Building informed trust: developing an educational tool for injection practices and health insurance in Cambodia

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Abstract

Unnecessary injections increase the risk of blood-borne infections as well as pose an avoidable financial burden on patients. Perceptions in rural Cambodia that medical drug injections provide the best quality medical care have resulted in a large proportion of the population seeking injections across medical conditions. As private providers have a higher propensity to offer injections, patients pursue more expensive care contributing to a greater financial burden. This study aimed to use an educational intervention to improve participant knowledge about injections and health insurance in order to build informed trust in safer injection practices and health insurance. Using an experimental study design, villages in rural Cambodia were randomly assigned to an intervention or control arm. Community educational workshops were implemented to improve participant knowledge about injections and health insurance. Pre-and post-intervention assessments were used to record the resulting changes in knowledge and trust in providers. Statistical analysis of survey results from the two study arms showed increases of 16.8% and 15.9% in study participant knowledge regarding injections and health insurance, respectively. Trust in health insurance increased by 12.9%. However, trust in healthcare providers proved to be resilient with small to no change. These results show that knowledge about injection safety and health insurance, as well as trust in health insurance, can be increased through information dissemination in rural Cambodia. However, health information campaigns may not easily influence people’s trust in healthcare providers. Education of the general populace about safe injection practices and health insurance can contribute toward the country’s efforts to reach universal health coverage.

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