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Methylphenidate use and misuse among medical residents in Israel: a cross-sectional study

19 hours 27 min ago
Abstract Background

Methylphenidate (MPH) and other stimulants may be misused, mainly as cognitive enhancers and recreational drugs. Data regarding misuse among medical residents are scarce. This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of and main reasons for methylphenidate (MPH) use and misuse among Israeli medical residents.

Methods

In this cross-sectional study, we sent an online questionnaire to medical residents who had completed their first residency exam and specialists with up to 2 years of experience. We asked about the use of MPH before and during residency and attitudes toward the use of MPH as a cognitive enhancer. We also added the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) questionnaire, a validated tool used to screen for the presence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Users and misusers were classified based on self-report of use and formal ADHD diagnosis. Logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate factors associated with MPH misuse.

Results

From March 2021 to August 2021, 370 physicians responded to our questionnaire (response rate 26.4%). Twenty-eight met the exclusion criteria and were not included. The respondents’ average age was 36.5 years. Women comprised 63.5% of the respondents. Of the participants, 16.4% were classified as users and 35.1% as misusers. The prevalence of misusers was 45.6% among surgery and OB/GYN physicians, 39.4% among pediatricians and internists, and 24% among family physicians (P < 0.001). Misusers had a more liberal approach than others to MPH use as a cognitive enhancer. Factors associated with misuse of MPH included not being a native-born Israeli (OR-1.99, 95% CI 1.08, 3.67) and type of residency (OR-2.33, 95% CI 1.22, 4.44 and OR-4.08, 95% CI 2.06, 8.07 for pediatrics and internal medicine and surgery, respectively).

Conclusion

Very high levels of MPH misuse during residency may be related to stress, long working hours, night shifts, and the academic burden of the residency period. We believe that our findings should be considered by healthcare policymakers as they make decisions regarding the conditions of medical residencies. The use of MPH as a cognitive enhancer should be further studied and discussed.

Categories: Investigaciones

Global Health Security amid COVID-19: Tanzanian government’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

19 hours 27 min ago
Abstract

Several stakeholders assumed different responsibilities for global health security and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to highlight how the Tanzanian government, in collaboration with the international government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), donor agencies, and stakeholders responded to the pandemic to improve health security and community well-being. This article analyzed secondary data sources from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) country report and published reports from Tanzania’s government to evaluate vaccine availability and health security. Findings from the data gathered indicate that the initial response from the Tanzanian government concerning the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic was rather abysmal due to the posture of the late President John Pombe Magufuli who at first downplayed the severity and seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the swearing-in of the new President, Samia Suluhu, there was a new approach and strategy instituted to deal with the pandemic which has resulted in the country making headway in containing the pandemic. Data gathered thus, indicate that, as of 11th February 2022, the total number of fully vaccinated individuals in the country as of 12th April 2022 stood at 3,435,513 from the total number of 2,205,815 reported on 11th February 2022. This study thus, concludes that there is a need for a strong stakeholder engagement with high-level political, community, and religious leaders and increased access to COVID-19 vaccination as well as a mass campaign to scale up vaccination activities with adequate resource mobilization and plan.

Categories: Investigaciones

How surface acting affects turnover intention among family doctors in rural China: the mediating role of emotional exhaustion and the moderating role of occupational commitment

Thu, 26/01/2023 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Family doctors in rural China are the main force for primary health care, but the workforce has not been well stabilized in recent years. Surface acting is an emotional labor strategy with a disparity between inner feelings and emotional displays, provoking negative effects such as emotional exhaustion, occupational commitment reduction, and, consequently, increasing turnover rate. With the Conservation of Resources theory, this study explores how the surface acting of rural family doctors affects turnover intention through emotional exhaustion and investigates what role occupational commitment plays in this relationship.

Methods

With a valid response rate of 93.89%, 953 valid data were collected by an anonymous self-administered questionnaire survey in December 2021 in Shandong Province, China. Cronbach’s Alpha and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were used to estimate reliability and construct validity, respectively. The PROCESS macro in SPSS was performed to analyze the mediating and moderated mediation effects of surface acting, emotional exhaustion, occupational commitment, and turnover intention.

