Development and validation of a structured observation scale to measure responsiveness of physicians in rural Bangladesh
Responsiveness of physicians is the social actions that physicians do to meet the legitimate expectations of service seekers. Since there is no such scale, this study aimed at developing one for measuring responsiveness of physicians in rural Bangladesh, by structured observation method.Methods
Data were collected from Khulna division of Bangladesh, through structured observation of 393 patient-consultations with physicians. The structured observation tool consisted of 64 items, with four Likert type response categories, each anchored with a defined scenario. Inter-rater reliability was assessed by same three raters observing 30 consultations. Data were analyzed by exploratory factor analysis (EFA), followed by assessment of internal consistency by ordinal alpha coefficient, inter-rater reliability by intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC), concurrent validity by correlating responsiveness score with waiting time, and known group validity by comparing public and private sector physicians.Results
After removing items with more than 50% missing values, 45 items were considered for EFA. Parallel analysis suggested a 5-factor model. Nine items were removed from the list owing to < 0.50 communality, <0.32 loading in un-rotated matrix, and <0.30 on any factor in rotated matrix. Since 34 items (i.e., the number of remaining items after removing nine items by EFA) were loaded neatly under five factors, explained 61.38% of common variance, and demonstrated high internal consistency with coefficient of 0.91, this was adopted as the Responsiveness of Physicians Scale (ROP-Scale). The five factors were named as 1) Friendliness, 2) Respecting, 3) Informing and guiding, 4) Gaining trust, and 5) Financial sensitivity. Inter-rater reliability was high, with an ICC of 0.64 for individual rater’s reliability and 0.84 for average reliability scores. Positive correlation with waiting time (0.51), and higher score of private sector by 0.18 point denote concurrent, and known group validity, respectively.Conclusions
The ROP-Scale consists of 34 items grouped under five factors. One can apply this with confidence in comparable settings, as this scale demonstrated high internal consistency and inter-rater reliability. More research is needed to test this scale in other settings and with other types of providers.
Burden of musculoskeletal disorders among registered nurses: evidence from the Thai nurse cohort study
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are a major public health problem among registered nurses (RNs) in Thailand. Information on their burdens at a national level is limited. This study estimated the prevalence of MSDs among RNs using the 2009 Thai Nurse Cohort, a nationally representative sample of RNs in Thailand.Methods
This study is part of the first wave survey of the Thai Nurse Cohort Study (TNCS) conducted in 2009. Members of the cohort consisted of 18,756 RNs across Thailand. A 13-page self-administered questionnaire was sent to participants where MSDs were measured by self-reported answers to questions related to experiencing MSDs during a previous year. However, 1070 RNs were excluded from this study since they were unemployed during a previous year, therefore the final sample size was 17,686 RNs. A 12-month prevalence of MSDs and its 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were estimated based on normal approximation to binomial distribution. Chi-square test for trend was used.Results
Of the 17,686 RNs, 47.8% (95% CI: 47.0–48.5) reported having MSDs during the previous 12 months. The prevalence of MSDs significantly increased with age, body mass index, and working duration (all P < 0.001). Compared to the non-MSD group, RNs with MSDs had a higher proportion who perceived MSDs as a long-term, chronic medical condition (78.1% vs 20.7%; p < 0.001), being currently on medication (49.4% vs 14.7%; p < 0.001), using pain relief medication almost every day (9.0% vs 1.9%; p < 0.001), experiencing sickness absence (15.7% vs 1.1%; p < 0.001), seeking medical specialist consultations (odds ratio, OR 2.2; 95% CI: 2.0–2.3; p < 0.001), and seeking alternative medications (OR 2.5; 95% CI: 2.3–2.7; p < 0.001).Conclusions
Musculoskeletal disorders affected almost half of the RNs in Thailand annually. They placed a major healthcare burden and were a major cause of working days lost due to sick leaves, diminished productivity and quality of patient care. More attention should be paid to the prevention and effective management of MSDs in RNs in Thailand. Further study on ergonomics related to MSDs and its prevention are needed.
Investigation of the practices, legislation, supply chain and regulation of opioids for clinical pain management in Southern Africa: A multi-sectoral, cross-national, mixed methods study
Source:Journal of Pain and Symptom Management
Author(s): Eve Namisango, Matthew J. Allsop, Richard A. Powell, Stefan J. Friedrichsdorf, Emmanuel BK. Luyirika, Fatia Kiyange, Edward Mukooza, Chris Ntege, Eunice Garanganga, Mavis Ntombifuthi Ginindza – Mdluli, Faith Mwangi-Powell, Lidia Justino Mondlane, Richard Harding
Context Sub-Saharan Africa faces an increasing incidence and prevalence of life-limiting and life-threatening conditions. These conditions are associated with a significant burden of pain linked to high morbidity and disability that is poorly assessed and undertreated. Barriers to effective pain management partly relate to lack of access to opioid analgesia and challenges in their administration. Objectives To identify country-specific and broader regional barriers to access, as well as the administration of opioids, and generate recommendations for advancing pain management in Southern Africa. Methods A parallel mixed methods design was used across three countries: Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Three activities were undertaken: (i) a review of regulatory and policy documentation; (ii) group interviews, and; (iii) a self-administered key informant survey. Results Barriers to accessing opioid analgesics for medical use include: overly restrictive controlled medicines’ laws; use of stigmatizing language in key documents; inaccurate actual opioid consumption estimation practices; knowledge gaps in the distribution, storage and prescription of opioids; critical shortage of prescribers, and; high out-of-pocket financial expenditures for patients against a backdrop of high levels of poverty. Conclusion Policies and relevant laws should be updated to ensure the legislative environment supports opioid access for pain management. Action plans for improving pain treatment for patients suffering from HIV or non-communicable diseases should address barriers at the different levels of the supply chain that involve policymakers, administrators and service providers.
Author(s): Andrea Nove, Petra ten Hoope-Bender, Nester T. Moyo, Martha Bokosi
Most low- and middle-income countries failed to meet the Millennium Develop Goal targets for maternal, newborn and child health, and even more ambitious targets have been set under the Sustainable Development Goals and the Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality initiative. This means that many countries will need to accelerate progress on sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn health over the next few years. Recent years have seen the publication of a large and convincing body of evidence about the potential of midwifery to make a significant contribution to this acceleration, but little practical guidance has emerged to help countries invest in midwifery services so that their health systems can meet the increasing need for sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn health care. To help fill this gap, the International Confederation of Midwives designed and launched the Midwifery Services Framework, a new tool to guide countries through the process of strengthening and developing their midwifery services. This first of a series of three papers introduces the MSF, explains why it is needed, how it was developed, its guiding principles and its anticipated outcomes and impact. The other two papers explain the process of implementing the Midwifery Services Framework, and lessons learned in the first countries to start implementation.
Hum Resour Health;15(1): 78, 2017 Nov 09. . [Artigo]
Assessing the health workforce implications of health policy and programming: how a review of grey l [...]
Hum Resour Health;15(1): 79, 2017 Nov 09. . [Artigo]
Situational analysis to inform development of primary care and community-based mental health services for severe mental disorders in Nepal
Nepal is representative of Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC) with limited availability of mental health services in rural areas, in which the majority of the population resides.Methods
This formative qualitative study explores resources, challenges, and potential barriers to the development and implementation of evidence-based Comprehensive Community-based Mental Health Services (CCMHS) in accordance with the mental health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) for persons with severe mental health disorders and epilepsy. Focus Group Discussions (FGDs, n = 9) and Key-Informant Interviews (KIIs, n = 26) were conducted in a rural district in western Nepal. Qualitative data were coded using the Framework Analysis Method employing QSR NVIVO software.Results
Health workers, general community members, and persons living with mental illness typically attributed mental illness to witchcraft, curses, and punishment for sinful acts. Persons with mental illness are often physically bound or locked in structures near their homes. Mental health services in medical settings are not available. Traditional healers are often the first treatment of choice. Primary care workers are limited both by lack of knowledge about mental illness and the inability to prescribe psychotropic medication. Health workers supported upgrading their existing knowledge and skills through mhGAP resources. Health workers lacked familiarity with basic computing and mobile technology, but they supported the introduction of mobile technology for delivering effective mental health services. Persons with mental illness and their family members supported the development of patient support groups for collective organization and advocacy. Stakeholders also supported development of focal community resource persons to aid in mental health service delivery and education.Conclusion
Health workers, persons living with mental illness and their families, and other stakeholders identified current gaps and barriers related to mental health services. However, respondents were generally supportive in developing community-based care in rural Nepal.
