To examine changes in the screening, diagnosis, treatment and management of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DRTB) patients, and investigate the impacts of DRTB-related policies on patients of different demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.
A retrospective cohort study using registry data, plus a survey on DRTB-related policies.
All prefecture-level Centres for Disease Control in Zhejiang Province, China.
Alongside the care cascade, we examined: (1) reported number of presumptive DRTB patients; (2) percentage of presumptive patients with drug susceptibility testing (DST) records; (3) percentage of DRTB/rifampicin-resistant (RR) patients registered; (4) percentage of RR/multidrug-resistant TB (MDRTB) patients that received anti-DRTB treatment; and (5) percentage of RR/MDRTB patients cured/completed treatment among those treated. Multivariate logistic regressions were conducted to explore the impacts of DRTB policies after adjusting for other factors.
The number of reported presumptive DRTB patients and the percentage with DST records largely increased during 2015–2018, and the percentage of registered patients who received anti-DRTB treatment also increased from 59.0% to 86.5%. Patients under the policies of equipping GeneXpert plus expanded criteria for DST had a higher likelihood of being registered compared with no GeneXpert (adjusted OR (aOR)=2.57, 95% CI: 1.20 to 5.51), while for treatment initiation the association was only significant when further expanding the registration criteria (aOR=2.38, 95% CI: 1.19 to 4.79). Patients with registered residence inside Zhejiang were more likely to be registered (aOR=1.96, 95% CI: 1.52 to 2.52), treated (aOR=3.83, 95% CI: 2.78 to 5.28) and complete treatment (aOR=1.92, 95% CI: 1.03 to 3.59) compared with those outside.
The policy changes on DST and registration have effectively improved DRTB case finding and care. Nevertheless, challenges remain in servicing vulnerable groups such as migrants and improving equity in the access to TB care. Future policies should provide comprehensive support for migrants to complete treatment at their current place of residence.
To examine the association between the number of visits to the emergency department (ED) by children for night-time headaches and exposure to multifaceted factors, such as meteorological conditions and air pollution.
We conducted a clinical observational time-series analysis study.
We reviewed consecutive patients younger than 16 years of age at the primary ED centre in Kobe city, Japan, during the night shift (19:30–7:00 hours) between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2019.
In total, 265 191 children visited the ED; 822 presented with headache during the study period.
We investigated the effects of meteorological factors and air pollutants by multivariate analysis of Poisson regression estimates. A subanalysis included the relationship between the number of patients with night-time headaches and the above factors by sex. Furthermore, the effect of typhoon landing on patient visits for headache was also analysed. Headache was not classified because examinations were performed by general paediatricians (non-specialists).
The number of patients with night-time headaches displayed distinct seasonal changes, with peaks during the summer. Multivariate analysis of Poisson regression estimates revealed a significant positive relationship between the number of patients for headache and mean temperature. Subanalysis by sex indicated a positive relationship between the number of patients with headache and mean temperature in both sexes; however, it was significant only for females. No relationship was found between the number of patients with headache and air pollution. There was no change in the number of patients for night-time headaches 3 days before and after typhoon landing.
High temperature is the main factor for visiting ED for night-time headaches among children in Kobe city. Our results suggest that preventive measures against night-time headaches may be possible by reducing time spent outside during summer.
This study aims to define appropriate domains and items for the development of a self-administered questionnaire to assess the risk of developing work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WMSD) and the risk of its progression to chronicity.
Literature review and survey study.
A literature review and a two-round interview with 15 experts in musculoskeletal pain were performed to identify the available domains for WMSD assessment.
To ensure quality, only validated questionnaires were included for the Delphi process. A three-round Delphi method, with three round steps, was used to select the most pertinent and relevant domains and items.
Nine questionnaires were identified through the expert discussion and literature review, comprising 38 candidate domains and 504 items. In the first round of the Delphi group, 17 domains reached more than 70% agreement and were selected. In the second round, 10 domains were rejected, while 11 were selected to complete the pool of domains. In the third and final round, 89 items belonging to 28 domains were defined as significant to develop a WMSDs risk assessment questionnaire.
No specific risk assessment questionnaires for WMSDs were identified from the literature. WMSD risk of presence and chronicity can be defined by an assessment tool based on the biopsychosocial model and the fear-avoidance components of chronic pain. The present study provides the formulation and operationalisation of the constructs in domains and items needed for developing and validating the questionnaire.
