In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), food insecurity and undernutrition disproportionately affect women of reproductive age, infants and young children. The disease burden from undernutrition in these vulnerable sections of societies remains a major concern in LMICs. Biomass fuel use for cooking is also common in LMICs. Empirical evidence from high-income countries indicates that early life nutritional and environmental exposures and their effect on infant lung function are important; however, data from sub-Saharan Africa are scarce.
To estimate the association between infant lung function and household food insecurity, energy poverty and maternal dietary diversity.
Pregnant women will be recruited in an existing Health and Demographic Surveillance Site in South-West Uganda. Household food insecurity, sources and uses of energy, economic measures and maternal dietary diversity will be collected during pregnancy and after birth. Primary health outcomes will be infant lung function determined by tidal breath flow and volume analysis at 6–10 weeks of age. Infant weight and length will also be collected.
A household Food Consumption Score and Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women (MDD-W) indicator will be constructed. The involved cost of dietary diversity will be estimated based on MDD-W. The association between household level and mothers’ food access indicators and infant lung function will be evaluated using regression models. The Multidimensional Energy Poverty Index (MEPI) will be estimated and used as an indicator of households’ environmental exposures. The association between household MEPI and infant lung function will be assessed using econometric models.
Ethical approvals have been obtained from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (18-059), the Uganda Virus Research Institute Ethics Committee (097/2018) and Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (SS 4846). Study results will be shared with participants, policy-makers, other stakeholders and published in peer-reviewed journals.
HIV, diabetes and hypertension have a high disease burden in sub-Saharan Africa. Healthcare is organised in separate clinics, which may be inefficient. In a cohort study, we evaluated integrated management of these conditions from a single chronic care clinic.
To determined the feasibility and acceptability of integrated management of chronic conditions in terms of retention in care and clinical indicators.
Prospective cohort study comprising patients attending 10 health facilities offering primary care in Dar es Salaam and Kampala.
Clinics within health facilities were set up to provide integrated care. Patients with either HIV, diabetes or hypertension had the same waiting areas, the same pharmacy, were seen by the same clinical staff, had similar provision of adherence counselling and tracking if they failed to attend appointments.
Retention in care, plasma viral load.
Between 5 August 2018 and 21 May 2019, 2640 patients were screened of whom 2273 (86%) were enrolled into integrated care (832 with HIV infection, 313 with diabetes, 546 with hypertension and 582 with multiple conditions). They were followed up to 30 January 2020. Overall, 1615 (71.1%)/2273 were female and 1689 (74.5%)/2266 had been in care for 6 months or more. The proportions of people retained in care were 686/832 (82.5%, 95% CI: 79.9% to 85.1%) among those with HIV infection, 266/313 (85.0%, 95% CI: 81.1% to 89.0%) among those with diabetes, 430/546 (78.8%, 95% CI: 75.4% to 82.3%) among those with hypertension and 529/582 (90.9%, 95% CI: 88.6 to 93.3) among those with multimorbidity. Among those with HIV infection, the proportion with plasma viral load
Integrated management of chronic diseases is a feasible strategy for the control of HIV, diabetes and hypertension in Africa and needs evaluation in a comparative study.
HIV programmes in sub-Saharan Africa are well funded but programmes for diabetes and hypertension are weak with only a small proportion of patients in regular care. Healthcare provision is organised from stand-alone clinics. In this cluster randomised trial, we are evaluating a concept of integrated care for people with HIV infection, diabetes or hypertension from a single point of care.
32 primary care health facilities in Dar es Salaam and Kampala regions were randomised to either integrated or standard vertical care. In the integrated care arm, services are organised from a single clinic where patients with either HIV infection, diabetes or hypertension are managed by the same clinical and counselling teams. They use the same pharmacy and laboratory and have the same style of patient records. Standard care involves separate pathways, that is, separate clinics, waiting and counselling areas, a separate pharmacy and separate medical records. The trial has two primary endpoints: retention in care of people with hypertension or diabetes and plasma viral load suppression. Recruitment is expected to take 6 months and follow-up is for 12 months. With 100 participants enrolled in each facility with diabetes or hypertension, the trial will provide 90% power to detect an absolute difference in retention of 15% between the study arms (at the 5% two-sided significance level). If 100 participants with HIV infection are also enrolled in each facility, we will have 90% power to show non-inferiority in virological suppression to a delta=10% margin (ie, that the upper limit of the one-sided 95% CI of the difference between the two arms will not exceed 10%). To allow for lost to follow-up, the trial will enrol over 220 persons per facility. This is the only trial of its kind evaluating the concept of a single integrated clinic for chronic conditions in Africa.
The protocol has been approved by ethics committee of The AIDS Support Organisation, National Institute of Medical Research and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Dissemination of findings will be done through journal publications and meetings involving study participants, healthcare providers and other stakeholders.
To explore how excellent nurses in hospitals take into account patient preferences in nursing decision‐making in the evidence‐based practice towards personalised care.
In evidence‐based practice, nursing decision‐making is based on scientific evidence, evidence of best practice and individual patient preferences. Little is known about how nurses in hospitals take into account patient preferences in nursing decision‐making.
Qualitative grounded theory.
Data collection entailed 27 semi‐structured interviews with nurses designated by their colleagues as excellent caregivers, followed by 57 hours of participant observation. Data analysis was conducted using three‐level coding with constant comparison and theoretical sampling. The COREQ checklist for qualitative research was followed.
A main finding was that participants used three implicit tools to discover patient preferences: establishing a connection, using antennae and asking empathic questions, thus instantly reassuring patients from the very first contact. Their starting point in care was the patient's perception of quality of life wherein they shifted towards their patient's perspective: “Teach me to provide the best care for you in this situation.” During the observations, it was confirmed that the excellent nurses behaved as they had described before.
Excellent nurses actively turn towards patients’ expectations and experienced quality of life by carefully blending individual sensitive and situation specific patient preferences with scientific evidence and evidence of best practice. In doing so, they are able to balancing more equally patient preferences in to the equation called evidence‐based practice, thus leading to wise decision‐making in personalised nursing care.
Patient preferences become a fully fledged part of nursing decision‐making in EBP when in education and practice, the implicit knowledge of excellent nurses about how to take into account patient preferences to provide personalised care is more valued and taught.