Healthcare Reforms in Cyprus 2013-2017: Does the crisis mark the end of the healthcare sector as we know it?
Author(s): Panagiotis Petrou, Sotiris Vandoros
As part of a bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank (known as the Troika), Cyprus had to achieve a fiscal surplus through budget constraints and efficiency enhancement. As a result, a number of policy changes were implemented, including a reform of the healthcare sector, and major healthcare reforms are planned for the upcoming years, mainly via the introduction of a National Health System. This paper presents the healthcare sector, provides an overview of recent reforms, assesses the recently implemented policies and proposes further interventions. Recent reforms targeting the demand and supply side included the introduction of clinical guidelines, user charges, introduction of coding for Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs) and the revision of public healthcare coverage criteria. The latter led to a reduction in the number of people with public healthcare coverage in a time of financial crises, when this is needed the most, while co-payments must be reassessed to avoid creating barriers to access. However, DRGs and clinical guidelines can help improve performance and efficiency. The changes so far are yet to mark the end of the healthcare sector as we know it. A universal public healthcare system must remain a priority and must be introduced swiftly to address important existing coverage gaps.
Chapter 23 Problems and Obstacles of Poorest Countries in Having Good Governance and Quality and Effective Pharmaceutical Policy
Source:Social and Administrative Aspects of Pharmacy in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Author(s): Sonak Pastakia, Benson Njuguna, Dan N. Tran
Pharmaceutical policy is the framework, which guides the practice of global and regional health organizations, country governments, and hospitals in their quest to promote access to and rational use of quality-assured medicines to the populations they serve. Good governance, which is defined as a fundamental need to have in place laws, regulations, policies, and procedures based on ethical principles to improve the management of pharmaceutical systems and create a corrupt-free environment, is crucial to promote effective pharmaceutical policies. In most low-income and lower-middle-income countries, corruption, lack of implementation framework, and implementation gaps present as barriers to effective policies and good governance. This chapter explores these challenges and obstacles in detail. The chapter will conclude with a practical assessment of the interaction of policy, governance, and implementation as seen through the ongoing fight to address the ongoing HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa.
Soc Sci Med;194: 87-95, 2017 Oct 16. . [Artigo]
Assessing the health workforce implications of health policy and programming: how a review of grey literature informed the development of a new impact assessment tool
In their adoption of WHA resolution 69.19, World Health Organization Member States requested all bilateral and multilateral initiatives to conduct impact assessments of their funding to human resources for health. The High-Level Commission for Health Employment and Economic Growth similarly proposed that official development assistance for health, education, employment and gender are best aligned to creating decent jobs in the health and social workforce. No standard tools exist for assessing the impact of global health initiatives on the health workforce, but tools exist from other fields. The objectives of this paper are to describe how a review of grey literature informed the development of a draft health workforce impact assessment tool and to introduce the tool.Method
A search of grey literature yielded 72 examples of impact assessment tools and guidance from a wide variety of fields including gender, health and human rights. These examples were reviewed, and information relevant to the development of a health workforce impact assessment was extracted from them using an inductive process.Results
A number of good practice principles were identified from the review. These informed the development of a draft health workforce impact assessment tool, based on an established health labour market framework. The tool is designed to be applied before implementation. It consists of a relatively short and focused screening module to be applied to all relevant initiatives, followed by a more in-depth assessment to be applied only to initiatives for which the screening module indicates that significant implications for HRH are anticipated. It thus aims to strike a balance between maximising rigour and minimising administrative burden.Conclusion
The application of the new tool will help to ensure that health workforce implications are incorporated into global health decision-making processes from the outset and to enhance positive HRH impacts and avoid, minimise or offset negative impacts.
The WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel provides for guidance in health workforce management and cooperation in the international context. This article aims to examine whether the principles of the voluntary WHO Global Code of Practice can be applied to trigger health policy decisions within the EU zone of free movement of persons.Methods
In the framework of the Joint Action on European Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting project (Grant Agreement: JA EUHWF 20122201 (see healthworkforce.eu)), focus group discussions were organised with over 30 experts representing ministries, universities and professional and international organisations. Ideas were collected about the applicability of the principles and with the aim to find EU law compatible, relevant solutions using a qualitative approach based on a standardised, semi-structured interview guide and pre-defined statements.Results
Based on implementation practices summarised, focus group experts concluded that positive effects of adhering to the Code can be identified and useful ideas—compatible with EU law—exist to manage intra-EU mobility. The most relevant areas for intervention include bilateral cooperations, better use of EU financial resources, improved retention and integration policies and better data flow and monitoring.
Improving retention is of key importance; however, ethical considerations should also apply within the EU. Compensation of source countries can be a solution to further elaborate on when developing EU financial mechanisms. Intra-EU circular mobility might be feasible and made more transparent if directed by tailor-made, institutional-level bilateral cooperations adjusted to different groups and profiles of health professionals. Integration policies should be improved as discrimination still exists when offering jobs despite the legal environment facilitating the recognition of professional qualifications. A system of feedback on registration/licencing data should be promoted providing for more evidence on intra-EU mobility and support its management.Conclusions
Workforce planning in EU Member States can be supported, and more equitable distribution of the workforce can be provided by building policy decisions on the principles of the WHO Code. Political commitment has to be strengthened in EU countries to adopt implementation solutions for intra-EU problems. Long-term benefits of respecting global principles of the Code should be better demonstrated in order to incentivise all parties to follow such long-term objectives.
The Role of Digital Health in Making Progress toward Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 in Conflict-Affected Populations
Source:International Journal of Medical Informatics
Author(s): Yara M. Asi, Cynthia Williams
Purpose The progress of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) shows that sustained global action can achieve success. Despite the unprecedented achievements in health and education, more than one billion people, many of them in conflict-affected areas, were unable to reap the benefits of the MDG gains. The recently developed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are even more ambitious then their predecessor. SDG 3 prioritizes health and well-being for all ages in specific areas such as maternal mortality, communicable diseases, mental health, and healthcare workforce. However, without a shift in the approach used for conflict-affected areas, the world’s most vulnerable people risk being left behind in global development yet again. We must engage in meaningful discussions about employing innovative strategies to address health challenges fragile, low-resource, and often remote settings. In this paper, we will argue that to meet the ambitious health goals of SDG 3, digital health can help to bridge healthcare gaps in conflict-affected areas. Methods First, we describe the health needs of populations in conflict-affected environments, and how they overlap with the SDG 3 targets. Secondly, we discuss how digital health can address the unique needs of conflict-affected areas. Finally, we evaluate the various challenges in deploying digital technologies in fragile environments, and discuss potential policy solutions. Discussion Persons in conflict-affected areas may benefit from the diffusive nature of digital health tools. Innovations using cellular technology or cloud-based solutions overcome physical barriers. Additionally, many of the targets of SDG 3 could see significant progress if efficacious education and outreach efforts were supported, and digital health in the form of mHealth and telehealth offers a relatively low-resource platform for these initiatives. Lastly, lack of data collection, especially in conflict-affected or otherwise fragile states, was one of the primary limitations of the MDGs. Greater investment in data collection efforts, supported by digital health technologies, is necessary if SDG 3 targets are to be measured and progress assessed. Standardized EMR systems as well as context-specific data warehousing efforts will assist in collecting and managing accurate data. Stakeholders such as patients, providers, and NGOs, must be proactive and collaborative in their efforts for continuous progress toward SDG 3. Digital health can assist in these inter-organizational communication efforts. Conclusion The SDGS are complex, ambitious, and comprehensive; even in the most stable environments, achieving full completion towards every goal will be difficult, and in conflict-affected environments, this challenge is much greater. By engaging in a collaborative framework and using the appropriate digital health tools, we can support humanitarian efforts to realize sustained progress in SDG 3 outcomes.
