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Article
Background Patient navigation is an evidence-based intervention for reducing delays in oncology care among underserved populations. In order to address the financial sustainability of this intervention, information is needed on the cost of implementing patient navigation in diverse healthcare settings. Because patient navigation programs and care settings are highly variable, this paucity of cost data creates difficulties in identifying best practices and decisions about the feasibility of implementing navigation programs within a health care system. One barrier to collecting these cost data is the lack of assessment tools available to support patient navigation programs. These tools must be relevant to the wide variety of navigation activities that exist in health care settings, and be flexible enough to collect cost data important to stakeholders in fee-for-service and value-based care environments. Methods and results We present a novel approach and methods for assessing the cost of a patient navigation program implemented across six hospital systems to enhance timely entry and uptake of breast cancer care and treatment. These methods and tools were developed in partnership with breast oncology patient navigators and supervisors using principles of stakeholder engagement, with the goal of increasing usability and feasibility in the field. Conclusions This methodology can be used to strengthen cost analysis and assessment tools for other navigation programs for improving care and treatment for patients with chronic conditions. Trial registration NCT03514433
 
Article
Background Interventions to increase person-centeredness in hospital care for persons with psychotic illness are needed. Changing care delivery is however a complex venture, requiring staff to reconsider their mindsets and ways of working. A multidisciplinary educational intervention for hospital staff at four wards was launched to increase person-centeredness in the care of patients with schizophrenia and similar psychoses. This study aims to explore staff experiences of working to increase person-centeredness. Methods A heterogenic sample of staff ( n = 23) from all participating wards were recruited for six focus group interviews. Semi-structured questions covered staff perceptions of person-centered care and the process of increasing person-centeredness. Transcribed data was analyzed using thematic analysis according to Braun and Clarke. Results Staff viewed person-centered care as an approach rather than a method. They described central aspects of person-centered care, such as recognizing the patient as a capable person who can participate in her/his care. Statements further showed how these core features were put into practice. Changes related to the intervention were presented in terms of evolving patient and staff roles, improved contact with patients, more flexible care routines, and a more positive ward climate. Neither psychotic symptoms nor involuntary status were considered barriers for person-centered care, but organizational factors beyond staff control seemed to impact on implementation. Conclusions After implementation, participants displayed good understanding of the core concepts of person-centered care in both thinking and action. They attributed several improvements in the care milieu to an increased level of person-centeredness. Psychotic behavior and involuntary treatment did not present major barriers to person-centered care. Findings suggest person-centered care is feasible in the psychosis inpatient setting and could improve quality of care. Trial registration The study is part of a larger study evaluating the intervention Person-Centered Psychosis Care (PCPC). It was registered retrospectively at clinicaltrials.gov , identifier NCT03182283 .
 
Study schema
Article
Background Symptoms in patients with advanced cancer are often inadequately captured during encounters with the healthcare team. Emerging evidence demonstrates that weekly electronic home-based patient-reported symptom monitoring with automated alerts to clinicians reduces healthcare utilization, improves health-related quality of life, and lengthens survival. However, oncology practices have lagged in adopting remote symptom monitoring into routine practice, where specific patient populations may have unique barriers. One approach to overcoming barriers is utilizing resources from value-based payment models, such as patient navigators who are ideally positioned to assume a leadership role in remote symptom monitoring implementation. This implementation approach has not been tested in standard of care, and thus optimal implementation strategies are needed for large-scale roll-out. Methods This hybrid type 2 study design evaluates the implementation and effectiveness of remote symptom monitoring for all patients and for diverse populations in two Southern academic medical centers from 2021 to 2026. This study will utilize a pragmatic approach, evaluating real-world data collected during routine care for quantitative implementation and patient outcomes. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) will be used to conduct a qualitative evaluation at key time points to assess barriers and facilitators, implementation strategies, fidelity to implementation strategies, and perceived utility of these strategies. We will use a mixed-methods approach for data interpretation to finalize a formal implementation blueprint. Discussion This pragmatic evaluation of real-world implementation of remote symptom monitoring will generate a blueprint for future efforts to scale interventions across health systems with diverse patient populations within value-based healthcare models. Trial registration NCT04809740 ; date of registration 3/22/2021.
 
PHARM-DC intervention components and categorization [18]
CFIR Domains and Constructs associated with Qualitative Themes and Subthemes
Article
Introduction Older adults face several challenges when transitioning from acute hospitals to community-based care. The PHARMacist Discharge Care (PHARM-DC) intervention is a pharmacist-led Transitions of Care (TOC) program intended to reduce 30-day hospital readmissions and emergency department visits at two large hospitals. This study used the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) framework to evaluate pharmacist perceptions of the PHARM-DC intervention. Methods Intervention pharmacists and pharmacy administrators were purposively recruited by study team members located within each participating institution. Study team members located within each institution coordinated with two study authors unaffiliated with the institutions implementing the intervention to conduct interviews and focus groups remotely via telecommunication software. Interviews were recorded and transcribed, with transcriptions imported into NVivo for qualitative analysis. Qualitative analysis was performed using an iterative process to identify “a priori” constructs based on CFIR domains (intervention characteristics, outer setting, inner setting, characteristics of the individuals involved, and the process of implementation) and to create overarching themes as identified during coding. Results In total, ten semi-structured interviews and one focus group were completed across both hospitals. At Site A, six interviews were conducted with intervention pharmacists and pharmacists in administrative roles. Also at Site A, one focus group comprised of five intervention pharmacists was conducted. At Site B, interviews were conducted with four intervention pharmacists and pharmacists in administrative roles. Three overarching themes were identified: PHARM-DC and Institutional Context, Importance of PHARM-DC Adaptability, and Recommendations for PHARM-DC Improvement and Sustainability. Increasing pharmacist support for technical tasks and navigating pharmacist-patient language barriers were important to intervention implementation and delivery. Identifying cost-savings and quantifying outcomes as a result of the intervention were particularly important when considering how to sustain and expand the PHARM-DC intervention. Conclusion The PHARM-DC intervention can successfully be implemented at two institutions with considerable variations in TOC initiatives, resources, and staffing. Future implementation of PHARM-DC interventions should consider the themes identified, including an examination of institution-specific contextual factors such as the roles that pharmacy technicians may play in TOC interventions, the importance of intervention adaptability to account for patient needs and institutional resources, and pharmacist recommendations for intervention improvement and sustainability. Trial registration NCT04071951 .
 
COVID-19 ROP-Scale validation process
Final three-factor model for responsiveness of physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Note: All the standardized path coefficients (factor loadings) were significant (p < 0.001). Explaining: Explaining the preventive aspects of COVID-19; Encourage: Encouraging patients to ask questions; Followup: Facilitating follow up; Ethical: Service oriented not business-like attitude; Trusted: Not being involved in illegal activities; Greetings: Greetings by physician; Social_talk: Engaging in social talks
COVID-19 ROP-Scale scores
Article
  • Taufique JoarderTaufique Joarder
  • Mohammad Aminul IslamMohammad Aminul Islam
  • Md Shariful IslamMd Shariful Islam
  • [...]
  • Md. Tanvir HasanMd. Tanvir Hasan
Background Responsiveness of Physicians (ROP) is defined as the social actions by physicians aimed at meeting the legitimate expectations of healthcare users. Even though patients’ expectations regarding ROP have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, the psychometrically-validated ROP-Scale is difficult to apply in hospital settings. The goal of this study is to validate the existing ROP-Scale to measure the responsiveness of hospital physicians during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional phone survey involving 213 COVID-19 hospital patients, randomly selected from the government database. We applied the Delphi method for content validity, exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses for construct validity, Cronbach’s alpha and corrected item-total correlation for internal consistency reliability, and Pearson’s correlation between the scale and overall patient satisfaction for concurrent validity. Results After removing survey items based on data sufficiency, collinearity, factor loading derived through exploratory factor analysis, and internal consistency, the final version of the COVID-19 ROP-Scale consisted of 7 items, grouped under Informativeness, Trustworthiness and Courteousness domains. The confirmatory factor analysis supported the three domains with acceptable model fit [Root mean squared error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.028, Comparative fit index (CFI) = 0.997, Tucker-Lewis index (TLI) = 0.994)]. The corrected item-total correlation ranged between 0.45 and 0.71. Concurrent validity was ascertained by the high correlation (0.84) between patient satisfaction and the COVID-19 ROP-Scale. Based on the mean domain score, the highest- and the lowest-scoring responsiveness domains were ‘Trustworthiness’ (7.85) and ‘Informativeness’ (7.28), respectively, whereas the highest- and the lowest-scoring items were ‘Not being involved in illegal activities’ (7.97), and ‘Service-oriented, not business-like attitude’ (6.63), respectively. Conclusions The 7-item COVID-19 ROP-Scale was demonstrated to be feasible, valid, and internally consistent. Therefore, its application can help amend past mistakes in health service provision and improve care for the hospitalised COVID-19 patients or other patients suffering from similar conditions. This study can contribute to the national decision-making regarding hospital care, open up further avenues in the health policy and system research, and eventually improve the quality of care provided to Bangladeshi patients seeking hospital services. Moreover, findings yielded by this study can be incorporated into doctors’ medical education and in-service training.
 
A flow diagram summarizing sampling from the HIV clinics and enrollment into the study
A casual logic model summarizing the relationship between the factors influencing blood pressure screening at the study facilities. From our qualitative and quantitative findings, we hypothesize that the key influences of blood pressure screening operate mainly via: provider and patient motivation, opportunity to measure blood pressure and the organization (institutional) capacity
Article
  • Lydia BuzaalirwaLydia Buzaalirwa
  • Lydia NambalaLydia Nambala
  • Grace BanturakiGrace Banturaki
  • [...]
  • Aggrey SemeereAggrey Semeere
Background High prevalence of HIV and hypertension in sub-Saharan Africa puts adults living with HIV (ALWH) at high risk of end-organ complications. Both World Health Organization (WHO) and national guidelines recommend screening and treatment of hypertension among ALWH on antiretroviral therapy (ART). We evaluated the implementation of hypertension screening among adults on ART at three Uganda Cares Primary care facilities. Methods Using a sequential explanatory mixed-methods approach, we reviewed patient records, and interviewed both patients and providers during 2018 and 2019. We obtained demographics, clinical and blood pressure (BP) measurements via records review. We estimate the period prevalence of screening and use adjusted modified Poisson regression models to evaluate predictors of screening. In-depth interviews were analysed using a thematic approach to explain the observed prevalence and predictors of BP screening. Results Records for 1426 ALWH were reviewed. Patients had a median age of 35 years and 65% of them were female. Most were on ART (89% on first-line) with a median duration of 4 years. Only 262 (18%) were overweight or obese with a body mass index (BMI) > 25 Kg/M². In 2017 or 2018 patients made a median of 3 visits and 783 patients had a BP recorded, hence a period prevalence 55%. Older age, male sex, more clinic visits, and clinic site were associated with screening in the adjusted analyses. Erratic BP screening was corroborated by patients’ and providers’ interviews. Challenges included; high patient numbers, low staffing, provider apathy, no access to treatment, and lack of functioning of BP equipment. Conclusion Almost half of regular HIV clinic attendees at these prototypical primary care HIV clinics were not screened for hypertension for a whole year. Improving BP screening requires attention to address modifiable challenges and ensure local buy-in beyond just providing equipment.
 
