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      Improving Neuromuscular Monitoring and Reducing Residual Neuromuscular Blockade With E-Learning: Protocol for the Multicenter Interrupted Time Series INVERT Study

      , MD 1 , , , MD, PhD, Clinical Research Associate Professor 2 , , MD, PhD 3 , , Cand.stat., Associate Professor 4 , , MD, DMSc, Professor 5 , , DMSc, MD 1 , , MD, PhD 1
      (Reviewer), (Reviewer)
      JMIR Research Protocols
      JMIR Publications
      e-learning, neuromuscular monitoring, objective neuromuscular monitoring, quantitative neuromuscular monitoring, residual neuromuscular blockade, protocol

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          Muscle relaxants facilitate endotracheal intubation under general anesthesia and improve surgical conditions. Residual neuromuscular blockade occurs when the patient is still partially paralyzed when awakened after surgery. The condition is associated with subjective discomfort and an increased risk of respiratory complications. Use of an objective neuromuscular monitoring device may prevent residual block. Despite this, many anesthetists refrain from using the device. Efforts to increase the use of objective monitoring are time consuming and require the presence of expert personnel. A neuromuscular monitoring e-learning module might support consistent use of neuromuscular monitoring devices.


          The aim of the study is to assess the effect of a neuromuscular monitoring e-learning module on anesthesia staff’s use of objective neuromuscular monitoring and the incidence of residual neuromuscular blockade in surgical patients at 6 Danish teaching hospitals.


          In this interrupted time series study, we are collecting data repeatedly, in consecutive 3-week periods, before and after the intervention, and we will analyze the effect using segmented regression analysis. Anesthesia departments in the Zealand Region of Denmark are included, and data from all patients receiving a muscle relaxant are collected from the anesthesia information management system MetaVision. We will assess the effect of the module on all levels of potential effect: staff’s knowledge and skills, patient care practice, and patient outcomes. The primary outcome is use of neuromuscular monitoring in patients according to the type of muscle relaxant received. Secondary outcomes include last recorded train-of-four value, administration of reversal agents, and time to discharge from the postanesthesia care unit as well as a multiple-choice test to assess knowledge. The e-learning module was developed based on a needs assessment process, including focus group interviews, surveys, and expert opinions.


          The e-learning module was implemented in 6 anesthesia departments on 21 November 2016. Currently, we are collecting postintervention data. The final dataset will include data from more than 10,000 anesthesia procedures. We expect to publish the results in late 2017 or early 2018.


          With a dataset consisting of thousands of general anesthesia procedures, the INVERT study will assess whether an e-learning module can increase anesthetists’ use of neuromuscular monitoring.

          Trial Registration

          Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02925143; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02925143 (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6s50iTV2x)

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          Most cited references23

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          Consort 2010 statement: extension to cluster randomised trials.

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            Instructional design variations in internet-based learning for health professions education: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

            A recent systematic review (2008) described the effectiveness of Internet-based learning (IBL) in health professions education. A comprehensive synthesis of research investigating how to improve IBL is needed. This systematic review sought to provide such a synthesis. The authors searched MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, Web of Science, Scopus, ERIC, TimeLit, and the University of Toronto Research and Development Resource Base for articles published from 1990 through November 2008. They included all studies quantifying the effect of IBL compared with another Internet-based or computer-assisted instructional intervention on practicing and student physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, and other health professionals. Reviewers working independently and in duplicate abstracted information, coded study quality, and grouped studies according to inductively identified themes. From 2,705 articles, the authors identified 51 eligible studies, including 30 randomized trials. The pooled effect size (ES) for learning outcomes in 15 studies investigating high versus low interactivity was 0.27 (95% confidence interval, 0.08-0.46; P = .006). Also associated with higher learning were practice exercises (ES 0.40 [0.08-0.71; P = .01]; 10 studies), feedback (ES 0.68 [0.01-1.35; P = .047]; 2 studies), and repetition of study material (ES 0.19 [0.09-0.30; P or=89%) in most analyses. Meta-analyses for other themes generally yielded imprecise results. Interactivity, practice exercises, repetition, and feedback seem to be associated with improved learning outcomes, although inconsistency across studies tempers conclusions. Evidence for other instructional variations remains inconclusive.
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              Intermediate acting non-depolarizing neuromuscular blocking agents and risk of postoperative respiratory complications: prospective propensity score matched cohort study

              Objective To determine whether use of intermediate acting neuromuscular blocking agents during general anesthesia increases the incidence of postoperative respiratory complications. Design Prospective, propensity score matched cohort study. Setting General teaching hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 2006-10. Participants 18 579 surgical patients who received intermediate acting neuromuscular blocking agents during surgery were matched by propensity score to 18 579 reference patients who did not receive such agents. Main outcome measures The main outcome measures were oxygen desaturation after extubation (hemoglobin oxygen saturation 3%) and reintubations requiring unplanned admission to an intensive care unit within seven days of surgery. We also evaluated effects on these outcome variables of qualitative monitoring of neuromuscular transmission (train-of-four ratio) and reversal of neuromuscular blockade with neostigmine to prevent residual postoperative neuromuscular blockade. Results The use of intermediate acting neuromuscular blocking agents was associated with an increased risk of postoperative desaturation less than 90% after extubation (odds ratio 1.36, 95% confidence interval 1.23 to 1.51) and reintubation requiring unplanned admission to an intensive care unit (1.40, 1.09 to 1.80). Qualitative monitoring of neuromuscular transmission did not decrease this risk and neostigmine reversal increased the risk of postoperative desaturation to values less than 90% (1.32, 1.20 to 1.46) and reintubation (1.76, 1.38 to 2.26). Conclusion The use of intermediate acting neuromuscular blocking agents during anesthesia was associated with an increased risk of clinically meaningful respiratory complications. Our data suggest that the strategies used in our trial to prevent residual postoperative neuromuscular blockade should be revisited.

                Author and article information

                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Research Protocols
                JMIR Publications (Toronto, Canada )
                October 2017
                06 October 2017
                : 6
                : 10
                : e192
                [1] 1 Department of Anesthesiology Herlev Hospital University of Copenhagen Copenhagen Denmark
                [2] 2 Department of Anesthesiology Zealand University Hospital Koege Denmark
                [3] 3 Department of Anesthesiology Naestved Hospital Næstved Denmark
                [4] 4 Department of Biostatistics University of Copenhagen Copenhagen Denmark
                [5] 5 Copenhagen Academy for Medical Education and Simulation Herlev Hospital University of Copenhagen Copenhagen Denmark
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Jakob Louis Demant Thomsen jakob.louis.thomsen@ 123456regionh.dk
                Author information
                ©Jakob Louis Demant Thomsen, Ole Mathiesen, Daniel Hägi-Pedersen, Lene Theil Skovgaard, Doris Østergaard, Jens Engbaek, Mona Ring Gätke. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (http://www.researchprotocols.org), 06.10.2017.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://www.researchprotocols.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

                : 8 May 2017
                : 7 June 2017
                : 19 June 2017
                : 20 June 2017

                e-learning,neuromuscular monitoring,objective neuromuscular monitoring,quantitative neuromuscular monitoring,residual neuromuscular blockade,protocol


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