266935 Summative Evaluation of a Tribal Telemedicine Project

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tosha Zaback, MPH , Center for Healthy Communities, Dept of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
William E. Lambert, PhD , Center for Healthy Communities, Dept of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Mark Dignan, PhD , Markey Cancer Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Steven Mansberger, MD, MPH , Legacy Health System, Discoveries in Sight/Devers Eye Institute, Portland, OR
Thomas Becker, MD, PhD , Department of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Background: The Tribal Visual Impairment Prevention Program was designed to provide preliminary information regarding prevalence of eye diseases in NW American Indian communities, to measure the quality of life benefits of providing eyeglasses, and to measure the impact of non-mydriatic cameras and telemedicine on preventing blindness from diabetic retinopathy. The evaluation was designed to inform future research projects in our community-university partnership.

Methods: We conducted a summative evaluation of the project using qualitative methods to assess community-based research experiences, effectiveness of the research protocol, adoptability and diffusion of the project. We conducted document review, evaluated open-ended questionnaires from university researchers and one-on-one interviews with community members, study participants, community health representatives, researchers, partner organizations, and community research assistants.

Results: Overall, the project demonstrated a successful collaborative approach with the intervention communities. Both the university and community researchers anticipated the relationship would persevere through subsequent studies. The university had been approached by several rural communities to replicate the work and plans for future research into the cost-effectiveness of telemedicine in eye care were underway.

Recruitment, staffing, and technical issues slowed down the project initially, and could be minimized in future projects by enlisting the support of the tribes to hire staff and develop position descriptions and procedures. We also learned that prior to project implementation data tracking systems should be developed by university staff and then adapted by each site; technical issues should be planned for in the early phases. Importantly, future projects should address sustainability in the initial proposal phase.

Learning Areas:
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Describe indicator data used to measure success of key concepts related to the evaluation of the project.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a trained Program Evaluator at the Oregon Health & Science University, CDC-funded Prevention Research Center.
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.