Article
  • Mingren YuMingren Yu
  • Juan XuJuan Xu
  • Xiaohong SongXiaohong Song
  • Jiayue DuJiayue Du
Background Newborn screening (NBS) can prevent inborn errors of metabolism (IEMs), which may cause long-term disability and even death in newborns. However, in China, tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) screening has just started. This study aimed to assess the cost-effectiveness of NBS using MS/MS in Shenzhen under the nationally recommended program, as well as evaluate the value and affordability of introducing this new screening technology. Methods A Markov model was built to estimate the cost and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) of different screening programs. We compared PKU screening using traditional immunofluorescence (IF) with the other 11 IEMs not screened and all 12 IEMs screened using MS/MS, and the programs detecting different numbers of IEMs chosen from the national recommended program were also compared. A sensitivity analysis and budget impact analysis (BIA) were performed. Results The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of detecting all 12 IEMs in the national program is 277,823 RMB per QALY, below three times per capita GDP in Shenzhen. MS/MS screening in Shenzhen can be cost-effective only if at least three diseases (PKU, PCD and MMA) are covered and when the screening program covers five diseases (PKU, PCD, MMA, MSUD, IVA), the ICER closely approaches its critical threshold. The BIA indicated the implementation cost of the national program to be around 490 million RMB over 10 years and showed no difference in budget between programs detecting different numbers of IEMs. Conclusions We conclude that the newborn screening using MS/MS in Shenzhen is cost-effective, and the budget affordable for the Shenzhen government. Two concepts for selecting the IEMs to be detected are also presented. One is to choose the most cost-effective screening programs detecting highest number of IEMs to achieve a minimal ICER. The other considers the curability and affordability of the disease as the basis of healthcare decisions to screen suitable IEMs, achieving an ICER under the threshold and close to the minimum value.
 
Data extraction, case categorisation and cohorts in the Intention-to-Treat and As-Treated Difference-in-Differences analyses
Article
  • Julian ElstonJulian Elston
  • Felix P. GradingerFelix P. Gradinger
  • Adam J. StreeterAdam J. Streeter
  • [...]
  • Susan MartinSusan Martin
Background This study evaluates the effectiveness of a targeted telephone-based case management service that aimed to reduce ED attendance amongst frequent attenders, known to disproportionately contribute to demand. Evidence on the effectiveness of these services varies. Methods A 24-month controlled before-and-after study, following 808 patients (128 cases and 680 controls (41 were non-compliant)) who were offered the service in the first four months of operation within a UK ED department. Patients stratified as high-risk of reattending ED within 6 months by a predictive model were manually screened. Those positively reviewed were offered a non-clinical, nurse-led, telephone-based health coaching, consisting of care planning, coordination and goal setting for up to 9 months. Service effectiveness was estimated using a difference-in-differences (DiD) analysis. Incident rate of ED and Minor Injury Unit (MIU) attendances and average length of stay in intervention recipients and controls over 12 months after receiving their service offer following ED attendance were compared, adjusting for the prior 12-month period, sex and age, to give an incidence rate ratio (IRR). Results Intervention recipients were more likely to be female (63.3% versus 55.4%), younger (mean of 69 years versus 76 years), and have higher levels of ED activity (except for MIU) than controls. Mean rates fell between periods for all outcomes (except for MIU attendance). The Intention-to-Treat analysis indicated non-statistically significant effect of the intervention in reducing all outcomes, except for MIU attendances, with IRRs: ED attendances, 0.856 (95% CI: 0.631, 1.160); ED admissions, 0.871 (95% CI: 0.628, 1.208); length of stay for emergency and elective admissions: 0.844 (95% CI: 0.619, 1.151) and 0.781 (95% CI: 0.420, 1.454). MIU attendance increased with an IRR: 2.638 (95% CI: 1.041, 6.680). Conclusions Telephone-based health coaching appears to be effective in reducing ED attendances and admissions, with shorter lengths of stay, in intervention recipients over controls. Future studies need to capture outcomes beyond acute activity, and better understand how services like this provide added value.
 
Conceptual framework of access to health care by Levesque et al. [39]. Adopted from Levesque et al. [39]. Permission to use this figure was obtained from Jean-Frederic Levesque
Article
Background There is a growing interest in redesigning healthcare systems to increase access to and coordination across care settings for people with chronic conditions. We aim to gain a better understanding of the barriers faced by (1) children with chronic bronchial asthma, (2) adults with non-specific chronic back pain, and (3) older people with pre-existing mental illness/es in Austria’s fragmented social health insurance system. Methods Using a qualitative design, we conducted semi-structured interviews face-to-face and by telephone with health service providers, researchers, experts by experience (persons with lived/ personal experience, i.e., service users, patient advocates or family members/carers), and employees in public health administration between July and October 2019. The analysis and interpretation of data were guided by Levesque’s model of access, a conceptual framework used to evaluate access broadly according to different dimensions of accessibility to care: approachability, acceptability, availability and accommodation, affordability, and appropriateness. Results The findings from the 25 expert interviews were organised within Levesque’s conceptual framework. They highlight a lack of coordination and defined patient pathways, particularly at the onset of the condition, when seeking a diagnosis, and throughout the care process. On the supply side, patterns of poor patient-provider communication, lack of a holistic therapeutic approach, an urban-rural divide, strict separation between social care and the healthcare system and limited consultation time were among the barriers identified. On the demand side, patients’ ability to perceive a need and to subsequently seek and reach healthcare services was an important barrier, closely linked to a patient’s socio-economic status, health literacy and ability to pay. Conclusions While studies on unmet needs suggest a very low level of barriers to accessing health care in the Austrian context, our study highlights potential ‘invisible’ barriers. Barriers to healthcare access are of concern for patients with chronic conditions, underlining existing findings about the need to improve health services according to patients’ specific needs. Research on how to structure timely and integrated care independent of social and economic resources, continuity of care, and significant improvements in patient-centred communication and coordination of care would be paramount.
 
Article
Background A just culture is regarded as vital for learning from errors and fostering patient safety. Key to a just culture after incidents is a focus on learning rather than blaming. Existing research on just culture is mostly theoretical in nature. Aim This study aims to explore requirements and challenges for fostering a just culture within healthcare organizations. Methods We examined initiatives to foster the development of a just culture in five healthcare organizations in the Netherlands. Data were collected through interviews with stakeholders and observations of project group meetings in the organizations. Results According to healthcare professionals, open communication is particularly important, paying attention to different perspectives on an incident. A challenge related to open communication is how to address individual responsibility and accountability. Next, room for emotions is regarded as crucial. Emotions are related to the direct consequences of incidents, but also to the response of the outside world, including the media and the health inspectorate. Conclusions A challenge in relation to emotions is how to combine attention for emotions with focusing on facts, both within and outside the organization. Finally, healthcare professionals attach importance to commitment and exemplary behavior of management. A challenge as a manager here is how to keep distance while also showing commitment. Another challenge is how to combine openness with privacy of the parties involved, and how to deal with less nuanced views in other layers of the organization and in the outside world. Organizing reflection on the experienced tensions may help to find the right balance.
 
Overview of theme (grey box), main categories, and sub-categories (bullet points)
An illustration of the tasks, organisation and equipment needed in the telemedicine remote-controlled CT stroke service in Hallingdal local medical centre. Blue boxes describe tasks, grey circles represent third parties involved in the project, grey arrow illustrates regulation affecting the organisation of the service, and black arrow represent the technology used in the telemedicine service. (NIHSS—National Institute of Health Stroke Scale, PACS—Picture archiving and communication system, RIS – Radiology information system)
Article
Background Acute ischemic stroke requires early medical imaging with a computed tomography (CT) scan and immediate thrombolysis treatment. In rural areas, the long distance to the nearest hospital reduce the patients’ probability of receiving medical assistance within the 4.5-h period. The aim of this study was to assess how the service was set-up, and how managers and personnel experience the organisation and value of a rural telemedicine, remote controlled CT stroke service. Methods Ten semi-structured individual interviews and one semi-structured focus group interview were conducted. The sample included 15 participants involved in the telemedicine service in Hallingdal, Norway. The interview guide consisted of questions on the service, experience of working with the service, value and quality, management, and challenges. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic content analysis was used to develop a narrative of the findings. Results Findings were categorised into three main categories; value of the service, organisation of the project, and from project to permanent service. Participants perceived the service to be valuable for patients and the local community. The service included task shifting from radiographers and junior doctors to the local paramedics. To enable long- term operation of the service the participants suggested management, coordination, and continuous training as important factors. Conclusions The service was perceived as valuable to the local community, providing a sense of healthcare security and equitability. Management’s involvement, flexibility, and coordination appears to be a key factor for successful implementation and long-term sustainability of the service.
 
Flow chart of competency model development
Factor analysis of the scree plot
The final version of competency model for medical workers
Multi-way ANOVA for the competency scores with regard to region, age, working experience, and professional title
Article
Background In the present study, we attempted to develop and validate a participatory competency model for medical workers and then evaluate the current status of competency characteristics of Chinese medical workers. Methods The competency model was constructed in a multistage process, including literature review, expert consultation, critical incident and focus group interview. A pilot study was conducted to refine the initial model among 90 participators and the viability and reliability were evaluated by a questionnaire survey among 121 medical workers. Then, the current status of competency characteristics was measured based on the final version of competency model. Results In the pilot study, ten questionnaires were dropped for the poor quality and thus the eligible rate was 92% (138/150). KMO value was 0.785 and Bartlett test showed that the χ ² = 6464.546 (df = 903) and p value < 0.001. Then , 10 items with double loading and factor loading < 0.4 were deleted. Finally, 33 items were retained with the lowest factor loading value of 0.465. The validity and reliability of competency model were determined with Cronbach’s α coefficient of 0.975 and ICC value of 0.933. Finally, a revised competency model with 5 dimensions and 31 items was obtained. The overall competencies of current medical workers were in a high level, except for emergency knowledge related competencies. Age was an independent factor affecting the competencies. Conclusions Our competency model was a reliable and validated tool for assessing the competences of medical staffs against public health emergencies, and the overall competencies of current medical workers in China were in a high level, except for emergency knowledge related competencies.
 