Results

Reliability and validity indicated that the measurement instruments were acceptable. Surface acting had a direct positive effect on turnover intention (β = 0.481, 95% CI [0.420, 0.543]). Emotional exhaustion partially mediated the effect of surface acting on turnover intention (indirect effect: 0.214, 95% CI [0.175, 0.256]). Occupational commitment moderated the effect of emotional exhaustion on turnover intention (β = − 0.065, 95% CI [− 0.111, − 0.019]), and moderated the indirect effect of surface acting on turnover intention via emotional exhaustion (index of moderated mediation: − 0.035).

Conclusions

Emotional exhaustion partially mediates the relationship between surface acting and turnover intention among family doctors in rural China, and occupational commitment moderates the direct effect of emotional exhaustion on turnover intention and further moderates the mediating effect. Policymakers should pay more attention to the effects of emotional labor and emotional resource depletion on the stability of rural health human resources.

Categories: Investigaciones

An audit of the carbon footprint of travel for the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society International Education Foundation partnerships

Fri, 20/01/2023 - 00:00
Abstract Purpose

International partnerships have an important role in capacity building in global health, but frequently involve travel and its associated carbon footprint. The environmental impact of global health partnerships has not previously been quantified.

Methods

We conducted a retrospective internal audit of the environmental impact of air travel for the international education programs of the Canadian Anesthesiology Society’s International Education Fund (CASIEF). We compiled a comprehensive list of volunteer travel routes and used the International Civil Aviation Organization Carbon Emissions Calculator, which considers travel distance, passenger numbers, and average operational data for optimized estimates. Comparisons were made with average Canadian household emissions and disability adjusted life years (DALYs) lost from climate change consequences.

Results

The total carbon dioxide emitted (CO2-e) for the Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Guyana CASIEF partnerships were 268.2, 60.7, and 52.0 tons, respectively. The DALYs cost of these programs combined is estimated to be as high as 1.1 years of life lost due to the effects of CO2-e. The mean daily carbon cost of the average Rwanda partnership was equivalent to daily emissions of 2.2 Canadians (or 383 Rwandans), for the Guyana partnership was equivalent to 1.6 Canadians (or 7.6 Guyanese people), and for the Ethiopia partnership was equivalent to 2.4 Canadians (or 252 Ethiopian people).

Conclusions

Air travel from these CASIEF partnerships resulted in 380.9 tons CO2-e but also enabled 5,601 volunteer days-in-country since 2014. The estimated environmental cost needs to be balanced against the impact of the programs. Regardless, carbon-reduction remains a priority, whether by discouraging premium class travel, organizing longer trips to reduce daily emissions, prioritizing remote support and virtual education, or developing partnerships closer to home.

Categories: Investigaciones

Complexities of health and care worker migration pathways and corresponding international reporting requirements

Fri, 20/01/2023 - 00:00
Abstract

The increasing complexity of the migration pathways of health and care workers is a critical consideration in the reporting requirements of international agreements designed to address their impacts. There are inherent challenges across these different agreements including reporting functions that are misaligned across different data collection tools, variable capacity of country respondents, and a lack of transparency or accountability in the reporting process. Moreover, reporting processes often neglect to recognize the broader intersectional gendered and racialized political economy of health and care worker migration. We argue for a more coordinated approach to the various international reporting requirements and processes that involve building capacity within countries to report on their domestic situation in response to these codes and conventions, and internationally to make such reporting result in more than simply the sum of their responses, but to reflect cross-national and transnational interactions and relationships. These strategies would better enable policy interventions along migration pathways that would more accurately recognize the growing complexity of health worker migration leading to more effective responses to mitigate its negative effects for migrants, source, destination, and transit countries. While recognizing the multiple layers of complexity, we nevertheless reaffirm the fact that countries still have an ethical responsibility to undertake health workforce planning in their countries that does not overly rely on the recruitment of migrant health and care workers.

Categories: Investigaciones

Assessment of integrated community case management of childhood illness (ICCM) practices by trained patent and proprietary medicine vendors (PPMVs) in Ebonyi and Kaduna states, Nigeria

Fri, 20/01/2023 - 00:00
Abstract Introduction

An Integrated Community treatment of Childhood disease (ICCM)- focused intervention involving a large number of Patent and proprietary medicine vendors (PPMVs) was conducted by Society for Family Health Nigeria to improve management of childhood, malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea with an intervention approach focused on knowledge and skill improvement. The intervention was conducted in Kaduna and Ebonyi state; recruited and trained 15 interpersonal communication agents (IPCAs) who were saddled with the responsibility to sensitize and mobilize caregivers with children within the age bracket of 2 months to 5 years to our mapped PPMVs within the communities, on the account of Malaria, Diarrhea, and Pneumonia; while the IPCAs in return monitor the quality-of-service delivery. Following the intervention, the Society for Family health conducted a study to demonstrate the effectiveness of interventions such as ICCM training, supervision and linkage to quality ICCM commodities, among PPMVs to achieve high levels of knowledge and performance in diagnosing and treating common childhood illnesses.

Methods

Longitudinal research (before and after study) was adopted for the study. From the 387 PPMVs recruited and trained by SFH, 165 PPMVs were systematically selected to participate in the study, before and after the implementation of the intervention. Using SPSS version 22, data from the observation and completed questionnaires were analyzed and a chi-square test was used to examine the associations between the categorical information collected prior and after the intervention. The analysis was conducted at 5% level of significance.

Results

More than 50 % of the study participants were females (56.4%) and majority were either Junior community extension workers (35%) or Senior community extension worker (27%). About 21.8% trained PPMVs could not appropriately treat malaria in the first quarter of the intervention, however, there was a significant decrease to 1.8% in second quarter in the number of those that cannot appropriately diagnose and treat malaria. There was also a decrease in the number of those who could not treat cough and fast breathing from 47(28.5%) to 14(8.5%) in the second quarter and for diarrhea from 33.3% in the first quarter to 2.4% in the second quarter.

Conclusion

The study revealed a significant improvement in the quality of treatment provided by the trained PPMVs across the three disease areas. PPMVs in hard-to-reach areas should be trained and supported to continuously provide quality services to change the indices of under-5 mortality in Nigeria.

Categories: Investigaciones

Effect of doctor allocation policies on the equitable distribution of doctors in Thailand

Fri, 13/01/2023 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Equitable geographic distribution of doctors is crucial for the provision of an accessible and efficient health service system. This study aimed to assess the effects of doctor allocation by the Thai Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in relation to equity distribution.

Methods

This descriptive study compared secondary data on the number of doctors, gross provincial products (GPP), and populations of 76 Thai provinces for the years 2017 and 2021. The ratio of doctors to 1000 population was used to measure the spatial distribution of doctors by province. Lorenz curves and the Gini coefficient were used to determine the equity of doctor distribution.

Results

The results showed that the Gini coefficient decreased from 0.191 in 2017 to 0.03 in 2021 indicating that the equitable distribution of doctors improved after the MoPH commenced allocating newly graduated doctors according to health utilization in 2017. Compared to 2017, the percentage changes in the number of doctors were higher in provinces with lower doctor densities and in provinces with higher GPPs.

Conclusion

The equitable distribution of doctors in Thailand was affected by two main causes: the allocation of newly graduated doctors by the MoPH and the turnover rate of existing doctors.

Categories: Investigaciones

Universal health coverage in Pakistan: is the health system geared up to take on the challenge?

Thu, 12/01/2023 - 00:00
Abstract Background

There is a strong and wide consensus that Pakistan must pursue universal health coverage (UHC) attainment as the driving force for achieving sustainable development goals by 2030. Nevertheless, several institutional and socioeconomic challenges may hinder the progress toward UHC.

Main body

It is important that the health system of Pakistan must be transformed to strengthen all three dimensions of UHC i.e. maximizing the population covered, increasing the range of services offered, and reducing the cost-sharing. To make UHC dream a reality in Pakistan, there are some pre-requisites to meet upfront: a) budgetary allocation for health as percentage of GDP must be increased; b) health system’s readiness especially in the public sector ought to improve in terms of human resource and availability of essential services; c) safety nets for health must continue regardless of the change in the political regimes; d) decrease the reliance on donors’ funding; and e) accountability to be ensured across the board for service providers, managers, administrators and policymakers in the health system.

