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  • 1.
    Al-Alawi, Kamila
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Training and Studies, Royal Hospital, Ministry of Health, Muscat, Oman.
    Al Mandhari, Ahmed
    Johansson, Helene
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Care providers' perceptions towards challenges and opportunities for service improvement at diabetes management clinics in public primary health care in Muscat, Oman: a qualitative study2019Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 19, artikel-id 18Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BackgroundThe literature has described several challenges related to the quality of diabetes management clinics in public primary health care centres in Oman. These clinics continue to face challenges due to the continuous growth of individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. We sought to explore the challenges faced in these clinics and discuss opportunities for improvement in Oman.MethodsThis qualitative study was designed to include non-participant observations of diabetic patients and care providers during service provision at diabetes management clinics, as well as semi-structured interviews with care providers, at five purposively selected public primary health care centres. Care providers included physicians, nurses, dieticians, health educators, pharmacists, an assistant pharmacist, a psychologist, and a medical orderly. The data were analysed using qualitative content analysis.ResultsThe study disclosed three different models of service delivery at diabetes management clinics, which, to varying degrees, face challenges related to health centre infrastructure, technical and pharmaceutical support, and care providers' interests, knowledge, and skills. Challenges related to the community were also found in terms of cultural beliefs, traditions, health awareness, and public transportation.ConclusionThe challenges encountered in diabetes management clinics fall within two contexts: health care centres and community. Although many challenges exist, opportunities for improvement are available. However, improvements in the quality of diabetic clinics in primary health care centres might take time and require extensive involvement, shared responsibilities, and implications from the government, health care centres, and community.

  • 2. Ameh, Soter
    et al.
    Gomez-Olive, Francesc Xavier
    Kahn, Kathleen
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Medical Research Council/Wits University Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt), School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; The International Network for the Demographic Evaluation of Populations and Their Health in Developing Countries (INDEPTH), Accra, Ghana.
    Tollman, Stephen M.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Medical Research Council/Wits University Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt), School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; The International Network for the Demographic Evaluation of Populations and Their Health in Developing Countries (INDEPTH), Accra, Ghana.
    Klipstein-Grobusch, Kerstin
    Relationships between structure, process and outcome to assess quality of integrated chronic disease management in a rural South African setting: applying a structural equation model2017Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 17, artikel-id 229Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: South Africa faces a complex dual burden of chronic communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In response, the Integrated Chronic Disease Management (ICDM) model was initiated in primary health care (PHC) facilities in 2011 to leverage the HIV/ART programme to scale-up services for NCDs, achieve optimal patient health outcomes and improve the quality of medical care. However, little is known about the quality of care in the ICDM model. The objectives of this study were to: i) assess patients’ and operational managers’ satisfaction with the dimensions of ICDM services; and ii) evaluate the quality of care in the ICDM model using Avedis Donabedian’s theory of relationships between structure (resources), process (clinical activities) and outcome (desired result of healthcare) constructs as a measure of quality of care.

    Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2013 in seven PHC facilities in the Bushbuckridge municipality of Mpumalanga Province, north-east South Africa - an area underpinned by a robust Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS). The patient satisfaction questionnaire (PSQ-18), with measures reflecting structure/process/outcome (SPO) constructs, was adapted and administered to 435 chronic disease patients and the operational managers of all seven PHC facilities. The adapted questionnaire contained 17 dimensions of care, including eight dimensions identified as priority areas in the ICDM model - critical drugs, equipment, referral, defaulter tracing, prepacking of medicines, clinic appointments, waiting time, and coherence. A structural equation model was fit to operationalise Donabedian’s theory, using unidirectional, mediation, and reciprocal pathways.

    Results: The mediation pathway showed that the relationships between structure, process and outcome represented quality systems in the ICDM model. Structure correlated with process (0.40) and outcome (0.75). Given structure, process correlated with outcome (0.88). Of the 17 dimensions of care in the ICDM model, three structure (equipment, critical drugs, accessibility), three process (professionalism, friendliness and attendance to patients) and three outcome (competence, confidence and coherence) dimensions reflected their intended constructs.

    Conclusion: Of the priority dimensions, referrals, defaulter tracing, prepacking of medicines, appointments, and patient waiting time did not reflect their intended constructs. Donabedian’s theoretical framework can be used to provide evidence of quality systems in the ICDM model.

