participated in, with another 5.89% expressing no opinion and only .63% saying they did sense bias. Of those participating in commercially-supported CME, .84% perceived bias, while .48% of those participating in non-commercially–supported CME sensed bias.

The survey asked participants to indicate whether they agreed or disagreed, strongly or not, with the statement “The activity was presented objectively and free of commercial bias.” The number of those strongly disagreeing was just .14% overall—.17% of those participating in commercially-supported CME and 11% of those taking part in non-commercially supported CME.

“If commercial support caused bias, our subgroup analysis of those who strongly disagreed would be expected to show a larger difference, not the smaller difference we observed,” wrote the study's authors.

The study appears in the September issue of The American Journal of Medicine. Its sponsor, WebMD's Medscape, is a leading provider of online CME, and data came from physicians taking part in online CME through the site. Of 1,621,647 physician participants, around 66% completed the survey
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