[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Context Health policy in Australia emphasizes the role of health service users (HSU) in managing their own care but does not include mechanisms to assist HSUs to do so. Objective To describe motivation towards or away from self-management in a diverse group of older Australians with diabetes, chronic heart failure (CHF) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and suggest policy interventions to increase patient motivation to manage effectively. Design Content and thematic analyses of in-depth semi-structured interviews. Participants were asked to describe their experience of having chronic illness, including experiences with health professionals and health services. Secondary analysis was undertaken to expose descriptions of self-management behaviours and their corresponding motivational factors. Participants Health service users with diabetes, COPD and/or CHF (N = 52). Results Participant descriptions exposed internal and external sources of motivation. Internal motivation was most often framed positively in terms of the desire to optimize health, independence and wellness and negatively in terms of avoiding the loss of those attributes. External motivation commonly arose from interactions with family, carers and health professionals. Different motivators appeared to work simultaneously and interactively in individuals, and some motivators seemed to be both positive and negative drivers. Conclusion Successful management of chronic illness requires recognition that the driving forces behind motivation are interconnected. In particular, the significance of family as an external source of motivation suggests a need for increased investment in the knowledge and skill building of family members who contribute to care.
Health expectations: an international journal of public participation in health care and health policy 11/2011; DOI:10.1111/j.1369-7625.2011.00744.x · 2.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study investigates health professionals' reactions to patients' perceptions of health issues - a little-researched topic vital to the reform of the care of chronic illness.
Focus groups were undertaken with doctors, nurses, allied health staff and pharmacists (n = 88) in two Australian urban regions. The focus groups explored responses to patient experiences of chronic illness (COPD, Diabetes, CHF) obtained in an earlier qualitative study. Content analysis was undertaken of the transcripts assisted by NVivo7 software.
Health professionals and patients agreed on general themes: that competing demands in self-management, financial pressure and co-morbidity were problems for people with chronic illness. However where patients and carers focused on their personal challenges, health professionals often saw the patient experience as a series of failures relating to compliance or service fragmentation. Some saw this as a result of individual shortcomings. Most identified structural and attitudinal issues. All saw the prime solution as additional resources for their own activities. Fee for service providers (mainly doctors) sought increased remuneration; salaried professionals (mainly nurses and allied health professionals) sought to increase capacity within their professional group.
Professionals focus on their own resources and the behaviour of other professionals to improve management of chronic illness. They did not factor information from patient experience into their views about systems improvement. This inability to identify solutions beyond their professional sphere highlights the limitations of an over-reliance on the perspectives of health professionals. The views of patients and carers must find a stronger voice in health policy.
Health expectations: an international journal of public participation in health care and health policy 03/2011; 14(1):10-20. · 2.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multidisciplinary approaches to primary health care improve outcomes for individuals living with chronic conditions. However, emerging evidence suggests access to allied health professionals in Australia is problematic. This paper reports findings of a telephone survey of allied health professionals' billing practices in one urban area. The survey was undertaken as a quality improvement project in response to the affordability queries raised by patients and carers in the clinical setting. The aim was to determine financial cost of access to allied health professionals in one urban primary health care setting. Participant practices included: physiotherapy (n=21), podiatry (n=8) and dietitians (n=3). Fees were variable, with cost of the initial (assessment) appointment higher than subsequent (follow-up) appointments in 92% of practices. The average out of pocket expenses for assessment and three follow-up appointments ranged from $258 to $302. When available, the Medicare rebate reduced this to $58-106. Bulk billing was not offered. Variable costs, minimal concessions and absence of bulk billing in this confined geographical area creates a cost barrier to access for patients from lower socioeconomic groups and has implications for access to multidisciplinary care in Australian primary health care.
Australian Journal of Primary Health 01/2011; 17(2):131-4. DOI:10.1071/PY10029 · 1.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Serious and Continuing Illness Policy and Practice Study (SCIPPS) aims to improve the care and support for patients with chronic illness and their family carers. Here we describe the carers' contribution to the self-management partnership and discuss the policy and practice implications that are relevant to improving the support available for informal care in Australia.
A secondary analysis of SCIPPS data. Fourteen carers of patients between 45 and 85 years with chronic heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes were conveniently sampled from western Sydney and the Australian Capital Territory. Semi-structured interviews were conducted. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis.
Key roles that carers perform in the self-management partnership included: home helper; lifestyle coach; advocate; technical care manager; and health information interpreter. Two negative consequences of juggling these roles included: self-neglect and conflict.
Rigid eligibility criteria limit carers' access to essential support programs which underestimates and undervalues their contributions to the self-management partnership. Support services should focus on the development of practical skills to perform the caregiving roles. In addition, health professionals require support to work more effectively with carers to minimise the conflict that can overshadow the care and self-management partnership.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The increasing prevalence of chronic disease is a driver of health system reform in most economically advanced nations. A consistent theme within these reforms is building greater patient-centredness into the health care delivery. This study aims to develop an in-depth understanding of the experience of patients and family carers affected by chronic illness that will be the basis on which to propose policy and health system interventions that are patient-centred. Participants struggled with the ongoing tasks of balancing their lives with the increasing demands and intrusion of chronic illness. Their attempts to achieve a balance were seriously hampered by fragmented services, complexity in navigating health services, relationships with health professionals and others, and co-morbidity. Future policy directions include designing models of care and infrastructure that enable patients and their family carers to balance life and illness, and aligning patient-centred care not only within health services but also with community and social support services.
Australian Journal of Primary Health 01/2010; 16(1):66-74. DOI:10.1071/PY09039 · 1.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined research and implementation activities presented at the Centre for Rheumatic Diseases 2007 Conference and other selected literature to identify common themes and posit some "next steps" required to develop self-management programs in the Australian context. Self-management and self-management support are key aspects of optimal chronic disease care, and are effective if implemented appropriately. Health literacy is the foundation for self-management programs and should be fostered within the whole population. We should invest in research and evaluation of self-management because the evidence base is under-developed and inherently difficult to expand. Because patient, carer, clinician and organisational engagement with self-management and self-management support programs are uneven, we need to prioritise activities designed to engage known hard-to-reach groups. We should strive to improve integration of self-management into clinical, educational and workplace contexts. Education and psychological theories can help guide self-management support.
The Medical journal of Australia 12/2008; 189(10 Suppl):S14-6. · 3.79 Impact Factor