Conclusion

COVID-19 pandemic has revealed some major gaps in the health system’s capacity to deliver equitable healthcare, which is a cornerstone to achieving the UHC agenda. The priority-setting process will need to be aligned with the SDGs to ensure that the agenda for action towards 2030 is comprehensively addressed and successfully accomplished preferably before, but hopefully not beyond the targeted dates.

Categories: Investigaciones

“They are gaining experience; we are gaining extra hands”: a mixed methods study to assess healthcare worker perceptions of a novel strategy to strengthen human resources for HIV in South Africa

Wed, 11/01/2023 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Lay health workers (LHWs) can support the HIV response by bridging gaps in human resources for health. Innovative strategies are needed to expand LHW programs in many low- and middle-income countries. Youth Health Africa (YHA) is a novel LHW approach implemented in South Africa that places young adults needing work experience in one-year non-clinical internships at health facilities to support HIV programs (e.g., as HIV testers, data clerks). While research suggests YHA can increase HIV service delivery, we need to understand healthcare worker perceptions to know if this is an acceptable and appropriate approach to strengthen human resources for health and healthcare delivery.

Methods

We conducted a convergent mixed methods study to assess healthcare worker acceptance and perceived appropriateness of YHA as implemented in Gauteng and North West provinces, South Africa and identify issues promoting or hindering high acceptability and perceived appropriateness. To do this, we adapted the Johns Hopkins Measure of Acceptability and Appropriateness to survey healthcare workers who supervised interns, which we analyzed descriptively. In parallel, we interviewed frontline healthcare workers who worked alongside YHA interns and conducted an inductive, thematic analysis. We merged quantitative and qualitative results using the Theoretical Framework of Acceptability to understand what promotes or hinders high acceptance and appropriateness of YHA.

Results

Sixty intern supervisors responded to the survey (91% response rate), reporting an average score of 3.5 for acceptability and 3.6 for appropriateness, on a four-point scale. Almost all 33 frontline healthcare workers interviewed reported the program to be highly acceptable and appropriate. Perceptions that YHA was mutually beneficial, easy to integrate into facilities, and helped facilities be more successful promoted a strong sense of acceptability/appropriateness amongst healthcare workers, but this was tempered by the burden of training interns and limited program communication. Overall, healthcare workers were drawn to the altruistic nature of YHA.

Conclusion

Healthcare workers in South Africa believed YHA was an acceptable and appropriate LHW program to support HIV service delivery because its benefits outweighed its costs. This may be an effective, innovative approach to strengthen human resources for HIV services and the broader health sector.

Categories: Investigaciones

Workload Indicators of Staffing Need (WISN) Method for Midwives Planning and Estimation at Asrade Zewude Memorial Primary Hospital, North west Ethiopia

Tue, 10/01/2023 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Workforce is a crucial component of the health service delivery system. Ethiopia faces health workforce challenges when it comes to evidence based health workforce planning.

Workforce planning was initially determined by comparing the health worker ratio to the general population number. Later, it was determined by standard staffing schedules for each health facility level. However, neither of these methods addressed the evidence based workload variation issue among the same level facilities all around the country. A workload indicator of staff needs (WISN) method can address these variations. Therefore this research was carried on to determine workload pressure excess or gap in midwives, thereby to promote the WISN use in health facilities, based on WISN results of midwives at Asrade Zewude memorial Hospital.

Methods

A cross sectional study using WISN model was used to determine the workload excess and gap pressure in midwives at Asrade Zewude Memorial primary hospital, North West Ethiopia. Midwives were selected based on a priority point scale as outlined in the WISN method.

Results

According to the data obtained, midwives worked five days a week and 1030 h per year. This working time was spent on health service activities (58.4%), additional activities (36.6%) and support activities (5%). WISN calculations demonstrated a shortage of five midwives with WISN ratio of 0.8 at Asrade Zewude Memorial primary hospital North West Ethiopia.

Conclusion

Midwives at the study area were carrying on their routine tasks even though there was a staff gap of 5: thus, the midwives had a workload excess of 20%. Under these conditions, it may be hard for the facility to achieve universal health service goals. Therefore the hospital should institutionalize WISN method planning to objectively employ midwifery professionals. This study had limitations too as it used retrospective annual service statistics and small sample size which affects generalization of the results to other health facilities and other health worker cadres within the study hospital.

Categories: Investigaciones

Evolving insights into the epidemiology of Moraxella species bloodstream infection from two decades of surveillance in Queensland, Australia

Tue, 10/01/2023 - 00:00
Abstract

The epidemiology of Moraxella species bloodstream infection (BSI) is poorly defined due to their rarity. We sought to determine the incidence, risk factors, and outcomes of Moraxella species BSI in a large Australian population. All Moraxella species BSIs in patients admitted to Queensland (population estimate 5 million) public health facilities between 2000 and 2019 and submitted to Queensland pathology laboratory-based surveillance were included. Clinical and hospitalisation data were matched with laboratory-based surveillance data. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. In total, 375 incident Moraxella species BSI occurred during 86 million person-years of surveillance, with an annualised age and sex standardised incidence of 4.3 per million residents. Isolates were most commonly identified as M. catarrhalis (n = 128; 34%) and community-associated (n = 225; 60%). Incidence was highest in infants, with increasing age associated with lower incidence rate. Males were at higher risk (incidence 2.9 vs. 2.0 per million, IRR1.4; 95% CI, 1.2–1.8), this was most pronounced at age extremes. Two-thirds of adults and 43% of children with Moraxella BSI had at least one comorbid illness. When compared to infections in adults, children were more likely to have community-associated disease, and a head and neck source focus of infection. The all-cause 30-day case-fatality rate was 4% (15/375) and this was significantly higher among adults (14/191; 7% vs 1/183; 1%; p < 0.001). Our findings demonstrate the low burden of Moraxella species BSI in a state-wide cohort, for which young children have the highest risk.

Categories: Investigaciones

Why are they “unreached”? Macro and Meso determinants of health care access in hard to reach areas of Odisha, India

Thu, 05/01/2023 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Reaching hard to reach populations is key to reduce health inequities. Despite targeted interventions, status of crucial public health indicators like neonatal and maternal mortality is still far from optimal. Complex interplay of social determinants can influence both communities and health care workers to effectively access each other. We argue that culturally sensitive and contextually relevant healthcare provision has potential to increase health care utilization by the vulnerable communities living in remote areas.

Methods

The study is an exploratory case study using rapid ethnographic techniques to understand the interplay of social determinants in hard to reach areas of Odisha state, India. We used in-depth interviews, focus group discussion, participatory action research and key informant interviews as tools for data collection. The analysis of data has been guided by thematic analysis approach.

Results

We found that there are further layers within the designated hard to reach areas and those can be designated as-i) extremely remote ii) remote and iii) reachable areas. Degree of geographic difficulties and cultural dynamics are deciding the ‘perceived’ isolation and interaction with health care providers in hard to reach areas. This ultimately leads to impacting the utilization of the facilities. At extremely remote areas, felt health needs are mainly fulfilled by traditional healers and ethno-medical practices. In reachable areas, people are more prone to seek care from the public health facilities because of easy accessibility and outreach. Being in middle people in remote areas, diversify health care seeking depending upon social (e.g. patient’s gender) economic (e.g. avoid catastrophic expenditure) and health system (timely availability of health human resources, language barriers) factors.

Conclusion

Our research highlights the need to value and appreciate different worldviews, beliefs and practices, and their understanding of and engagement with the pluralistic health care system around them. Other than pursuing the ‘mainstreaming’ of a standardized health system model across hard to reach areas, strategies need to be adaptive as per local factors. To handle that existing policies need revision with a focus on culturally sensitive and contextual care provision.

Categories: Investigaciones

Mapping global evidence on public-private partnership for medical rehabilitation services delivery: a scoping review protocol

Wed, 04/01/2023 - 00:00
Abstract Introduction

Access to medical rehabilitation remains poor in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is partly due to inadequate service delivery emanating from ill-defined public health policies. Developed countries have adopted public-private partnership (PPP) agreements between the government and private sectors, thus presenting superior quality and access to rehabilitation services. To help develop a PPP model for physiotherapy service delivery in South Africa, this scoping review will map research linked to PPP for medical rehabilitation services delivery and outcomes in the global context.

