The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

5092.0: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 1:30 PM

Abstract #49078

Getting the community into community-oriented primary care

Robert L. Williams, MD, MPH, Family and Community Medicine, University of New Mexico, 2400 Tucker Ave. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131, 505-272-2165,

Community oriented primary care (COPC) is an innovative paradigm for primary care that relies heavily on public health approaches and that is founded on the concept that a community must be closely involved in decisions about its primary care. In the COPC model, the community has key roles in defining and prioritizing health needs and in planning interventions on those needs. A limitation of the model, however, has been the lack of practical methods for rapidly gathering community input in the context of busy primary care practices, particularly in medically underserved communities. This presentation will summarize a series of research projects aimed at developing qualitative tools for feasibly gathering community perspectives about health needs and resources in medically underserved communities. Qualitative methods used elsewhere in public health practice, such as key informant networks, focus groups, long interviews, and survey techniques were adapted with low cost approaches to gathering community input. When applied to this purpose, each method offered specific strengths, benefits and disadvantages. Cost data showed variation in marginal costs associated with the different approaches. COPC is the epitome of the medicine-public health initiative, linking public health tools with primary care practice. Wider application of the model will require development of tools for applying it in the current environment of resource restrictions, using public health tools. The results of this work show that qualitative methods can be feasibly adapted to everyday primary care settings in medically underserved communities to facilitate community input into needs assessment and planning.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

    Keywords: Community Participation, Community-Oriented Primary Care

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

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    The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA