Background The town of Kettle Falls (pop. 1600) is a rural community located in the Northeastern corner of Washington State. Like a growing number of these communities in the U.S., Kettle Falls has a high prevalence of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). This is largely due to a high incidence of diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, and a diet high in fats and carbohydrates.
Objectives 1) To educate individuals at high-risk for CAD about the disease; 2) To explore the use of a group format for educating patients in a rural healthcare practice.
Methods A PowerPoint® slideshow on the cause, treatment, and prevention of CAD was developed and presented to a group of patients at the Kettle Falls clinic. Following the presentation, patients were given the opportunity for a clinic visit with a physician.
Results Six patients and two spouses attended. The presentation was well received and the group setting greatly facilitated questions and discussion. Two patients took advantage of the opportunity to visit privately with a physician.
Conclusion Through this project, individuals at high-risk were informed about CAD and how to prevent it. This initial trial showed that patients are receptive to, and well served by, learning in a group format. Having witnessed the feasibility and effectiveness of this method, the Kettle Falls healthcare workers plan to use the group format to provide future health education in their community.