Improved communication and less duplication across state programs is needed for more effective coordinated approaches to chronic disease prevention, according to a study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.
[Photo: Dr. Peg Allen]
The growing prevalence of chronic diseases with common risk factors has prompted more coordination of prevention practices. Researchers surveyed practitioners from state health departments across the U.S. from March-May 2013, asking them to rank their top benefits and challenges to coordinated chronic disease approaches.
Improved health outcomes, better responses to common risk factors, and reduced duplication of efforts were the most commonly cited benefits of the approach. Funding restrictions, competing priorities, and lack of communication were most often cited as challenges.
The research “demonstrates the need to improve communication across programs, enhance organizational support for coordinated approaches, and create benefits for organizational partners,” wrote the study’s lead author, Dr. Peg Allen, research assistant professor at the Brown School.
Information from the national sample may be useful for funding agencies, health departments, and training organizations to support transitions to coordinated prevention, the authors said.
The study was published in the May issue of Preventing Chronic Disease.