Developing participatory methods that meet the needs of rural communities: the Rural ECOH study

Kenny, Amanda, Swift, Virginia, Farmer, Jane, Carlisle, Karen, Larkins, Sarah, Gussy, Mark, Croker, Felicity, and Elston, Jacinta (2014) Developing participatory methods that meet the needs of rural communities: the Rural ECOH study. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 13. 523.

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Abstract

The international literature is replete with case studies of community participation in healthcare planning. Many have not been systematically or robustly evaluated. The Rural ECOH study, across six Australian communities, was designed to robustly evaluate the usefulness of 'Remote Service Futures', an evidence-based method of community participation. Using oral health as a focus, the theory was that services and local people would come together for evidenced-based discussions about oral health and would design costed strategies to address oral health challenges. Whilst 'Remote Service Futures' has been successfully used in the United Kingdom, in the Australian context, its translation has not been easy. Our findings reflect the dilemma of whether local organisations really want to delegate decision-making power to communities, and whether people want to participate in structured ways. We discuss the challenges that we encountered, and provide examples of the approaches that we have used to engage all stakeholders, including modifications to ethics processes, using social media, community conversations, working with existing community and social groups, and extensive work with community champions. Our findings have implications for policy and practice. Whilst internationally, policy promotes the active engagement of citizens and health service providers in health planning, service design and evaluation, there is little guidance on how this can be achieved. Our recommendations provide clear direction for enacting participation policy at a service and community level.

Item ID: 45125
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1609-4069
Keywords: participatory methods, rural, community, oral health, ECOH study
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Abstract presented at the 20th Qualitative Research Conference, Victoria, Canada, 19-23 October, 2014.

Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2016 00:15
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1105 Dentistry > 110599 Dentistry not elsewhere classified @ 30%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111717 Primary Health Care @ 40%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920402 Dental Health @ 30%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920207 Health Policy Evaluation @ 40%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920205 Health Education and Promotion @ 30%
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