[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is most adversely affected in cancer patients between diagnosis and the end of chemotherapy. The aim of the Complementary Nursing in Gynecologic Oncology (CONGO) study is to assess the effectiveness of a complex nursing care intervention of CAM to increase HRQoL in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
CONGO is a prospective partially randomized patient preference (PRPP) trial including adult women diagnosed with breast and gynecologic cancer starting a new chemotherapy regimen. Patients without strong preferences for CAM will be randomized to usual nursing care or complex nursing care; those patients with strong preferences will be allowed their choice. The intervention consists of three interacting and intertwined elements: CAM nursing intervention packet, counseling on CAM using a resource-oriented approach and evidence-based informational material on CAM. Primary outcome data on participants' HRQoL will be collected from baseline until the end of treatment and long-term follow-up using the EORTC-QLQ-C30. Secondary outcomes include nausea, fatigue, pain, anxiety/depression, social support, self-efficacy, patient competence, spiritual wellbeing, and satisfaction with care. Accompanying research on economic outcomes as well as a mixed-methods process evaluation will be conducted. A total of 590 patients (236 patients in the randomized part of the study and 354 patients in the observational part of the study) will be recruited in the two outpatient clinics. The first analysis step will be the intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis of the randomized part of the trial. A linear mixed model will be used to compare the continuous primary endpoint between the intervention and control arm of the randomized group. The observational part of the trial will be analyzed descriptively. External validity will be assessed by comparing randomized with nonrandomized patients.
Cancer patients are increasingly using CAM as supportive cancer care, however, a patient-centered model of care that includes CAM for the patient during chemotherapy still needs to be evaluated. This protocol has been designed to test if the effects of the intervention go beyond potential benefits in quality-of-life outcomes.
German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS), DRKS00006056 (15 April 2014).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Current research emphasizes the high prevalence and costs of low back pain (LBP). The STarT Back Tool was designed to support primary care decision making for treatment by helping to determine the treatment prognosis of patients with non-specific low back pain. The German version is the STarT-G. The cross-cultural translation of the tool followed a structured and widely accepted process but to date it was only partially validated with a small sample.
The aim of the study was to test the psychometric properties construct validity, discriminative ability, internal consistency and test-retest-reliability of the STarT-G and to compare them with values given for the original English version.
A consecutive cohort study with a two-week retest was conducted among patients with non-specific LBP, aged 18 to 60 years, from primary care practices. Questionnaires were collected before the first consultation, and two weeks later by post, using the following reference standards: the Roland and Morris disability questionnaire, the Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia, the Pain Catastrophizing Scale and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Psychometric properties examined included the tool’s discriminative abilities, whether the psychosocial subscale was one factor, internal consistency, item redundancy, test-retest reliability and floor and ceiling effects.
There were 228 patients recruited with a mean age of 42.2 (SD 11.0) years, and 53 % were female. The areas under the curve (AUC) for discriminative ability ranged from 0.70 (STarT-G Subscale - Pain Catastrophizing Scale; CI95 0.63, 0.78) to 0.77 (STarT-G Total - Composite reference standard, CI95 0.60, 0.94). Factor loadings ranged from 0.49 to 0.74. Cronbach’s alpha testing the internal consistency and redundancy for the total/subscale scores were α = 0.52/0.55 respectively. The STarT-G test-retest reliability Kappa values for the total/subscale scores were 0.67/0.68 respectively. No floor or ceiling effects were present.
The STarT-G shows acceptable psychometric properties although not in exact agreement with the original English version. The items previously regarded as a psychosocial subscale may be better seen as an index of different individual psychosocial constructs. The relevance of using the tool at the point of consultation should be further examined.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Research on inequities in access to health care among asylum-seekers has focused on disparities between asylum-seekers and resident populations, but little attention has been paid to potential inequities in access to care within the group of asylum-seekers. We aimed to analyse the principles of horizontal equity (i.e., equal access for equal need irrespective of socioeconomic status, SES) and vertical equity (higher allocation of resources to those with higher need) among asylum-seekers in Germany.
We performed a secondary exploratory analysis on cross-sectional data obtained from a population-based questionnaire survey among all asylum-seekers (aged 18 or above) registered in three administrative districts in Germany during the three-month study period (N = 1017). Data were collected on health care access (health care utilisation of four types of services and unmet medical need), health care need (approximated by sex, age and self-rated health status), and SES (highest educational attainment and subjective social status, SSS). We calculated odds ratios and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) in multiple logistic regression models to analyse associations between SES indicators and access to health care under control of need.