In oncology and palliative care, patient question prompt lists (QPLs) with sample questions for patient and family increased patients’ involvement in decision-making and improved outcomes if physicians actively endorsed asking questions. Therefore, we aim to evaluate practitioners’ perceptions of acceptability and possible use of a QPL about palliative and end-of-life care in dementia.
Mixed-methods evaluation study of a QPL developed with family caregivers and experts comprising a survey and interviews with practitioners.
Two academic medical training centres for primary and long-term care in the Netherlands.
Practitioners (n=66; 73% woman; mean of 21 (SD 11) years of experience) who were mostly general practitioners and elderly care physicians.
The main survey outcome was acceptability measured with a 15–75 acceptability scale with ≥45 meaning ‘acceptable’.
The survey response rate was 21% (66 of 320 participated). The QPL was regarded as acceptable (mean 51, SD 10) but 64% felt it was too long. Thirty-five per cent would want training to be able to answer the questions. Those who felt unable to answer (31%) found the QPL less acceptable (mean 46 vs 54 for others; p=0.015). We identified three themes from nine interviews: (1) enhancing conversations through discussing difficult topics, (2) proactively engaging in end-of-life conversations and (3) possible implementation.
Acceptability of the QPL was adequate, but physicians feeling confident to be able to address questions about end-of-life care is crucial when implementing it in practice, and may require training. To facilitate discussions of advance care planning and palliative care, families and persons with dementia should also be empowered to access the QPL themselves.
A worldwide lack of consensus exists on the optimal management of asymptomatic congenital pulmonary airway malformation (CPAM) even though the incidence is increasing. Either a surgical resection is performed or a wait-and-see policy is employed, depending on the treating physician. Management is largely based on expert opinion and scientific evidence is scarce. Wide variations in outcome measures are seen between studies making comparison difficult thus highlighting the lack of universal consensus in outcome measures as well. We aim to define a core outcome set which will include the most important core outcome parameters for paediatric patients with an asymptomatic CPAM.
This study will include a critical appraisal of the current literature followed by a three-stage Delphi process with two stakeholder groups. One surgical group including paediatric as well as thoracic surgeons, and a non-surgeon group including paediatric pulmonologists, intensive care and neonatal specialists. All participants will score outcome parameters according to their level of importance and the most important parameters will be determined by consensus.
Electronic informed consent will be obtained from all participants. Ethical approval is not required. After the core outcome set has been defined, we intend to design an international randomised controlled trial: the COllaborative Neonatal NEtwork for the first CPAM Trial, which will be aimed at determining the optimal management of patients with asymptomatic CPAM.
Clinical teaching visits (CTVs) are formative workplace-based assessments that involve a senior general practitioner (GP) observing a clinical practice session of a general practice registrar (specialist vocational GP trainee). These visits constitute a key part of Australian GP training. Despite being mandatory and resource-intensive, there is a paucity of evidence regarding the content and educational utility of CTVs. This study aims to establish the content and educational utility of CTVs across varying practice settings within Australia, as perceived by registrars and their assessors (‘CT visitors’). In addition, this study aims to establish registrar, CT visitor and practice factors associated with CTV content and perceived CTV utility ratings.
This study will collect data prospectively using online questionnaires completed soon after incident CTVs. Participants will be registrars and CT visitors of CTVs conducted from March 2020 to January 2021. The setting is three Regional Training Organisations across four Australian states and territories (encompassing 37% of Australian GP registrars).
Outcome factors will be a number of specified CTV content elements occurring during the CTV as well as participants’ perceptions of CTV utility, which will be analysed using univariate and multivariable regression.
Ethics approval has been granted by the University of Newcastle Human Research Ethics Committee, approval number H-2020-0037. Study findings are planned to be disseminated via conference presentation, peer-reviewed journals, educational practice translational workshops and the GP Synergy research subwebsite.
Using patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) with children have been described as ‘giving a voice to the child’. Few studies have examined the routine use of these measures as potentially therapeutic interventions. This study aims to investigate: (1) the effectiveness of feedback using graphical displays of information from electronic PROMs (ePROMs) that target health-related quality of life, to improve health outcomes, referrals and treatment satisfaction and (2) the implementation of ePROMs and graphical displays by assessing acceptability, sustainability, cost, fidelity and context of the intervention and study processes.
