Using consecutive Rapid Participatory Appraisal studies to assess, facilitate and evaluate health and social change in community settings

bmc.gif Just published in BMC Public Health, an Open Access online journal:

Brown CS, Lloyd S, Murray SA. Using consecutive Rapid Participatory Appraisal studies to assess, facilitate and evaluate health and social change in community settings. BMC Public Health 2006; 6:68.BACKGROUND: To investigate how a relatively socio-economically deprived community's needs have changed over time, assess which recommendations from an earlier assessment were implemented and sustained, and consider whether serial Rapid Participatory Appraisal is an effective health research tool that can promote community development and has utility in assessing longitudinal change.
METHODS: Rapid Participatory Appraisal involves communities in identifying and challenging their own health-related needs. Information on ten health and social aspects was collated from existing documentation, neighbourhood observations, and interviews with a range of residents and key informants, providing a composite picture of the community's structure, needs and services.
RESULTS: The perceived needs after 10 years encompassed a wide construct of health, principally the living environment, housing, and lack of finance. Most identified upstream determinants of health rather than specific medical conditions as primary concerns. After the initial Rapid Participatory Appraisal many interviewees took the recommendations forward, working to promote a healthier environment and advocate for local resources. Interventions requiring support from outwith the community were largely not sustained.
CONCLUSION: Rapid Participatory Appraisal proved valuable in assessing long-term change. The community's continuing needs were identified, but they could not facilitate and sustain change without the strategic support of key regional and national agencies. Many repeatedly voiced concerns lay outwith local control: local needs assessment must be supported at higher levels to be effective.
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Changing physician knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about migraine: evaluation of a new educational intervention

From the May 2006 issue of Headache: [full text by subscription]

Patwardhan MB, Samsa GP, Lipton RB, Matchar DB. Changing physician knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about migraine: evaluation of a new educational intervention. Headache 2006; 46(5):732-741.

Objective: Use a presurvey of primary care providers (PCPs) enrolled in a continuing medical education (CME) program on headache management to ascertain their existing knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding migraine and use a postsurvey to determine the extent to which the CME program has brought participant knowledge, attitudes, and skills closer to conformance with best evidence.
Background: Migraine is a common and debilitating condition, which PCPs may not always manage satisfactorily. In an effort to improve management, the American Headache Society has developed a CME program called BRAINSTORM that encourages PCPs to adopt the US Headache Consortium Guidelines for headache care.
Methods: A 20-item questionnaire was developed that covered the essential elements of migraine care. The questionnaire was administered before and after a BRAINSTORM* presentation to 254 consenting primary care clinicians attending a medical meeting at 1 of 6 sites. A control group of 112 comparable physicians who did not attend the presentation completed the same questionnaire. Prepresentation scores of attendees were compared to scores of nonattendees to assess the generalizability of results. Prepresentation scores on selected questions were used to assess participant baseline knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs. Pre- and postpresentation scores for attendees at all sites were compared using the Mantel-Haenszel statistic to assess the effectiveness of the BRAINSTORM CME. Pre- and postpresentation scores were compared by site using the Breslow-Day test to evaluate any differential impact based on CME location.
Results: Prepresentation scores of attendees and nonattendees were found to be similar. No significant difference in performance was noted across sites. A chi-square analysis revealed a statistically significant difference between pre- and postpresentation scores for 16 of the test’s 20 questions. In the pretest, all participants scored <66% on 2 questions related to prevalence, impact, and pathophysiology of migraine, 2 questions pertaining to history taking/physical examination, and 3 migraine management questions. Attendee scores improved to >66% posttest on all except 2 questions related to prevalence, impact, and pathophysiology of migraine.
Conclusion: Our results indicate that PCPs need to acquire greater understanding about the epidemiology and pathophysiology of migraine and may require guidance in history taking and physical examination of migraine patients. Improvement in scores posttest confirms that the BRAINSTORM program has a significant immediate impact on the knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes of participants. The program could be strengthened to improve emphasis in some areas where posttest scores showed no improvement.
*BRAINSTORM is a 2½-hour interactive program that uses video case vignettes, animation, and illustrations to examine the impact of headache on patients’ lives and teach the diagnosis and treatment of patients with migraine disorders. Four distinct modules, each 20 minutes in length, convey specific educational messages on
(1) understanding the prevalence and impact of migraine,
(2) understanding migraine mechanisms,
(3) history taking/physical examination and diagnosis of migraine, and
(4) migraine management.
Physician experts act as facilitators for the program. To ensure that a consistent message is conveyed in every presentation, facilitators are trained by AHS and provided with a guidebook and a CD-ROM. They guide participant discussion of the materials presented and ensure time for questions and answers. All participants are provided with a workbook, a CD-ROM with program material, and directions to other educational resources for physicians and patients.     
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NCBI’s Bookshelf: full-text books free online

In collaboration with authors and publishers, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is adapting biomedical books for the web. The Bookshelf is a growing collection of biomedical books that can be searched directly by typing a concept into the textbox above and selecting <Go>. Books are also linked to terms in PubMed abstracts: when viewing an abstract, select the <Books> link to see phrases within the abstract hyperlinked to book sections.  Search tip: If the chapter titles are not live links, copy and paste into the search box the titles of chapters you wish to read.   Sample titles: