To identify both provider and organizational characteristics that predicted outcomes following an educational intervention (9-hour workshop and followup reinforcement activities) developed to improve the management of arthritis in primary care.


Providers completed a survey at baseline and at 6 months postworkshop, including a case scenario for early rheumatoid arthritis. Providers were asked how they would manage the case and their responses were coded to calculate a best practice score, ranging from 0–7. Two-level hierarchical linear modeling was used to determine which of the measured provider and organizational factors predicted best practice scores at followup.


A total of 275 multidisciplinary providers from 131 organizations completed both baseline and followup surveys. Best practice scores increased by 17% (P < 0.01); however, the mean score at 6-month followup remained relatively low (2.68). Significant predictors of best practice scores at followup were discipline of provider and model of primary care in which they worked (P < 0.05), adjusting for baseline practice scores and clustering of providers within organizations. Physicians, nurse practitioners, and rehabilitation therapists scored higher than nurses, students, and other health care providers (P < 0.01). Physician networks scored significantly lower than providers from multidisciplinary-oriented models of care (P = 0.02).


These results have implications for the education of health professionals and the design of models of care to enhance arthritis care delivery.