Does a consumer training work? a follow-up survey of the PartecipaSalute training programs

Health Res Policy Syst. 2012 Sep 1:10:27. doi: 10.1186/1478-4505-10-27.


Background: When properly trained through training programs on epidemiology, clinical research and healthcare policy, members of patients'/consumers' organizations could be helpful for a patient-oriented healthcare system. Since 2006 the not for profit project PartecipaSalute has organized periodic editions of a training program for representatives of citizens'/patients' organizations. After five editions of this training program, a survey of the long-term satisfaction and the impact on activities has been carried out.

Methods: A 17-questions follow-up questionnaire has been developed. The sample comprised 99 people who had taken part in at least one program edition.

Results: The overall response rate was 89% (89 responders/99 participants). About 98% of participants expressed general satisfaction with the training program and with the knowledge gained. Medical and informative topics were rated better than technical ones for their usefulness (96% versus 86%). The results of the survey showed a strong impact of the training course on single participants, while a weak outcome on the activities of the organizations was reported.

Conclusions: The training program was positively rated, and improvements in personal knowledge were reported. Less impact was reported on organizations' activities. Participants showed a remarkable willingness to get more involved in healthcare decisions, and to boost their knowledge of health and research issues. The results show the importance of follow-up to understand the real value of training program and to better organize future programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Consumer Health Information / methods
  • Consumer Health Information / standards*
  • Education / methods
  • Education / standards*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Organizations*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires