How Well Do Rheumatology Fellows Manage Acute Infusion Reactions? A Pilot Curricular Intervention.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: Infusible disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are commonly prescribed in rheumatology and other fields. There are no published formal educational curricula that rheumatology fellowship programs can use to teach infusion reaction management skills to fellows. We aimed to better understand this educational gap and implement and assess the effectiveness of an experiential curriculum on acute infusion reaction management. METHODS: We included current rheumatology fellows and recent graduates from 5 fellowship programs. Using a novel behavioral checklist, we assessed fellows' performance managing an infusion reaction in a simulation, followed by a didactic session focused on infusion reactions. Pre- and postsurveys assessed experiences to determine relevance, as well as attitudes and knowledge. RESULTS: Despite ubiquitous prescribing of infusible biologic DMARDs, >50% of fellows were uncomfortable managing infusion reactions. Only 11% of fellows reported infusion reaction training during fellowship, but 56% reported managing actual patient infusion reactions. In the simulated infusion reaction, fellows managed grade-1 reactions appropriately, but grade-4 reactions poorly, meeting <50% of objectives. All fellows discontinued the infusion in the setting of anaphylaxis, but only 56% administered epinephrine. There was no difference in performance or written knowledge by training year. All fellows felt more prepared to manage infusion reactions postcurriculum and were satisfied with the experience. CONCLUSION: We confirmed an education gap in rheumatology fellowship training regarding infusion reactions, both in knowledge and performance. We developed and implemented a brief experiential curriculum including simulation of a high-risk patient-care scenario. This curriculum was well received and is easily exportable to other programs.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Weiner, JJ; Eudy, AM; Criscione-Schreiber, LG

Published Date

  • June 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 70 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 931 - 937

PubMed ID

  • 28941221

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2151-4658

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/acr.23417


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States