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Service-learning partnerships: Features that promote transformational and sustainable rural and remote health partnerships and services.

Jones, Debra; McAllister, Lindy; Dyson, Robert; Lyle, David.
Aust J Rural Health; 26(2): 80-85, 2018 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | 2018 | ID: mdl-29105870
Resumo: OBJECTIVE: To describe features that promote transformational and sustainable community engaged health partnerships and services in rural and remote Australian locations. DESIGN: A pragmatic qualitative study using focus groups and individual semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed using four stages of data comparison. SETTING: Far west New South Wales, Australia. The health partnership, initiated by primary school principals in 2008, aimed to address allied health service inequities experienced by regional children. A service-learning program was developed, aligning allied health student placements to student-led services. The program has been operational since 2009. PARTICIPANTS: Community participants included school principals (n = 7) and senior managers (n = 2) from local facilitating agencies. Campus participants included allied health students (n = 10) and academics (n = 2), one rurally located with student supervision responsibility and one metropolitan located with a strategic partnership role. MEASURES: All data were collected by an independent researcher. Four stages of data comparison were undertaken. A thematic analysis was conducted and six key features identified through Stage Four comparison, a comparison across the findings from discrete community and campus groups, reflecting transformational community engagement were identified. RESULTS: These six features are: (i) identifying and responding to community need, (ii) providing services of value, (iii) community leadership and innovation, (iv) reputation and trust, (v) consistency, and (vi) knowledge sharing and program adaptation. CONCLUSION: We propose that these features contributed to the transformational engagement of community and university participants. These features can inform health sector approaches to community engagement, enhancing rural and remote service accessibility, acceptability, and sustainability outcomes.