Neil Andersson

McGill University, Montréal, Quebec, Canada

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Publications (91)134.83 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background Antenatal care (ANC) attendance is a strong predictor of maternal outcomes. In Nigeria, government health planners at state level and below have limited access to population-based estimates of ANC coverage and factors associated with its use. A mixed methods study examined factors associated with the use of government ANC services in two states of Nigeria, and shared the findings with stakeholders.MethodsA quantitative household survey in Bauchi and Cross River states of Nigeria collected data from women aged 15¿49 years on ANC use during their last completed pregnancy and potentially associated factors including socio-economic conditions, exposure to domestic violence and local availability of services. Bivariate and multivariate analysis examined associations with having at least four government ANC visits. We collected qualitative data from 180 focus groups of women who discussed the survey findings and recommended solutions. We shared the findings with state, Local Government Authority, and community stakeholders to support evidence-based planning.Results40% of 7870 women in Bauchi and 46% of 7759 in Cross River had at least four government ANC visits. Women's education, urban residence, information from heath workers, help from family members, and household owning motorized transport were associated with ANC use in both states. Additional factors for women in Cross River included age above 18 years, being married or cohabiting, being less poor (having enough food during the last week), not experiencing intimate partner violence during the last year, and education of the household head. Factors for women in Bauchi were presence of government ANC services within their community and more than two previous pregnancies. Focus groups cited costly, poor quality, and inaccessible government services, and uncooperative partners as reasons for not attending ANC. Government and other stakeholders planned evidence-based interventions to increase ANC uptake.Conclusion Use of ANC services remains low in both states. The factors related to use of ANC services are consistent with those reported previously. Efforts to increase uptake of ANC should focus particularly on poor and uneducated women. Local solutions generated by discussion of the evidence with stakeholders could be more effective and sustainable than externally driven interventions.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 11/2014; 14(1):380. · 2.52 Impact Factor
  • Science (New York, N.Y.). 09/2014; 345(6202):1244-5.
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Vaccination is a key current prophylactic measure for occupational risk of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. This study measures HBV vaccination coverage among health personnel in a Mexican hospital, and identifies factors associated with completion of the vaccination schedule. Methods: A cross-sectional study in workers of the Acapulco General Hospital, Mexico. Interviews documented vaccination history against HBV, number of doses received, and date of vaccination. Health workers with complete vaccination were considered those with at least three doses of vaccine received at intervals of two months between first and second doses, and six months to a year in the third dose. Results: Some 52% of workers (436/834) reported at least one vaccination during their professional life and only 5.5% (46/834) completed the HBV vaccination schedule. Factors associated with completion were academic degree, perception of infection risk at work, and knowledge of vaccine efficacy and the need for a complete schedule. Conclusions: In line with hospitals in other studies, few hospital workers were fully vaccinated. Evidence from this study can inform efforts to increase HBV vaccination coverage.
    Gaceta medica de Mexico 09/2014; 150(5):395-402. · 0.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Poor people bear a disproportionate burden of malaria and prevention measures may not reach them well. A study carried out to examine the socio-economic factors associated with ownership and use of treated bed nets in Cross River and Bauchi States of Nigeria took place soon after campaigns to distribute treated bed nets.
    Malaria Journal 08/2014; 13(1):316. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Elected national representatives make decisions to fund health programmes, but may lack skills to interpret evidence on health-related topics. In 2011, we surveyed the 61 members of Botswana's Parliament about their use of epidemiological evidence, then provided two half-days of training about using evidence. We included the importance of counter-factual evidence, the number needed to treat, and unit costs of interventions. A further session in 2012 covered evidence about the HIV epidemic in Botswana and planning the best mix of interventions to reduce new HIV infections. The 27 respondents reported they lacked good quality, timely evidence, and had difficulty interpreting and using evidence. Thirty-six, including seven ministers, attended one or both trainings. They participated actively and their evaluation was positive. Our experience in Botswana could potentially be extended to other countries in the region to support evidence-based efforts to tackle the HIV epidemic.Journal of Public Health Policy advance online publication, 10 July 2014; doi:10.1057/jphp.2014.30.
