A flying start to health promotion in remote North Queensland, Australia: the development of Royal Flying Doctor Service field days

Harvey, D.J., Williams, R., and Hill, K. (2006) A flying start to health promotion in remote North Queensland, Australia: the development of Royal Flying Doctor Service field days. Rural and Remote Health, 6 (1). pp. 485-490.

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Abstract

Context: The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section), Australia, provides health services for remote populations across an area of approximately 600 000 km2. The challenge presented to the service was to provide effective health promotion as well as acute clinical services.

Issue: This article describes the development of field days, an initiative based on a capacity building approach to health promotion. Field days have been conducted at station properties, national parks, remote tourist facilities, a roadhouse and country racecourse. They usually consist of a morning interactive workshop based on locally identified health topics followed by an afternoon clinic. A developmental approach has been adopted, with participant feedback from each field day and reflections by health staff informing future field day activities and adjustments in methods of delivery. Between November 2001 and August 2005, 726 adults and 248 children attended 53 field days conducted at 18 remote locations in north Queensland. Evaluation: Participants were asked to rate the overall usefulness, content and quality of the presentations/workshops on a scale from 1 (not useful/poor) to 10 (very useful/very good). Overall, feedback from participants was positive. The average scores were 9.1 for overall usefulness of the day and content of the sessions, and 9.2 for quality of the presentations. Field days demonstrate a flexible health promotion initiative based on a capacity building approach which is rated as useful and appropriate by participants.

Lessons learned: The implementation of field days has highlighted the importance of building on community and organisational strengths as a means of overcoming skepticism about new services and approaches to health. Methods of delivery that are fun, nonthreatening, practical, locally relevant, culturally appropriate and interactive work best. The development of field day packages containing workshop plans and resources facilitates flexibility and enables the program to be tailored to meet the needs of participants. Workforce planning and development have played a key role in reorienting existing services towards health promotion. Field days can inform the development of locally relevant health promotion initiatives based on a capacity building approach in other remote areas of Australia and internationally.

Item ID: 3854
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Australia; health promotion; capacity building; primary health care;
ISSN: 1445-6354
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2009 02:50
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111717 Primary Health Care @ 34%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111708 Health and Community Services @ 33%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion @ 33%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920506 Rural Health @ 51%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920205 Health Education and Promotion @ 49%
Citation Count from Scopus Scopus 3
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