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A cross-sectional survey using electronic distribution of a questionnaire to subscribers of educational material written by clinicians, for clinicians, to evaluate whether practice change resulted from reading the Clinical Communiqué
  1. Nicola Cunningham,
  2. Tony Pham,
  3. Briohny Kennedy,
  4. Alexander Gillard,
  5. Joseph Ibrahim
  1. Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University, Southbank, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Joseph Ibrahim; joseph.ibrahim{at}


Objective To explore whether subscribers reported clinical practice changes as a result of reading the Clinical Communiqué (CC). Secondarily, to compare the characteristics of subscribers who self-reported changes to clinical practice with those who did not, and to explore subscribers’ perceptions of the educational value of the CC.

Design, setting and participants Online cross-sectional survey between 21 July 2015 and 18 August 2015 by subscribers of the CC (response rate=29.9%, 1008/3373), conducted by a team from Monash University, Australia.

Main outcome measures Change in clinical practice as a result of reading the CC.

Results 53.0% of respondents reported that their practice had changed after reading the CC. Respondents also found that the CC raised awareness (96.5%) and provided ideas about improving patient safety and care (94.1%) leading them to discuss cases with their colleagues (79.6%) and review their practice (75.7%). Multivariate analysis indicated that working in a residential aged care facility (p<0.05) and having taken part in an inquest (p<0.05) were significantly associated with practice change.

Conclusion The design and content of the CC has generated a positive impact on the healthcare community. It is presented in a format that appears to be accessible and acceptable to readers and achieves its goals of promoting safer clinical care through greater awareness of the medico-legal context of practice.

  • coroners
  • practice change
  • printed educational material
  • patient safety
  • narrative case reports
  • death prevention

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  • Contributors JI contributed to conception, design and development of the study, assembly of the survey and revising the manuscript critically for important intellectual content; and as senior author is accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. NC contributed to development of the survey, was involved in drafting the manuscript and revising it critically for important intellectual content. TP performed the statistical analysis, was involved in drafting the manuscript and revising it critically for important intellectual content. BK contributed to development of the study, was involved in revising the manuscript critically for important intellectual content. AG contributed to development, distribution, monitoring and collation of the survey. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA) funded this study.

  • Competing interests JI and NC are directly involved in the production of the ‘Clinical Communiqué’. Otherwise the authors have no competing interests.

  • Ethics approval Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine Research Advisory and Ethics.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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