We contacted 60.4 % (614) of the total asylum-seekers population, of which 25.4 % (N = 156) participated in the study. Educational attainment showed no significant effect on health care access in crude models, but was positively associated with utilisation of psychotherapists and hospital admissions in adjusted models. Higher SSS was positively associated with health care utilisation of all types of services. The odds of hospitals admissions for asylum-seekers in the medium and highest SSS category were 3.18 times [1.06, 9.59] and 1.6 times [0.49, 5.23] the odds of those in the lowest SSS category. After controlling for need variables none of the SES indicators were significantly associated with measures of access to care, but a positive association remained, indicating higher utilisation of health care among asylum-seekers with higher SES. Age, sex or general health status were the only significant predictors of health care utilisation in fully adjusted models. The adjusted odds of reporting unmet medical needs among asylum-seekers with “fair/bad/very bad” health status were 2.16 times [0.84, 5.59] the odds of those with “good/very good” health status.
Our findings revealed that utilisation of health services among asylum-seekers is associated with higher need (vertical equity met). Horizontal equity was met with respect to educational attainment for most outcomes, but a social gradient in health care utilisation was observed across SSS. Further confirmatory research is needed, especially on potential inequities in unmet medical need and on measurements of SES among asylum-seekers.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12913-015-1156-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
BMC Health Services Research 11/2015; 15(1). DOI:10.1186/s12913-015-1156-x · 1.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
The German National Disease Management Guideline (NDMG) on chronic heart failure (CHF) derived nine clinical quality indicators (QIs) to enable assessment of quality of health care in patients with CHF. These QIs epitomize an evidence-based and somatic point of view of guided treatment, but little is known about the experiences and views of patients with their guideline-based treatment across multiple health care sectors.
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore patient perspectives on guided treatment of CHF across multiple health care sectors. Furthermore, it was investigated to what extent patient perspectives are represented by the QIs of the German NDMG.
Using a qualitative approach, semistructured interviews were carried out with 17 CHF patients. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.
Patient-identified needs focused primarily on aspects like the doctor-patient relationship, communication, quality of individual-tailored information, and professional advice. Patients perceived shortcomings in processes of care such as communication and cooperation across health care sectors, especially at the transition between hospital and outpatient care.
From the patient perspectives, the QIs do represent relevant somatic and clinical aims for quality measurement. However, deficits were identified, especially related to communication and cooperation across health care sectors. Given the fact that the inclusion of patient perspectives in quality improvement processes provides an important contribution to patient-centered health care, possible approaches for QI development such as direct and indirect patient involvement or generic vs disease-specific patient-related QIs should be the subject of future discussions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and objective:
The STarT Back stratified primary care approach has demonstrated clinical and cost effectiveness in the UK, and is commonly used by General Practitioners (GPs). However, it remains unknown how this approach could be implemented into the German healthcare system. The aim of this study was therefore to explore the views and perceptions of German GPs in respect to using a stratified primary care for low back pain (LBP).
A 90-minute think-tank workshop was conducted with 14 male and five female GPs, during which the STarT-Back-Screening-Tool (SBST) and related research evidence was presented. This was followed by two focus groups, based on a semi-structured interview guideline to identify potential implementation barriers and opportunities. Discussions were audiotaped, transcribed and coded using a content analysis approach.
For the three deductively developed main themes, 15 subthemes emerged: (1) application of the SBST, with the following subthemes: which health profession should administer it, patients known to the GP practice, the reason for the GP consultation, scoring the tool, the tool format, and the anticipated impact on GP practice; (2) psychologically informed physiotherapy, with subthemes including: provision by a physiotherapist, anticipated impact, the skills of physiotherapists, management of patients with severe psychosocial problems, referral and remuneration; (3) the management of low-risk patients, with subthemes including: concern about the appropriate advising health professional, information and media, length of consultation, and local exercise venues.
The attitudes of GPs towards stratified primary care for LBP indicated positive support for pilot-testing in Germany. However, there were mixed reactions to the ability of German physiotherapists to manage high-risk patients and handle their complex clinical needs. GPs also mentioned practical difficulties in providing extended advice to low-risk patients, which nevertheless could be addressed by involvement of specifically trained medical assistants.