Study flow chart
CODAPT-My© Screening algorithm for the dental practitioner
CODAPT-My© Care algorithm for the primary healthcare link with the dental team
The CODAPT-My©: Shared care initiatives between dental and primary care services in Malaysia
Background of expert panel members
Article
Background The practice of referring diabetic patients for dental intervention has been poor despite awareness and knowledge of the oral health effects of diabetes. Likewise, dentists treating patients receiving diabetes treatment are rarely updated on the glycaemic status and as a result, the opportunity for shared management of these patients is missed. This study aimed to provide a standardised care pathway which will initiate screening for diabetes from dental clinics and link patients with primary care for them to receive optimised care for glycaemic control. Method A Modified Delphi technique was employed to obtain consensus on recommendations, based on current evidence and best care practices to screen for diabetes among patients attending dental clinics for periodontitis. Expert panel members were recruited using snowball technique where the experts comprised Family Medicine Specialists (5), Periodontists (6), Endocrinologists (3) and Clinical Pharmacists (4) who are involved in management of patients with diabetes at public and private healthcare facilities. Care algorithms were designed based on existing public healthcare services. Results The CODAPT © panel recommends referral to primary care for further evaluation of glycaemic status if patients diagnosed with periodontitis record fasting capillary blood glucose levels ≥ 5.6 mmol/L. Intervention treatment options for prediabetes are listed, and emphasis on feedback to the dental healthcare team is outlined specifically. Conclusion The CODAPT © care pathway has the potential to link dental clinics with primary care for diagnosis and/or optimised treatment of prediabetes/diabetes among patients receiving periodontitis treatment.
 
Article
Background Research shows that the most typical response to client violence has been to implement policies that safeguard social workers at their workplaces. This article examined, through a document analysis, the international norms for the protection of social workers. The goal of the document analysis was to inform policy development in South Africa against client violence. Methods The researchers found, selected, analysed, and synthesised 17 international policies, frameworks, protocols, guidelines, and legislative frameworks using the applied thematic analysis (ATA) approach. The data was analysed at three levels, and open coding yielded 18 codes. Results The codes were refined into three main themes and subthemes related to protecting social workers from client violence: (1) employers inspired a culture of safety and security within the work-environment, (2) social workers prioritised their safety by using their clinical skills, and (3) actively implementing initiatives to ensure the safety of social workers. Conclusions The research highlighted social work safety while providing services at an office, visiting sites, or traveling. Examining these practicalities provided valuable data that can inform policy development processes in different countries.
 
PRISMA Flow Diagram
Article
Background Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is the cornerstone of nonpharmacological treatments in chronic respiratory disease (CRD) management. PR can be performed in different settings, the most frequent of which are inpatient (inPR) and outpatient (outPR) management. In the literature, these two distinct modalities are generally considered to be the same intervention. Yet, they differ in terms of the length of stay, social support, and the time the patient is not in their normal environment, and the presumed absence of differences in terms of efficacy has never been established. Purpose To identify studies that directly compared the effects of inPR and outPR on patients with all types of CRDs through a systematic review and to synthesize the evidence regarding the effectiveness comparison of both modalities. Methods A literature search was performed on PubMed, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library on 24 March 2022. The inclusion criteria were: articles with adults with chronic respiratory disease and comparing inPR versus outPR in at least one PR outcome. Results Seven hundred thirty-six articles were retrieved from the databases. Six retrospective articles met the inclusion criteria. A best-evidence synthesis (BES) was carried out. Eight outcomes could be found in the included papers. For healthcare burden and refusals, no data could be extracted, and thus no BES was performed. For the eight remaining outcomes, two results were in favor of inPR with moderate evidence (HRQoL and psychological status), three were in favor of no difference between inPR and outPR with moderate or limited evidence (muscle strength, dropouts/adherence, and survival status), and three led to conflicting results (exercise tolerance, dyspnea, and economic costs). Conclusion With the current state of knowledge, the majority of the studies converge towards an absence of differences between inPR and outPR or in favor of inPR for seven out of eight outcomes, albeit with moderate, limited, or conflicting evidence. The greater effectiveness of inPR for some outcomes will have to be confirmed in a well-designed RCT in order to orient public health policies in terms of the development of PR with the best evidence-based medicine approach. Trial registration PROSPERO: CRD42020166546.
 
Section of a process map of core, part and support processes at Bundeswehr Hospital Berlin focusing on outpatient processes
Process map including key stakeholders (Abbreviation: QM = quality management)
The PDCA cycle according to Deming, applied to the online video consultation project (Star-Mark: current status)
Article
Introduction Regional health care networks with interfaces between clinics, general practitioners and patients can act faster when utilizing digital measures. This manuscript describes the establishment of an online video consultation service in a clinic and its broad health care region to exemplify challenges and solutions for potential future approaches from a management perspective. Method The underlying pilot project was planned and implemented for follow-up monitoring and consultative presentation of orthopedic and trauma patients within the Bundeswehr Medical Service from 2018 to 2020. With predominantly positive evaluation results regarding quality and acceptance among users, this research investigated organizational and processual aspects including total quality management, strategic control and change management approaches. Results The affected main and subprocesses of patient treatment could be streamlined by the project, as physician recommendations and arrangements could be accelerated and patient travel could be significantly reduced. A SWOT and portfolio analysis showed a high potential for improving existing patient treatment processes for health care enterprises via the use of digital technology. The involved staff should be strategically included at an early stage and continuously involved. By means of a PDCA cycle, the processes of the given project could be exemplarily illustrated with an outlook in the future. Discussion It has proven successful to consciously use management approaches to establish telemedical integrated care structures in a health region. Recommendations for the strategic introduction of an online video consultation for regional network strengthening and care development for a patient-oriented increase in efficiency could be compiled.
 
Article
Background Perinatal healthcare professionals (PHCPs) provide essential support to all parents in the perinatal period, including young parents aged 16–24, who are at an increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Little is known about the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the provision of perinatal services, and on perinatal healthcare professionals, caring for young parents in the UK. Methods A UK based qualitative study using semi-structured interviews with perinatal healthcare professionals (n = 17). Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Results Two themes were identified describing perinatal healthcare professionals’ perceptions of providing care to young parents during the pandemic. Perinatal healthcare professionals perceived that young parents’ needs were amplified by the pandemic and that pandemic-related changes to the service, such as the use of telemedicine to replace face-to-face interactions, did not manage to successfully mitigate the increased feelings of anxiety and isolation experienced by young parents. Concerns were raised by perinatal healthcare professionals that these changes reduced young parent’s access to vital support for themselves and their child and may contribute to exacerbating pre-existing inequalities. Conclusions This study provides insight into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the provision of perinatal care to young parents. Perinatal mental health professionals felt these negative impacts could be overcome by using a blended approach of technology and face-to-face interactions allowing regular contact with young parents and facilitating the exchange of vital information, while maintaining access to opportunities for social interactions with other parents. Findings from this study could be used to future-proof services against further COVID-19 restrictions.
 
Sample selection in the analysis
Main characteristics of the sample
Multinomial probit model
PSM models for paying private on OOP health expenditure
PSM models for paying private on CAT health expenditure
Article
Objectives This paper assesses the impact of effective access on out-of-pocket health payments and catastrophic health expenditure. Effective access cannot be attained unless both health services and financial risk protection are accessible, affordable, and acceptable. Therefore, it represents a key determinant in the transition from fragmented health systems to universal coverage that many low- and middle-income countries face. Methods We use a definition of effective access as the utilization of health insurance when available. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis using the 2018 Mexican National Health Survey (ENSANUT) at the household level. The analysis is performed in two stages. The first stage is a multinomial analysis that captures the factor associated with choosing effective access against the alternative of paying privately. The second stage consists of an impact analysis regarding the decision of not choosing effective access in terms of out-of-pocket (OOP) health payments and catastrophic health expenditures (CHE). The analysis corrects for both the decision to buy insurance and the decision to pay for health care. Results We found that, on average, not choosing effective access increases OOP health payments by around 2300 pesos annually. Medicine payments are the most common factor in this increase. Nevertheless, outpatient and medicines health care are the main drivers of the increase in OOP health payments in all insurance beneficiaries. Not having effective access increases the probability of CHE health expenditures by 2.7 p.p. for the case of Social Security Insurance and 4.0 p.p. for Social Government insurance. Household enrolled in Prospera program for the poor are more likely to choose effective access while having household heads with more education and assets value does the opposite. Diabetes illnesses are associated with a higher probability of effective access. Conclusion Improving effective access is a middle step that cannot be disregarded when seeking universal coverage because OOP health payments and catastrophic outcomes are direct consequences. Public insurance in general, has around 50% effective access which remains a challenge in terms of health services utilization and health public policy design, calling for the need of better coordination across insurance types and pooling mechanisms to increase sustainability of needed health services.
 
Timeline of events from admission to the hospital and covering the subsequent 8 days
Timeline of events from day nine at the hospital until day twelve
Participants included in this case
Article
Background Today, the ageing population is larger than ever before, and people who are living longer with chronic illnesses and multimorbidity need support from multiple healthcare service levels. Similarly, healthcare systems are becoming increasingly specialised and fragmented. The World Health Organization has highlighted novel policies for developing integrated and person-centred services. However, patients, next of kin and health professionals face several challenges in managing healthcare during the care trajectory. Limited literature has addressed the challenges experienced by these groups. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the dilemmas and deliberations faced by patients, next of kin and health professionals during the care trajectory of elderly patients with complex healthcare needs. Method The study had a qualitative single-case design. The case was taken from a multi-case study exploring the care trajectory of elderly patients. The participants were the patient, their next of kin and the health professionals involved in the patient’s care trajectory. Data were obtained via observation and individual interviews conducted during the patient’s hospital stay and after the patient returned home. Results The dilemmas and deliberations in managing the care trajectory were divided into four main themes: the health professionals’ pursuit of appropriate and feasible healthcare services, the next of kin’s planning horizons, being the person left in limbo and reorganising the home for comprehensive healthcare. Conclusion The pursuit of a tailored and suitable healthcare service lead to a comprehensive mobilisation of and work by all actors involved. Having a comprehensive understanding of these conditions are of importance in developing an appropriate care trajectory for the elderly patient with complex need.
 
