The STD Education and Training Center of South Texas will provide education and resources for primary health care professionals in South Texas serving an economically disadvantages, largely Mexican-American population.
Specific Aims : 1) to determine the practices and educational needs of primary care professionals in regard to prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases; 2) to develop interventions which teach practitioners to diagnose, treat and report STDs; to identify social, cultural, age- and gender-related determinants of patients' risk behavior; and to counsel patients effectively to reduce risk and comply with treatment objectives; 3) to facilitate the transfer of information between the basic science, clinical and behavioral research components of the STD center and local medical communities; 4) to encourage the clinicians' role as resource for health prevention education in the community, i.e., through schools, community advocacy groups, etc. 5) to design reproducible, practical methods of evaluating the effect of clinician intervention on patient populations. The effectiveness of two approaches to educating primary care practitioners in South Texas will be evaluated. Each presents diagnostic and therapeutic standards for STD prevention and treatment, and emphasizes the practitioners in South Texas will be evaluated. Each presents diagnostic and therapeutic standards for STD prevention and treatment, and emphasizes the practitioner's role in counseling patients about disease prevention. In addition, practitioners will be encouraged to take a leadership role in STD prevention among adolescents through involvement as resources in local public and private schools. Approach I is an enhanced traditional continuing education seminar for physicians in three types of local areas: urban, rural and paired U.S.- Mexican border towns. Approach II is a non-traditional, skills-oriented series of interventions. Through detailed, pre- and post-intervention questionnaires, all subjects will be surveyed to determine changes in knowledge, attitudes, diagnostic, treatment and counseling skills and self- efficacy over a three-year period, and results will be analyzed by geographic area, professional training, age, gender, work environment and ethnicity. Results of Approach I, Approach IIa (experimental) and IIb (control group) will be compared. Other measures will include reported index patient interviews, number and kind of STDs reported, laboratory tests ordered for possible infection, calls to consulting service and school consultations. An STD Resource Center will provide support for developing, evaluating and distributing educational materials and a consultant service for the region.
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