    Journal of public health policy. 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper describes implementation research of an intervention in a complex HIV prevention randomised trial in southern Africa. Researchers collected stories of change attributed by 106 community members to an audio-drama edutainment intervention in 41 sites in Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland. The team analysed themes in the stories following a behaviour change model of conscious knowledge, attitudes, subjective norms, intention to change, agency, discussion and action (CASCADA). Storytellers attributed positive changes to the intervention in the areas of gender violence, multiple sexual partners, transactional and intergenerational sex and condom use. Their stories illustrate each of the steps in the CASCADA behaviour change model. As well as supporting an enabling environment for other interventions in the trial, the audio-drama also helped some participants to make personal changes. Collecting and discussing the stories were encouraging for the trial fieldworkers. Documenting the experiences of participants and framing the analysis of stories in an explicit behaviour change model allowed us to reflect on potential mechanisms and pathways through which the intervention impacts on individuals and communities. It helped in the design of the quantitative instruments to measure intermediate outcomes of the trial.
    AIDS Care 07/2014; · 1.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most HIV prevention strategies assume beneficiaries can act on their prevention decisions. But some people are unable to do so. They are 'choice-disabled'. Economic and educational interventions can reduce sexual violence, but there is less evidence that they can reduce HIV. There is little research on complex interventions in HIV prevention, yet all countries in southern Africa implement combination prevention programmes.Methods/design: The primary objective is to reduce HIV infections among women aged 15 to 29 years. Secondary objectives are reduction in gender violence and improvement in HIV-related knowledge, attitudes and practices among youth aged 15 to 29 years.A random sample of 77 census enumeration areas in three countries (Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland) was allocated randomly to three interventions, alone or in combination, in a factorial design stratified by country, HIV rates (above or below average for country), and urban/rural location. A baseline survey of youth aged 15 to 29 years provided cluster specific rates of HIV. All clusters continue existing prevention efforts and have a baseline and follow-up survey. Cluster is the unit of allocation, intervention and analysis, using generalised estimating equations, on an intention-to-treat basis.One intervention discusses evidence about choice disability with local HIV prevention services, to help them to serve the choice-disabled. Another discusses an eight-episode audio-docudrama with community groups, of all ages and both sexes, to generate endogenous strategies to reduce gender violence and develop an enabling environment. A third supports groups of women aged 18 to 25 years to build self-esteem and life skills and to set up small enterprises to generate income.A survey in all clusters after 3 years will measure outcomes, with interviewers unaware of group assignment of the clusters. The primary outcome is HIV infection in women aged 15 to 29 years. Secondary outcomes in youth aged 15 to 29 years are gender violence and protective knowledge, attitudes, subjective norms, intention to change, agency, discussion of prevention and practices related to HIV and gender violence.Trial registration: Trial registration number: ISRCTN28557578.
    Trials 08/2013; 14(1):274. · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To study prevalence at two time points and risk factors for experience of forced or coerced sex among school-going youth in 10 southern African countries. Cross-sectional surveys, by facilitated self-administered questionnaire, of in-school youth in 2003 and 2007. Schools serving representative communities in eight countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe) in 2003 and with Tanzania and South Africa added in 2007. Students aged 11-16 years present in the school classes. Experience of forced or coerced sex, perpetration of forced sex. In 2007, 19.6% (4432/25 840) of female students and 21.1% (4080/21 613) of male students aged 11-16 years reported they had experienced forced or coerced sex. Rates among 16-year-olds were 28.8% in females and 25.4% in males. Comparing the same schools in eight countries, in an analysis age standardised on the 2007 Botswana male sample, there was no significant decrease between 2003 and 2007 among females in any country and inconsistent changes among males. In multilevel analysis using generalised linear mixed model, individual-level risk factors for forced sex among female students were age over 13 years and insufficient food in the household; school-level factors were a lower proportion of students knowing about child rights and higher proportions experiencing or perpetrating forced sex; and community-level factors were a higher proportion of adults in favour of transactional sex and a higher rate of intimate partner violence. Male risk factors were similar. Some 4.7% of female students and 11.7% of male students reported they had perpetrated forced sex. Experience of forced sex was strongly associated with perpetration and other risk factors for perpetration were similar to those for victimisation. Forced or coerced sex remained common among female and male youth in 2007. Experience of sexual abuse in childhood is recognised to increase the risk of HIV infection. The association the authors found between forced sex and school-level factors suggests preventive interventions in schools could help to tackle the HIV epidemic in southern Africa.