Number of countries with a legal framework for MDs by income group. Adapted from [10]
Existence of NRAs by WHO region. Adapted from [10]
The objectives of the hermeneutic heuristic framework, divided by category, i.e., political, sociological, ethical, and technological
The process behind the creation of the hermeneutic heuristic framework, including methodologies and objectives
Article
Background Regulatory frameworks surrounding medical devices (MDs) and medical locations are of utter importance for safeguarding patients and users, and for granting a universal access to healthcare. Currently, as the main existing regulatory frameworks are drafted by high-income countries, they pretend to be general and applicable globally, but fail to understand particular contexts, specifically those in low-resource settings (LRSs), resulting, therefore, inapplicable. In particular, LRSs present a varied situation, with legal transplants of guidelines from their previous colonial regimes. This apparently theoretical issue, is, effectively, a tangible and rising matter of concern, given the ever-increasing number of MD patent applications per year, as well as the appearance of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) on the MD market itself. This article will focus on the European Regulation on MDs 745/2017 and its applicability in LRSs, specifically presenting the case of Benin, a Sub-Saharan African country. Methods This work is based on a field study conducted in 2019 in Benin, which is particularly exemplar to show the complexity of the “legal transplantation” concept. A multidisciplinary approach, comprising the standard tools and methods of ethics, law, and biomedical engineering, was used to draft a heuristic hermeneutic framework, and to analyse related bioethical issues concerning Medical Device Regulations (MDRs) in LRSs, the role of Maintenance, and other sociological questions; as well as the rural population’s perception on MDs and health technologies, and the role of ethics in the hospitals of LRSs. Results The definition of these themes helped approach the local perspective and define the research questions. Downstream of the analysis of the Medical Devices Regulations, the Maintenance and other bioethical issues in Benin, the heuristic hermeneutic framework was created to guide a shift in the paradigm of law and regulation making, so as to make them more contextualised and inclusive, globally. Conclusion This article proposes a framework that will help policymakers take into account the particularism of each context, especially those of the most vulnerable countries, when drafting and issuing regulatory frameworks, promoting an ever-evolving model of universalism.
 
Article
Background Trial recruitment of Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) is key for interventions that interact with socioeconomic factors and cultural norms, preferences, and values. We report on our experience enrolling BIPOC participants into a multicenter trial of a shared decision-making intervention about anticoagulation to prevent strokes, in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Methods We enrolled patients with AF and their clinicians in 5 healthcare systems (three academic medical centers, an urban/suburban community medical center, and a safety-net inner-city medical center) located in three states (Minnesota, Alabama, and Mississippi) in the United States. Clinical encounters were randomized to usual care with or without a shared decision-making tool about anticoagulation. Analysis We analyzed BIPOC patient enrollment by site, categorized reasons for non-enrollment, and examined how enrollment of BIPOC patients was promoted across sites. Results Of 2247 patients assessed, 922 were enrolled of which 147 (16%) were BIPOC patients. Eligible Black participants were significantly less likely ( p < .001) to enroll (102, 11%) than trial-eligible White participants (185, 15%). The enrollment rate of BIPOC patients varied by site. The inclusion and prioritization of clinical practices that care for more BIPOC patients contributed to a higher enrollment rate into the trial. Specific efforts to reach BIPOC clinic attendees and prioritize their enrollment had lower yield. Conclusions Best practices to optimize the enrollment of BIPOC participants into trials that examined complex and culturally sensitive interventions remain to be developed. This study suggests a high yield from enrolling BIPOC patients from practices that prioritize their care. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02905032).
 
Comparative cost assessment for a ten-year time horizon. Notes: Abbreviations: mio. I$, Million International Dollars (Purchasing Power Parity)
Article
Background About half of all medical devices in low- and lower-middle-income countries are currently non-operational because equipment maintenance is lacking. Thus, choosing a cost-efficient equipment maintenance approach has the potential to increase both the quantity and quality of important health services. Between 2010 and 2014 Nepal’s Ministry of Health chose two of its development regions to pilot the contracting-out of maintenance services to the private sector. We develop a cost model and employ different data to calculate the cost of this contracted-out scheme. The latter we compare with two additional common approaches to maintenance: in-house maintenance and no maintenance. Methods We use invoiced pilot program costs, device depreciation estimates from the literature, and hospital case numbers from Nepal’s Health Management Information System. We estimate net-present values for a three-year horizon, incorporating both fixed and operational cost. Operational costs include downtime cost measured as lost revenues due to non-working equipment. Results The contracted-out maintenance scheme shows a strong relative cost performance. Its cost after 3 years amount to 4,501,574 International Dollars Purchasing Power Parity (I$ PPP), only 90% of the cost with no maintenance. The contracted-out scheme incurs 670,288 I$ PPP and 3,765,360 I$ PPP in fixed cost and operational cost, respectively. The cost for replacing broken devices is 1,920,467 I$ PPP lower with maintenance. In addition, after 3 years total cost of contracted-out maintenance is 489,333 I$ PPP (11%) below total cost of decentralized in-house maintenance. After 10 years, contracted-out maintenance saves 2.5 million I$ PPP (18%) compared to no maintenance. Conclusions We find that contracted-out maintenance provides cost-efficient medical equipment maintenance in a lower-middle income context. Our findings contrast with studies from high- and upper-middle-income countries, which reflect contexts with more in-house engineering expertise than in our study area. Since the per hospital fixed cost decrease with scheme size, our results lend support to an expansion of contracted-out maintenance to the remaining three development regions in Nepal.
 
HEMS activation algorithm in the old (upper) and new (lower) systems
Flow chart of inclusion and exclusion criteria
Interrupted time series analysis plot of regional response time before and after HEMS coordinator introduction. β1 is the trendline coefficient of the preintervention period, β2 is the level change in response time immediately postintervention, β3 is the trend change between the post- and preintervention periods, and β4 represents the effect of seasonality. The counterfactual trend line (blue) represents the expected response time development in case the intervention was not implemented. The difference in slope and level of the red and blue trend lines represent the effect of the intervention
Convex hull and mission location plots for regional helicopters in the Central Norway Regional Health Authority before and after HEMS coordinator introduction
Article
Background Due to unwanted delays and suboptimal resource control of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS), regional HEMS coordinators have recently been introduced in Norway. This may represent an unnecessary link in the alarm chain, which could cause delays in HEMS dispatch. Systematic evaluations of this intervention are lacking. We wanted to conduct this study to assess possible changes in HEMS response times, mission distribution patterns and patient characteristics within our region following this intervention. Methods We retrospectively collected timeline parameters, patient characteristics and GPS positions from HEMS missions executed by three regional HEMS bases in Mid-Norway during 2017–2018 (preintervention) and 2019 (postintervention). The mean regional response time in HEMS missions was assessed by an interrupted time series analysis (ITS). The geographical mission distribution between regional HEMS resources was assessed by a before-after study with a convex hull-based method. Results There was no significant change in the level (-0.13 min/month, p = 0.88) or slope (-0.13 min/month, p = 0.30) of the mean regional response time trend line pre- and postintervention. For one HEMS base, the service area was increased, and the median mission distance was significantly longer. For the two other bases, the service areas were reduced. Both the mean NACA score (4.13 ± SD 0.027 vs 3.98 ± SD 0.04, p < 0.01) and the proportion of patients with severe illness or injury (NACA 4–7, 68.2% vs 61.5%, p < 0.001) were higher in the postintervention group. Conclusion The introduction of a regional HEMS coordinator in Mid-Norway did not cause prolonged response times in acute HEMS missions during the first year after implementation. Higher NACA scores in the patients treated postintervention suggest better selection of HEMS use.
 
Qualitative results arranged as a programme logic model
Article
Background People residing in rural areas have higher rates of skin cancer and face barriers to accessing care. Models of skin cancer care addressing the specific needs of rural communities and overcoming specific challenges are required, but literature is scarce. This study aimed to describe the elements of a nurse-led skin cancer model in rural Victoria using qualitative methodology and programme logic to inform implementation and ongoing sustainability. Methods Qualitative descriptive design. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with key stakeholders involved in the skin cancer model, namely health service executive management, clinical staff, and administration staff. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were thematically analysed independently by two researchers before themes were compared and refined. A programme logic model was developed to organise themes into contextual elements, inputs, activities and anticipated outcomes; it was also used as a visual tool to aid discussions with key stakeholders. Member checking of the logic model occurred to verify interpretation. This programme logic model will be refined throughout the implementation phase, and again after three years of service delivery. Results Eight stakeholders participated in interviews. Thematic analysis identified three major themes: the influence of the local rural context, the elements of the model, and “making it happen’. These major themes and accompanying sub-themes were mapped to the programme logic model by contextual elements (rural locale, health service access barriers, burden of disease), key inputs (promotion, human resources including appropriate nurse training and leadership) and ‘making it happen’ (governance including referral pathways, flexible and sustained funding, and partnerships). The anticipated outcomes identified include skin cancer care delivered locally, timely access, career development for nurses, and decreased skin cancer burden. Conclusion An initiative that is place-based and community driven in response to consumer demand addresses key system barriers to earlier detection of skin cancers. It is anticipated to result in flow-on reductions in skin cancer disease burden. Programme logic was useful to both describe the initiative and as a visual tool for discussions, with the potential to inform wider health service efforts to address system barriers and bottlenecks.
 
Locations of hospitals (dots) in New York City metropolitan area (shaded area) with different geographic boundaries: Counties, Health Referral Regions (HRRs), and Health Service Areas (HSAs)
Distributions of patient racial and ethnic compositions among 84 hospitals in the New York City metropolitan area. Note: NHW = non-Hispanic White, NHB = non-Hispanic Black, API/AIAN = Asian/Pacific Islander, Alaskan Native/American Indian, non-NHW = a combined category designated as minorities which includes the NHB, Hispanic, API/AIAN and the small (< 1% of all beneficiaries on average) categorized as “other” in the RTI race code
Article
Background Although racial and ethnic minorities disproportionately use some hospitals, hospital-based racial and ethnic composition relative to geographic region and its association with quality indicators has not been systematically analyzed. Methods We used four race and ethnicity categories: non-Hispanic white (NHW), non-Hispanic black (NHB), Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander/Alaskan Native/American Indian (API/AIAN), as well as a combined non-NHW category, from the 2010 (latest year publicly available) Medicare Institutional Provider & Beneficiary Summary public use file for 84 hospitals in the New York City region. We assessed the relative distribution of race and ethnicity across hospitals grouped at different geographic levels (region, county, hospital referral region [HRR], or hospital service areas [HSA]) using the dissimilarity index. Hospital characteristics included quality star ratings, essential professional services and diagnostic/treatment equipment, bed size, total expenses, and patients with dual Medicare and Medicaid enrollment. We assessed Spearman’s rank correlation between hospital-based racial and ethnic composition and quality/structural measures. Results Dissimilarity Index decreases from region (range 30.3–40.1%) to county (range 13.7–23.5%), HRR (range 10.5–27.5%), and HSA (range 12.0–16.9%) levels. Hospitals with larger non-NHW patients tended to have lower hospital ratings and higher proportions of dually-enrolled patients. They were also more likely to be safety net hospitals and non-federal governmental hospitals. Conclusions In the NYC metropolitan region, there is considerable hospital-based racial and ethnic segregation of Medicare patients among non-NHW populations, extending previous research limited to NHB. Availability of data on racial and ethnic composition of hospitals should be made publicly available for researchers and consumers.
 