Methodology

The Arksey and O’Malley (2005) framework (identify the research question, identify relevant research, select studies, chart the data, collate, summarize, and report findings) will be used to guide this review. Peer-reviewed literature will be searched in PubMed, EBSCOhost, Cochrane library, SCOPUS, and Google Scholar from 2000-2022 using a combination of keywords, Medical Subject Headings, and Boolean terms. Screening of the articles at all stages will be conducted independently by two reviewers using the eligibility criteria as a guide. The reference lists of retrieved articles will be manually searched for relevant studies. Emerging themes and sub-themes will be collated, summarized, and the results reported in the narrative form.

Discussion

We anticipate identifying literature gaps for future research to inform policy on PPP for rehabilitation services delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa and actual practice. The results of this review will contribute to building a model that will enable the provision of equitable rehabilitation services at the district health level using PPP.

Categories: Investigaciones

Barriers to health in women of reproductive age living with or at risk of non-communicable diseases in Nigeria: a Photovoice study

Mon, 02/01/2023 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Nigeria has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios (MMR) globally with an MMR of 512 (per 100,000 live births) and the proportion of maternal deaths due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is increasing. While evidence shows that many of these deaths are preventable, limited attention is being paid to the unique vulnerabilities and experiences of women of reproductive age (WRA) with NCDs and their risk factors, as well as the barriers to the screening, diagnosis, and management of these diseases in Nigeria.

Methods

This study explored the lives of WRA in Lagos and Federal Capital Territory in Nigeria from May to June 2019 using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) methodology called Photovoice which is aligned with CBPR as it includes procedures such as the identification of important community issues, discussion of photo assignments and data analysis. Twenty-four women of reproductive age were provided with digital cameras and trained on how to capture photos that conveyed their current health, healthcare utilization and engagement, and experience journeys. Individual interviews with the women were held for an in-depth exploration of the photographs. The data was then analysed thematically.

Results

Six distinct themes were identified across the barriers highlighted by the women: food and nutrition, home and family, neighborhood-built environment, economic instability, religion and spirituality and low prioritization of self-care. These themes captured the challenge of reduced agency, limited contribution and participation, and a complex relationship between visible and invisible illness.

Conclusion

The perspectives of WRA in Nigeria obtained through this qualitative research provided a strong substratum for understanding the environmental barriers that predispose WRA to NCDs in Nigeria. The results of the study are useful for the improvement of woman-centred services of prevention, diagnosis, and management of NCD risk factors across the maternal and reproductive health care continuum in Nigeria.

Categories: Investigaciones

Pregnancy risks and contraceptive use among postpartum mothers in Cameroon: implications for improving the coverage of postpartum family planning services

Mon, 02/01/2023 - 00:00
Abstract Background

The health hazards of short inter-birth intervals are severe in Cameroon. One-quarter of inter-birth intervals are less than 24 months and the probability of death before age 5 for children born after a short interval is double that associated with intervals of 36–47 months. We examine the risk of an unintended pregnancy in the 18 months following childbirth in Cameroon, taking into account the protective effects of lactational amenorrhea, delayed resumption of sex as well as contraceptive use.

Methods

Data from 3007 postpartum women in the nationally representative 2018 Cameroon Demographic and Health Survey were used. Risk of an unintended pregnancy was defined from current status information on resumption of sex and menses, contraceptive use, desire for another child within 12 months, and, for the minority of pregnant women, whether the conception was intended. Predictors of risk, and of modern method use, were assessed by bivariate and multivariate analysis.

Results

In the first 6 postpartum months, only 8% of women were fully at risk (i.e., sex and menses resumed but no contraceptive use), rising to 24% at 6–11 postpartum months, and further to 30% at months 12–17. Though 89% wanted to delay the next birth by at least 1 year, only 17% were currently using a modern method. Menstruating women were much more likely to be users than amenorrheic women: 27% versus 15% at months 12–17 postpartum. Urban and better educated women recorded higher contraceptive use but lower protection from other factors than rural, less educated women, with the net result that risk differed little across these population strata. Uptake of maternal and child health (MCH) services was high but only one-third of women had discussed family planning at a facility visit during the preceding 12 months.

