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Designing evaluation studies to optimally inform policy: what factors do policy-makers in China consider when making resource allocation decisions on healthcare worker training programmes?

Vie, 23/02/2018 - 00:00
Abstract Background

In light of the gap in evidence to inform future resource allocation decisions about healthcare provider (HCP) training in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and the considerable donor investments being made towards training interventions, evaluation studies that are optimally designed to inform local policy-makers are needed. The aim of our study is to understand what features of HCP training evaluation studies are important for decision-making by policy-makers in LMICs. We investigate the extent to which evaluations based on the widely used Kirkpatrick model – focusing on direct outcomes of training, namely reaction of trainees, learning, behaviour change and improvements in programmatic health indicators – align with policy-makers’ evidence needs for resource allocation decisions. We use China as a case study where resource allocation decisions about potential scale-up (using domestic funding) are being made about an externally funded pilot HCP training programme.

Methods

Qualitative data were collected from high-level officials involved in resource allocation at the national and provincial level in China through ten face-to-face, in-depth interviews and two focus group discussions consisting of ten participants each. Data were analysed manually using an interpretive thematic analysis approach.

Results

Our study indicates that Chinese officials not only consider information about the direct outcomes of a training programme, as captured in the Kirkpatrick model, but also need information on the resources required to implement the training, the wider or indirect impacts of training, and the sustainability and scalability to other settings within the country. In addition to considering findings presented in evaluation studies, we found that Chinese policy-makers pay close attention to whether the evaluations were robust and to the composition of the evaluation team.

Conclusions

Our qualitative study indicates that training programme evaluations that focus narrowly on direct training outcomes may not provide sufficient information for policy-makers to make decisions on future training programmes. Based on our findings, we have developed an evidence-based framework, which incorporates but expands beyond the Kirkpatrick model, to provide conceptual and practical guidance that aids in the design of training programme evaluations better suited to meet the information needs of policy-makers and to inform policy decisions.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Understanding nurses’ dual practice: a scoping review of what we know and what we still need to ask on nurses holding multiple jobs

Jue, 22/02/2018 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Mounting evidence suggests that holding multiple concurrent jobs in public and private (dual practice) is common among health workers in low- as well as high-income countries. Nurses are world’s largest health professional workforce and a critical resource for achieving Universal Health Coverage. Nonetheless, little is known about nurses’ engagement with dual practice.

Methods

We conducted a scoping review of the literature on nurses’ dual practice with the objective of generating hypotheses on its nature and consequences, and define a research agenda on the phenomenon. The Arksey and O’Malley’s methodological steps were followed to develop the research questions, identify relevant studies, include/exclude studies, extract the data, and report the findings. PRISMA guidelines were additionally used to conduct the review and report on results.

Results

Of the initial 194 records identified, a total of 35 met the inclusion criteria for nurses’ dual practice; the vast majority (65%) were peer-reviewed publications, followed by nursing magazine publications (19%), reports, and doctoral dissertations. Twenty publications focused on high-income countries, 16 on low- or middle-income ones, and two had a multi country perspective.

Although holding multiple jobs not always amounted to dual practice, several ways were found for public-sector nurses to engage concomitantly in public and private employments, in regulated as well as in informal, casual fashions. Some of these forms were reported as particularly prevalent, from over 50% in Australia, Canada, and the UK, to 28% in South Africa. The opportunity to increase a meagre salary, but also a dissatisfaction with the main job and the flexibility offered by multiple job-holding arrangements, were among the reported reasons for engaging in these practices.

Discussion and conclusions

Limited and mostly circumstantial evidence exists on nurses’ dual practice, with the few existing studies suggesting that the phenomenon is likely to be very common and carry  implications for health systems and nurses’ welfare worldwide. We offer an agenda for future research to consolidate the existing evidence and to further explore nurses’ motivation; without a better understanding of nurse dual practice, this will continue to be a largely ‘hidden’ element in nursing workforce policy and practice, with an unclear impact on the delivery of care.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Association of the client-provider ratio with the risk of maternal mortality in referral hospitals: a multi-site study in Nigeria

Jue, 22/02/2018 - 00:00
Abstract Background

The paucity of human resources for health buoyed by excessive workloads has been identified as being responsible for poor quality obstetric care, which leads to high maternal mortality in Nigeria. While there is anecdotal and qualitative research to support this observation, limited quantitative studies have been conducted to test the association between the number and density of human resources and risk of maternal mortality. This study aims to investigate the association between client-provider ratios for antenatal and delivery care and the risk of maternal mortality in 8 referral hospitals in Nigeria.

