The Effect of Printed Educational Material from the Coroner in Victoria, Australia, on Changing Aged Care Health Professional Practice: A Subscriber Survey

Authors


Address correspondence to Jonathon P. Ehsani, MPH, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 109 Observatory St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109. E-mail: jpehsani@umich.edu

Abstract

There are substantial knowledge and research gaps about the effects of printed educational material on professional practice. This study has examined whether the Residential Aged Care Coronial (RACC) Communiqué, an electronic newsletter of narrative case reports about lessons learned from deaths in residential aged care settings reported to the coroner in Victoria, Australia, prompted subscribers to initiate change in professional practice to improve care. An anonymous electronic survey was distributed to all registered subscribers of the RACC Communiqué to collect information about self-reported changes in professional practice, respondent characteristics, reading behavior, and an assessment of effect and content of the publication. Researchers from the Victoria Institute of Forensic Medicine, Victoria, Australia, conducted the study in 2008. Of 778 subscribers invited to participate in the study, 426 (54.8%) provided valid responses. The majority of respondents were aged 45 and older, female, and working at a residential aged care facility in a management role. Half of the survey respondents reported making a change to their professional practice as a result of reading the RACC Communiqué, with one-fifth of these respondents agreeing that they would not have made the self-reported change if they had not read this publication. These findings are greater than the previously reported small effects of education through printed education material and make an important contribution to understanding the use of printed education material for initiating professional practice change.

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