    BMJ Open 01/2012; 2(2):e000754. · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Maldives faces challenges in the provision of health services to its population scattered across many small islands. The government commissioned two separate reproductive health surveys, in 1999 and 2004, to inform their efforts to improve reproductive and sexual health services. A stratified random sample of islands provided the study base for a cluster survey in 1999 and a follow-up of the same clusters in 2004. In 1999 the household survey enquired about relevant knowledge, attitudes and practices and views and experience of available reproductive health services, with a focus on women aged 15-49 years. The 2004 household survey included some of the same questions as in 1999, and also sought views of men aged 15-64 years. A separate survey about sexual and reproductive health covered 1141 unmarried youth aged 15-24 years. There were 4087 household respondents in 1999 and 4102 in 2004. The contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) for modern methods was 33% in 1999 and 34% in 2004. Antenatal care improved: more women in 2004 than in 1999 had at least four antenatal care visits (90.0% v 65.1%) and took iron supplements (86.7% v 49.6%) during their last pregnancy. The response rate for the youth survey was only 42% (varying from 100% in some islands to 12% in sites in the capital). The youth respondents had some knowledge gaps (one third did not know if people with HIV could look healthy and less than half thought condoms could protect against HIV), and some unhelpful attitudes about gender and reproductive health. The two household surveys were commissioned as separate entities, with different priorities and data capture methods, rather than being undertaken as a specific research study. The direct comparisons we could make indicated an unchanged CPR and improvements in antenatal care, with the Maldives ahead of the South Asia region for antenatal care. The low response rate in the youth survey limited interpretation of the findings. But the survey highlighted areas requiring attention. Surveys not undertaken primarily for research purposes have important limitations but can provide useful information.
    BMC Health Services Research 12/2011; 11 Suppl 2:S6. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The government of Pakistan introduced devolution in 2001. Responsibility for delivery of most health services passed from provincial to district governments. Two national surveys examined public opinions, use, and experience of health services in 2001 and 2004, to assess the impact of devolution on these services from the point of view of the public. A stratified random cluster sample drawn in 2001 and revisited in 2004 included households in all districts. Field teams administered a questionnaire covering views about available health services, use of government and private health services, and experience and satisfaction with the service. Focus groups in each community discussed reasons behind the findings, and district nazims (elected mayors) and administrators commented about implementation of devolution. Multivariate analysis, with an adjustment for clustering, examined changes over time, and associations with use and satisfaction with services in 2004. Few of 57,321 households interviewed in 2002 were satisfied with available government health services (23%), with a similar satisfaction (27%) among 53,960 households in 2004. Less households used government health services in 2004 (24%) than in 2002 (29%); the decrease was significant in the most populous province. In 2004, households were more likely to use government services if they were satisfied with the services, poorer, or less educated. The majority of users of government health services were satisfied; the increase from 63% to 67% between 2002 and 2004 was significant in two provinces. Satisfaction in 2004 was higher among users of private services (87%) or private unqualified practitioners (78%). Users of government services who received all medicines from the facility or who were given an explanation of their condition were more likely to be satisfied. Focus groups explained that people avoid government health services particularly because of bad treatment from staff, and unavailable or poor quality medicines. District nazims and administrators cited problems with implementation of devolution, especially with transfer of funds. Under devolution, the public did not experience improved government health services, but devolution was not fully implemented as intended. An ongoing social audit process could provide a basis for local and national accountability of health services.
    BMC Health Services Research 12/2011; 11 Suppl 2:S4. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In rebuilding devastated health services, the government of Afghanistan has provided access to basic services mainly by contracting with non-government organisations (NGOs), and more recently the Strengthening Mechanism (SM) of contracting with Provincial Health Offices. Community-based information about the public's views and experience of health services is scarce. Field teams visited households in a stratified random sample of 30 communities in two districts in Kabul province, with health services mainly provided either by an NGO or through the SM and administered a questionnaire about household views, use, and experience of health services, including payments for services and corruption. They later discussed the findings with separate community focus groups of men and women. We calculated weighted frequencies of views and experience of services and multivariate analysis examined the related factors. The survey covered 3283 households including 2845 recent health service users. Some 42% of households in the SM district and 57% in the NGO district rated available health services as good. Some 63% of households in the SM district (adjacent to Kabul) and 93% in the NGO district ordinarily used government health facilities. Service users rated private facilities more positively than government facilities. Government service users were more satisfied in urban facilities, if the household head was not educated, if they had enough food in the last week, and if they waited less than 30 minutes. Many households were unwilling to comment on corruption in health services; 15% in the SM district and 26% in the NGO district reported having been asked for an unofficial payment. Despite a policy of free services, one in seven users paid for treatment in government facilities, and three in four paid for medicine outside the facilities. Focus groups confirmed people knew payments were unofficial; they were afraid to talk about corruption. Households used government health services but preferred private services. The experience of service users was similar in the SM and NGO districts. People made unofficial payments in government facilities, whether SM or NGO run. Tackling corruption in health services is an important part of anti-corruption measures in Afghanistan.