Methods

Client-provider ratios were calculated for antenatal and delivery care attendees during a 3-year period (2011–2013). The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) was calculated per 100,000 live births for the hospitals, while unadjusted Poisson regression analysis was used to examine the association between the number of maternal deaths and density of healthcare providers.

Results

A total of 334,425 antenatal care attendees and 26,479 births were recorded during this period. The client-provider ratio in the maternity department for antenatal care attendees was 1343:1 for doctors and 222:1 for midwives. The ratio of births to one doctor in the maternity department was 106:1 and 18:1 for midwives. On average, there were 441 births per specialist obstetrician. The results of the regression analysis showed a significant negative association between the number of maternal deaths and client-provider ratios in all categories.

Conclusion

We conclude that the maternal mortality ratios in Nigeria’s referral hospitals are worsened by high client-provider ratios, with few providers attending a large number of pregnant women. Efforts to improve the density and quality of maternal healthcare providers, especially at the first referral level, would be a critical intervention for reducing the currently high rate of maternal mortality in Nigeria.

Trial registration

Trial Registration Number: NCTR91540209. Nigeria Clinical Trials Registry. Registered 14 April 2016.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Evaluation of health resource utilization efficiency in community health centers of Jiangsu Province, China

Mar, 20/02/2018 - 00:00
Abstract Background

While the demand for health services keep escalating at the grass roots or rural areas of China, a substantial portion of healthcare resources remain stagnant in the more developed cities and this has entrenched health inequity in many parts of China. At its conception, China’s Deepen Medical Reform started in 2012 was intended to flush out possible disparities and promote a more equitable and efficient distribution of healthcare resources. Nearly half a decade of this reform, there are uncertainties as to whether the attainment of the objectives of the reform is in sight.

Methods

Using a hybrid of panel data analysis and an augmented data envelopment analysis (DEA), we model human resources, material, finance to determine their technical and scale efficiency to comprehensively evaluate the transverse and longitudinal allocation efficiency of community health resources in Jiangsu Province.

Results

We observed that the Deepen Medical Reform in China has led to an increase concern to ensure efficient allocation of community health resources by health policy makers in the province. This has led to greater efficiency in health resource allocation in Jiangsu in general but serious regional or municipal disparities still exist. Using the DEA model, we note that the output from the Community Health Centers does not commensurate with the substantial resources (human resources, materials, and financial) invested in them. We further observe that the case is worst in less-developed Northern parts of Jiangsu Province.

Conclusions

The government of Jiangsu Province could improve the efficiency of health resource allocation by improving the community health service system, rationalizing the allocation of health personnel, optimizing the allocation of material resources, and enhancing the level of health of financial resource allocation.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Barriers to and strategies for addressing the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of the sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn and adolescent health workforce: addressing the post-2015 agenda

Mar, 20/02/2018 - 00:00
Abstract Background

In a post-2015 development agenda, achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for women and newborns will require a fit-for-purpose and fit-to-practice sexual, reproductive, maternal, adolescent and newborn health (SRMNAH) workforce. The aim of this paper is to explore barriers, challenges and solutions to the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality (AAAQ) of SRMNAH services and workforce.

Methods

The State of the World’s Midwifery report 2014 used a broad definition of midwifery (“the health services and health workforce needed to support and care for women and newborns”) and provided information about a wide range of SRMNAH workers, including doctors, midwives, nurses and auxiliaries. As part of the data collection, 36 out of the 73 participating low- and middle-income countries conducted a one-day workshop, involving a range of different stakeholders. Participants were asked to discuss barriers to the AAAQ of SRMNAH workers, and to suggest strategies for overcoming the identified barriers. The workshop was facilitated using a discussion guide, and a rapporteur took detailed notes. A content analysis was undertaken using N-Vivo software and the AAAQ model as a framework.

Results

Across the 36 countries, about 800 participants attended a workshop. The identified barriers to AAAQ of SRMNAH workers included: insufficient size of the workforce and inequity in its distribution, lack of transportation, user fees and out of pocket payments. In some countries, respondents felt that women mistrusted the workforce, and particularly midwives, due to cultural differences, or disrespectful behaviour towards service users. Quality of care was undermined by a lack of supplies/equipment and inadequate regulation. Against these, countries identified a set of solutions including adequate workforce planning supported by a fast and equitable deployment system, aligned with the principles of UHC. Acceptability and quality could be improved with the provision of respectful care as well as strategies to improve education and regulation.

