Barbara Starfield

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (234)1167.83 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To determine the validity and reliability of the version of the Primary Care Assessment Tool for adult users, adapted for Argentina (known as AR-PCAT-AE). Two cross-sectional pilot studies were conducted among people over age 17, largely through self-administered questionnaires. Items that were equivalent to the original version of the PCAT and 13 others proposed for the instruments were analyzed. The factorial validity and reliability of the scores for each dimension were studied. The validity indicators were: factors that had three or more items with a factorial load of > 0.35, item-total correlation > 0.30, and interpretation of the solution according to the theoretical model. The factorial analysis yielded nine factors that explained 57.4% of the variability. Considering the pre-established criteria for validity, two items were excluded from the dimensions of continuity and comprehensiveness and six were added to comprehensiveness and cultural competency. In the dimensions, the percentage of questions with an item-total correlation of greater than 0.30 ranged from 67% to 100% and the Chronbach's (alpha) coefficient of internal consistency ranged from 0.44 to 0.90. The validity and reliability of the AR-PCAT-AE questionnaire are adequate, maintaining high equivalence with the original version. The process presented could be adopted in other contexts to advance the evaluation of primary health care functions with quality tools.
    Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública 01/2013; 33(1):30-9. · 0.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: There is emerging evidence that strong primary care achieves better health at lower costs. Although primary care can be measured, in many countries, including Austria, there is little understanding of primary care development. OBJECTIVE: Assessing the primary care development in Austria. METHODS: A primary care assessment tool developed by Barbara Starfield in 1998 was implemented in Austria. This tool defines 15 primary care characteristics and distinguishes between system and practice characteristics. Each characteristic was evaluated by six Austrian primary care experts and rated as 2 (high), 1 (intermediate) or 0 (low) points, respectively, to their primary care strength (maximum score: n = 30). RESULTS: Austria received 7 out of 30 points; no characteristic was rated as '2' but 8 were rated as '0'. Compared with the 13 previously assessed countries, Austria ranks 10th of 14 countries and is classified as a 'low primary care' country. CONCLUSION: This study provides the first evidence concerning primary care in Austria, benchmarking it as weak and in need of development. The practicable application of an existing assessment tool can be encouraging for other countries to generate evidence about their primary care system as well.
    Family Practice 11/2012; · 1.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To obtain versions of the Primary Care Assessment Tools (PCAT)-Facility version to evaluate primary care (PC) in the Spanish context, and to analyze its feasibility, reliability and validity. METHODS: Cultural adaptation was performed through the use of forward and backward translations into Spanish and Catalan, observations and opinions of a panel of experts, and cognitive interviews with target users (PC team managers). A pilot phase was carried out in a sample of 130 managers of PC teams in Catalonia. A post-test questionnaire was sent 4-5 months later to all 194 managers of PC teams in the Barcelona health region. Analysis of metric properties included: 1) description of items and verification of Likert assumptions, since domain scores are obtained by summing item scores; 2) reliability analysis (Cronbach's alpha coefficient, Pearson's correlation coefficient, test-retest analysis); and 3) validity analysis (expert panel, cognitive interviews, and convergent and discriminant validity). RESULTS: Substantial adaptation was required for the accessory section of the questionnaire, but less was required in PC domain measurements. Items were added to the comprehensiveness domain to reflect services usually available in Spain. The lowest Cronbach's alpha scores were found for Access (0.62) and Coordination (0.59 and 0.65), while values were >0.70 for the remaining domains. CONCLUSION: The Spanish version of the PCAT-Facility questionnaire is now available and shows adequate reliability and validity. The Spanish PCAT version will facilitate national and international comparisons of PC and analysis of the determinants of quality of service provision.
    Gaceta Sanitaria 08/2012; · 1.12 Impact Factor
  • Barbara Starfield
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    ABSTRACT: As of 2005, the literature on the benefits of primary care oriented health systems was consistent in showing greater effectiveness, greater efficiency, and greater equity. In the ensuing five years, nothing changed that conclusion, but there is now greater understanding of the mechanisms by which the benefits of primary care are achieved. We now know that, within certain bounds, neither the wealth of a country nor the total number of health personnel are related to health levels. What counts is the existence of key features of health policy (Primary Health Care): universal financial coverage under government control or regulation, attempts to distribute resources equitably, comprehensiveness of services, and low or no copayments for primary care services. All of these, in combination, produce better primary care: greater first contact access and use, more person-focused care over time, greater range of services available and provided when needed, and coordination of care. The evidence is no longer confined mainly to industrialized countries, as new studies show it to be the case in middle and lower income countries. The endorsements of the World Health Organization (in the form of the reports of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health and the World Health Report of 2008, as well a number of other international commissions, reflect the widespread acceptance of the importance of primary health care. Primary health care can now be measured and assessed; all innovations and enhancements in it must serve its essential features in order to be useful.