Conclusions

These results underscore the need for improved postpartum family planning services by means of closer integration with mainstream health services. In view of evidence from other sources of heavy workload and weak motivation of health staff, this will require strong leadership. A related priority is to increase the number of staff trained in provision of long-acting methods, such as implants.

Categories: Investigaciones

Analysing the Efficiency of Health Systems: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Wed, 28/12/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Efficiency refers the use of resources in ways that optimise desired outcomes. Health system efficiency is a priority concern for policy makers globally as countries aim to achieve universal health coverage, and face the additional challenge of an aging population. Efficiency analysis in the health sector has typically focused on the efficiency of healthcare facilities (hospitals, primary healthcare facilities), with few studies focusing on system level (national or sub-national) efficiency. We carried out a thematic review of literature that assessed the efficiency of health systems at the national and sub-national level.

Methods

We conducted a systematic search of PubMed and Google scholar between 2000 and 2021 and a manual search of relevant papers selected from their reference lists. A total of 131 papers were included. We analysed and synthesised evidence from the selected papers using a thematic approach (selecting, sorting, coding and charting collected data according to identified key issues and themes).

Findings

There were more publications from high- and upper middle-income countries (53%) than from low-income and lower middle-income countries. There were also more publications focusing on national level (60%) compared to sub-national health systems’ efficiency. Only 6% of studies used either qualitative methods or mixed methods while 94% used quantitative approaches. Data envelopment analysis, a non-parametric method, was the most common methodological approach used, followed by stochastic frontier analysis, a parametric method. A range of regression methods were used to identify the determinants of health system efficiency. While studies used a range of inputs, these generally considered the building blocks of health systems, health risk factors, and social determinants of health. Outputs used in efficiency analysis could be classified as either intermediate health service outputs (e.g., number of health facility visits), single health outcomes (e.g., infant mortality rate) or composite indices of either intermediate outputs of health outcomes (e.g., Health Adjusted Life Expectancy). Factors that were found to affect health system efficiency include demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the population, macro-economic characteristics of the national and sub-national regions, population health and wellbeing, the governance and political characteristics of these regions, and health system characteristics.

Conclusion

This review highlights the limited evidence on health system efficiency, especially in low- and middle-income countries. It also reveals the dearth of efficiency studies that use mixed methods approaches by incorporating qualitative inquiry. The review offers insights on the drivers of the efficiency of national and sub-national health systems, and highlights potential targets for reforms to improve health system efficiency.

Categories: Investigaciones

Pre-service medical education course completion and drop-out rates

Tue, 27/12/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Introduction

The “Global strategy on human resources for health: Workforce 2030” was adopted by the 69th World Health Assembly. Among its objectives is the strengthening of data on human resources for health, to inform evidence-based policy decisions. These data include the course completion and drop-out rates, to inform mechanisms that support recruitment and retention.

Objective

This paper sought to evaluate trends in course completion and drop-out rates of health workforce students. However, original data were only obtained for pre-service medical students, but no other health worker occupational groups.

Methods

A mixed method approach was employed to obtain data presented in this paper. A structured questionnaire was sent out to targeted medical training institutions, regulatory bodies, and National Medical Associations, supplemented by a web and literature search for existing studies or data reports. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics version 21.0 (Chicago, IL, USA) and Microsoft Excel 2010.

Results

Eight previously published studies were identified originating from six countries, with course completion rates ranging from 84% in Pakistan to 98.6% in the United States of America, while the drop-out rates ranged from 1.4% in the United States of America to 16% in Pakistan. An analysis of pre-service medical students in Australia and New Zealand, revealed average course completion rates of 93.3% and 96.9%, respectively, and average drop-out rates of 6.7% and 3.1%, respectively. An analysis of pre-service medical students from Nigeria, revealed an average course completion rate of 88.3%, and an average drop-out rate of 11.7%. Data were not readily available for most countries targeted during the research, either because of lack of existing mechanisms for collation of required data or restrictions making such data publicly unavailable and inaccessible.