Illustrative summary of the hypothesized relationships
Relationships between organizational arrangements, and innovation and efficiency
Article
Background Challenged to innovate and improve efficiency both at the policy level and in everyday work, many health care organizations are undergoing radical change. However, in many earlier studies, the significance of individuals’ perceptions of their organization and its innovativeness and efficiency during restructuring is not well acknowledged. Our study examines how various organizational arrangements; performance-, hierarchy-, tradition-, and leader-focused types, as well as collaborative and fragmented ones, connect to reaching innovativeness and efficiency in health care during restructuring. Method We built on previous organization and management research, innovation studies, and on research focusing in health care restructuring, and conducted an exploratory quantitative case study in a public sector hospital in Finland. Data comprising 447 responses from 19 professional groups across the hospital was analyzed using hierarchical regression analysis. Results Our results demonstrate that multiple, co-existing organizational arrangements can promote innovation and efficiency. The perceptions of the organizational members of the nature of their organization need to be generally positive and reflect future-orientation to show positive connections with efficiency and innovativeness; fragmentation in the members’ perceptions of the character of their organization and their inability to go beyond established organizational traditions pose risks of inefficiency and stagnation rather than fruitful exploration. Our study further shows, somewhat surprisingly, that while collaborative organizational arrangements are positively related to increases in perceived efficiency, the same does not apply to innovativeness. Conclusions Our study addresses understudied, yet inherently important aspects in providing high-quality health care: the relationships between different organizational arrangements and exploitation and exploration-related outcomes. In particular, examination of individuals’ perceptions (that may have even more weight for the subsequent developments than the actual situation) adds insight to the existing knowledge that has addressed more objective factors. Implications on how to support high levels of performance are drawn for management of professional and pluralistic organizations undergoing restructuring. Our findings also generate information that is useful for policy making concerned with public sector health care.
 
Hours spent by Mitanins in a week on different roles/purposes
Mean out of pocket expenditure incurred by Mitanins in a month (in INR) Purpose Mean out of pocket expenditure incurred by Mitanins in month preceding the survey (in INR)
Article
Background Community health workers (CHWs) are crucial human resources for health. While specialist CHWs focus on a single disease vertically, the generalist or multipurpose CHWs perform wider functions. The current study was aimed at examining the time multipurpose CHWs spend on performing their different roles. This can help in understanding the importance they attach to each role. Since CHWs in many developing countries are classified as part-time volunteers, this study also aimed to assess the adequacy of CHW payments in relation to their time use. Methods The study covered a well-established CHW programme in India's Chhattisgarh state. It had 71,000 multipurpose part-time CHWs known as Mitanins. Data collection involved interviews with a representative sample of 660 rural and 406 urban Mitanins. A semi-structured tool was designed and field tested. It included 26 pre-coded activities of CHWs placed under their six purposes or roles. Prompting and triangulation were used during interviews to mitigate the possibility of over-reporting of work by CHWs. The recall period was of one week. Descriptive analysis included comparison of key indicators for rural and urban Mitanins. A multi-variate linear model was used to find the determinants of CHW time-use. Results The rural and urban Mitanins respectively spent 25.3 and 34.8 h per week on their CHW work. Apart from location (urban), the total time spent was associated with size of population covered. The time-use was well balanced between roles of service-linkage, providing health education and curative care directly, COVID-19 related work and action on social determinants of health. More than half of their time-use was for unpaid tasks. Most of the cash-incentives were concentrated on service linkage role. The average payment earned by Mitanins was less than 60% of legal minimum wage. Conclusion The time-use pattern of Mitanins was not dictated by cash-incentives and their solidarity with community seemed be a key motivator. To allow wide ranging CHW action like Mitanins, the population per CHW should be decided appropriately. The considerable time multipurpose CHWs spend on their work necessitates that developing countries develop policies to comply with World Health Organisation's recommendation to pay them fairly.
 
(continued)
Distribution of common risk factors and comorbidities in the sample
Distribution of adequate level of essential post stroke follow up care by domains
Distribution of equity of level of care by domains of care among stroke survivors
Article
Abstract Background Stroke survivors require continuing services to limit disability. This study assessed the coverage and equity of essential care services received during the first six months of post-stroke follow-up of stroke survivors in the Western Province of Sri Lanka. Methods A multidisciplinary team defined the essential post-stoke follow-up care services and agreed on a system to categorize the coverage of services as adequate or inadequate among those who were identified as needing the said service. We recruited 502 survivors of first ever stroke of any type, from 11 specialist hospitals upon discharge. Six months following discharge, trained interviewers visited their homes and assessed the coverage of essential services using a structured questionnaire. Results Forty-nine essential post-stroke follow-up care services were identified and categorized into six domains: monitoring of risk conditions, treatment, services to limit disabilities, services to prevent complications, lifestyle modification and supportive services. Of the recruited 502 stroke survivors, 363 (72.3%) were traced at the end of 6 months. Coverage of antiplatelet therapy was the highest (97.2% (n = 289, 95% CI 95.3- 99.1)) while referral to mental health services (3.3%, n = 12, 95% CI 1.4–5.1) and training on employment for the previously employed (2.2%, n = 4, 95% CI- 0.08–4.32), were the lowest among the six domains of care. In the sample, 59.8% (95% CI 54.76–64.48) had received an ‘adequate’ level of essential care services related to treatment while none received an ‘adequate’ level of services in the category of support services. Disaggregated service coverage by presence and type of limb paralysis within the domain of services to prevent complications, and by sex and education level within the domain of education level, show statistically significant differences (p
 
Respondents’ answers to the question “Which head and face personal protective equipment do you think causes/provokes headaches?”
Article
Background The COVID-19 pandemic led to an unprecedented increase in the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) among medical personnel. The goal of this study was to determine the risk factors and frequency of PPE-induced headache during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods From January 25 to March 1, 2021, an anonymous online survey was undertaken in the Baltic states. Results In total, 2132 individuals participated. 52.3% experienced a PPE-induced headache. Usual onset time was between 2–3 h, lasting up to 1 h after PPE removal. The most common localization was in temporal and frontal regions. Headache usually occurred 2 to 3 days per week with an average pain score of 5.04 ± 1.80 points. Higher risk was associated with discomfort/pressure OR = 11.55, heat stress OR = 2.228, skin conditions OR = 1.784, long PPE use (duration 10-12 h) OR = 2,18, headache history prior PPE use OR = 1.207. Out of 52.3% respondents with PPE-induced headache, 45.5% developed de novo headache, whereas 54.5% had headache history. Statistically significant differences of PPE-induced headache between respective groups included severity (4.73 vs 5.29), duration (≥ 6 h 6.7% vs 8.2%), accompanying symptoms (nausea (19.3% vs 25.7%), photophobia (19.1% vs 25.7%), phonophobia (15.8% vs 23.5%), osmophobia (5.3% vs 12.0%)) and painkiller use (43.0% vs 61.7%). Conclusions Over half of the medical personnel reported headache while using PPE. The risk was higher in individuals with headache history, increased duration of PPE use and discomfort while using PPE. Predisposed individuals reported PPE-induced headache which persisted longer, was more intense and debilitating than in the respondents with de novo headache.
 
The process used for developing a set of interdisciplinary quality indicators
Article
Background In settings like the ambulatory care sector in Germany, where data on the outcomes of interdisciplinary health services provided by multiple office-based physicians are not always readily available, our study aims to develop a set of indicators of health care quality and utilization for 14 groups of ambulatory-care-sensitive conditions based on routine data. These may improve the provision of health care by informing discussions in quality circles and other meetings of networks of physicians who share the same patients. Methods Our set of indicators was developed as part of the larger Accountable Care in Deutschland (ACD) project using a pragmatic consensus approach. The six stages of the approach drew upon a review of the literature; the expertise of physicians, health services researchers, and representatives of physician associations and statutory health insurers; and the results of a pilot study with six informal network meetings of office-based physicians who share the same patients. Results The process resulted in a set of 248 general and disease specific indicators for 14 disease groups. The set provides information on the quality of care provided and on patient pathways, covering patient characteristics, physician visits, ambulatory care processes, pharmaceutical prescriptions and outcome indicators. The disease groups with the most indicators were ischemic heart diseases, diabetes and heart failure. Conclusion Our set of indicators provides useful information on patients’ health care use, health care processes and health outcomes for 14 commonly treated groups of ambulatory-care-sensitive conditions. This information can inform discussions in interdisciplinary quality circles in the ambulatory sector and foster patient-centered care.
 
Article
Background Patients with chronic diseases have seen unprecedented changes to healthcare practices since the emergence of COVID-19. Traditional ‘on-site’ clinics have had to innovate to continue services. Whether these changes are acceptable to patients and are effective for care continuation are largely unreported. Methods We evaluated the effectiveness of care provision at a re-structured chronic care clinic and elicited the patient experiences of care and self-management. We conducted a convergent, parallel, mixed-methods study. Adult patients attending a chronic care clinic were included. We extracted data from 4,849 clinic visits before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, including operational metrics and attendee profile. We also conducted fifteen interviews with patients from the same clinic using a semi-structured interview guide. Results Re-structuring the chronic clinic, including the introduction of teleconsultations, home-delivery of prescriptions and use of community-based phlebotomy services, served to maintain continuity of care while adhering to COVID-19 containment measures. Qualitatively, five themes emerged. Patients were able to adjust to healthcare practice changes and adapt their own lifestyles, although poor self-management practices were adopted. While most were apprehensive about attending the clinic, they valued ongoing care access and were reassured by the on-site containment measures. Conclusions Continuation of routine services is desired by patients and can be achieved through the adoption of containment measures, by greater collaboration with community partners, and the use of technology. Patients adapted to service changes, but poor self-management was evident. To prevent chronic disease relapse, services must strive to innovate rather than suspend services during pandemics.
 
