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Fam Pract. 2008 Feb;25(1):40-8. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmm070. Epub 2008 Jan 21.

Improving prevention in primary care: evaluating the effectiveness of outreach facilitation.

Author information

1
Department of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa, Canada. whogg@uottawa.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Out reach facilitation is designed to promote uptake of evidence-based guidelines. There is evidence indicating that outreach facilitation can be effective in improving implementation of preventive care in GPs' offices. In this trial, we test a modified version of an outreach facilitation intervention.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate whether a comprehensive preventive intervention program using outreach facilitators improves preventive care delivery.

DESIGN:

Match-paired, cluster-randomized controlled trial.

SETTING:

Fee-for-service primary care practices in Eastern Ontario, Canada, at a time of physician shortage.

PARTICIPANTS:

Volunteer sample of 54 primary care practices.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Mean difference between trial arms in practices' delivery of preventive manoeuvres, measured by preventive performance indices estimated from chart reviews and patient survey data.

RESULTS:

No difference was detected between the trial's arms for the primary outcome's overall prevention index [2.0%; 95% confidence interval (CI) -3.2 to 7.3; P = 0.44]. A small significant difference between the arms was detected for the secondary outcome's overall prevention index (2.8%; 95% CI 0.7-4.8; P = 0.01).

CONCLUSION:

In contrast to similar facilitation trials, this outreach facilitation program did not produce improvements in the delivery of preventive care. This lack of effect may be due to differences in the intervention and context, or the practice's limited capacity to change. Our intervention simultaneously facilitated a high number of manoeuvres, blinded facilitators and physicians to the targeted tests and had a relatively short intervention period and large number of practices assigned per facilitator. Changes in the primary care service model in Ontario at the time of the trial could have also washed out the intervention effect.

PMID:
18209107
DOI:
10.1093/fampra/cmm070
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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