Evaluating the Effectiveness of an Educational Module for the Bush-Francis Catatonia Rating Scale

Joshua R. Wortzel, Daniel D. Maeng, Andrew Francis, Mark A. Oldham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: Catatonia is widely underdiagnosed, in large part due to inaccurate recognition of its specific features. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of an online educational module to improve theoretical and practical knowledge of the Bush-Francis Catatonia Rating Scale (BFCRS) across a broad range of clinicians and medical students. Method: A 1-h online module, including a training manual and videos, was disseminated to medical students, psychiatry residents and fellows, and psychiatrists through national Listservs and through the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry. Participants completed pre- and post-module testing consisting of a 50-question multiple-choice test and a 3-min standardized patient video scored using the 23-item BFCRS. Participants accessed the module from October 1, 2020, to April 4, 2021. Immediate improvement and 3-month knowledge retention were assessed using quantitative and qualitative analyses. Results: Study enrollment was high with moderate dropout (pre-testing: n = 482; post-testing: n = 236; 3-month testing: n = 105). Adjusting for demographics, large pre-post improvements were found in performance (multiple-choice: 11.3 points; standardized patient scoring: 4.2 points; both p < 0.001) and for nearly all individual BFCRS items. Knowledge attrition was modest, and improvements persisted at 3 months. Conclusions: This educational resource provides descriptive and demonstrative reference standards of the items on the BFCRS. This curriculum improved identification of catatonia’s features on both multiple choice and standardized patient scoring across all ages and training levels with good overall knowledge retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-193
Number of pages9
JournalAcademic Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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