Article
Abstract Background Despite extensive evidence that COVID-19 symptoms may persist for up to a year, their long-term implications for healthcare utilization and costs 6 months post-diagnosis remain relatively unexplored. We examine patient-level association of COVID-19 diagnosis association of COVID-19 diagnosis with average monthly healthcare utilization and medical expenditures for up to 6 months, explore heterogeneity across age groups and determine for how many months post-diagnosis healthcare utilization and costs of COVID-19 patients persist above pre-diagnosis levels. Methods This population-based retrospective cohort study followed COVID-19 patients’ healthcare utilization and costs from January 2019 through March 2021 using claims data provided by the COVID-19 Research Database. The patient population includes 250,514 individuals infected with COVID-19 during March-September 2020 and whose last recorded claim was not hospitalization with severe symptoms. We measure the monthly number and costs of total visits and by telemedicine, preventive, urgent care, emergency, immunization, cardiology, inpatient or surgical services and established patient or new patient visits. Results The mean (SD) total number of monthly visits and costs pre-diagnosis were .4783 (4.0839) and 128.06 (1182.78) dollars compared with 1.2078 (8.4962) visits and 351.67 (2473.63) dollars post-diagnosis. COVID-19 diagnosis associated with .7269 (95% CI, 0.7088 to 0.7449 visits; P
 
Risk of treatment abandonment by childhood cancer type
Abandonment risk associated with childhood cancer treatment phases and outcomes
Risk factors associated with treatment abandonment
Availability of essential childhood cancer treatment interventions at oncology centers
Article
Background Treatment abandonment is one of major reasons for childhood cancer treatment failure and low survival rate in low- and middle-income countries. Ethiopia plans to reduce abandonment rate by 60% (2019–2023), but baseline data and information about the contextual risk factors that influence treatment abandonment are scarce. Methods This cross-sectional study was conducted from September 5 to 22, 2021, on the three major pediatric oncology centers in Ethiopia. Data on the incidence and reasons for treatment abandonment were obtained from healthcare professionals. We were unable to obtain data about the patients’ or guardians’ perspective because the information available in the cancer registry was incomplete to contact adequate number of respondents. We used a validated, semi-structured questionnaire developed by the International Society of Pediatric Oncology Abandonment Technical Working Group. We included all ( N = 38) health care professionals (physicians, nurses, and social workers) working at these centers who had more than one year of experience in childhood cancer service provision (a universal sampling and 100% response rate). Results The perceived mean abandonment rate in Ethiopia is 34% (SE 2.5%). The risk of treatment abandonment is dependent on the type of cancer (high for bone sarcoma and brain tumor), the phase of treatment and treatment outcome. The highest risk is during maintenance and treatment failure or relapse for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and during pre- or post-surgical phase for Wilms tumor and bone sarcoma. The major influencing risk factors in Ethiopia includes high cost of care, low economic status, long travel time to treatment centers, long waiting time, belief in the incurability of cancer and poor public awareness about childhood cancer. Conclusions The perceived abandonment rate in Ethiopia is high, and the risk of abandonment varies according to the type of cancer, phase of treatment or treatment outcome. Therefore, mitigation strategies to reduce the abandonment rate should include identifying specific risk factors and prioritizing strategies based on their level of influence, effectiveness, feasibility, and affordability.
 
Management rate of oral conditions per 100,000 GP encounters by definition of oral problem from 2006 to 2016
Article
Background Poor oral health has been widely recognised as an ongoing public health issue. Patients with oral conditions may visit either a general practitioner (GP) or a dental practitioner for management. The aims of this study are to report (i) the GP management rate of oral health conditions by patient and GP demographics, (ii) what specific oral conditions were managed, and (iii) how GPs managed oral conditions. Methods Data from the Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health study (2006 to 2016 inclusive) were analysed. Descriptive statistics with 95% confidence intervals around point estimates were used to summarise data. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to determine the independent effect of patient and GP characteristics. Results A total of 972,100 GP encounters were included in the dataset, with oral condition-related encounters managed at a rate of 1.19 oral conditions per 100 GP encounters. Patients who were aged 54 years or younger, resided in a socioeconomically disadvantaged area, came from a non-English speaking background or Indigenous background were more likely to have oral conditions managed by GPs. The most commonly reported oral conditions were dental and oral mucosa-related. Over 60% of oral conditions were managed by GPs through prescribed medications. Conclusions This study provided an overview of management of oral conditions by GPs in Australia. Patients from certain vulnerable demographic groups were more likely to attend a GP for management of oral conditions. Common oral conditions and management approaches were identified. The findings of this study contribute to public health and health policy discussions around optimising primary care provision in oral health.
 
Schematic representation of sampling procedure for patient satisfaction at Comprehensive specialized hospitals, North Ethiopia, 2021
Proportion of patient satisfaction with physiotherapy service among physiotherapy outpatient attendees (n = 409) in Amhara regional state comprehensive specialized hospitals, 2021
Article
Background: Satisfaction is basically the state of being gratified and act of fulfilling one’s need or desires. Nowadays, evidence-based practice concept is prevailing and there has been a growing interest in the measurement of patient satisfaction in healthcare research. Patient satisfaction surveys provide several benefits for healthcare professionals. Assessing patient’s satisfaction with physiotherapy service could generate knowledge that can utilized for improving or maintaining quality service. Although a wide coverage and high emphasis givens to patient satisfaction studies in developed counties, there are few research’s done in Africa. This study aimed to assess satisfaction in physiotherapy service and identify predictors that affect satisfaction among patient treated in physiotherapy outpatient department. Objectives: To assess satisfaction in physiotherapy service and identify associated factors among patients in physi- otherapy outpatient department in Amhara regional state comprehensive specialized hospitals. Method: Institution based cross-sectional study was conducted among physiotherapy outpatients from April to June 2021, at three selected Comprehensive specialized hospitals. Data were collected by interviewing participants using semi-structured questionnaire. Patient satisfaction was determined by using Medrisk tool. Data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics and bivariate and multivariable logistic regression method were used to identify predic- tor factors. Result: A total of 409 participants with a response rate of 95% were included in this study. The overall satisfaction among physiotherapy outpatient attendee was 50.1% with 95% CI (46.2–55.7). Pain level (AOR = 5.59 95%CI (2.58– 12.1), longitudinal continuity of care (AOR = 3.02 95%CI (1.46–6.62) and self-rated health improvement (AOR = 3.76, 95% CI (1.78–7.94) were significantly associated factors. Conclusion: The overall satisfaction in this study were found to be low in Amhara regional state comprehensive specialized hospitals. pain level, self-rated health improvement and longitudinal continuity of care were significantly associated factors.
 
Article
Background In recent years a variety of eHealth solutions has been introduced to enhance efficiency and to empower patients, leading to a more accessible and equitable health care system. Within pediatric care eHealth has been advocated to reduce emergency and hospital outpatient visits, with many parents preferring eHealth to physical visits following the transition from hospital to home. Still, not many studies have focused on access from the parental perspective. Therefore, the aim of the study was to analyze access to health care as perceived by parents when caring for their child at home, with conventional care supported by eHealth following pediatric surgery or preterm birth. Methods Twenty-five parents who went home with their child following hospitalization and received conventional care supported by eHealth (a tablet) were interviewed in this qualitative study. Directed content analysis was used, guided by a framework for dimensions of access previously described as: approachability, acceptability, affordability, appropriateness, and availability. Results All dimensions of access were present in the material with the dimensions of approachability, appropriateness and acceptability most frequently emphasized. The dimensions highlighted a strong acceptance of eHealth, which was perceived by the parents as beneficial, particularly access to communication with health care personnel familiar to them. The chat function of the tablet was often mentioned as positive. A new dimension was also identified: “aperture.” It is defined by the pathways by which communication is transmitted in cyberspace, and these pathways are not easily visualized for parents submitting information, therefore generating concerns. Conclusions Parents generally experienced good access to the eHealth-supported health care. Describing access through its dimensions complemented previous descriptions of eHealth in pediatric care and gave new insights. As such, the new dimension of “aperture”, the indeterminate opening of pathways of communication reflecting the uncertainty of not comprehending cyberspace, could be further evaluated. The dimensional framework of access is recommended when evaluating eHealth in the future. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT04150120.
 
Coding framework for role of peer support workers' experiences for substance use disorders in Egypt
Article
Background Peer support work for substance use disorders is widely implemented in high-income countries. More research is still needed to understand its applicability in settings which have proportionately low budgets allocated to mental health. Peer Support Workers are individuals who managed to achieve recovery from substance use disorders and help people remain engaged in their recovery and prevent relapse through shared understanding. Aim To investigate the experience of peer support workers providing recovery support to people with substance use disorders in Egypt. Methods A qualitative phenomenological design was used in which 17 adults working as peer support workers for substance use disorders were recruited by means of purposive and snowball sampling. A semi-structured interview with participants was conducted by phone or video-call. Interviews were transcribed and thematically analysed based on descriptive phenomenology. Results Three superordinate themes were identified: role responsibility, Peer Support Workers’ need for organizational and stakeholders’ support, and challenges to the role integrity. Conclusion and recommendations The findings indicate the need for national and governmental support to peer support workers engaged with people with substance use disorders in Egypt and educating families and the public about the role of peer support workers in substance use disorders.
 
Article
Background BRCA 1/2 alterations increase females’ lifetime breast cancer risk to 40 – 90%, ovarian cancer to 10 – 60%, and males’ lifetime prostate cancer risk to ~ 10 – 25%. Psychosocial issues such as heightened distress can, therefore, occur in this population. This study aimed to explore the subjective experiences and needs of the BRCA 1/2 alteration population in navigating cancer risk reduction measures. Method This study aimed to explore the experiences and identify the needs of 18 BRCA 1/2 alteration carriers, recruited through strategic sampling. A public and patient panel ( N = 6) collaborated on study development. Data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Results Two themes were identified: (i) Healthcare Services as a Burden to Navigate, and (ii) Burden Experienced Through Interactions with Healthcare Professionals. Results indicated uncertainty regarding care pathways, alongside a lack of relevant information. Participants felt unsupported by healthcare professionals, and as though healthcare professionals often perceive them as a burden. Conclusions These findings suggest that the quality of interactions in healthcare systems are of relevance to the BRCA 1/2 alteration population, and that uncertainty surrounding access to services and information is prevalent. The establishment of specialist hereditary cancer clinics could reduce such burden.
 
