Community awareness of the availability of health services and information-seeking practices across a large health service district in rural Australia

David Buckley, Setchen Brimson, Jillian Reyment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As part of developing a communications strategy, Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD), a large public statutory healthcare provider in rural southeastern Australia, sorts to quantify community awareness of service availability and residents' information-seeking practices. A proportionally stratified 17-question survey was undertaken in 33 rural towns across the region (n?=?1174). The mean accuracy, with which members of the community identified service availability, was 70.4% (95%CI 69.2-71.5%) and kappa score 0.28 (95%CI 0.26-0.31%). There were wide spatial variations (township accuracy range, 43.5-90.9%). Public awareness of acute, maternity, and paediatric services was moderate, fair for oral health and poor for all other services, particularly mental health. Males and households without children were less aware. The survey examined people's information-seeking practices, sources from where they recalled information and used random effects logistic regression to model the association between the sources of information recall and service awareness after adjusting for demographics. The results provide valuable benchmarks for health services to compare their population's awareness and the demonstrated spatial, demographic, and information source data will enable patient groups, areas, and information media to be more accurately targeted to deliver healthcare information to the population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-74
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Healthcare Management
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

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