    BMC Health Services Research 12/2011; 11 Suppl 2:S11. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Unofficial payments in health services around the world are widespread and as varied as the health systems in which they occur. We reviewed the main lessons from social audits of petty corruption in health services in South Asia (Bangladesh, Pakistan), Africa (Uganda and South Africa) and Europe (Baltic States). The social audits varied in purpose and scope. All covered representative sample communities and involved household interviews, focus group discussions, institutional reviews of health facilities, interviews with service providers and discussions with health authorities. Most audits questioned households about views on health services, perceived corruption in the services, and use of government and other health services. Questions to service users asked about making official and unofficial payments, amounts paid, service delivery indicators, and satisfaction with the service. Contextual differences between the countries affected the forms of petty corruption and factors related to it. Most households in all countries held negative views about government health services and many perceived these services as corrupt. There was little evidence that better off service users were more likely to make an unofficial payment, or that making such a payment was associated with better or quicker service; those who paid unofficially to health care workers were not more satisfied with the service. In South Asia, where we conducted repeated social audits, only a minority of households chose to use government health services and their use declined over time in favour of other providers. Focus groups indicated that reasons for avoiding government health services included the need to pay for supposedly free services and the non-availability of medicines in facilities, often perceived as due to diversion of the supplied medicines. Unofficial expenses for medical care represent a disproportionate cost for vulnerable families; the very people who need to make use of supposedly free government services, and are a barrier to the use of these services. Patient dissatisfaction due to petty corruption may contribute to abandonment of government health services. The social audits informed plans for tackling corruption in health services.
    BMC Health Services Research 12/2011; 11 Suppl 2:S12. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    Steven Mitchell, Anne Cockcroft, Neil Andersson
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    ABSTRACT: Maps can portray trends, patterns, and spatial differences that might be overlooked in tabular data and are now widely used in health research. Little has been reported about the process of using maps to communicate epidemiological findings. Population weighted raster maps show colour changes over the study area. Similar to the rasters of barometric pressure in a weather map, data are the health occurrence--a peak on the map represents a higher value of the indicator in question. The population relevance of each sentinel site, as determined in the stratified last stage random sample, combines with geography (inverse-distance weighting) to provide a population-weighted extension of each colour. This transforms the map to show population space rather than simply geographic space. Maps allowed discussion of strategies to reduce violence against women in a context of political sensitivity about quoting summary indicator figures. Time-series maps showed planners how experiences of health services had deteriorated despite a reform programme; where in a country HIV risk behaviours were improving; and how knowledge of an economic development programme quickly fell off across a region. Change maps highlighted where indicators were improving and where they were deteriorating. Maps of potential impact of interventions, based on multivariate modelling, displayed how partial and full implementation of programmes could improve outcomes across a country. Scale depends on context. To support local planning, district maps or local government authority maps of health indicators were more useful than national maps; but multinational maps of outcomes were more useful for regional institutions. Mapping was useful to illustrate in which districts enrolment in religious schools--a rare occurrence--was more prevalent. Population weighted raster maps can present social audit findings in an accessible and compelling way, increasing the use of evidence by planners with limited numeracy skills or little time to look at evidence. Maps complement epidemiological analysis, but they are not a substitute. Much less do they substitute for rigorous epidemiological designs, like randomised controlled trials.