Bridging the human resource gap in surgical and anesthesia care in low-resource countries: a review of the task sharing literature
Task sharing, the involvement of non-specialists (non-physician clinicians or non-specialist physicians) in performing tasks originally reserved for surgeons and anesthesiologists, can be a potent strategy in bridging the vast human resource gap in surgery and anesthesia and bringing needed surgical care to the district level especially in low-resource countries. Although a common practice, the idea of assigning advanced tasks to less-specialized workers remains a subject of controversy. In order to optimize its benefits, it is helpful to understand the current task sharing landscape, its challenges, and its promise.
We performed a literature review of PubMed, EMBASE, and gray literature sources for articles published between January 1, 1996, and August 1, 2016, written in English, with a focus on task sharing in surgery or anesthesia in low-resource countries. Gray literature sources are defined as articles produced outside of a peer-reviewed journal. We sought data on the nature and forms of task sharing (non-specialist cadres involved, surgical/anesthesia procedures shared, approaches to training and supervision, and regulatory and other efforts to create a supportive environment), impact of task sharing on delivery of surgical services (effect on access, acceptability, cost, safety, and quality), and challenges to successful implementation.
We identified 40 published articles describing task sharing in surgery and anesthesia in 39 low-resource countries in Africa and Asia. All countries had a cadre of non-specialists providing anesthesia services, while 13 had cadres providing surgical services. Six countries had non-specialists performing major procedures, including Cesarean sections and open abdominal surgeries. While most cadres were recognized by their governments as service providers, very few had scopes of practice that included task sharing of surgery or anesthesia.
Key challenges to effective task sharing include specialists’ concern about safety, weak training strategies, poor or unclear career pathways, regulatory constraints, and service underutilization. Concrete recommendations are offered.
Ethiopia has rapidly expanded training programs for associate clinician anesthetists in order to address shortages of anesthesia providers. However, retaining them in the public health sector has proven challenging. This study aimed to determine anesthetists’ intentions to leave their jobs and identify factors that predict turnover intentions.Methods
A nationally representative, cross-sectional survey of 251 anesthetists working in public-sector hospitals in Ethiopia was conducted in 2014. Respondents were asked whether they planned to leave the job in the next year and what factors they considered important when making decisions to quit. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regressions were conducted to investigate 16 potential predictors of turnover intentions, including personal and facility characteristics as well as decision-making factors.Results
Almost half (n = 120; 47.8%) of anesthetists planned to leave their jobs in the next year, and turnover intentions peaked among those with 2–5 years of experience. Turnover intentions were not associated with the compulsory service obligation. Anesthetists rated salary and opportunities for professional development as the most important factors in decisions to quit. Five predictors of turnover intentions were significant in the multivariable model: younger age, working at a district rather than regional or referral hospital, the perceived importance of living conditions, opportunities for professional development, and conditions at the workplace.Conclusions
Human resources strategies focused on improving living conditions for anesthetists and expanding professional development opportunities may increase retention. Special attention should be focused on younger anesthetists and those posted at district hospitals.
Systematic review of interventions for improving the performance of community health workers in low- [...]
BMJ Open;7(10): e014216, 2017 Oct 25. . [Artigo]
ADEQUACY OF UTAUT IN CLINICIAN ADOPTION OF HEALTH INFORMATION SYSTEMS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: THE CASE OF CAMEROON
Source:International Journal of Medical Informatics
Author(s): Ransome Epie Bawack, Jean Robert Kala Kamdjoug
Purpose Despite the great potential Health Information Systems (HIS) have in improving the quality of healthcare delivery services, very few studies have been carried out on the adoption of such systems in developing countries. This article is concerned with investigating the adequacy of UTAUT 1 1 Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology. in determining factors that influence the adoption of HIS by clinicians in developing countries, based on the case of Cameroon. Methods A paper-based questionnaire was distributed to clinicians in 4 out of 7 major public hospitals in Cameroon. A modified UTAUT was tested using structural equation modeling (SEM) method to identify the determinants of clinicians’ intention to use HIS. Self-efficacy and cost-effectiveness were determinants used to extend the original UTAUT. Results 228 out of 286 questionnaires were validated for this study. The original UTAUT performed poorly, explaining 12% of the variance in clinicians’ intention to use HIS. Age was the only significant moderating factor, improving the model to 46%. Self-efficacy and cost effectiveness has no direct significant effect on HIS adoption in the context of this study. Conclusions The original UTAUT is not adequate in identifying factors that influence the adoption of HIS by clinicians in developing countries. Simplifying the model by using age as the only moderating factor significantly increases the model’s ability to predict HIS adoption in this context. Thus, the younger clinicians are more likely and ready to adopt HIS than the older ones. Context-specific should also be used to increase the explanatory power of UTAUT in any given context.