    Gaceta Sanitaria 03/2012; 26 Suppl 1:20-6. · 1.12 Impact Factor
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    Barbara Starfield, Karen Kinder
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    ABSTRACT: Multimorbidity is increasing in frequency. It can be quantitatively measured and is a major correlate of high use of health services resources of all types, especially over time. The ACG System for characterizing multimorbidity is the only widely used method that is based on combinations of different TYPES of diagnoses over time, rather than the presence or absence of particular conditions or numbers of conditions. It incorporates administrative data (as from claims forms or medical records) on all types of encounters and is not limited to diagnoses captured during hospitalizations or other places of encounter. It can be employed in any one or combination of analytic models, and can incorporate medication use if desired. It is being used in clinical care, management of health services resources, in health services research to control for degree of morbidity, and in understanding morbidity patterns over time. In addition to its research uses, it is being employed in many countries in various applications as a policy to better understand health needs of populations and tailor health services resources to health needs.
    Health Policy 09/2011; 103(1):3-8. · 1.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the reliability and validity of the Spanish version of the CHIP-CE/CRF. Cross-sectional study was conducted in a representative sample of primary school children in Spain. Children were administered the Spanish version of the CHIP-CE/CRF. The Achenbach Child Behavioral Checklist was given to parents. The overall response rate was 75% (n = 979). Internal consistency was >0.70 for 3 out of 5 domains, and the intraclass correlation coefficient for test-retest stability ranged from 0.69 to 0.80. Confirmatory factor analysis replicated the original model. Younger children scored higher in Satisfaction than older children. Girls scored lower in Comfort but higher in Risk Avoidance than boys. The Spanish version of the CHIP-CE/CRF has shown acceptable reliability and validity, similar to the properties of the original US version. Future studies should analyze the instrument's sensitivity to change.
    Quality of Life Research 08/2011; 21(5):909-14. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Primary care (PC) paediatricians are trained mainly in the hospital setting, with little contact with PC. This study aimed to find out what perceptions and experiences they have on the attributes of PC (first contact, comprehensiveness and continuity of care) that are assumed and performed by PC paediatricians. A qualitative study was performed based on focus groups and semi-structured individual interviews with paediatricians with pre-defined sociodemographic and speciality training characteristics. Two focus groups (5 and 4 people each) and 5 interviews were made. Participants responded to two questions: how would you explain your function as a primary care paediatrician? and what is your opinion on the relationship between primary care paediatricians and the specialists to whom your patients are referred? The conversations of the groups and interviews were recorded and transcribed, and a content analysis was performed. Paediatricians assume that PC must be comprehensive, and take into account the context of the child. Paediatricians declare a lack in their training and poor social and institutional recognition. Coordination with specialists and the transfer of information are not satisfactory. Helpful factors are personal knowledge, the shared training and the face-to-face clinical sessions. Despite their hospital-based training, paediatricians assume the attributes of PC. Difficulties in performing their function include poor adaptation of their training to PC, and little institutional and social recognition. Coordination with specialists is not satisfactory. Approaching these difficulties can help maintaining a high quality level in the care of the paediatric population.
    Anales de Pediatría 08/2011; 75(4):247-52. · 0.87 Impact Factor
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    Barbara Starfield
    Journal of epidemiology and community health 08/2011; 65(8):653-5. · 3.04 Impact Factor
  • B Starfield, J Gérvas, D Mangin
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    ABSTRACT: Health disparities, also known as health inequities, are systematic and potentially remediable differences in one or more aspects of health across population groups defined socially, economically, demographically, or geographically. This topic has been the subject of research stretching back at least decades. Reports and studies have delved into how inequities develop in different societies and, with particular regard to health services, in access to and financing of health systems. In this review, we consider empirical studies from the United States and elsewhere, and we focus on how one aspect of health systems, clinical care, contributes to maintaining systematic differences in health across population groups characterized by social disadvantage. We consider inequities in clinical care and the policies that influence them. We develop a framework for considering the structural and behavioral components of clinical care and review the existing literature for evidence that is likely to be generalizable across health systems over time. Starting with the assumption that health services, as one aspect of social services, ought to enhance equity in health care, we conclude with a discussion of threats to that role and what might be done about them.
