Lake superior rural cancer care project, Part II: Provider knowledge

Thomas E. Elliott, Barbara A. Elliott, Ronald R. Regal, Colleen M. Renier, Byron J. Crouse, David E. Gangeness, Martha T. Witrak, Patricia B. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this article is to report the main learning outcomes of the Lake Superior Rural Cancer Care Project. DESCRIPTION OF STUDY: The authors designed and tested a multimodal intervention directed at rural providers and their healthcare systems in a large rural area in the north central United States. An experimental design was used to randomize rural providers at the group level. The intervention consisted of providing increased education for rural providers with a number of approaches, including the use of clinical opinion leaders. The main outcome of the intervention was knowledge scoring on discipline-specific cancer management tests. RESULTS: Knowledge scores for providers in the experimental group significantly increased from pretest to post-test: 66 to 79 for physicians (and physician assistants) (P = .02); 58 to 71 for nurses (P = .01); and 54 to 64 for pharmacists (P = .01). At post-test, participating providers in the experimental group performed significantly better on the knowledge tests (P < .01) than those in the control groups. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: This study may be the first to test educational intervention to improved rural providers' knowledge about cancer practice using an experimental design. The intervention may possibly change provider practice behaviors and, thus, patient outcomes, data that will be reported in a future issue. Finally, this educational intervention may prove useful for providers in other rural areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-46
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • CME effectiveness
  • Opinion leaders
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Rural cancer care


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