    BMC Health Services Research 12/2011; 11 Suppl 2:S14. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    Neil Andersson
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    ABSTRACT: Social audits are typically observational studies, combining qualitative and quantitative uptake of evidence with consultative interpretation of results. This often falters on issues of causality because their cross-sectional design limits interpretation of time relations and separation out of other indirect associations.Social audits drawing on methods of randomised controlled cluster trials (RCCT) allow more certainty about causality. Randomisation means that exposure occurs independently of all events that precede it--it converts potential confounders and other covariates into random differences. In 2008, CIET social audits introduced randomisation of the knowledge translation component with subsequent measurement of impact in the changes introduced. This "proof of impact" generates an additional layer of evidence in a cost-effective way, providing implementation-ready solutions for planners.Pipeline planning is a social audit that incorporates stepped wedge RCCTs. From a listing of districts/communities as a sampling frame, individual entities (communities, towns, districts) are randomly assigned to waves of intervention. Measurement of the impact takes advantage of the delay occasioned by the reality that there are insufficient resources to implement everywhere at the same time. The impact in the first wave contrasts with the second wave, which in turn contrasts with a third wave, and so on until all have received the intervention. Provided care is taken to achieve reasonable balance in the random allocation of communities, towns or districts to the waves, the resulting analysis can be straightforward.Where there is sufficient management interest in and commitment to evidence, pipeline planning can be integrated in the roll-out of programmes where real time information can improve the pipeline. Not all interventions can be randomly allocated, however, and random differences can still distort measurement. Other issues include contamination of the subsequent waves, ambiguity of indicators, "participant effects" that result from lack of blinding and lack of placebos, ethics and, not least important, the skills to do pipeline planning correctly.
    BMC Health Services Research 12/2011; 11 Suppl 2:S16. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Four social audits in 1998, 2003, 2006 and 2009 identified actions that Nicaragua could take to reduce corruption and public perception in primary health care and other key services. In a 71-cluster sample, weighted according to the 1995 census and stratified by geographic region and settlement type, we audited the same five public services: health centres and health posts, public primary schools, municipal government, transit police and the courts. Some 6,000 households answered questions about perception and personal experience of unofficial and involuntary payments, payments without obtaining receipts or to the wrong person, and payments "to facilitate" services in municipal offices or courts. Additional questions covered complaints about corruption and confidence in the country's anti-corruption struggle. Logistic regression analyses helped clarify local variations and explanatory variables. Feedback to participants and the services at both national and local levels followed each social audit. Users' experience of corruption in health services, education and municipal government decreased. The wider population's perception of corruption in these sectors decreased also, but not as quickly. Progress among traffic police faltered between 2006 and 2009 and public perception of police corruption ticked upwards in parallel with drivers' experience. Users' experience of corruption in the courts worsened over the study period--with the possible exception of Managua between 2006 and 2009--but public perception of judicial corruption, after peaking in 2003, declined from then on. Confidence in the anti-corruption struggle grew from 50% to 60% between 2003 and 2009. Never more than 8% of respondents registered complaints about corruption.Factors associated with public perception of corruption were: personal experience of corruption, quality of the service itself, and the perception that municipal government takes community opinion into account and keeps people informed about how it uses public funds. Lowering citizens' perception of corruption in public services depends on reducing their experience of it, on improving service quality and access and--perhaps most importantly--on making citizens feel they are well-informed participants in the work of government.
    BMC Health Services Research 12/2011; 11 Suppl 2:S3. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    Steven Mitchell, Neil Andersson
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    ABSTRACT: After election in 1994, the South African government implemented national and regional programmes, such as the Wild Coast Spatial Development Initiative (SDI), to provoke economic growth and to decrease inequities. CIET measured development in the Wild Coast region across four linked cross-sectional surveys (1997-2007). The 2007 survey was an opportunity to look at inequities since the original 1997 baseline, and how such inequities affect access to health care. The 2000, 2004 and 2007 follow-up surveys revisited the communities of the 1997 baseline. Household-level multivariate analysis looked at development indicators and access to health in the context of inequities such as household crowding, access to protected sources of water, house roof construction, main food item purchased, and perception of community empowerment. Individual multivariate models accounted for age, sex, education and income earning opportunities. Overall access to protected sources of water increased since the baseline (from 20% in 1997 to 50% in 2007), yet households made of mud and grass, and households who bought basics as their main food item were still less likely to have protected sources of water. The most vulnerable, such as those with less education and less water and food security, were also less likely to have worked for wages leaving them with little chance of improving their standard of living (less education OR 0.59, 95%CI 0.37-0.94; less water security OR 0.67, 95%CI 0.48-0.93; less food security OR 0.43, 95%CI 0.29-0.64). People with less income were more likely to visit government services (among men OR 0.28, 95%CI 0.13-0.59; among women OR 0.33, 95%CI 0.20-0.54), reporting decision factors of cost and distance; users of private clinics sought out better service and medication. Lower food security and poorer house construction was also associated with women visiting government rather than private health services. Women with some formal education were nearly eight times more likely than women with no education to access health services for prevention rather than curative reasons (OR 7.65, 95%CI 4.10-14.25). While there have been some improvements, the Wild Coast region still falls well below provincial and national standards in key areas such as access to clean water and employment despite years of government-led investment. Inequities remain prominent, particularly around access to health services.