PLoS ONE 08/2015; 10(8):e0136119. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0136119 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hintergrund In der kommunalen Gesundheitsförderung haben Hausärzte eine zunehmend wichtige Bedeutung. Bislang ist wenig bekannt, wieweit Konzepte der Gesundheitsförderung in der Praxis umgesetzt werden bzw. der Hausarzt als Akteur in die Prozesse der kommunalen Gesundheitsförderung integriert ist. Ziel der vorliegenden Studie ist es darum, zu erfahren, welche Rolle Hausärzte innerhalb der kommunalen Gesundheitsförderung aus ihrer Sicht bereits einnehmen und welches Verbesserungspotential dabei besteht. Methodik Innerhalb eines qualitativen Studienansatzes wurden 19 semistrukturierte Telefoninterviews durchgeführt, transkribiert und qualitativ-inhaltsanalytisch nach Mayring ausgewertet. Ergebnisse Die Befragten sehen v. a. in der Vernetzung mit kommunalen Einrichtungen in verschiedenen Settings eine gute Möglichkeit, Hausärzte in die kommunale Gesundheitsförderung zu integrieren. Dabei werden v. a. die Settings Kindergarten und Schule sowie die betriebliche Gesundheitsförderung genannt. Hinderlich für eine stärkere Anbindung des Hausarztes in der Gesundheitsförderung sind dabei Zeitmangel und eine unzureichende Vergütung. Schlussfolgerung Hausärzte spielen eine wichtige Rolle für das nachhaltige Gelingen einer kommunalen Gesundheitsförderung, aufgrund von wahrgenommenen Barrieren wird diese aber häufig nur unzureichend ausgefüllt. Politische Rahmenbedingungen sollten Prävention und Gesundheitsförderung auch im hausärztlichen Kontext stärken. Die Rollen der einzelnen Akteure sollten dabei genauer definiert werden, sowie ausreichende Ressourcen zur Verfügung gestellt werden. Zukünftige Forschungen sollten Kooperationsmöglichkeiten von Hausärzten und der Gemeinde genauer untersuchen, um Bedingungen für eine nachhaltig erfolgreiche Kooperation zu identifizieren.
Prävention und Gesundheitsförderung 05/2015; 10(2). DOI:10.1007/s11553-015-0486-1
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Nonspecific low back pain (LBP) is a common reason for accessing primary care. Manual therapy (MT) may be an effective treatment, but data from clinical studies including relevant subgroups and clinical settings are sparse. The objective of this article is to describe the protocol of a study that will measure whether an MT protocol provided by general medical practitioners will lead to a faster pain reduction in patients with nonspecific LBP than does standard medical care. Methods/Design: The study is an experimental pre-/postintervention design. The intervention consists of add-on MT treatment by general medical practitioners who have received MT training but are otherwise inexperienced in mobilization techniques. Participating general medical practitioners (n = 10) will consecutively recruit and treat patients before and after their training, serving as their own internal controls. The primary end point is a combined outcome assessing change in pain score over days 0 to 3 and time until pain is reduced by 2 points on an 11-point numeric pain scale and painkiller use is stopped. Secondary outcomes are patients' functional capacities assessed using a questionnaire, amount of sick leave taken, patient satisfaction, and referrals for further treatment. Trial registration: German clinical trials register: DRKS-ID DRKS00003240.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. In 2010 Manual Medicine (MM) was the second most common additional qualification among physicians in Germany, which is recommended to be used in several guidelines. Aim of this analysis was to raise the amount of information on MM related injuries (MMri) experienced by physicians at any point of their career while applying MM. Methods. Data on MMri of a questionnaire that was used to gain first insights into MM in Germany from a health services research perspective was analysed. Results. A total of 301 physicians (20% female) participated in this study. The participants’ mean age was 46. 11% of the participants experienced some kind of MMri during their career as a MM provider. In the three worst cases these MMri were fractures and therefore classified as moderate. Mild MMri were joint dysfunction syndromes (), distortions of fingers (), and shoulder pain (). Subgroup analyses showed no significant differences in the rate of MMri when comparing gender, provider organizations for postgraduate MM courses, and medical disciplines. Conclusion. Our analysis shows risks for providers of MM. As this analysis suffers from the risk of recall bias, future studies should be performed to get more insights into this aspect of MM.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 03/2015; 2015:1-4. DOI:10.1155/2015/507051 · 1.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is an international consensus that quality indicators (QIs) of health care ought to represent patient-relevant aspects. Therefore, patient involvement in the development process is essential. However, there is no methodological gold standard for involving patients in QI development. The aim of this study is to explore experts' views on the representation of patient-relevant aspects in the QI development process using the QIs developed in the context of the German National Disease Management Guideline for Heart Failure as an example.
