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Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Project Examples: Evidence-Based

Browse rural projects that meet this collection's highest level of evidence. For each example listed, a review study of the approach has been published.

Project ECHO® – Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes

Updated/reviewed February 2024

  • Need: Increase medical management knowledge for New Mexico primary care providers in order to provide care for the thousands of rural and underserved patients with hepatitis C, a chronic, complex condition that has high personal and public health costs when left untreated.
  • Intervention: Project leveraging an audiovisual platform to accomplish "moving knowledge, not patients" that used a "knowledge network learning loop" of disease-specific consultants and rural healthcare teams learning from each other and learning by providing direct patient care.
  • Results: In 18 months, the urban specialist appointment wait list decreased from 8 months to 2 weeks due to Hepatitis C patients receiving care from the project's participating primary care providers. Improved disease outcomes were demonstrated along with cost savings, including those associated with travel. The project model, now known as Project ECHO® – Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes — has evolved into a telementoring model used world-wide.

Project ENABLE (Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends)

Updated/reviewed February 2024

  • Need: To enhance palliative care access to rural patients with advanced cancer or heart failure and their family caregivers.
  • Intervention: Project ENABLE consists of: 1) an initial in-person palliative care consultation with a specialty-trained provider and 2) a semi-structured series of weekly, phone-delivered, nurse-led or palliative care coach/navigator sessions designed to help patients and their caregivers enhance their problem-solving, symptom management, and coping skills.
  • Results: Patients and caregivers report higher quality of life and lower rates of depression and (caregiver) burden.

UAMS IDHI High-Risk Pregnancy Program

Updated/reviewed January 2024

  • Need: Arkansas had high rates of low birthweight babies, and pregnant individuals in rural areas had difficulty accessing specialty obstetric care.
  • Intervention: The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) created the Institute for Digital Health & Innovation (IDHI) High-Risk Pregnancy Program to increase access to care for pregnant individuals in an effort to improve outcomes for high-risk pregnancies.
  • Results: The program has increased access to care and improved neonatal outcomes for rural Arkansas individuals through a variety of programs and has been recognized by various organizations as a model program.

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program

Updated/reviewed September 2023

  • Need: To help people with chronic conditions learn how to manage their health.
  • Intervention: A small-group 6-week workshop for individuals with chronic conditions to learn skills and strategies to manage their health.
  • Results: Participants have better health and quality of life, including reduction in pain, fatigue, and depression.

Mental Health First Aid

Updated/reviewed July 2023

  • Need: Rural areas face challenges in access to mental health services, including shortages of mental health providers.
  • Intervention: This 8-hour course trains rural community members to recognize mental health and substance use issues and learn how to help someone who is developing a mental health concern or experiencing a mental health crisis.
  • Results: Numerous studies of this method have found that course participants are better able and more likely to help others regarding mental health issues.

Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration (SPARC, Inc.®)

Updated/reviewed July 2023

  • Need: Population-based rates of adult vaccinations and cancer screenings are low. Delivery rates are lower still in low-income and minority communities.
  • Intervention: SPARC was established to develop and test new community-wide strategies to increase the delivery of clinical preventive services.
  • Results: Across the United States in both rural and urban communities, SPARC programs, which broaden the delivery of potentially life-saving preventive services, have been successfully launched, improving residents' health.

StrongPeople™ Program

Updated/reviewed July 2023

  • Need: Few older adults, particularly women and those in rural areas, participate in healthy living interventions.
  • Intervention: Health educators lead community-based healthy living classes, which include strength training, aerobic exercise, dietary skill building, and/or civic engagement, depending on the program.
  • Results: StrongPeople™ programs have been shown to improve weight, diet, physical activity, strength, cardiovascular health profile, physical function, pain, depression, and/or self-confidence in midlife and older adults.

Thomas Jefferson University's Physician Shortage Area Program

Added March 2023

  • Need: More rural doctors were needed in Pennsylvania, where nearly half of the state's physicians practice in just three large metropolitan counties.
  • Intervention: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University established the Physician Shortage Area Program (PSAP) in 1974 to recruit and support students who are from rural backgrounds and who wish to practice in rural communities.
  • Results: Approximately 80% of PSAP alumni have remained in rural family medicine for at least 20 to 25 years after graduation.

Helping Kids PROSPER

Updated/reviewed January 2023

  • Need: An approach to support sustained, quality delivery of evidence-based programs for youth and families in rural communities.
  • Intervention: PROSPER, a program delivery system, guides communities in implementing evidence-based programs that build youth competencies, improve family functioning, and prevent risky behaviors, particularly substance use.
  • Results: Youth in PROSPER communities reported delayed initiation of a variety of substances, lower levels of other behavioral problems, and improvements in family functioning and other life skills.

Domestic Violence Enhanced Home Visitation Program (DOVE)

Updated/reviewed March 2022

  • Need: To reduce violence against pregnant women and women with infants in rural Missouri.
  • Intervention: A tool for existing home visiting programs, DOVE is a brochure-based and safety planning intervention for women experiencing interpersonal violence.
  • Results: Women receiving the DOVE intervention saw a larger average decrease in number of violent incidents than women in the control group.