Source:International Journal of Nursing Sciences
Author(s): Simon Hlungwani
Oral cancer is a potentially fatal disease, especially when diagnosed in advanced stages. In Brazil, the primary health care (PHC) system is responsible for promoting oral health in order to prevent oral diseases. However, there is insufficient evidence to assess whether actions of the PHC system have some effect on the morbidity and mortality from oral cancer. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effect of PHC structure and work processes on the incidence and mortality rates of oral cancer after adjusting for contextual variables.Methods
An ecological, longitudinal and analytical study was carried out. Data were obtained from different secondary data sources, including three surveys that were nationally representative of Brazilian PHC and carried out over the course of 10 years (2002–2012). Data were aggregated at the state level at different times. Oral cancer incidence and mortality rates, standardized by age and gender, served as the dependent variables. Covariables (sociodemographic, structure of basic health units, and work process in oral health) were entered in the regression models using a hierarchical approach based on a theoretical model. Analysis of mixed effects with random intercept model was also conducted (alpha = 5%).Results
The oral cancer incidence rate was positively association with the proportion of of adults over 60 years (β = 0.59; p = 0.010) and adult smokers (β = 0.29; p = 0.010). The oral cancer related mortality rate was positively associated with the proportion of of adults over 60 years (β = 0.24; p < 0.001) and the performance of preventative and diagnostic actions for oral cancer (β = 0.02; p = 0.002). Mortality was inversely associated with the coverage of primary care teams (β = −0.01; p < 0.006) and PHC financing (β = −0.52−9; p = 0.014).Conclusions
In Brazil, the PHC structure and work processes have been shown to help reduce the mortality rate of oral cancer, but not the incidence rate of the disease. We recommend expanding investments in PHC in order to prevent oral cancer related deaths.
Improving oxygen therapy for children and neonates in secondary hospitals in Nigeria: study protocol for a stepped-wedge cluster randomised trial
Oxygen is a life-saving, essential medicine that is important for the treatment of many common childhood conditions. Improved oxygen systems can reduce childhood pneumonia mortality substantially. However, providing oxygen to children is challenging, especially in small hospitals with weak infrastructure and low human resource capacity.Methods/design
This trial will evaluate the implementation of improved oxygen systems at secondary-level hospitals in southwest Nigeria. The improved oxygen system includes: a standardised equipment package; training of clinical and technical staff; infrastructure support (including improved power supply); and quality improvement activities such as supportive supervision. Phase 1 will involve the introduction of pulse oximetry alone; phase 2 will involve the introduction of the full, improved oxygen system package. We have based the intervention design on a theory-based analysis of previous oxygen projects, and used quality improvement principles, evidence-based teaching methods, and behaviour-change strategies.
We are using a stepped-wedge cluster randomised design with participating hospitals randomised to receive an improved oxygen system at 4-month steps (three hospitals per step). Our mixed-methods evaluation will evaluate effectiveness, impact, sustainability, process and fidelity. Our primary outcome measures are childhood pneumonia case fatality rate and inpatient neonatal mortality rate. Secondary outcome measures include a range of clinical, quality of care, technical, and health systems outcomes. The planned study duration is from 2015 to 2018.Discussion
Our study will provide quality evidence on the effectiveness of improved oxygen systems, and how to better implement and scale-up oxygen systems in resource-limited settings. Our results should have important implications for policy-makers, hospital administrators, and child health organisations in Africa and globally.Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12617000341325. Retrospectively registered on 6 March 2017.