Lessons learned from piloting an internet survey to nurse practitioners in Montana on alcohol abuse and education
This purpose of this research study was to explore the perceptions of rural providers about alcohol misuse services and related formal education. A web-based self-report survey was developed and piloted to NPs in Montana about how important it is for rural NPs to be proficient in providing care clients with Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD) and alcohol detoxification needs, their proficiency in providing related services, and formal education received in these areas. An invitational email with a hyperlink to the web-based survey was sent to 412 NPs in Montana through the use of a private marketing company over six launches. A total of five respondents started the survey and three completed it. Though the response rate was too small to reach significance, findings suggested that large scale future research replicating this survey would likely reveal important new information about rural health care that could inform policy and educational curriculum. Perceptions of proficiency were generally low yet all respondents agreed that rural NPs need to be proficient in providing AUD services and alcohol detoxification. Until this point, alcohol detoxification has been considered a specialty function. This appears to be new information that could impact policy and graduate nursing education curriculum for rural states. In addition, concerns for future research using internet surveys were discussed in the context of a low response for the survey administered in this study.