Semi-structured, open telephone interviews were conducted with 15 German experts (patient representatives, physicians, researchers, and methodologists involved in guideline development or quality assessment). Interview themes were the relevance of the exemplary set of QIs for patients, as well as the legitimacy of, competence of, and collaboration with the patient representative who participated in the development process. Interviews were fully transcribed and content analyzed. Deductive categories derived from the research questions were supplemented by inductively formed categories during the review of the interview material.
The qualitative analysis suggests a discrepancy between the guidelines' QIs and those relevant to patients from an expert's point of view, such as physician-patient communication and quality of counseling. Experts reported only minor communication and cooperation problems while working together in the guideline/QI development team. Concerns existed, for example, regarding the recruitment of patient representatives for diseases without self-help organizations, the financing of patient representation, and the training of patient representatives. Only few potential strategies for improving the process of patient involvement were mentioned.
Integrating the patients' perspectives through the recruitment of a patient representative to participate in the development team was well established and broadly accepted. However, experts stated that the finally selected QIs represent only a small part of the patient-relevant aspects of medical care. According to the experts' perceptions, the current processes provide a very limited scope for integrating the patients' perspectives in a more extensive way. Supplementing the set of "conventional" QIs with additional, separately developed, "patient-side" QIs might help to include patient priorities in quality measurement.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There are more than 100,000 asylum seekers registered in Germany, who are granted limited access to health services. This study aims to provide a systematic overview of the empirical literature on the health status of and health-care provision to asylum seekers in Germany in order to consolidate knowledge, avoid scientific redundance, and identify research gaps.
A systematic review and evidence mapping of empirical literature on the health status of and health-care provision to asylum seekers in Germany will be performed. We will apply a three-tiered search strategy: 1. search in databases (PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science, IBSS, Sociological Abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts, CINAHL, Sowiport, Social Sciences Citation Index, ASSIA, MedPilot, DNB), dissertation and theses databases, and the internet (Google); 2. screening references of included studies; 3. contacting authors and civil society organizations for grey literature. Included will be studies which report quantitative and/or qualitative data or review articles on asylum seekers in Germany, published in German or English language. Outcome measures will include physical, mental, or social well-being, and all aspects of health-care provision (access, availability, affordability, and quality). Search results will be screened for eligibility by screening titles, abstracts and full texts. Data extraction comprises information on study characteristics, research aims, and domains of health or health-care services analyzed. The quality of studies will be appraised and documented by appropriate assessment tools. A descriptive evidence map will be drawn by categorizing all included articles by research design and the health conditions and/or domains of health-care provision analyzed. The body of evidence will be evaluated, and a narrative evidence synthesis will be performed by means of a multi-level approach, whereby quantitative and qualitative evidence are analyzed as separate streams and the product of each stream is configured in a final summary.
This systematic review will provide an evidence map and synthesis of available research findings on the health status of and health-care provision to asylum seekers in Germany. In anticipation of identifying areas which are amenable to health-care interventions, deserve immediate action, or further exploration, this review will be of major importance for policy-makers, health-care providers, as well as researchers.
PROSPERO 2014: CRD42014013043.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Joint replacement is an established therapy for arthrosis. The quality index for joint replacement (knee and hip) should include screening for quality of patient-centred care in hospitals providing replacements, on the basis of administrative data. The quality index summarizes 16 inpatient and posthospital complications (indicators). The aim of the study was to evaluate this quality index from the medical practitioner's viewpoint.
Four semistructured focus groups with 11 family physicians and 8 orthopaedic/trauma surgeons were conducted. The discussions were recorded, transcribed and analysed qualitatively according to Mayring.
Infections and the revision of a total joint arthroplasty have been weighted as the most important indicators from the existing quality indicators. Between the participants some differences regarding the relevance of the indicators thrombosis and pulmonary embolism occurred. These indicators were weighted as more important by family physicians than orthopedic/trauma surgeons. For eight of the indicators, imprecision in words/meaning was criticized. In an open-ended second section, 20 new indicators within the areas complications, management and overall sector communication were identified.