A hybrid II effectiveness-implementation study will be conducted from February 2020 with children with life-altering skin conditions attending two outpatient clinics at a specialist paediatric children’s hospital. A pragmatic randomised controlled trial and mixed methods process evaluation will be completed. Randomisation will occur at the child participant level. Children or parent proxies completing baseline ePROMs will be randomised to: (1) completion of ePROMs plus graphical displays of ePROM results to treating clinicians in consultations, versus (2) completion of ePROMs without graphical display of ePROM results. The primary outcome of the effectiveness trial will be overall health-related quality of life of children. Secondary outcomes will include other health-related quality of life outcomes (eg, child psychosocial and physical health, parent psychosocial health), referrals and treatment satisfaction. Trial data will be primarily analysed using linear mixed-effects models; and implementation data using inductive thematic analysis of interviews, meeting minutes, observational field notes and study communication mapped to the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research.
Ethical approval was obtained from Children’s Health Queensland Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC/2019/QCHQ/56290), The University of Queensland (2019002233) and Queensland University of Technology (1900000847). Dissemination will occur through stakeholder groups, scientific meetings and peer-reviewed publications.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12620000174987).
To comprehensively map the existing evidence assessing the impact of travel-related control measures for containment of the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic.
Rapid evidence map.
MEDLINE, Embase and Web of Science, and COVID-19 specific databases offered by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the WHO.
We included studies in human populations susceptible to SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19, SARS-CoV-1/severe acute respiratory syndrome, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus/Middle East respiratory syndrome or influenza. Interventions of interest were travel-related control measures affecting travel across national or subnational borders. Outcomes of interest included infectious disease, screening, other health, economic and social outcomes. We considered all empirical studies that quantitatively evaluate impact available in Armenian, English, French, German, Italian and Russian based on the team’s language capacities.
We extracted data from included studies in a standardised manner and mapped them to a priori and (one) post hoc defined categories.
We included 122 studies assessing travel-related control measures. These studies were undertaken across the globe, most in the Western Pacific region (n=71). A large proportion of studies focused on COVID-19 (n=59), but a number of studies also examined SARS, MERS and influenza. We identified studies on border closures (n=3), entry/exit screening (n=31), travel-related quarantine (n=6), travel bans (n=8) and travel restrictions (n=25). Many addressed a bundle of travel-related control measures (n=49). Most studies assessed infectious disease (n=98) and/or screening-related (n=25) outcomes; we found only limited evidence on economic and social outcomes. Studies applied numerous methods, both inferential and descriptive in nature, ranging from simple observational methods to complex modelling techniques.
We identified a heterogeneous and complex evidence base on travel-related control measures. While this map is not sufficient to assess the effectiveness of different measures, it outlines aspects regarding interventions and outcomes, as well as study methodology and reporting that could inform future research and evidence synthesis.
To conduct a scoping review that (1) describes what is known about the relationship between athletic identity and sport-related injury outcomes and (2) describes the relationship that an injury (as an exposure) has on athletic identity (as an outcome) in athletes.
A total of n=1852 athletes from various sport backgrounds and levels of competition.
The primary measure used within the studies identified was the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale. Secondary outcome measures assessed demographic, psychosocial, behavioural, physical function and pain-related constructs.
Twenty-two studies were identified for inclusion. Samples were dominated by male, Caucasian athletes. The majority of studies captured musculoskeletal injuries, while only three studies included sport-related concussion. Athletic identity was significantly and positively associated with depressive symptom severity, sport performance traits (eg, ego-orientation and mastery-orientation), social network size, physical self-worth, motivation, rehabilitation overadherence, mental toughness and playing through pain, as well as injury severity and functional recovery outcomes. Findings pertaining to the association that an injury (as an exposure) had on athletic identity (as an outcome) were inconsistent and limited.
Athletic identity was most frequently associated with psychosocial, behavioural and injury-specific outcomes. Future research should seek to include diverse athlete samples (eg, women, athletes of different races, para-athletes) and should continue to reference theoretical injury models to inform study methodologies and to specify variables of interest for further exploration.
