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The alberta ambassador program: Delivering health technology assessment results to rural practitioners.

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  • Background: The purpose of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is to make the best possible summary of the evidence regarding specific health interventions in order to influence health care and policy decisions. The need for decision makers to find relevant HTA data when it is needed is a barrier to its usefulness. These barriers are highest in rural areas and amongst isolated practitioners. Methods: A multidisciplinary team developed an interactive case-based instructional strategy on the topic of chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) management using clinical evidence derived by HTA. The evidence for each of 18 CNCP interventions was distilled into single-sheet summaries. Clinicians and HTA specialists ('Ambassadors') conducted 11 two-hour interactive sessions on CNCP in eight of Alberta's nine health regions. Pre- and post-session evaluations were conducted. Results: The sessions were attended by 130 individuals representing 14 health and administrative disciplines. The ambassador model was well received. The use of content experts as ambassadors was highly rated. The educational strategy was judged to be effective. Awareness of the best evidence in CNCP management was increased. Although some participants reported practice changes as a result of the workshops, the program was not designed to measure changes in patient outcome. Conclusion: The ambassador program was successful in increasing awareness of the best evidence in CNCP management, and positively influenced treatment decisions. Its teaching methods were felt to be unique and innovative by participants. Its methods could be applied to other clinical content areas in order to increase the uptake of the results of HTA.

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  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
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  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Rashiq, S., Barton, P., Harstall, C., Schopflocher, D., & Taenzer, P. (2006). The alberta ambassador program: Delivering health technology assessment results to rural practitioners. BMC Medical Education, 6.