Conclusions

The number and scale of the barriers still needing to be addressed in these 36 countries was significant. Adequate planning and policies to support the development of the SRMNAH workforce and its equitable distribution are a priority. Enabling strategies need to be put in place to improve the status and recognition of midwives, whose role is often undervalued.

Categorías: Investigaciones

The shaded side of the UHC cube: a systematic review of human resources for health management and administration in social health protection schemes

Mar, 20/02/2018 - 00:00
Abstract

Managers and administrators in charge of social protection and health financing, service purchasing and provision play a crucial role in harnessing the potential advantage of prudent organization, management and purchasing of health services, thereby supporting the attainment of Universal Health Coverage. However, very little is known about the needed quantity and quality of such staff, in particular when it comes to those institutions managing mandatory health insurance schemes and purchasing services. As many health care systems in low- and middle-income countries move towards independent institutions (both purchasers and providers) there is a clear need to have good data on staff and administrative cost in different social health protection schemes as a basis for investing in the development of a cadre of health managers and administrators for such schemes. We report on a systematic literature review of human resources in health management and administration in social protection schemes and suggest some aspects in moving research, practical applications and the policy debate forward.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Cost-effectiveness of the treatment of uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition by community health workers compared to treatment provided at an outpatient facility in rural Mali

Mar, 20/02/2018 - 00:00
Abstract Background

The Malian Nutrition Division of the Ministry of Health and Action Against Hunger tested the feasibility of integrating treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) into the existing Integrated Community Case Management package delivered by community health workers (CHWs). This study assessed costs and cost-effectiveness of CHW-delivered care compared to outpatient facility-based care.

Methods

Activity-based costing methods were used, and a societal perspective employed to include all relevant costs incurred by institutions, beneficiaries and communities. The intervention and control arm enrolled different numbers of children so a modelled scenario sensitivity analysis was conducted to assess the cost-effectiveness of the two arms, assuming equal numbers of children enrolled.

Results

In the base case, with unequal numbers of children in each arm, for CHW-delivered care, the cost per child treated was 244 USD and cost per child recovered was 259 USD. Outpatient facility-based care was less cost-effective at 442 USD per child and 501 USD per child recovered. The conclusions of the analysis changed in the modelled scenario sensitivity analysis, with outpatient facility-based care being marginally more cost-effective (cost per child treated is 188 USD, cost per child recovered is 214 USD), compared to CHW-delivered care. This suggests that achieving good coverage is a key factor influencing cost-effectiveness of CHWs delivering treatment for SAM in this setting. Per week of treatment, households receiving CHW-delivered care spent half of the time receiving treatment and three times less money compared with those receiving treatment from the outpatient facility.

Conclusions

This study supports existing evidence that the delivery of treatment by CHWs is a cost-effective intervention, provided that good coverage is achieved. A major benefit of this strategy was the lower cost incurred by the beneficiary household when treatment is available in the community. Further research is needed on the implementation costs that would be incurred by the government to increase the operability of these results.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Assessing retention in care after 12 months of the Pediatric Development Clinic implementation in rural Rwanda: a retrospective cohort study

Vie, 16/02/2018 - 00:00
Abstract Background

In Africa, a high proportion of children are at risk for developmental delay. Early interventions are known to improve outcomes, but they are not routinely available. The Rwandan Ministry of Health with Partners In Health/Inshuti Mu Buzima created the Pediatric Development Clinic (PDC) model for providing interdisciplinary developmental care for high-risk infants in rural settings. As retention for chronic care has proven challenging in many settings, this study assesses factors related to retention to care after 12 months of clinic enrollment.

Methods

This study describes a retrospective cohort of children enrolled for 12 months in the PDC program in Southern Kayonza district between April 2014–March 2015. We reviewed routinely collected data from electronic medical records and patient charts. We described patient characteristics and the proportion of patients retained, died, transferred out or lost to follow up (LTFU) at 12 months. We used Fisher’s exact test and multivariable logistic regression to identify factors associated with retention in care.