Faster-acting insulin aspart (Fiasp) is approved for use in pregnancy and lactation, but no clinical study has evaluated its effects during this life stage in women with pre-existing diabetes. The aim of the CopenFast trial is to evaluate the effect of Fiasp compared with insulin aspart (NovoRapid) on maternal glycaemic control during pregnancy, delivery and lactation and on fetal growth and infant health.
An open-label randomised controlled trial of pregnant women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes including women on multiple daily injection (MDI) therapy or insulin pump therapy. During a 2-year inclusion period, approximately 220 women will be randomised 1:1 to Fiasp or NovoRapid in early pregnancy and followed until 3 months after delivery. At 9, 21 and 33 gestational weeks and during planned induction of labour or caesarean section, women are offered blinded continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) for 7 days. Randomisation will stratify for type of diabetes and insulin treatment modality (MDI or insulin pump therapy, respectively). Health status of the infants will be followed until 3 months of age. The primary outcome is birth weight SD score adjusted for gestational age and gender. Secondary outcomes include maternal glycaemic control including glycated haemoglobin, preprandial and postprandial self-monitored plasma glucose levels, episodes of mild and severe hypoglycaemia, maternal gestational weight gain and weight retention, CGM time spent in, above and below target ranges as well as pregnancy outcomes including pre-eclampsia, preterm delivery, perinatal mortality and neonatal morbidity. Data analysis will be performed according to the intention-to-treat principle.
The trial has been approved by the Regional Ethics Committee (H-19029966) on 7 August 2019. Results will be sought disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and at scientific meetings.
Social prescribing is an innovation being widely adopted within the UK National Health Service policy as a way of improving the management of people with long-term conditions, such as type 2 diabetes (T2D). It generally involves linking patients in primary care with non-medical community-based interventions. Despite widespread national support, evidence for the effectiveness of social prescribing is both insufficient and contested. In this study, we will investigate whether social prescribing can contribute to T2D prevention and, if so, when, how and in what circumstances it might best be introduced.
We will draw on realist evaluation to investigate the complex interpersonal, organisational, social and policy contexts in which social prescribing relevant to T2D prevention is implemented. We will set up a stakeholder group to advise us throughout the study, which will be conducted over three interconnected stages. In stage 1, we will undertake a realist review to synthesise the current evidence base for social prescribing. In stage 2, we will investigate how social prescribing relevant to people at high risk of T2D ‘works’ in a multiethnic, socioeconomically diverse community and any interactions with existing T2D prevention services using qualitative, quantitative and realist methods. In stage 3 and building on previous stages, we will synthesise a ‘transferable framework’ that will guide implementation and evaluation of social prescribing relevant to T2D prevention at scale.
National Health Service ethics approval has been granted (reference 20/LO/0713). This project will potentially inform the adaptation of social prescribing services to better meet the needs of people at high risk of T2D in socioeconomically deprived areas. Findings may also be transferable to other long-term conditions. Dissemination will be undertaken as a continuous process, supported by the stakeholder group. Tailored outputs will target the following audiences: (1) service providers and commissioners; (2) people at high risk of T2D and community stakeholders; and (3) policy and strategic decision makers.
With the acute shortage of human resources and infrastructure, mobile phones can be a critical tool for accessing health services and strengthening health systems in Bangladesh. Yet, there is a scarcity of evidence on the use of mobile phones in this context for accessing health services. In this study, we sought to explore the current use of mobile phones for accessing maternal and child healthcare and its determinants among recently delivered women in urban slums of Bangladesh.
The data were collected through interviewing 800 recently delivered women from eight slums of Dhaka city of Bangladesh during May and June 2018. The study followed a cross-sectional design and a two-stage cluster random sampling procedure was followed. A pretested structured questionnaire was employed to collect information. Chi square tests were performed for descriptive analyses and a multilevel binary logistic regression model was executed to explore the determinants of mobile phone usage for accessing maternal and childcare among the participants.
Overall, 73.8% of study participants used mobile phones for accessing maternal and child healthcare. After adjusting for potential confounders, participants’ age, husband’s occupation, sex of household head, women’s ownership of mobile phones and household wealth status were found to be significantly associated with higher odds of using mobile phones to access maternal and child healthcare.