    Annual Review of Public Health 04/2011; 33:89-106. · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT: June 2010 marked the 10th Anniversary of the foundation meeting of the International Society for Equity in Health (ISEqH). he formation of the Society was a bold statement, with ambitions to be a global body "to promote equity in health and health services internationally through education, research, publication, communication and charitable support"[1]. The Society particularly aimed to be an organisation that facilitated research on how better to understand and address inequities in health. The main activities of the Society have been a series of biannual conferences as well as the establishment of the International Journal for Equity in Health, the official (but independent) publication of the Society. This paper sets out to record some of the milestones of the Society drawing on the reflections of key researchers who attended the conferences as well as others. The history of the Society will help shape its future and how it responds to important issues facing all interested in global efforts to address continuing and unacceptable inequities in health.
    International Journal for Equity in Health 02/2011; 10:11. · 1.71 Impact Factor
  • Barbara Starfield
    Primary Health Care Research & Development 01/2011; 12(1):1-2.
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives Primary care (PC) paediatricians are trained mainly in the hospital setting, with little contact with PC. This study aimed to find out what perceptions and experiences they have on the attributes of PC (first contact, comprehensiveness and continuity of care) that are assumed and performed by PC paediatricians.
    Anales De Pediatria - AN PEDIATR. 01/2011; 75(4):247-252.
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    Barbara Starfield
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    ABSTRACT: Both patient-centered and person-focused care are important, but they are different. In contrast to patient-centered care (at least as described in the current literature with assessments that are visit-based), person-focused care is based on accumulated knowledge of people, which provides the basis for better recognition of health problems and needs over time and facilitates appropriate care for these needs in the context of other needs. That is, it specifically focuses on the whole person. Proposed enhancements and innovations to primary care do not appear to address person-focused care. Tools to assess person-focused care are available and deserve more widespread use in primary care.
    The Permanente journal 01/2011; 15(2):63-9.
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    ABSTRACT: The Primary Care Assessment Tool (PCAT) is an interesting set of tools for primary care research. A very short version could inform policy makers about consumer experiences with primary care (PC) through health surveys. This work aimed to investigate the validity and reliability of a selection of items from the child short edition (CS) of the PCAT. A 24 item questionnaire permitted the identification of a regular source of care and the assessment of the key attributes of first contact, ongoing care over time, coordination, services available and services received (comprehensiveness), and cultural competence. Structural validity, reliability, and construct validity were assessed using responses from 2,200 parents of a representative sample of the population aged 0 to 14 years in Catalonia (Spain) who participated in the 2006 Health Survey. Structural validity was analyzed using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses and reliability was assessed using Cronbach's alpha. Construct validity was assessed using linear regression analysis between PC experience scores and a measure of overall user satisfaction with healthcare services. A total of 2,095 (95.2%) parents provided useable responses on PC. After Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), the best fitting model was a 5-factor model in which the original dimensions of first contact and ongoing care were collapsed into one. The CFA also showed a second order factor onto which all domains except services available loaded (root mean square error of approximation = 0.000; comparative fit index = 1.00). Cronbach's alpha values for one of the original scales (first-contact) was poor (alpha < 0.50), but improved using the modified factor structure (alpha > 0.70). Scores on the scales were correlated with satisfaction with healthcare services (p < 0.01), thereby providing some preliminary evidence of construct validity. This very short questionnaire obtained from the PCAT-CE yields information about five attributes of PC and a summary score. It has shown evidence of validity and reliability for judgments about experiences with primary care overall. If space on surveys is at a premium, the instrument could be useful as a measure of PC experiences.
    BMC Public Health 01/2011; 11:285. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    Barbara Starfield
    International Journal for Equity in Health 01/2011; 10:15. · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    Barbara Starfield
    Journal of General Internal Medicine 08/2010; 25(8):758-9. · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    Barbara Starfield
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    ABSTRACT: Canada is, in many respects, culturally and economically similar to the United States, and until relatively recently, the two countries had similar health systems. However, since passage of the Canada Health Act in the 1970s, that nation's health statistics have become increasingly superior. Although the costs of Canada's health system are high by international standards, they are much lower than U.S. costs. This paper describes several factors likely to be responsible for Canada's better health at lower cost: universal financial coverage through a so-called single payer; features conducive to a strong primary care infrastructure; and provincial autonomy under general principles set by national law.
