June 2020
Volume 61, Issue 7
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2020
Inherited Retinal Disease (IRD): Online medical education can significantly improve knowledge and confidence for detection in general ophthalmology practice and referral for gene therapy assessment
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Siggi Trier
    Medscape LLC, Macclesfield, ENGLAND, United Kingdom
  • Deborah Middleton
    Medscape LLC, Macclesfield, ENGLAND, United Kingdom
  • Peter Schoonheim
    Medscape LLC, Macclesfield, ENGLAND, United Kingdom
  • Jason Comander
    Inherited Retinal Disorders Service, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Helene Dollfus
    Service de Génétique Médicale, Hôpital de Hautepierre, Strasbourg, France
  • Stephen R Russell
    Institute for Vision Research, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, United States
  • Jose Alain Sahel
    Department of Ophthalmology, UPMC Eye Center, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Siggi Trier, Medscape LLC (C); Deborah Middleton, Medscape LLC (E); Peter Schoonheim, Medscape LLC (E); Jason Comander, Medscape LLC (C), Vedere (C); Helene Dollfus, None; Stephen Russell, IDX Technologies (I), Novartis (R), ProQR (F), Spark Therapeutics Inc (F); Jose Sahel, Banque publique d'Investissement (F), Chronolife (I), ERCC Synergy 'Helmholtz' (F), Foundation Fighting Blindness (F), GenSight Biologics (C), GenSight Biologics (I), IHU FOReSIGHT (F), LabEx LIFESENSES (F), Pixium Vision (C), Pixium Vision (I), Prophesee (I), SparingVision (C), SparingVision (I)
  • Footnotes
    Support  Developed through an independent educational grant from Novartis
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2020, Vol.61, 3020. doi:
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      Siggi Trier, Deborah Middleton, Peter Schoonheim, Jason Comander, Helene Dollfus, Stephen R Russell, Jose Alain Sahel; Inherited Retinal Disease (IRD): Online medical education can significantly improve knowledge and confidence for detection in general ophthalmology practice and referral for gene therapy assessment. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):3020.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : To determine if online medical education for ophthalmologists (Opht) could improve their knowledge and confidence to detect patients with symptoms of RPE-65 mediated IRD and refer for genotyping to assess eligibility for treatment with gene therapy.

Methods : Participants completed a 3-item questionnaire plus a confidence assessment before and after watching a 30-minute online video series of 4 expert interviews with accompanying slides. A matched pair design was used pre-/post-assessment, with scores compared to assess changes in the proportion of correct responses. A chi-squared test assessed statistical significance at the P <.05 level. Launch Jun 26, 2019; data through Aug 27, 2019. Test completers: 189.

Results : At baseline, 38% of Opht (n=189) answered all 3 questions correctly, increasing to 66% (P < 0.001) on post-assessment. An average of 66% of Opht selected the best responses on pre-assessment, increasing to 83% on post-assessment. 60% of Opht reported improved confidence in their ability to identify IRD patients and refer patients for gene therapy. The activity significantly increased knowledge on recognizing symptoms commonly associated with biallelic RPE-65 gene mutations in children (pre: 74%, post: 86%, p<.05), the required genotyping outcomes for treatment of RPE-65 mediated disease with voretigene neparvovec (pre: 67%, post: 88% p<0.001) as well as knowledge of Phase III 1-year outcomes data with this first gene therapy on efficacy endpoints MLMT= multi-luminance mobility testing and FST = full-field light sensitivity threshold (pre: 58%, post: 75%, p<.001). 15 to 25% of learners improved their knowledge as a result of the education and 51-71% were reinforced in their existing knowledge.

Conclusions : Online medical education in the form of expert video interviews with accompanying slides can significantly improve knowledge on symptoms, diagnostic pathways and to be expected therapeutic outcomes in patients with inherited retinal disease. The activity was impactful in building confidence to identify patients in general ophthalmology and refer them for assessment of their eligibility for gene therapy. However, additional education is warranted to improve familiarity with the role of gene therapy as an emerging therapeutic approach in clinical practice.

This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.


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