This study evaluates the use of in-person focus groups and online engagement within the context of a large public engagement initiative conducted in rural Newfoundland.
Participants were surveyed about their engagement experience and demographic information. Pre and post key informant interviews were also conducted with organizers of the initiative.
Of the 111 participants in the focus groups, 97 (87%) completed evaluation surveys; as did 23 (88%) out of 26 online engagement participants. Overall, focus group participants were positive about their involvement, with 87.4% reporting that they would participate in a similar initiative. Online participation was below expectations and these participants viewed their experience less positively than in-person participants. Organizers viewed the engagement initiative and the combined use of online and in-person engagement positively.
This study presents a real-world example of the use of two methods of engagement. It also highlights the importance of the successful execution of whatever engagement mechanism is selected.
In the fall of 2007, the Government of Quebec set up a Public Consultation on Living Conditions of Seniors. Fifty sessions were held in 26 cities across all 17 regions of the province. More than 4000 seniors attended the sessions and 275 briefs were received from scientists and associations. Three themes were identified in the report published in 2008: supporting seniors and their caregivers, reinforcing the place of seniors in society, and preventing problems associated with aging (suicide, abuse, addictions). The main actions that I recommended included: Increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement to prevent poverty; Modifying pension plans and working conditions to allow for progressive retirement; Making a major investment in home care to provide access to services regardless of place of residence; Introducing an Autonomy Support Benefit and autonomy insurance program for financing services to support people with disabilities; Generalizing an Integrated Service Delivery Network providing services to frail older people; Better training for professionals in gerontology. I also recommended setting up a National Policy on Seniors to align all government departments and agencies, municipalities and the private sector around a vision, objectives and a set of actions for improving the integration of seniors in an aging society. This would contribute to a more equitable, interdependent and wiser society. Unfortunately, the Government did not support these recommendations. It is now time for scientists to get involved in leading policy on seniors and in the political arena.
This case study of community and university research partnerships utilizes previously developed principles for conducting research in the context of Native American communities to consider how partners understand and apply the principles in developing community-based participatory research partnerships to reduce health disparities. The 7 partnership projects are coordinated through a National Institutes of Health-funded center and involve a variety of tribal members, including both health care professionals and lay persons and native and nonnative university researchers. This article provides detailed examples of how these principles are applied to the projects and discusses the overarching and interrelated emergent themes of sharing power and building trust.
A recent addition to the debate about the benefits and harms of direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of medicines and pharmaceuticals is a growing critique of DTC marketing and sale of genetic tests. Academic and policy literatures exploring this issue have, however, tended to focus on the sale of genetic tests, paying rather less attention to the particular implications of advertising. The globalization of broadcast media and ever increasing access to the Internet mean that public exposure to advertising for medical technologies is a reality that national regulatory bodies will be hard pressed to constrain. Working through a case study detailing Myriad Genetics' 2002 pilot advertising campaign for their BRACAnalysis genetic susceptibility test for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, this paper highlights some of the diverse and often overlooked and unregulated approaches to DTC advertising, and the associated social, ethical and policy implications.
Unparalleled challenges currently face the Native American health care system. These challenges are a result of several factors, including (a) external pressures to reduce the overall cost of health care in the United States, (b) increased assumption of responsibility for delivery of health care by tribal governments, (c) decreased direct supervision by the Indian Health Service (IHS), (d) insufficient funding for Indian health care, and (e) increased interest of managed care to contract with tribal service units for health care. This article explores the opportunities and challenges facing Native American health care delivery and examines nursing policy issues pertinent to the current state of the IHS.