Staging a play to address a timely need
The tragic shootings at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in April underscored the need for education on diagnosing and treating mental health problems.
It was fitting, then, that Pri-Med and educational partner France Foundation in May rolled out the first of a series of national lectures in Norfolk, VA. In this newer version of an activity that began last year, actors are interviewed live by a physician to demonstrate the proper use of a mood disorder questionnaire (MDQ) in diagnosing bipolar disorder. Participants can ask questions during the sessions, funded by AstraZeneca.
“From a practical standpoint, [physicians] are literally witnessing how to go through the MDQ,” said Anne Goodrich, Pri-Med group director of physician insights.
The program dates to 2005, when the NIH found that 55% of Americans will develop a mental illness at some point in their lives. Pri-Med then conducted a study of physicians, finding education could have a positive impact.
Nearly 20,000 physicians completed the first round of lectures. Outcomes research showed improvements in competence and adherence to clinical standard.
The patient-interview format was phased in for 2007, and Goodrich said she hopes the role-playing scenario plus handouts and other resources given to audience members will help address remaining learning gaps.