Global Health Clinical Education: Conducting a Community Needs Assessment for Evidence Based Intervention


Global health is the study and practice of improving health and health equity for all people worldwide through international and interdisciplinary collaboration. Studies suggest that health professions students benefit significantly through participating in global health clinical courses. This exploratory qualitative study conducted a community needs assessment as part of a global health clinical course for health professional students. The clinical course allowed students to plan and implement a week-long clinic providing primary health care to families in remote villages in Central America. Students engaged with the researcher to conduct a community assessment. As part of the community assessment we interviewed Kuna to identify from within the community the needs of families to improve health outcomes. This assessment was designed to provide empirical evidence to support future long-term, sustainable improvements in the health of communities. Findings indicate a chasm between what providers see as problems and villagers’ identified priorities. Despite many unanticipated challenges, this research produced some modest and tentative recommendations proposed both for the community and global health clinical education.

Roberta F. Durham RN, Megan E. Levy RN