Conclusions

Drop-out rate for pre-service medical students varies across countries with some countries recording higher drop-out rates, which raise significant concerns about the capacity of such countries to scale up production of human resources for health. Data that monitor both course completion and drop-out rates, and seek to provide insight into reasons for observed numbers, can inform mechanisms to address the causes of course drop-out and support student retention.

Categories: Investigaciones

Factors that influence scope of practice of the five largest health care professions in Australia: a scoping review

Fri, 23/12/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Introduction

A well-functioning health system delivers quality services to all people when and where they need them. To help navigate the complex realm of patient care, it is essential that health care professions have a thorough understanding of their scope of practice. However, a lack of uniformity regarding scope of practice across the regulated health professions in Australia currently exists. This has led to ambiguity about what comprises scope of practice in some health care professions in the region.

Objective

The objective of this review was to explore the literature on the factors that influence scope of practice of the five largest health care professions in Australia.

Methods

This study employed scoping review methodology to document the current state of the literature on factors that influence scope of practice of the five largest health care professions in Australia. The search was conducted using the following databases: AMED (Allied and Complementary Medicine Database), CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), Cochrane Library, EMBASE (Excerpta Medica Database), MANTIS (Manual, Alternative and Natural Therapy Index System), MEDLINE, PubMed, and SCOPUS. Additional data sources were searched from Google and ProQuest.

Results

A total of 12 771 publications were identified from the literature search. Twenty-three documents fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were included in the final analysis. Eight factors were identified across three professions (nursing & midwifery, pharmacy and physiotherapy) that influenced scope of practice: education, competency, professional identity, role confusion, legislation and regulatory policies, organisational structures, financial factors, and professional and personal factors.

Conclusion

The results of this study will inform a range of stakeholders including the private and public arms of the healthcare system, educators, employers, funding bodies, policymakers and practitioners about the factors that influence scope of practice of health professions in Australia.

Categories: Investigaciones

Hospitalization, death, and probable reinfection in Peruvian healthcare workers infected with SARS-CoV-2: a national retrospective cohort study

Thu, 22/12/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Peru has some of the worst outcomes worldwide as a result of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic; it is presumed that this has also affected healthcare workers. This study aimed to establish whether occupation and other non-occupational variables were risk factors for possible reinfection, hospitalization, and mortality from COVID-19 in cohorts of Peruvian healthcare workers infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Methods

Retrospective cohort study. Healthcare workers who presented SARS-CoV-2 infection between March 1, 2020, and August 6, 2021, were included. Occupational cohorts were reconstructed from the following sources of information: National Epidemiological Surveillance System, molecular tests (NETLAB), results of serology and antigen tests (SICOVID-19), National Registry of Health Personnel (INFORHUS), and National Information System of Deaths (SINADEF). The incidence of probable reinfection, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 was obtained in the cohorts of technicians and health assistants, nursing staff, midwives, dentists, doctors, and other healthcare workers. We evaluated whether the occupation and other non-occupational variables were risk factors for probable reinfection, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 using log-binomial and probit binomial models, obtaining the adjusted relative risk (RRAJ).

Results

90,398 healthcare workers were included in the study. Most cases were seen in technicians and health assistants (38.6%), and nursing staff (25.6%). 8.1% required hospitalization, 1.7% died from COVID-19, and 1.8% had probable reinfection. A similar incidence of probable reinfection was found in the six cohorts (1.7–1.9%). Doctors had a higher incidence of hospitalization (13.2%) and death (2.6%); however, they were also those who presented greater susceptibility linked to non-occupational variables (age and comorbidities). The multivariate analysis found that doctors (RRAJ = 1.720; CI 95: 1.569–1.886) had a higher risk of hospitalization and that the occupation of technician and health assistant was the only one that constituted a risk factor for mortality from COVID-19 (RRAJ = 1.256; 95% CI: 1.043–1.512).

Conclusions

Peruvian technicians and health assistants would have a higher risk of death from COVID-19 than other healthcare workers, while doctors have a higher incidence of death probably linked to the high frequency of non-occupational risk factors. Doctors present a higher risk of hospitalization independent of comorbidities and age; likewise, all occupations show a similar risk of probable reinfection.

Categories: Investigaciones

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