Results

228 children enrolled in PDC from 1 April 2014–31 March 2015, with prematurity/low birth weight (62.2%) and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (34.5%) as the most frequent referral diagnoses. 64.5% of children were retained in care and 32.5% were LTFU after 12 months. In the unadjusted analysis, we found male sex (p = 0.189), having more children at home (p = 0.027), health facility of first visit (p = 0.006), having a PDC in the nearest health facility (p = 0.136), referral in second six months of PDC operation (p = 0.006), and social support to be associated (100%, p < 0.001) with retention after 12 months. In adjusted analysis, referral in second six months of PDC operation (Odds Ratio (OR) 2.56, 95% CI 1.36, 4.80) was associated with increased retention, and being diagnosed with more complex conditions (trisomy 21, cleft lip/palate, hydrocephalus, other developmental delay) was associated with LTFU (OR 0.34, 95% CI 0.15, 0.76). As 100% of those receiving social support were retained in care, this was not able to be assessed in adjusted analysis.

Conclusions

PDC retention in care is encouraging. Provision of social assistance and decentralization of the program are major components of the delivery of services related to retention in care.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Supportive supervision and constructive relationships with healthcare workers support CHW performance: Use of a qualitative framework to evaluate CHW programming in Uganda

Mar, 13/02/2018 - 00:00
Abstract Background

While evidence supports community health worker (CHW) capacity to improve maternal and newborn health in less-resourced countries, key implementation gaps remain. Tools for assessing CHW performance and evidence on what programmatic components affect performance are lacking. This study developed and tested a qualitative evaluative framework and tool to assess CHW team performance in a district program in rural Uganda.

Methods

A new assessment framework was developed to collect and analyze qualitative evidence based on CHW perspectives on seven program components associated with effectiveness (selection; training; community embeddedness; peer support; supportive supervision; relationship with other healthcare workers; retention and incentive structures). Focus groups were conducted with four high/medium-performing CHW teams and four low-performing CHW teams selected through random, stratified sampling. Content analysis involved organizing focus group transcripts according to the seven program effectiveness components, and assigning scores to each component per focus group.

Results

Four components, ‘supportive supervision’, ‘good relationships with other healthcare workers’, ‘peer support’, and ‘retention and incentive structures’ received the lowest overall scores. Variances in scores between ‘high’/‘medium’- and ‘low’-performing CHW teams were largest for ‘supportive supervision’ and ‘good relationships with other healthcare workers.’ Our analysis suggests that in the Bushenyi intervention context, CHW team performance is highly correlated with the quality of supervision and relationships with other healthcare workers. CHWs identified key performance-related issues of absentee supervisors, referral system challenges, and lack of engagement/respect by health workers. Other less-correlated program components warrant further study and may have been impacted by relatively consistent program implementation within our limited study area.

Conclusions

Applying process-oriented measurement tools are needed to better understand CHW performance-related factors and build a supportive environment for CHW program effectiveness and sustainability. Findings from a qualitative, multi-component tool developed and applied in this study suggest that factors related to (1) supportive supervision and (2) relationships with other healthcare workers may be strongly associated with variances in performance outcomes within a program. Careful consideration of supervisory structure and health worker orientation during program implementation are among strategies proposed to increase CHW performance.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Health insurance is important in improving maternal health service utilization in Tanzania—analysis of the 2011/2012 Tanzania HIV/AIDS and malaria indicator survey

Mar, 13/02/2018 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Maternal mortality rates vary significantly from region to region. Interventions such as early and planned antenatal care attendance and facility delivery with skilled health workers can potentially reduce maternal mortality rates. Several factors can be attributed to antenatal care attendance, or lack thereof, including the cost of health care services. The aim of this study was to examine the role of health insurance coverage in utilization of maternal health services in Tanzania.

Methods

Secondary data analysis was conducted on the nationally representative sample of men and women aged 15–49 years using the 2011/12 Tanzania HIV and Malaria Indicator Survey. It included 4513 women who had one or more live births within three years before the survey. The independent variable was health insurance coverage. Outcome variables included proper timing of the first antenatal care visit, completing the recommended number of antenatal care (ANC) visits, and giving birth under skilled worker. Data were analyzed both descriptively and using regression analyses to examine independent association of health insurance and maternal health services.

Results

Of 4513 women, only 281 (6.2%) had health insurance. Among all participants, only 16.9%, 7.1%, and 56.5%, respectively, made their first ANC visit as per recommendation, completed the recommended number of ANC visits, and had skilled birth assistance at delivery. A higher proportion of women with health insurance had a proper timing of 1st ANC attendance compared to their counterparts (27.0% vs. 16.0%, p < 0.001). Similar trend was for skilled birth attendance (77.6% vs. 55.1%, p < 0.001). After adjusting for other confounders and covariates, having health insurance was associated with proper timing of 1st ANC attendance (AOR = 1.89, p < 0.001) and skilled birth attendance (AOR = 2.01, p < 0.01).

