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Utilisation of strategic communication to create willingness to change work practices among primary care staff: a long-term follow-up

Journal article
Authors Helena Morténius
Bengt Fridlund
Bertil Marklund
Lars Palm
Amir Baigi
Published in Primary Health Care Research and Development
Volume 13
Issue 2
Pages 130-141
ISSN 1463-4236
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 130-141
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1017/S146342361100062...
Keywords communication barriers; health services research; information dissemination
Subject categories Family Medicine

Abstract

Aim: To evaluate the long-term utilisation of strategic communication as a factor of importance when changing work practices among primary care staff. Background: In many health care organisations, there is a gap between theory and practice. This gap hinders the provision of optimal evidence-based practice and, in the long term, is unfavourable for patient care. One way of overcoming this barrier is systematically structured communication between the scientific theoretical platform and clinical practice. Methods: This longitudinal evaluative study was conducted among a primary care staff cohort. Strategic communication was considered to be the intervention platform and included a network of ambassadors who acted as a component of the implementation. Measurements occurred 7 and 12 years after formation of the cohort. A questionnaire was used to obtain information from participants. In total, 846 employees (70%) agreed to take part in the study. After 12 years, the 352 individuals (60%) who had remained in the organisation were identified and followed up. Descriptive statistics and multivariate analysis were used to analyse the data. Findings: Continuous information contributed to significant improvements over time with respect to new ideas and the intention to change work practices. There was a statistically significant synergistic effect on the new way of thinking, that is, willingness to change work practices. During the final two years, the network of ambassadors had created a distinctive image for itself in the sense that primary care staff members were aware of it and its activities. This awareness was associated with a positive change with regard to new ways of thinking. More years of practice was inversely associated with willingness to change work practices. Strategic communication may lead to a scientific platform that promotes high-quality patient care by means of new methods and research findings.

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