    BMC Health Services Research 12/2011; 11 Suppl 2:S5. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In Bangladesh, widespread dissatisfaction with government health services did not improve during the Health and Population Sector Programme (HPSP) reforms from 1998-2003. A 2003 national household survey documented public and health service users' views and experience. Attitudes and behaviour of health workers are central to quality of health services. To investigate whether the views of health workers influenced the reforms, we surveyed local health workers and held evidence-based discussions with local service managers and professional bodies. Some 1866 government health workers in facilities serving the household survey clusters completed a questionnaire about their views, experience, and problems as workers. Field teams discussed the findings from the household and health workers' surveys with local health service managers in five upazilas (administrative sub-districts) and with the Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) and Bangladesh Nurses Association (BNA). Nearly one half of the health workers (45%) reported difficulties fulfilling their duties, especially doctors, women, and younger workers. They cited inadequate supplies and infrastructure, bad behaviour of patients, and administrative problems. Many, especially doctors (74%), considered they were badly treated as employees. Nearly all said lack of medicines in government facilities was due to inadequate supply, not improved during the HPSP. Two thirds of doctors and nurses complained of bad behaviour of patients. A quarter of respondents thought quality of service had improved as a result of the HPSP.Local service managers and the BMA and BNA accepted patients had negative views and experiences, blaming inadequate resources, high patient loads, and patients' unrealistic expectations. They said doctors and nurses were demotivated by poor working conditions, unfair treatment, and lack of career progression; private and unqualified practitioners sought to please patients instead of giving medically appropriate care. The BMA considered it would be dangerous to attempt to train and register unqualified practitioners. The continuing dissatisfaction of health workers may have undermined the effectiveness of the HPSP. Presenting the views of the public and service users to health managers helped to focus discussions about quality of services. It is important to involve health workers in health services reforms.
    BMC Health Services Research 12/2011; 11 Suppl 2:S8. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    Neil Andersson
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    ABSTRACT: Health planners and managers make decisions based on their appreciation of causality. Social audits question the assumptions behind this and try to improve quality of available evidence. The method has its origin in the follow-up of Bhopal survivors in the 1980s, where "cluster cohorts" tracked health events over time. In social audit, a representative panel of sentinel sites are the framework to follow the impact of health programmes or reforms. The epidemiological backbone of social audit tackles causality in a calculated way, balancing computational aspects with appreciation of the limits of the science.Social audits share findings with planners at policy level, health services providers, and users in the household, where final decisions about use of public services rest. Sharing survey results with sample communities and service workers generates a second order of results through structured discussions. Aggregation of these evidence-based community-led solutions across a representative sample provides a rich substrate for decisions. This socialising of evidence for participatory action (SEPA) involves a different skill set but quality control and rigour are still important.Early social audits addressed settings without accepted sample frames, the fundamentals of reproducible questionnaires, and the logistics of data turnaround. Feedback of results to stakeholders was at CIET insistence--and at CIET expense. Later social audits included strong SEPA components. Recent and current social audits are institutionalising high level research methods in planning, incorporating randomisation and experimental designs in a rigorous approach to causality.The 25 years have provided a number of lessons. Social audit reduces the arbitrariness of planning decisions, and reduces the wastage of simply allocating resources the way they were in past years. But too much evidence easily exceeds the uptake capacity of decision takers. Political will of governments often did not match those of donors with interest conditioned by political cycles. Some reforms have a longer turnaround than the political cycle; short turnaround interventions can develop momentum. Experience and specialisation made social audit seem more simple than it is. The core of social audit, its mystique, is not easily taught or transferred. Yet teams in Mexico, Nicaragua, Canada, southern Africa, and Pakistan all have more than a decade of experience in social audit, their in-service training supported by a customised Masters programme.