The study highlighted the possibility of implementing large-scale mobile health (mHealth) interventions in slum settlements for accessing maternal and child healthcare and is a sustainable mitigation strategy for the acute health worker crisis in Bangladesh. The findings of this study are particularly crucial for policymakers and practitioners while they revise the health policy to incorporate mHealth interventions as highlighted in the recently initiated Digital Health Strategy of Bangladesh.
Mental health problems significantly increased worldwide during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. At the early stage of the outbreak, the government of Bangladesh imposed lockdown and quarantine approaches to prevent the spread of the virus, which impacted people’s daily life and health. The COVID-19 pandemic has also affected people’s economic status, healthcare facilities and other lifestyle factors in Bangladesh. We aimed to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health among the Bangladeshi population.
We conducted an online cross-sectional survey among 672 Bangladeshi people aged between 15 and 65 years all over the country from 15 April to 10 May 2020. After obtaining electronic consent, we conducted a survey assessing people’s sociodemographic profiles and psychometric measures. We used The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Loneliness Scale-8, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-Item Scale and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index to assess loneliness, depression, anxiety and sleep disturbance, respectively.
The prevalence of loneliness, depression, anxiety and sleep disturbance was estimated at 71% (mild: 32%, moderate: 29%, severe: 10%), 38% (mild: 24%, moderate: 11%, severe: 3%), 64% (mild: 30%, moderate: 17%, severe: 17%) and 73% (mild: 50%, moderate: 18%, severe: 5%), respectively. In Bangladesh, the key factors associated with poor mental health during COVID-19 were female sex, unemployment, being a student, obesity and living without a family. The present study also identified statistically significant interrelationships among the measured mental health issues.
A large portion of respondents reported mental health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh. The present study suggests longitudinal assessments of mental health among Bangladeshi people to determine the gravity of this issue during and after the pandemic. Appropriate supportive programmes and interventional approaches would address mental health problems in Bangladesh during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The current diagnostic pathways for cognitive impairment rarely identify babies at risk before 2 years of age. Very early detection and timely targeted intervention has potential to improve outcomes for these children and support them to reach their full life potential. Early Moves aims to identify early biomarkers, including general movements (GMs), for babies at risk of cognitive impairment, allowing early intervention within critical developmental windows to enable these children to have the best possible start to life.
Early Moves is a double-masked prospective cohort study that will recruit 3000 term and preterm babies from a secondary care setting. Early Moves will determine the diagnostic value of abnormal GMs (at writhing and fidgety age) for mild, moderate and severe cognitive delay at 2 years measured by the Bayley-4. Parents will use the Baby Moves smartphone application to video their babies’ GMs. Trained GMs assessors will be masked to any risk factors and assessors of the primary outcome will be masked to the GMs result. Automated scoring of GMs will be developed through applying machine-based learning to the data and the predictive value for an abnormal GM will be investigated. Screening algorithms for identification of children at risk of cognitive impairment, using the GM assessment (GMA), and routinely collected social and environmental profile data will be developed to allow more accurate prediction of cognitive outcome at 2 years. A cost evaluation for GMA implementation in preparation for national implementation will be undertaken including exploring the relationship between cognitive status and healthcare utilisation, medical costs, health-related quality of life and caregiver burden.
Ethics approval has been granted by the Medical Research Ethics Committee of Joondalup Health Services and the Health Service Human Research Ethics Committee (1902) of Curtin University (HRE2019-0739).
This study aims to compare workers’ income before and after an occupational injury, with regard to return to work and job retention, over a period of 5 years.
This study was designed as a longitudinal study.
The Panel Study of Workers’ Compensation Insurance (PSWCI) survey targeted workers involved in industrial accidents for which medical care was terminated in the year 2012.
The panel study was conducted on a final sample of 2000 workers who were selected proportionally by region (nine regions) after priority assignment by disability rating (six levels). A total of 1458 workers were finally included in this study.
This study used data from the first to fifth PSWCI. To identify the effect on income after occupational injury considering return to work and job retention, we used the generalised estimating equation.
In regard to workers’ return to work, the OR that income after an occupational injury would be higher than that before an occupational injury was 3.17 (2.41–4.17) for those who returned to original work and 2.32 (1.81–2.97) for those re-employed as compared with who did not return to work and 1.27 (1.07–1.15) for those who retained their job as compared with those who did not. The ORs were 2.91 (2.26–3.75) for those who were re-employed and retained jobs and 2.96 (2.15–4.08) for those who returned to original work and did not retain jobs as compared with those who did not return to work and did not retain jobs.