Article
Research studies as well as anecdotal evidence suggest that there are challenges regarding the NHI plan implementation. These include problems such as an increase in illnesses and a shortage of personnel to drive the project in South African public hospitals. This is exacerbated by the existing situation of most government-funded healthcare institutions, which are characterized by bad administration, insufficient budget, inadequate infrastructure, and insufficient drug supply, as highlighted in several studies. The hospital under investigation is one such facility, with a history of patients sleeping on the floor and people being turned away owing to a shortage of experts and an overburdened staff. This situation is concerning, given that the government claims to be providing appropriate funds to the institution. The hospital under research is highly regarded by the surrounding community. However, a visit by the Health MEC in 2014 revealed that the facility had insufficient sanitary standards and a high complaint rate. Based on the foregoing, as well as the difficulties that both employees and patients are confronted with at the selected hospital, the question that emerges is whether the hospital is fit for the implementation of the NHI. Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the preparation for the launch of the national health insurance scheme at a Johannesburg hospital. Setting: The study was conducted at a hospital situated in eastern suburbs of Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. Method: The study employed a qualitative method with an explorative, descriptive, qualitative study design. The population consisted of selected hospital employees, such as doctors, dispensary officers, hospital managers, human resources workers, facility managers, and administration record officials who were employed at the selected hospital. Purposive sampling was used to select participants. Sample size: Category saturation was used to determine the sample size. The participants for the study were chosen using purposeful sampling, with the researcher aiming for those who were familiar with the NHI scheme at the institution. Semi structured interviews and a focus group discussion were used to gather data. The data from the focus group discussion and semi-structured interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: The investigation found that the hospital was preparing to for the NHI implementation, but that was riddled with lack of resources, poor infrastructure, lack of training, delays in development and poor technological advances. Recommendations: The paper suggests that human resources be increased, infrastructure be upgraded, medicines and equipment be increased, and enough training on NHI implementation be provided. Contribution: The paper adds to the body of knowledge regarding the NHI in South Africa.
 
Mean Likert scores of GPs (n = 112) and CPs (n = 163) responses regarding task sharing in MMP
Relative frequencies of distinct GP-CP pairs (n = 51) showing a sum score of < 100% (indicator of low mutual recognition) and > 100% in MMP tasks (indicator of high mutual recognition); sum score = 100 not shown
Article
Background Pharmacist-led medication review and medication management programs (MMP) are well-known strategies to improve medication safety and effectiveness. If performed interprofessionally, outcomes might even improve. However, little is known about task sharing in interprofessional MMP, in which general practitioners (GPs) and community pharmacists (CPs) collaboratively perform medication reviews and continuously follow-up on patients with designated medical and pharmaceutical tasks, respectively. In 2016, ARMIN (Arzneimittelinitiative Sachsen-Thüringen) an interprofessional MMP was launched in two German federal states, Saxony and Thuringia. The aim of this study was to understand how GPs and CPs share tasks in MMP when reviewing the patients’ medication. Methods This was a cross-sectional postal survey among GPs and CPs who participated in the MMP. Participants were asked who completed which MMP tasks, e.g., checking drug-drug interactions, dosing, and side effects. In total, 15 MMP tasks were surveyed using a 5-point Likert scale ranging from “I complete this task alone” to “GP/CP completes this task alone”. The study was conducted between 11/2020 and 04/2021. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results In total, 114/165 (69.1%) GPs and 166/243 (68.3%) CPs returned a questionnaire. The majority of GPs and CPs reported (i) checking clinical parameters and medication overuse and underuse to be completed by GPs, (ii) checking storage conditions of drugs and initial compilation of the patient’s medication including brown bag review being mostly performed by CPs, and (iii) checking side-effects, non-adherence, and continuous updating of the medication list were carried out jointly. The responses differed most for problems with self-medication and adding and removing over-the-counter medicines from the medication list. In addition, the responses revealed that some MMP tasks were not sufficiently performed by either GPs or CPs. Conclusions Both GPs’ and CPs’ expertise are needed to perform MMP as comprehensively as possible. Future studies should explore how GPs and CPs can complement each other in MMP most efficiently.
 
Relationships between sample characteristics and attitudes towards increased alcohol prevention activities in the OHS
Article
Background: Use of alcohol is a major public health issue, representing the 7th largest burden of disease in the world. Workplaces offer a unique arena for health initiatives addressing alcohol use, where occupational health services (OHS) personnel play an important role. However, we do not know if the extent of such initiatives may be influenced by personal drinking attitudes among OHS personnel. Thus, the aim of the study was to explore how drinking attitudes among OHS personnel were associated with their frequency of working with alcohol-related cases and with their views on alcohol prevention activities in the OHS. Methods: The WIRUS project included a cross-sectional survey of attitudes and practices among OHS personnel (n = 325) employed by Norwegian OHS services (n = 69), who informed about sociodemographic and professional characteristics, drinking attitudes, frequency of cases with alcohol-related issues, and perceptions toward the role of the OHS in primary, secondary, and tertiary alcohol prevention activities. Measures of associations were examined with linear and logistic regression models. Results: Drinking attitudes were unrelated to the frequency of working with alcohol-related cases. Physicians, psychologists, and nurses had higher frequency of working with alcohol-related cases, compared to those with other professional backgrounds (β = 0.46, p = 0.01). Drinking attitudes were also unrelated to attitudes towards primary/secondary/tertiary alcohol prevention activities in the OHS, while female OHS personnel were more positive towards increased primary alcohol prevention activities in the OHS (OR: 1.82, p < 0.05). Only marginal portions (1%-3%) of the variance in attitudes towards alcohol prevention activities in the OHS were accounted for by the models. Conclusion: This study did not find evidence of associations between OHS personnel's drinking attitudes and their practices and attitudes towards alcohol prevention activities. The lack of association between OHS personnel's attitudes towards alcohol use and their attitudes and practices relating to alcohol prevention in the workplace might point towards professionalism, as personal attitudes appear not to interfere with their priorities and professional mission. Given the small amount of outcome variance explained by the tested models, other variables should be used in future studies.
 
There were significant differences in Q4 (p = 0.012), Q5 (p = 0.020), Q6 (p = 0.031), and Q11 (p = 0.037) between PCI and non-PCI
There were positive tendencies for Q1 (p = 0.061), Q5 (p = 0.055), Q7 (p = 0.065), and Q8 (p = 0.063) in CR compared with non-CR
There were significant differences in Q4 (p = 0.015), Q10 (p = 0.000), Q11 (p = 0.003), Q12 (p = 0.000), and Q14 (p = 0.028) between hospital and government officials
There were significant differences in Q4 (p = 0.003), Q5 (p = 0.031), Q10 (p = 0.000), Q11 (p = 0.001), and Q12 (p = 0.001) between PCI, non-PCI, and government officials
Article
Background Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is a prognostic management strategy to help patients with CVD achieve a good quality of life and lower the rates of recurrence, readmission, and premature death from disease. Globally, cardiac rehabilitation is poorly established in hospitals and communities. Hence, this study aimed to investigate the discrepancies in the perceptions of the need for CR programs and relevant health policies between directors of hospitals and health policy personnel in South Korea to shed light on the status and to establish practically superior and effective strategies to promote CR in South Korea. Methods We sent a questionnaire to 592 public health policy managers and directors of selected hospitals, 132 of whom returned a completed questionnaire (response rate: 22.3%). The participants were categorized into five types of organizations depending on their practice of PCI (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention), establishment of cardiac rehabilitation, director of hospital, and government's policy makers. Differences in the opinions between directors of hospitals that perform/do not perform PCI, directors of hospitals with/without cardiac rehabilitation, and between hospital directors and health policy makers were analyzed. Results Responses about targeting diseases for cardiac rehabilitation, patients’ roles in cardiac rehabilitation, hospitals’ roles in cardiac rehabilitation, and governmental health policies’ roles in cardiac rehabilitation were more positive among hospitals that perform PCI than those that do not. Responses to questions about the effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation and hospitals’ roles in cardiac rehabilitation tended to be more positive in hospitals with cardiac rehabilitation than in those without. Hospital directors responded more positively to questions about targeting diseases for cardiac rehabilitation and governmental health policies’ roles in cardiac rehabilitation than policy makers, and both hospitals and public organizations provided negative responses to the question about patients’ roles in cardiac rehabilitation. Responses to questions about targeting diseases for cardiac rehabilitation, patients’ roles in cardiac rehabilitation, and governmental health policies’ roles in cardiac rehabilitation were more positive in hospitals that perform PCI than those that do not and public organizations. Conclusions Hospitals must ensure timely referral, provide education, and promote the need for cardiac rehabilitation. In addition, governmental socioeconomic support is needed in a varity of aspects.
 
No-CAUTI Budget impact sensitivity scenarios: five years savings on usual care
Article
Background In hospitals, catheter acquired urinary tract infection causes significant resource waste and discomfort among admitted patients. An intervention for reducing indwelling catheterisations - No-CAUTI - was trialled across four hospitals in New South Wales, Australia. No-CAUTI includes: train-the-trainer workshops, site champions, compliance audits, and point prevalence surveys. The trial showed reductions on usual care catheterisation rates at 4- and 9-month post-intervention. This result was statistically non-significant; and post-intervention catheterisation rates rebounded between 4 and 9 months. However, No-CAUTI showed statistically significant catheterisation decreases for medical wards, female patients and for short-term catheterisations. This study presents a budget impact analysis of a projected five year No-CAUTI roll out across New South Wales public hospitals, from the cost perspective of the New South Wales Ministry of Health. Methods Budget forecasts were made for five year roll outs of: i) No-CAUTI; and ii) usual care, among all public hospitals in New South Wales hosting overnight stays (n=180). The roll out design maintains intervention effectiveness with ongoing workshops, quality audits, and hospital surveys. Forecasts of catheterisations, procedures and treatments were modelled on No-CAUTI trial observations. Costs were sourced from trial records, the Medical Benefits Scheme, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and public wage awards. Cost and parameter uncertainties were considered with sensitivity scenarios. Results The estimated five-year No-CAUTI roll-out cost was $1.5 million. It had an overall budget saving of $640,000 due to reductions of 100,100 catheterisations, 33,300 urine tests and 6,700 antibiotics administrations. Non-Metropolitan hospitals had a net saving of $1.2 million, while Metropolitan hospitals had a net cost of $0.54 million. Conclusions Compared to usual care, NO-CAUTI is expected to realise overall budget savings and decreases in catheterisations over five years. These findings allow a consideration of the affordability of a wide implementation. Trial registration Registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12617000090314). First registered 17 January 2017, retrospectively. First enrolment, 15/11/2016.
 
