A Student-Directed Community Cardiovascular Screening Project at a Regional Campus

  • William J. Crump Univeristy of Louisville School of Medicine Trover Campus at Baptist Health Madisonville
  • Ms. Emma C. Doyle
  • Mr. William R. Southall
  • Mr. Blake S. Edmonson
Keywords: Cardiovascular Disease, Rural Health, Community Screening, Medical Students

Abstract

Introduction

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an important threat to public health, especially in rural communities. Clinical medical students at a rural regional campus can be a valuable resource to plan and implement CVD risk factor case finding project in the host community.

Methods

Directed by a representative county advisory council and supervised by a regional dean, clinical medical students designed and implemented CVD screenings at several public locations, recording health history and measurements of blood glucose, total blood cholesterol, and blood pressure. Those screened with abnormal readings were directed to definitive care including the local student-directed free clinic. Students were surveyed using a Likert scale before and after participation to assess their confidence in executing a community health project. The Baptist Health Madisonville IRB approved the protocol as exempt and the authors have no conflicts of interest.

Results

Over a period of almost two years in 2017-2019, 572 participants were screened. The demographics reflected those of the entire county, except screening was focused on adults. High blood pressure was found in 43%, high glucose in 28%, and high cholesterol in 48%. These values were similar to published countywide prevalence proportions. The student pre- to post- increase in confidence was remarkable (p< 0.000).

Conclusions

Our results show that regional campus medical students directed by a representative county advisory council and supervised by a regional dean can successfully implement a community CVD screening effort. The students also expressed a dramatic increase in their confidence in designing and implementing such a project. Lessons learned are shared for consideration by those at other regional health campuses.

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Original Reports