Conclusions

Health insurance coverage and maternal health services were low in this nationally representative sample in Tanzania. Women covered by health insurance were more likely to have proper timing of the first antenatal visit and receive skilled birth assistance at delivery. To improve maternal health, health insurance alone is however not enough. It is important to improve other pillars of health system to attain and sustain better maternal health in Tanzania and areas with similar contexts.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Factors influencing turnover intention among primary care doctors: a cross-sectional study in Chongqing, China

Mar, 13/02/2018 - 00:00
Abstract Background

The intention to leave a job, known as turnover intention, among primary care doctors has a significant impact on primary health care service delivery. We investigated primary care doctors’ turnover intention and analysed associated factors involved in primary health facilities in Chongqing, China.

Methods

A total of 440 doctors were interviewed, they were selected using a multi-stage stratified random sampling method. The survey instrument was a self-administered questionnaire which assessed socio-demographic and work-related characteristics, job satisfaction and turnover intention. The data were analysed using χ2 test, one-way analysis of variance, exploratory factor analysis and linear regression analysis.

Results

Our study found that 42.3% of the primary care doctors we sampled in Chongqing, China, intended to resign. Location, age, job title, doctor’s position level, work pressure and job satisfaction were associated with turnover intention. Job satisfaction included both employment-related job satisfaction (including “your chance of promotion”, “your rate of pay” and two other items) and satisfaction with the job itself (including “the freedom to choose your own method of working”, “your job safety” and two other items).

Conclusions

Improving job satisfaction, in terms of salary, promotion and job safety, is crucial for reducing turnover intention among primary care doctors. Therefore, we suggest that the government increase its financial investment in primary care facilities, especially in less-developed areas, and reform incentive mechanisms to improve the job satisfaction of primary care doctors. The government should consider policies such as establishing a social pension programme for village-level doctors and providing more opportunities for job promotion among primary care doctors, especially township-level doctors. Attention should also be paid to the impact of rapid urbanization, which could lead to increased workload or increased opportunities for career development, thus affecting primary care doctors’ turnover intention.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Listening to their voices: understanding rural women’s perceptions of good delivery care at the Mibilizi District Hospital in Rwanda

Lun, 12/02/2018 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Poor quality maternity care may lead to increased maternal dissatisfaction, and subsequent decreased utilization of health services or both. In a responsive health system, determining suitable delivery care, in the mother’s opinion, may lead to an improved quality of services and the mother’s satisfaction. In Rwanda, there is still limited knowledge and inadequate research regarding patient satisfaction and preferences, especially for women’s perceptions and needs during childbirth. This study captures rural women’s perception of good delivery care to understand aspects of care they consider important during childbirth.

Methods

This qualitative study was conducted in the Mibilizi District Hospital catchment area located 350 km from the capital, Kigali, in the Western Province of Rwanda. It includes 25 in-depth interviews with purposively sampled rural mothers who had delivered in the hospital and five hospital midwives. Content analysis was performed manually.

Results

With regard to interpersonal relations at the health facility, the women agreed on the need for respectful treatment in areas of sufficient privacy and had distinct preferences for the gender of the birth attendant, or husband’s presence during delivery. The women make a great effort to deliver in a health care facility and therefore, they expect to be assisted in a professional and safe manner. These expectations can be met on a personal level, but at times are counteracted by structural deficiencies and staff shortages.

Conclusions

In gathering rural women’s perceptions of good delivery care, this study reveals what mothers in remote areas in Rwanda consider important during child birth. The women’s expectations, suggestions, and needs can enhance providers’ awareness of the women’s priorities during childbirth and serve as a guidepost for health services to increase the quality, acceptability and uptake of maternal health services.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Mapping educational opportunities for healthcare workers on antimicrobial resistance and stewardship around the world

Lun, 05/02/2018 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Antimicrobial resistance is an important global issue facing society. Healthcare workers need to be engaged in solving this problem, as advocates for rational antimicrobial use, stewards of sustainable effectiveness, and educators of their patients. To fulfill this role, healthcare workers need access to training and educational resources on antimicrobial resistance.