It is important for accident victims to retain their jobs to maintain their economic status.
Antenatal and postnatal cares are crucial for the survival and well-being of both the mother and the child. WHO recommends a minimum of four antenatal care (ANC) visits during a pregnancy. In Ethiopia, only 38% of women in the reproductive age make a minimum of first ANC visits. This value is far below the typical rates of least developed countries. This study aimed to calculate the magnitude and identify associated factors of ANC service utilisation among pregnant women in Ethiopia.
Cross-sectional study design.
A total of 7913 pregnant women participated in the study.
Antenatal care service uptake among pregnant women.
Only 35.5% of the pregnant mothers have used ANC services at least four times and 64.5% of the pregnant mothers have used less than three times during their periods of pregnancy. The study showed that rich women (PR=1.077, 95% CI: 1.029 to 1.127), having access to mass media (PR=1.086, 95% CI: 1.045 to 1.128), having pregnancy complications (PR=1.203, 95% CI: 1.165 to 1.242), secondary education and above (PR=1.112, 95% CI:1.052 to 1.176), husbands’ having secondary education and above (PR=1.085, 95% CI: 1.031 to 1.142) and married (PR=1.187; 95% CI: 1.087 to 1.296), rural women (PR=0.884, 95% CI: 0.846 to 0.924) and women>30 years of age (PR=1.067, 95% CI: 1.024 to 1.111) significantly associated with the ANC service uptake.
The magnitude of ANC service uptake was low. This low magnitude of ANC service utilisation calls for a need to improve community awareness about maternal health. More importantly, intensive health education is required for pregnant women to have better ANC service uptake and follow-up adherence.
Amidst growing consensus that stakeholder decision-making during drug development should be informed by an understanding of patient preferences, the Innovative Medicines Initiative project ‘Patient Preferences in Benefit-Risk Assessments during the Drug Life Cycle’ (PREFER) is developing evidence-based recommendations about how and when patient preferences should be integrated into the drug life cycle. This protocol describes a PREFER clinical case study which compares two preference elicitation methodologies across several populations and provides information about benefit–risk trade-offs by those at risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for preventive interventions.
This mixed methods study will be conducted in three countries (UK, Germany, Romania) to assess preferences of (1) first-degree relatives (FDRs) of patients with RA and (2) members of the public. Focus groups using nominal group techniques (UK) and ranking surveys (Germany and Romania) will identify and rank key treatment attributes. Focus group transcripts will be analysed thematically using the framework method and average rank orders calculated. These results will inform the treatment attributes to be assessed in a survey including a discrete choice experiment (DCE) and a probabilistic threshold technique (PTT). The survey will also include measures of sociodemographic variables, health literacy, numeracy, illness perceptions and beliefs about medicines. The survey will be administered to (1) 400 FDRs of patients with RA (UK); (2) 100 FDRs of patients with RA (Germany); and (3) 1000 members of the public in each of UK, Germany and Romania. Logit-based approaches will be used to analyse the DCE and imputation and interval regression for the PTT.
This study has been approved by the London-Hampstead Research Ethics Committee (19/LO/0407) and the Ethics Committee of the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (92_17 B). The protocol has been approved by the PREFER expert review board. The results will be disseminated widely and will inform the PREFER recommendations.
We assess whether China’s diabetes pilot hierarchical diagnosis and treatment reforms shifted patient healthcare-seeking behaviour towards primary health institutions (PHIs) and away from secondary and tertiary hospitals. From the patients’ perspective, we evaluate whether the hierarchical system saw the decline of average hospital cost, out-of-pocket (OOP) expenses and the increase of reimbursement rate in PHIs. From the health system’s perspective, we also assessed whether the share of PHIs in total costs, total visits and reimbursement rate increased and the share of secondary and tertiary hospitals decreased.
Data were collected from the health insurance bureau of 11 cities in Shandong Province, China between 2015 and 2017, which included 9 118 518 outpatient visits and 622 739 inpatient visits. For both inpatients and outpatients and the health system, we analysed health services-seeking characteristics including hospital costs, hospital visits, OOP expense and reimbursements of hospital costs. Binary logistic regression was conducted to analyse the influencing factors of seeking PHI health services.