Article
Background Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder among women. Given the prevalence of this disease in adolescent girls as well as its serious physical, psychological, and social consequences, the present study aimed to explore the health system-related needs for healthy nutritional behaviors in adolescent girls with PCOS. Methods This qualitative content analysis was conducted in Shiraz, Iran between November 2016 and October 2017. Eighteen Adolescent girls with PCOS and 15 healthcare providers (midwives, gynecologists, nutritionists, and endocrinologists) were selected through purposeful sampling with maximum variation strategy. Data were collected through individual in-depth and semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and field note, and simultaneously analyzed using the conventional qualitative content analysis method. Results Three main categories that appeared included: 1) education and counseling on healthy nutrition and support for adolescent girls with PCOS with sub-categories of “empowering adolescent girls with PCOS to adopt healthy nutritional behaviors”, “providing services and education about healthy nutritional behaviors as a team”, and “the health team attention to the concerns of adolescent girls with PCOS and closely following the disease status, 2) solving communication problems with sub-categories of “proper interactions and building trust between health team members and adolescent girls” and “proper interactions between members of the health team”, and 3) developing the optimal structure for providing health services with sub-categories of “solving problems related to human resources, “promoting the position of health issues related to adolescent girls in the health system”, and “promoting policy-making in the field of nutritional health of adolescent girls”. Conclusions Based on the results of the present study, necessary measures should be taken to educate and advise on healthy nutrition, and to support adolescent girls with PCOS. The desired structure should also be developed to provide health services to these girls. By solving communication problems and building trust between the members of the health team and these girls, one can guide them to adopt healthy nutritional behaviors.
 
The annual ToC reflection process
The PERFORM2Scale theory of change for scaling up management strengthening at the district level to support the achievement of universal health coverage. AR: action research; DG: district group; DHMT: district health management team; HSO: horizontal scale-up outcome; MSI: management strengthening intervention; NSSG: national scale-up steering group; RT: resource team; UHC: universal health coverage; VSO: vertical scale-up outcome. The PERFORM2Scale consortium realized that this ToC looks linear and omits some arrows; however, it was decided not to present all of them and focus on the main pathways of change. ToC adaptations are indicated in dotted lines for arrows, in underlined text and in (new) assumptions having a white instead of a black background
Article
Background Since 2017, PERFORM2Scale, a research consortium with partners from seven countries in Africa and Europe, has steered the implementation and scale-up of a district-level health management strengthening intervention in Ghana, Malawi and Uganda. This article presents PERFORM2Scale’s theory of change (ToC) and reflections upon and adaptations of the ToC over time. The article aims to contribute to understanding the benefits and challenges of using a ToC-based approach for monitoring and evaluating the scale-up of health system strengthening interventions, because there is limited documentation of this in the literature. Methods The consortium held annual ToC reflections that entailed multiple participatory methods, including individual scoring exercises, country and consortium-wide group discussions and visualizations. The reflections were captured in detailed annual reports, on which this article is based. Results The PERFORM2Scale ToC describes how the management strengthening intervention, which targets district health management teams, was expected to improve health workforce performance and service delivery at scale, and which assumptions were instrumental to track over time. The annual ToC reflections proved valuable in gaining a nuanced understanding of how change did (and did not) happen. This helped in strategizing on actions to further steer the scale-up the intervention. It also led to adaptations of the ToC over time. Based on the annual reflections, these actions and adaptations related to: assessing the scalability of the intervention, documentation and dissemination of evidence about the effects of the intervention, understanding power relationships between key stakeholders, the importance of developing and monitoring a scale-up strategy and identification of opportunities to integrate (parts of) the intervention into existing structures and strategies. Conclusions PERFORM2Scale’s experience provides lessons for using ToCs to monitor and evaluate the scale-up of health system strengthening interventions. ToCs can help in establishing a common vision on intervention scale-up. ToC-based approaches should include a variety of stakeholders and require their continued commitment to reflection and learning on intervention implementation and scale-up. ToC-based approaches can help in adapting interventions as well as scale-up processes to be in tune with contextual changes and stakeholders involved, to potentially increase chances for successful scale-up.
 
Example of meaning units, condensation, code, and subtheme
Article
Background In Sierra Leone persons with disabilities are at higher risk of living in poverty and have poor access to a fragile healthcare and rehabilitation services. The aim was to explore stakeholders’ perceptions of access to health and rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities in Sierra Leone. Methods Seven focus group discussions, including stakeholders working within the field of disability was conducted. Results The subthemes were: continuous stigmatisation of persons with disabilities throughout life; long distances and transportation issues to access health and rehabilitation facilities; financial constraints; infrastructural barriers to healthcare and rehabilitation services and healthcare personnel’s negative attitudes and inadequate knowledge towards persons with disabilities; rehabilitation and healthcare facilities lacking materials to provide quality services; lack of specialised services and rehabilitation personnel for complex rehabilitation and the need for continuous education of new and current rehabilitation personnel. Conclusion Local actors need to take charge and renew efforts made by international organisations by providing trained rehabilitation staff and quality rehabilitation services. Rehabilitation services need to be affordable and transportation costs covered for persons with disabilities to access healthcare and rehabilitation services. Continuous education of the public and health personnel about disability is necessary to reduce negative attitudes towards persons with disabilities.
 
Incremental healthcare resource utilization of cases in relation to controls during 3-year observation period
Incremental healthcare costs of cases in relation to controls during 3-year observation period
Article
Background: Human papilloma virus (HPV) causes multiple anogenital diseases including cervical cancer and is the most common sexually transmitted infection. Healthcare resource utilization (HRU) associated with HPV-related anogenital diseases includes diagnostic and disease specific treatment regimens. A recent study showed disease burden of young women aged 23-25 years, who were the first populations eligible to receive HPV vaccination after its introduction in Germany. Cost for the German statutory health insurance (SHI) due to HPV‑related anogenital diseases in this population are unknown. This study aimed at assessing HRU and costs related to HPV-associated anogenital diseases for the Germany SHI. Methods: We used a retrospective, matched cohort design to leverage the prior identified cohort of 23-25-year-old women born between 1989-1992 diagnosed with HPV-related anogenital disease from the Institute for Applied Health Research Berlin (InGef) Research Database. German SHI claims data from 2012-2017 were analyzed. The prior identified cases were matched (direct, without replacement) to women without anogenital diseases (1:10 ratio). HRU and costs for inpatient care, outpatient care, and pharmaceutical during a 3-year observation period were determined for both cases and controls and increments between the groups were assessed. Results: 2,972 women diagnosed with anogenital diseases (cases) who were matched to 29,720 women without anogenital diseases (controls). Cases had more outpatient visits (52.4 visits vs. 39.2 visits) and more cases (45.2% vs. 31.7%) were hospitalized at least once in the 3‑year observation period. Most common outpatient procedures performed in cases were conization of the cervix uteri (4.4% cases; n < 5 controls), followed by other excision and destruction of diseased tissue of the cervix uteri (3.1% in cases; 0.0% in controls). Median difference in total healthcare costs of €684 (mean difference: €1,089, 95%CI: €752-1,426) suggest that HPV-related anogenital diseases were responsible for approximately €3.2 Million more healthcare costs for the identified cases in the four birth cohorts within the 3‑year observation period in the InGef Research Database. Costs were mainly driven by outpatient care (41.6% of total costs). Conclusion: In Germany, HPV-related anogenital diseases among young women are associated with considerable HRU and financial expenditures, mostly driven by outpatient care.
 
Examples of resources and materials used for the DSMES delivery
Cultural adaptation of a DMSES programme, key factors to consider based on the Ecological Validity Model
Article
Background Type 2 diabetes is a significant public health problem globally and associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) programmes are associated with improved psychological and clinical outcomes. There are currently no structured DSMES available in Ghana. We sought to adapt an evidence-based DSMES intervention for the Ghanaian population in collaboration with the local Ghanaian people. Methods We used virtual engagements with UK-based DSMES trainers, produced locally culturally and linguistically appropriate content and modified the logistics needed for the delivery of the self-management programme to suit people with low literacy and low health literacy levels. Conclusions A respectful understanding of the socio-cultural belief systems in Ghana as well as the peculiar challenges of low resources settings and low health literacy is necessary for adaptation of any DSMES programme for Ghana. We identified key cultural, linguistic, and logistic considerations to incorporate into a DSMES programme for Ghanaians, guided by the Ecological Validity Model. These insights can be used further to scale up availability of structured DSMES in Ghana and other low- middle- income countries.
 
PRISMA 2020 flow diagram of search of databases, identification and inclusion for the review
Factors contributing to innovation readiness
Article
Background Increasing innovation readiness of healthcare organizations is necessary to meet upcoming challenges, including population aging, staff shortages and reduced funding. Health care organizations differ in the extent to which they are innovation ready. This review aims to clarify the concept of innovation readiness and identify which factors contribute to innovation readiness in health care organizations. Methods A scoping review was conducted based on the framework from Arksey and O’Malley. PubMed/MEDLINE, CINAHL and Web of Science were searched for studies that (a) aimed to contribute to scientific knowledge about innovation readiness of health care organizations, (b) were peer-reviewed, (c) reported empirical data and (d) were written in English, Dutch or German. Factors researched in the included studies were bundled into 4 overarching main factors and 10 sub-factors. Results Of the 6,208 studies identified, 44 were included. The majority ( n = 36) of the studies had been conducted since 2011 and almost half of the studies ( n = 19) were performed in hospitals. Of the 44 studies, 21 researched factors contributing to innovation readiness in the implementation stage of the innovation process. The authors used a variety of words and descriptions addressing innovation readiness, with hardly any theoretical frameworks for innovation readiness presented. Four main factors and 10 sub-factors contributing to the innovation readiness of health care organizations were summarized: strategic course for innovation, climate for innovation, leadership for innovation and commitment to innovation. Climate for innovation ( n = 16) was studied the most and individual commitment to innovation ( n = 6) was the least studied. Conclusion Our study identified four main factors contributing to the innovation readiness of health care organizations. Research into innovation readiness of health care organizations is a rather new field. Future research could be directed towards defining the concept of innovation readiness and the development of a framework for innovation readiness. More understanding of the interplay of factors contributing to innovation readiness in all stages of the innovation process and in diverse health care settings can support health care managers to structurally embed innovation. This review contributes to the first stage of theory building on factors contributing to innovation readiness of health care organizations.
 
Top-cited authors
Carl May
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Jeffrey Braithwaite
  • Macquarie University
Peter Groenewegen
  • Nivel – Research for better care
John Bryan Sexton
  • Duke University Medical Center
Peter Bower
  • The University of Manchester