Assignment: Evidence-Based Action
Evidence-Based Action Plan #1
Implementing a mobile health unit (MHU) or van that offers community-based screening services for at-risk populations, such as female sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), and IV drug users could assist with reducing the transmission of primary and secondary syphilis. An MHU can be used as part of a community education, screening, and counselling program to serve urban and rural communities (Khanna & Narula, 2016). The MHU would have to be clearly identified as a free syphilis testing unit in order to make it more appealing to interested individuals who may approach. The health care providers working the mobile unit would be required to obtain a focused health history and patient contact information in order to provide screening results and the necessary follow-up instructions for any positive test results. Studies have shown that MHUs have been very helpful in detecting new cases of syphilis and beneficial to the at-risk population (Lipsitz et al., 2014). Also, MHUs may even increase patient compliance with the follow-up serologic testing that is required after being treated for syphilis, which may be a barrier for patients of low income or who lack transportation. This evidence-based intervention could be measured by conducting telephone interviews or surveys asking the patients if they found the mobile unit to be beneficial, would they return for future screening and testing, are they staying compliant with the recommended screening intervals, would they recommend the mobile unit to others. The long-term outcome of this intervention is to decrease incidence of primary and secondary syphilis, which can be evaluated and measured by collecting data on how many people were screened during the year and how many cases of early syphilis were diagnosed and treated.
Barrier to Action Plan #1
A potential barrier to having a successful mobile health unit would be the lack of financial resources to fund the mobile unit, supplies, and labor hours. Although, staff members may be willing to volunteer some time in order to make this community-based intervention a success for reducing primary and secondary syphilis.
Evidence-Based Action Plan #2
There are various methods of prevention that can be implemented at the community or individual level in order to lessen the incidence of primary and secondary syphilis. Condom use is one evidence-based intervention, when used properly and consistently, is an effective vehicle in reducing the transmission of syphilis in the community setting (Andrzejewski, Liddon, & Leonard, 2019). Making condoms easily accessible in the community may make the goal of reducing the incidence of syphilis more achievable. Condoms, both male and female, may be made available by placing them in dispensers by bus stops, shopping centers, and hotel lobbies. School-based condom programs can be implemented in high schools as one strategy for reducing the incidence of primary and secondary syphilis. These programs make condoms available to students in places like the school nurse office, school-based health centers, cafeterias, and vending machines (Andrzejewski et al., 2019). According to Andrzejewski et al. (2019), most programs provide condoms to students free of charge and are implemented concurrently with other sexual health promotion strategies, such as sexual health education. In one conducted study on condom availability programs in schools, a decrease in the incidence of chlamydia and gonorrhea was found; and additionally, students were in favor and very much aware of the availability of condoms in schools (Andrzejewski, 2019). For any individual who is sexually active, condoms remain a cheap and effective way to protect oneself against STDs such as syphilis (McCool-Myers, 2019). This evidence-based intervention could be measured by conducting telephone interviews or sending out surveys or questionnaires to collect data on the following: how often do they use condoms, how the general public or students views the availability of condoms in the public and school settings, their level of comfort buying condoms in a store, how likely are they to use a condom from a dispenser, how often have they used condoms from a dispenser, and level of awareness of condom programs.
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