Methods

To better understand the resources available to healthcare workers, we undertook a global environmental scan of educational programs and resources targeting healthcare workers on the topic of antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial stewardship. Programs were identified through contact with key experts, web searching, and academic literature searching. We summarized programs in tabular form, including participating organizations, region, and intended audience. We developed a coding system to classify programs by program type and participating organization type, assigning multiple codes as necessary and creating summary charts for program types, organization types, and intended audience to illustrate the breadth of available resources.

Results

We identified 94 educational initiatives related to antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial stewardship, which represent a diverse array of programs including courses, workshops, conferences, guidelines, public outreach materials, and online-resource websites. These resources were developed by a combination of government bodies, professional societies, universities, non-profit and community organizations, hospitals and healthcare centers, and insurance companies and industry. Most programs either targeted healthcare workers collectively or specifically targeted physicians. A smaller number of programs were aimed at other healthcare worker groups including pharmacists, nurses, midwives, and healthcare students.

Conclusions

Our environmental scan shows that there are many organizations working to develop and share educational resources for healthcare workers on antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial stewardship. Governments, hospitals, and professional societies appear to be driving action on this front, sometimes working with other types of organizations. A broad range of resources have been made freely available; however, we have noted several opportunities for action, including increased engagement with students, improvements to pre-service education, recognition of antimicrobial resistance courses as continuing medical education, and better platforms for resource-sharing online.

Categorías: Investigaciones

The perceived impact of family physicians on the district health system in South Africa: a cross-sectional survey

Lun, 05/02/2018 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Evidence from first world contexts support the notion that strong primary health care teams contain family physicians (FPs). African leaders are looking for evidence from their own context. The roles and scope of practice of FPs are also contextually defined. The South African family medicine discipline has agreed on six roles. These roles were incorporated into a family physician impact assessment tool, previously validated in the Western Cape Province.

Methods

A cross-sectional study design was used to assess the perceived impact of family physicians across seven South African provinces. All FPs working in the district health system (DHS) of these seven provinces were invited to participate. Sixteen respondents (including the FP) per enrolled FP were asked to complete the validated 360-degree assessment tool.

Results

A total number of 52 FPs enrolled for the survey (a response rate of 56.5%) with a total number of 542 respondents. The mean number of respondents per FP was 10.4 (SD = 3.9). The perceived impact made by FPs was high for five of the six roles. Co-workers rated their FP’s impact across all six roles as higher, compared to the other doctors at the same facility. The perceived beneficial impact was experienced equally across the whole study setting, with no significant differences when comparing location (rural vs. metropolitan), facility type or training model (graduation before and ≥ 2011).

Conclusions

The findings support the need to increase the deployment of family physicians in the DHS and to increase the number being trained as per the national position paper.

Categorías: Investigaciones

A review of characteristics and outcomes of Australia’s undergraduate medical education rural immersion programs

Mié, 31/01/2018 - 00:00
Abstract Background

A key strategy for increasing the supply of rural doctors is rurally located medical education. In 2000, Australia introduced a national policy to increase rural immersion for undergraduate medical students. This study aims to describe the characteristics and outcomes of the rural immersion programs that were implemented in Australian medical schools.

Methods

Information about 19 immersion programs was sourced in 2016 via the grey and published literature. A scoping review of the published peer-reviewed studies via Ovid MEDLINE and Informit (2000–2016) and direct journal searching included studies that focused on outcomes of undergraduate rural immersion in Australian medical schools from 2000 to 2016.

Results

Programs varied widely by selection criteria and program design, offering between 1- and 6-year immersion. Based on 26 studies from 10 medical schools, rural immersion was positively associated with rural practice in the first postgraduate year (internship) and early career (first 10 years post-qualifying). Having a rural background increased the effects of rural immersion. Evidence suggested that longer duration of immersion also increases the uptake of rural work, including by metropolitan-background students, though overall there was limited evidence about the influence of different program designs.

Most evidence was based on relatively weak, predominantly cross-sectional research designs and single-institution studies. Many had flaws including small sample sizes, studying internship outcomes only, inadequately controlling for confounding variables, not using metropolitan-trained controls and providing limited justification as to the postgraduate stage at which rural practice outcomes were measured.

