259904 Enhancing the rigor and relevance of Practice-based Research through Maps: Making PHAST Research “dynamic”

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 4:30 PM - 4:50 PM

Laura Hitchcock, JD , Assessment, Policy Development & Evaluation Unit, Public Health-Seattle & King County, Seattle, WA
Betty Bekemeier, PhD, MPH, FAAN , Psychosocial and Community Health, University of Washington School of Nursing, Seattle, WA
Greg Whitman , School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Background: The Institute of Medicine (2011) endorses an approach to practice-based research that engages practitioners in compiling, analyzing, and interpreting data. Measures in the Public Health Activities and Services Tracking (PHAST) data base are being reviewed and validated by public health practitioners in participating PBRN states. This research was conducted to assure rigor, utility, dissemination, and translation of PHAST-related studies by engaging practice partners in the research process.

Methods: On-line surveys were developed by the study team that include visual displays of PHAST-related measures on maps, spatially describing patterns and trends in LHD services and other spatially varying phenomena over time and among LHDs. Survey questions relate to validity checking, data quality, interpretation, additional research questions, and implications for practice. Data captured from on-line surveys are populated by investigators during live and telephone interactions or provided by practitioners themselves after reviewing preliminary findings.

Results: Practitioners appear to provide more feedback in response to the geographic visual display of preliminary findings than when data are provided by text and/or table. LHD representatives are quick to validate findings and identify or interpret anomalies with the data, when presented with geographic depictions of data in jurisdictions they are familiar with. Practitioners vary in their interpretation of preliminary findings and the practice implications they perceive, based on their practice setting and positional point of view.

Conclusions: The opportunity to visualize geographic relationships between variables offer an effective means for PBRN researchers to more actively engage with each other in assuring study rigor and translation.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the relationship between the engagement of PBRN partners in this research and the translation of findings to practice. 2. Describe 3 ways in which PBRN participants have specifically added rigor to PHAST study findings.

Keywords: Practice-Based Research, Local Public Health Agencies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: This session is being proposed as a part of a PANEL of 4. The following session abstracts are each being submitted and we intend for them to go together. • Examining changes in local health department WIC service provision and local “need”: The PHAST

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: For over 20 years, I have served as policy or Executive lead in government and nonprofit health and human services organizations. Since 2010, I have served as policy research specialist at Public Health – Seattle & King County and since 2011 have been our state’s public health Practice-based Research Network coordinator. I serve in advisory capacity to several of our PBRN studies, and am leading efforts to enhance dissemination of our PBRN research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.