Feasibility of Using Technology to Disseminate Evidence to Rural Nurses and Improve Patient Outcomes
Background: Rural African American women receive less frequent mammography screening and die of breast cancer at a higher rate than is seen in the general population. To overcome this disparity, it is necessary to assist rural providers in their efforts to influence women to obtain screening. Method: This study examined the feasibility of using distance education to disseminate knowledge about timely and appropriate mammography screening to rural nurses, using patient outcome data to evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention. Results: Overall, there was a decline in referrals and mammography screening, but the intervention group centers showed a smaller decline after the educational intervention than did the control group. Conclusion: The findings show the effect of dissemination of information and the feasibility of using patient outcome data for educational evaluation. Neighboring academic health centers and nursing schools should include in their mission the provision of educational programs for relatively isolated rural nurses.
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