Conclusions

Australia’s immersion programs are moderately associated with an increased rural supply of early career doctors although metropolitan-trained students contribute equal numbers to overall rural workforce capacity. More research is needed about the influence of student interest in rural practice and the duration and setting of immersion on rural work uptake and working more remotely. Research needs to be more nationally balanced and scaled-up to inform national policy development. Critically, the quality of research could be strengthened through longer-term follow-up studies, adjusting for known confounders, accounting for postgraduate stages and using appropriate controls to test the relative effects of student characteristics and program designs.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Microeconomic institutions and personnel economics for health care delivery: a formal exploration of what matters to health workers in Rwanda

Vie, 26/01/2018 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Most developing countries face important challenges regarding the quality of health care, and there is a growing consensus that health workers play a key role in this process. Our understanding as to what are the key institutional challenges in human resources, and their underlying driving forces, is more limited. A conceptual framework that structures existing insights and provides concrete directions for policymaking is also missing.

Methods

To gain a bottom-up perspective, we gather qualitative data through semi-structured interviews with different levels of health workers and users of health services in rural and urban Rwanda. We conducted discussions with 48 health workers and 25 users of health services in nine different groups in 2005. We maximized within-group heterogeneity by selecting participants using specific criteria that affect health worker performance and career choice. The discussion were analysed electronically, to identify key themes and insights, and are documented with a descriptive quantitative analysis relating to the associations between quotations. The findings from this research are then revisited 10 years later making use of detailed follow-up studies that have been carried out since then.

Results

The original discussions identified both key challenges in human resources for health and driving forces of these challenges, as well as possible solutions. Two sets of issues were highlighted: those related to the size and distribution of the workforce and those related to health workers’ on-the-job performance. Among the latter, four categories were identified: health workers’ poor attitudes towards patients, absenteeism, corruption and embezzlement and lack of medical skills among some categories of health workers. The discussion suggest that four components constitute the deeper causal factors, which are, ranked in order of ease of malleability, incentives, monitoring arrangements, professional and workplace norms and intrinsic motivation. Three institutional innovations are identified that aim at improving performance: performance pay, community health workers and increased attention to training of health workers. Revisiting the findings from this primary research making use of later in-depth studies, the analysis demonstrates their continued relevance and usefulness. We discuss how the different factors affect the quality of care by impacting on health worker performance and labour market choices, making use of insights from economics and development studies on the role of institutions.

Conclusion

The study results indicate that health care quality to an important degree depends on four institutional factors at the microlevel that strongly impact on health workers’ performance and career choice, and which deserve more attention in applied research and policy reform. The analysis also helps to identify ways forwards, which fit well with the Ministry’s most recent strategic plan.

Categorías: Investigaciones

What motivates medical students to select medical studies: a systematic literature review

Mié, 17/01/2018 - 00:00
Abstract Background

There is a significant shortage of health workers across and within countries. It is of utmost importance to determine the factors that motivate students to opt for medical studies. The objective of this study is to group and review all the studies that investigated the motivational factors that underpin students’ selection of medical study in recent years.

Methods

The literature search was carried out by two researchers independently in PubMed, Google Scholar, Wiley and IndMED databases for articles published from year 2006 till 2016. A total of 38 combinations of MeSH words were used for search purpose. Studies related to medical students and interns have been included. The application of inclusion and exclusion criteria and PRISMA guidelines for reporting systematic review led to the final selection of 24 articles.

Results

The majority of the studies (n = 16; 66.6%) were from high-income countries followed by an equal number from upper-middle and lower-middle income countries (n = 4,16.7%). None of the studies were from low-income countries. All of the studies were cross-sectional in nature. The main motivating factors that emerged were scientific (interest in science / medicine, social interest and academia, flexible work hours and work independence), societal (prestige, job security, financial security) and humanitarian (serving the poor and under priviledged) in high-, upper-middle and lower-middle income countries, respectively. The findings were comparable to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory of motivation.

Conclusion

This systematic review identifies the motivational factors influencing students to join medical studies in different parts of the globe. These factors vary per country depending on the level of income. This study offers cues to policy makers and educators to formulate policy in order to tackle the shortage of health workers, i.e. medical doctors. However, more research is needed to translate health policy into concrete and effective measures.

Categorías: Investigaciones

The effects of workplace respect and violence on nurses’ job satisfaction in Ghana: a cross-sectional survey

Lun, 15/01/2018 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Studies have established the negative effects of workplace disrespect and violence on the personal and professional well-being of nurses. In spite of this, only a few have directly investigated the effects of these issues on nurses’ job satisfaction. In Africa, research on nurses’ job satisfaction continues to focus largely on economic factors. The aim of this paper was, therefore, to investigate the impact of the non-economic factors of workplace violence and respect on the job satisfaction levels of nurses in Ghana.