Major amendments of the quality index for the joint replacement are necessary. The knowledge gained from this study may serve as a basis for this development.
Der Orthopäde 11/2014; 44(3). DOI:10.1007/s00132-014-3043-2 · 0.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interprofessional collaboration leads to an improvement in health care. This call for increased interprofessional collaboration has led to national and international recommendations for interprofessional learning and education. The GMA has taken up this challenge and has implemented a working group on "interprofessional education in the health professions" to address this topic. The terminology used to describe collaboration among the health professions seems to vary and does not reflect any clear consensus. The aim of this paper is to identify the different terms used to describe collaboration between health professions and to analyse their use in German journals.
The terms frequently used to describe collaboration between health professionals were identified and defined. German medical journals were then pragmatically analyzed regarding the use of the terms interprof* and interdiszip*.
The German terms for interprofessional and interdisciplinary were not used consistently in the journals reviewed.
There seems to be no agreement on the use of terms to describe the collaboration between health professions. Consistent terminology should be used as a basis for promoting collaboration and improving understanding among the parties involved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profile (MYMOP) is a patient-generated outcome instrument capable of measuring effects from a wide range of health care interventions. This paper reports the translation of this instrument into German (MYMOP-D) and the assessment of validity and sensitivity to change for the MYMOP-D. The instrument was piloted in a German primary care context.
The translation process was conducted according to international guidelines. Recruited patients of both general practitioners and non-medical Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) practitioners ("Heilpraktiker") in the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg completed a questionnaire comprised of the MYMOP-D and the EQ-5D. Responses were analysed to assess construct validity. For assessing the instrument's sensitivity to change, patients received the MYMOP-D again after four weeks at which point they were also asked for their subjective views on change of symptoms. Correlation between MYMOP-D and EQ-5D and sensitivity to change as gradient in score change and as standardized response mean (SRM) were calculated.
476 patients from general practices and 91 patients of CAM practitioners were included. Construct validity of the MYMOP-D was given with a correlation of r = .47 with the EQ-5D. Sensitivity to change for subjective change of symptoms could only be analysed for improvement or no change of symptoms, as only 12 patients reported deterioration of symptoms. Results showed the expected smooth gradient with 2.2, 1.3, and 0.5 points of change for large, little improvement and no change, respectively. SRM for MYMOP-D Profile Score was 0.88.
The MYMOP-D shows excellent construct validity. It is able to detect changes when symptoms in patients improve or remain unchanged. Deterioration of symptoms could not be evaluated due to too few data. With its brevity and simplicity, it might be an important tool for enhancing patient-centred care in the German health care context.
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 07/2014; 12(1):112. DOI:10.1186/s12955-014-0112-5 · 2.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reliable information regarding patient knowledge of home remedies and the types of health problems patients use them for is scarce. Nevertheless, anecdotal evidence indicates that home remedies are used by patients for managing minor health problems and that this can be sufficient for symptom management while the body recovers from minor health problems. The aim of the presented study was to explore patient use of home remedies in Germany.
A questionnaire was developed and pretested in a pilot study phase. The revised questionnaire was comprised of questions about general knowledge and experienced efficiency of home remedies, the use of home remedies for common health problems and socio-demographic data. Patients were recruited via randomly selected addresses of general practitioners (GPs) in three regions of Germany (Heidelberg, Erfurt and Hanover and surrounding areas). The questionnaire was handed out in the waiting area of GP practices. The data was analyzed descriptively.
480 of 592 patients from 37 GP practices were included, according to a response rate of 81%. Based on the survey results, home remedies were widely known and used by about 80% of our respondents (on average 22 different home remedies were used per person). The most frequently used home remedies were steam-inhalation, hot lemon drink, honey, chamomile tea and chicken soup. 80% of respondents tried home remedies before pharmaceutical options. Information about home remedies was most commonly gained from family members, rather than from written guides, media or GPs.
These results provide an initial overview on the use of home remedies from the patient’s perspective in a German context. Bearing in mind the high use of home remedies that was reported by patients in the study, it is highly likely that GPs in Germany may need to advise patients on their use of home remedies during consultations. To this end, given the scarcity of reliable information on home remedies, further research is needed.
BMC Family Practice 06/2014; 15(1):116. DOI:10.1186/1471-2296-15-116 · 1.67 Impact Factor