    Health Affairs 05/2010; 29(5):1030-6. · 4.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objectives of the study were to assess the reliability, and the content, construct, and convergent validity of the Spanish version of the CHIP-CE/PRF, to analyze parent-child agreement, and compare the results with those of the original U.S. version. Parents from a representative sample of children aged 6-12 years were selected from 9 primary schools in Barcelona. Test-retest reliability was assessed in a convenience subsample of parents from 2 schools. Parents completed the Spanish version of the CHIP-CE/PRF. The Achenbach Child Behavioural Checklist (CBCL) was administered to a convenience subsample. The overall response rate was 67% (n = 871). There was no floor effect. A ceiling effect was found in 4 subdomains. Reliability was acceptable at the domain level (internal consistency = 0.68-0.86; test-retest intraclass correlation coefficients = 0.69-0.85). Younger girls had better scores on Satisfaction and Achievement than older girls. Comfort domain score was lower (worse) in children with a probable mental health problem, with high effect size (ES = 1.45). The level of parent-child agreement was low (0.22-0.37). The results of this study suggest that the parent version of the Spanish CHIP-CE has acceptable psychometric properties although further research is needed to check reliability at sub-domain level. The CHIP-CE parent report form provides a comprehensive, psychometrically sound measure of health for Spanish children 6 to 12 years old. It can be a complementary perspective to the self-reported measure or an alternative when the child is unable to complete the questionnaire. In general, the results are similar to the original U.S. version.
    Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 01/2010; 8:78. · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    Barbara Starfield, Derelie Mangin
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    ABSTRACT: This discussion paper reflects on the pay-for-performance system in UK general practice - the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) - from an international viewpoint. The QOF intends to bring the best scientific evidence to bear on primary care practice. However, the QOF and patient-centred medicine are often at odds. Inadequacies and commercial bias in the creation of evidence make the scientific basis of the QOF questionable. The framework for the QOF does not align well with the scope of primary care, making its basis as a tool for quality measurement questionable. The extent of impact of the QOF on health outcomes and on equity of health outcomes needs examination. Attention to resolution of patients' problems is an important aim of quality improvement activities. Alternative modes of improving patient care may be better than the QOF.
    Quality in primary care 01/2010; 18(6):399-404.
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    ABSTRACT: The main goal of Hong Kong's publicly-funded general outpatient clinics (GOPCs) is to provide primary medical services for the financially vulnerable. The objective of the current study was to compare the primary care experiences of GOPC users and the users of care provided by private general practitioners (GPs) in Hong Kong via a territory-wide telephone survey. One thousand adults in Hong Kong aged 18 and above were interviewed by a telephone survey. The modified Chinese translated Primary Care Assessment Tool was used to collect data on respondents' primary care experience. Our results indicated that services provided by GOPC were more often used by female, older, poorer, chronically-ill and less educated population. GOPC participants were also more likely to have visited a specialist or used specialist services (69.7% vs. 52.0%; p < 0.001), although this difference in utilization of specialist services disappeared after adjusting for age (55.7% vs. 52.0%, p = 0.198). Analyses were also performed to asses the relationship between healthcare settings (GOPCs versus private GPs) and primary care quality. Private GP patients achieved higher overall PCAT scores largely due to better accessibility (Mean: 6.88 vs. 8.41, p < 0.001) and person-focused care (Mean: 8.37 vs. 11.69, p < 0.001). Our results showed that patients primarily receiving care from private GPs in Hong Kong reported better primary care experiences than those primarily receiving care from GOPCs. This was largely due to the greater accessibility and better interpersonal relationships offered by the private GPs. As most patients use both GOPCs and private GPs, their overall primary care experiences may not be as different as the findings of this study imply.
    BMC Public Health 01/2010; 10:397. · 2.08 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

8k Citations
534 Downloads
1,167.83 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1995–2012
    • Johns Hopkins University
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2011
    • University of Melbourne
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 1983–2011
    • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
      • Department of Health Policy and Management
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2010
    • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
      • The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 2009
    • University of Amsterdam
      • Faculty of Medicine AMC
      Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
    • The University of Manchester
      Manchester, England, United Kingdom
  • 2008
    • St George's, University of London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2007
    • Philadelphia University
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
    • Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 1991–2007
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      • Department of Health Policy and Management
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2005
    • University of Otago
      • Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences
      Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
  • 1999–2005
    • Harvard Medical School
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2003–2004
    • Fundação Oswaldo Cruz
      Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 2001
    • Rochester General Hospital
      • Division of Pediatrics
      Rochester, NY, United States
  • 1996
    • Consorcio Hospital General Universitario de Valencia
      • Departamento de Pediatría
      Valencia, Valencia, Spain
  • 1993
    • University of Pittsburgh
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States