    BMC Health Services Research 12/2011; 11 Suppl 2:S1. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nigeria continues to have high rates of maternal morbidity and mortality. This is partly associated with lack of adequate obstetric care, partly with high risks in pregnancy, including heavy work. We examined actionable risk factors and underlying determinants at community level in Bauchi and Cross River States of Nigeria, including several related to male responsibility in pregnancy. In 2009, field teams visited a stratified (urban/rural) last stage random sample of 180 enumeration areas drawn from the most recent censuses in each of Bauchi and Cross River states. A structured questionnaire administered in face-to-face interviews with women aged 15-49 years documented education, income, recent birth history, knowledge and attitudes related to safe birth, and deliveries in the last three years. Closed questions covered female genital mutilation, intimate partner violence (IPV) in the last year, IPV during the last pregnancy, work during the last pregnancy, and support during pregnancy. The outcome was complications in pregnancy and delivery (eclampsia, sepsis, bleeding) among survivors of childbirth in the last three years. We adjusted bivariate and multivariate analysis for clustering. The most consistent and prominent of 28 candidate risk factors and underlying determinants for non-fatal maternal morbidity was intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy (ORa 2.15, 95%CIca 1.43-3.24 in Bauchi and ORa 1.5, 95%CI 1.20-2.03 in Cross River). Other spouse-related factors in the multivariate model included not discussing pregnancy with the spouse and, independently, IPV in the last year. Shortage of food in the last week was a factor in both Bauchi (ORa 1.66, 95%CIca 1.22-2.26) and Cross River (ORa 1.32, 95%CIca 1.15-1.53). Female genital mutilation was a factor among less well to do Bauchi women (ORa 2.1, 95%CIca 1.39-3.17) and all Cross River women (ORa 1.23, 95%CIca 1.1-1.5). Enhancing clinical protocols and skills can only benefit women in Nigeria and elsewhere. But the violence women experience throughout their lives--genital mutilation, domestic violence, and steep power gradients--is accentuated through pregnancy and childbirth, when women are most vulnerable. IPV especially in pregnancy, women's fear of husbands or partners and not discussing pregnancy are all within men's capacity to change.
    BMC Health Services Research 12/2011; 11 Suppl 2:S7. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    Khalid Omer, Anne Cockcroft, Neil Andersson
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    ABSTRACT: The Bangladesh government implemented a pilot Hospital Improvement Initiative (HII) in five hospitals in Sylhet division between 1998 and 2003. This included management and behaviour change training for staff, waste disposal and procurement, and referral arrangements. Two linked cross-sectional surveys in 2000 and 2003 assessed the impact of the HII, assessing both patients' experience and satisfaction and public views and use of the hospitals. In each survey we asked 300 consecutive outpatients and a stratified random sample of 300 inpatients in the five hospitals about waiting and consultation time, use of an agent for admission, and satisfaction with privacy, cleanliness, and staff behaviour. The field teams observed cleanliness and privacy arrangements, and visited a sample of households in communities near the hospitals to ask about their opinions and use of the hospital services. Analysis examined changes over time in patients' experience and views. Multivariate analysis took account of other variables potentially associated with the outcomes. Survey managers discussed the survey findings with gender stratified focus groups in each sample community. Compared with 2000, an outpatient in three of the hospitals in 2003 was more likely to be seen within 10 minutes and for at least five minutes by the doctor, but outpatients were less likely to report receiving all the prescribed medicines from the hospital. In 2003, inpatients were more likely to have secured admission without using an agent. Although patients' satisfaction with several aspects of care improved, most changes were not statistically significant. Households in 2003 were significantly more likely to rate the hospitals as good than in 2000. Use of the hospitals did not change, except that more households used the medical college hospital for inpatient care in 2003. Focus groups confirmed criticisms of services and suggested improvements. Improvements in some aspects of patients' experience may have been due to the programme, but the decreased availability of medicines in government facilities across the country over the period also occurred in these hospitals. Monitoring patients' experience and satisfaction as well as public views and use of hospital services is feasible and useful for assessing service interventions.
    BMC Health Services Research 12/2011; 11 Suppl 2:S10. · 1.77 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
134.83 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • McGill University
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2004–2014
    • Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero
      Villa de Guerrero, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
  • 2011
    • Ifakara Health Institute
      Dār es Salām, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • 2004–2011
    • CIET
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2008
    • Istituto di Cura e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Basilicata
      Rionero in Vulture, Basilicate, Italy