Methods

The study employed a cross-sectional questionnaire survey. It involved 592 qualified practising nurses working in public hospitals in Ghana. Data were collected between September 2013 and April 2014.

Results

The results showed that, overall, nurses were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with their jobs (M = 3.19, SD = .54). More than half (52.7%) of the participants had been abused verbally, and 12% had been sexually harassed in the 12 months prior to the study. The majority of nurses, however, believed they were respected at the workplace (M = 3.77, SD = .70, Mode = 4). Multiple regression analyses showed that verbal abuse and perceived respect were statistically significant predictors of nurses’ job satisfaction. Nurses who experienced verbal abuse and low level of respect were more likely to report low job satisfaction scores.

Conclusion

It is concluded that non-financial strategies such as safe work environments which are devoid of workplace violence may enhance nurses’ job satisfaction levels. A policy of “zero tolerance” for violence and low tolerance for disrespect could be put in place to protect nurses and healthcare professionals in general.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Forecasting imbalances in the global health labor market and devising policy responses

Jue, 11/01/2018 - 00:00
Abstract Background

The High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth released its report to the United Nations Secretary-General in September 2016. It makes important recommendations that are based on estimates of over 40 million new health sector jobs by 2030 in mostly high- and middle-income countries and a needs-based shortage of 18 million, mostly in low- and middle-income countries. This paper shows how these key findings were developed, the global policy dilemmas they raise, and relevant policy solutions.

Methods

Regression analysis is used to produce estimates of health worker need, demand, and supply. Projections of health worker need, demand, and supply in 2030 are made under the assumption that historical trends continue into the future.

Results

To deliver essential health services required for the universal health coverage target of the Sustainable Development Goal 3, there will be a need for almost 45 million health workers in 2013 which is projected to reach almost 53 million in 2030 (across 165 countries). This results in a needs-based shortage of almost 17 million in 2013. The demand-based results suggest a projected demand of 80 million health workers by 2030.

Conclusions

Demand-based analysis shows that high- and middle-income countries will have the economic capacity to employ tens of millions additional health workers, but they could face shortages due to supply not keeping up with demand. By contrast, low-income countries will face both low demand for and supply of health workers. This means that even if countries are able to produce additional workers to meet the need threshold, they may not be able to employ and retain these workers without considerably higher economic growth, especially in the health sector.

Categorías: Investigaciones

An analysis of the global pharmacy workforce capacity trends from 2006 to 2012

Jue, 11/01/2018 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Human resources for health are at a critical low. The World Health Organization estimates that the current shortage of health workers, including pharmacists, is in excess of 7.2 million worldwide and that, by 2035, the shortage will reach 12.9 million. Pharmacists, in particular, are lacking in the workforce in many countries. The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and academic partners have conducted periodic global pharmacy workforce surveys in 2006, 2009 and 2012 which have monitored and reported on the status of the pharmacy workforce at the country and territory levels. This current analysis is a synthesis of workforce capacity data from these date points to provide an overview of the global trends and changes to pharmacy workforce capacity over this time period.

Methods

The methodology proceeded with accessing workforce capacity data collated in 2006, 2009 and 2012 held on file at the FIP Collaborating Centre. This data had previously been validated and made available to WHO Human Resources for Health. The data focused (due to limitations from 2006 databank) on pharmacist workforce capacity. Countries and territories were identified that had data available across at least two of the three time points (2006, 2009 and 2012). Missing time-point data for some countries (data gaps) were subject, where possible, to literature and online data searching to capture possible missing data. Country-level capacity data were plotted against time to identify trends coupled with comparative analysis of the trends.

Results

The countries and territories identified as having valid data for each of the time points 2006, 2009 and 2012 were present in all WHO regions, with Europe having the most countries with data available and South East Asia the fewest.

All WHO regions have experienced an increase in the density of pharmacists (measured as number of pharmacists per 10 000 population) over the period 2006–2012. However, some countries show a reduction in the density of pharmacists. African countries show large relative increases in acceleration of capacity building but remain significantly behind in terms of absolute capacity per capita. South East Asian and Middle Eastern countries also show large proportional changes in pharmacist workforce.

Conclusion

The global trend is an increase in workforce across all nations and regions, and this is a move in the right direction towards improved access to, and availability of, pharmaceutical expertise. However, there is still much to be done, with some regions and low-income countries still displaying a disproportionately low number of pharmacists on small overall capacity for delivering pharmacy services.

Categorías: Investigaciones

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