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A randomized trial of three marketing strategies to disseminate a screening and brief alcohol intervention programme to general practitioners
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Professor Eileen Kaner
Professor Brian McAvoy
Dr Eilish Gilvarry
Lock CA, Kaner EFS, Heather N, McAvoy BR, Gilvarry E
British Journal of General Practice
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Background. Research findings are of little benefit to patients or society if they do not reach the audience they are intended to influence. A dissemination strategy is needed to target new findings at ifs user group and encourage a process of consideration and adoption or rejection. Aim, To evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different marketing strategies for the dissemination of a screening and brief alcohol intervention (SBI) programme to general practitioners (GPs). Method. Seven hundred and twenty-nine GPs, one per practice, from the former Northern and Yorkshire Regional Health Authority were randomly assigned to one of three marketing strategies: postal marketing (mailing a promotional brochure to GPs), telemarketing (following a script to market the programme over the telephone), and personal marketing (following the same script during face-to-face marketing at GPs' practices). GPs who took up the programme were asked if they would agree to use it. Outcome measures included the proportions of GPs who rook up the programme and agreement to use it. Results, Of the 614 GPs eligible for the study, 321 (52%) took the programme. There was a significant difference in the proportions of GPs from the three marketing strategies who took the programme (82% telemarketing, 68% personal marketing, and 22% postal marketing). Of the 315 GPs who took the programme and were eligible to use it, 128 (41%) agreed to use the programme for three months. GPs in the postal marketing group were more likely to agree to use the programme (55% postal marketing, 44% personal marketing, and 34% telemarketing). Personal marketing was the most effective overall dissemination strategy; however, economic analysis revealed that telemarketing was the most cost-effective strategy. Costs for dissemination per GP were: pound 13 telemarketing, pound 15 postal marketing, and pound 88 personal marketing. Conclusion. Telemarketing appeared to be the most cost-effective strategy for dissemination of SBI to GPs.
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