PHIs remained the lowest hospital cost provider, but average hospital costs declined across all three healthcare levels of PHIs, secondary hospitals and tertiary hospitals from 2015 to 2017. The hierarchical system aimed to shift patients to PHIs, increasing PHIs’ share of total hospital costs. However, the PHI share of total outpatient costs declined 12.0%, while rising 15.0% in secondary hospitals, the opposite of the goal of the hierarchical medical system. Average outpatient visits rose roughly at the same rate in PHIs (5.1%) as secondary hospitals (6.8%), with no evidence of a shift in patient visits between hospital levels over 2015–2017. Average inpatient visits fell across all levels of hospitals, with no significant difference in the rate of decline between PHIs (9.4%) and secondary (7.5%) and tertiary (7.8%) hospitals. For outpatient and inpatient services, the binary logistic regression showed that over the 2015–2017 period patients with diabetes increasingly used higher level hospitals rather than PHIs (p
The implementation of the hierarchical medical system for patients with diabetes did not achieve its goal of increasing PHI utilisation and decreasing secondary and tertiary hospital utilisation. Enhancing the utilisation of PHIs for diabetes and other patients requires further health reform, including educating patients on PHI use, further reforming the health insurance schemes, improving PHI facilities and encouraging referrals to PHIs from higher level hospitals.
Road trauma (RT) is a major public health problem affecting physical and mental health, and may result in prolonged absenteeism from work or study. It is important for healthcare providers to know which RT survivors are at risk of a poor outcome, and policy-makers should know the associated costs. Unfortunately, outcome after RT is poorly understood, especially for RT survivors who are treated and released from an emergency department (ED) without the need for hospital admission. Currently, there is almost no research on risk factors for a poor outcome among RT survivors. This study will use current Canadian data to address these knowledge gaps.
We will follow an inception cohort of 1500 RT survivors (16 years and older) who visited a participating ED within 24 hours of the accident. Baseline interviews determine pre-existing health and functional status, and other potential risk factors for a poor outcome. Follow-up interviews at 2, 4, 6, and 12 months (key stages of recovery) use standardised health-related quality of life tools to determine physical and mental health outcome, functional recovery, and healthcare resource use and lost productivity costs.
The Road Trauma Outcome Study is approved by our institutional Research Ethics Board. This study aims to provide healthcare providers with knowledge on how quickly RT survivors recover from their injuries and who may be more likely to have a poor outcome. We anticipate that this information will be used to improve management of all road users following RT. Healthcare resource use and lost productivity costs will be collected to provide a better cost estimate of the effects of RT. This information can be used by policy-makers to make informed decisions on RT prevention programmes.
Health systems across the world are facing challenges with shortages and maldistribution of skilled health professionals. Return-of-service (ROS) initiatives are government-funded strategies used to educate health professionals by contracting beneficiaries to undertake government work on a year-for-year basis after their qualification. It is envisaged that once they have served their contract, they will be attracted to serve in the same area or government establishment beyond the duration of their obligatory period. Little is known about the processes that led to the development and implementation of ROS policies. Furthermore, there is no systematic evaluation of the strategies that demonstrate their utility. This research aims to evaluate the ROS initiatives, explore their efficacy and sustainability in five Southern African countries.
This study will be conducted in South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia in a phased approach through a multimethods approach of policy reviews, quantitative and qualitative research. First, a review will be conducted to explore current ROS schemes. Second, a quantitative retrospective cohort study of ROS scheme recipients for the period 2000–2010 will be undertaken. Information will be sourced from multiple provincial or national information systems and/or databases. Third, we will conduct semistructured group or individual interviews with senior health, education, ROS managing agency managers (where appropriate) and finance managers and/policy makers in each country to determine managers’ perceptions, challenges and the costs and benefits of these schemes. Fourth, we will interview or conduct group discussions with health professional regulatory bodies to assess their willingness to collaborate with ROS initiative funders.
Ethics approval for this study was obtained through the Human Research Ethics Committees of the University of New South Wales (HC200519), Australia; South Africa and Lesotho (065/2020); Eswatini (SHR302/2020); Namibia (SK001); and Botswana (HPDME 13/18/1). Relevant findings will be shared through presentations to participating governments, publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at relevant conferences.