Best practices in improving access to reliable health information in rural areas: A pilot study in cluj county, Romania
People in rural and remote settings have limited access to health-related information. The aim of this study is to pilot test an intervention designed to improve access to health information in rural areas by facilitating the availability of reliable health information sources, training librarians to manage and refer them to locals, and enhancing rural inhabitants' health information seeking behavior (HISB), self-efficacy in searching health information, and health literacy. Data was collected in 2010 and 2011 in four rural communities (two intervention and two controls) in Cluj county, Romania, using a nonrandomized control-group pretest-posttest study design. A questionnaire was used to assess the HISB, self-efficacy, health literacy, and attitudes towards local library of rural inhabitants 18 or older who consented to participate in the study (n=858). The Kruskal-Walis one-way variance was employed to determine the intervention's effectiveness. When compared to the control group, subjects in the intervention group reported a statistically significant increase in seeking health information (.000), self-efficacy in reading a book on health issues (.004), and understanding health information about their medical condition (.000), prospectuses (.000), and physician's indications (.000). Also, respondents in the intervention group reported higher frequencies of asking about (.001) and borrowing (.002) a health-related book from the local library, emphasizing the librarian's role in encouraging their health information seeking behavior (.001). As the results support the effectiveness of the proposed intervention, public health professionals should consider this strategy in their efforts to improve the access of rural inhabitants to health information.
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Identify barriers to accessing health information in rural and remote settings.
Identify appropriate intervention strategies designed to improve access to reliable health information in rural areas.
Assess the effectiveness of a program designed to increase access to health information in rural areas.
Discuss the scaling-up potential of the proposed intervention.
Keyword(s): Rural Communities, Health Information
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have participated in the development of this intervention designed to improve access to health information in rural and remote settings.
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.