  • 3.
    Bölenius, Karin
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Lindkvist, Marie
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet, Statistik.
    Brulin, Christine
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Grankvist, Kjell
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för medicinsk biovetenskap, Klinisk kemi.
    Nilsson, Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad. Institutionen för omvårdnad i Örnsköldsvik.
    Söderberg, Johan
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för medicinsk biovetenskap, Klinisk kemi.
    Impact of a large-scale educational intervention program on venous blood specimen collection practices2013Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 13, artikel-id 463Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Phlebotomy performed with poor adherence to venous blood specimen collection (VBSC) guidelines jeopardizes patient safety and may lead to patient suffering and adverse events. A first questionnaire study demonstrated low compliance to VBSC guidelines, motivating an educational intervention of all phlebotomists within a county council. The aim was to evaluate the impact of a large-scale educational intervention program (EIP) on primary health care phlebotomists' adherence to VBSC guidelines. We hypothesised that the EIP would improve phlebotomists' VBSC practical performance.

    METHODS: The present study comprise primary health care centres (n = 61) from two county councils in northern Sweden. The final selected study group consisted of phlebotomists divided into an intervention group (n = 84) and a corresponding control group (n = 79). Both groups responded to a validated self-reported VBSC questionnaire twice. The EIP included three parts: guideline studies, an oral presentation, and an examination. Non-parametric statistics were used for comparison within and between the groups.

    RESULTS: Evaluating the EIP, we found significant improvements in the intervention group compared to the control group on self-reported questionnaire responses regarding information search (ES = 0.23-0.33, p < 0.001-0.003), and patient rest prior to phlebotomy (ES = 0.27, p = 0.004). Test request management, patient identity control, release of venous stasis, and test tube labelling had significantly improved in the intervention group but did not significantly differ from the control group (ES = 0.22- 0.49, p = < 0.001- 0.006). The control group showed no significant improvements at all (ES = 0--0.39, p = 0.016-0.961).

    CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrated several significant improvements on phlebotomists' adherence to VBSC practices. Still, guideline adherence improvement to several crucial phlebotomy practices is needed. We cannot conclude that the improvements are solely due to the EIP and suggest future efforts to improve VBSC. The program should provide time for reflections and discussions. Furthermore, a modular structure would allow directed educational intervention based on the specific VBSC guideline flaws existing at a specific unit. Such an approach is probably more effective at improving and sustaining adherence to VBSC guidelines than an EIP containing general pre-analytical practices.

  • 4.
    Edvardsson, Kristina
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Garvare, Rickard
    Ivarsson, Anneli
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Eurenius, Eva
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Mogren, Ingrid
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för klinisk vetenskap, Obstetrik och gynekologi.
    Nyström, Monica E
    Medical Management Centre, Department of Learning, Informatics, Management & Ethics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm Sweden .
    Sustainable practice change. Professionals' experiences with a multisectoral child health promotion programme in Sweden.2011Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 11, nr 1, s. 61-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: New methods for prevention and health promotion and are constantly evolving; however, positive outcomes will only emerge if these methods are fully adopted and sustainable in practice. To date, limited attention has been given to sustainability of health promotion efforts. This study aimed to explore facilitators, barriers, and requirements for sustainability as experienced by professionals two years after finalizing the development and implementation of a multisectoral child health promotion programme in Sweden (the Salut programme). Initiated in 2005, the programme uses a 'Salutogenesis' approach to support health-promoting activities in health care, social services, and schools.

    METHODS: All professionals involved in the Salut Programme's pilot areas were interviewed between May and September 2009, approximately two years after the intervention package was established and implemented. Participants (n=23) were midwives, child health nurses, dental hygienists/dental nurses, and pre-school teachers. Transcribed data underwent qualitative content analysis to illuminate perceived facilitators, barriers, and requirements for program sustainability.

    RESULTS: The programme was described as sustainable at most sites, except in child health care. The perception of facilitators, barriers, and requirements were largely shared across sectors. Facilitators included being actively involved in intervention development and small-scale testing, personal values corresponding to programme intentions, regular meetings, working close with collaborators, using manuals and a clear programme branding. Existing or potential barriers included insufficient managerial involvement and support and perceived constraints regarding time and resources. In dental health care, barriers also included conflicting incentives for performance. Many facilitators and barriers identified by participants also reflected their perceptions of more general and forthcoming requirements for program sustainability.

    CONCLUSIONS: These results contribute to the knowledge of processes involved in achieving sustainability in health promotion initiatives. Facilitating factors include involving front-line professionals in intervention development and using small scale testing; however, the success of a program requires paying attention to the role of managerial support and an overall supportive system. In summary, these results emphasise the importance for both practitioners and researchers to pay attention to parallel processes at different levels in multidisciplinary improvement efforts intended to ensure sustainable practice change.

  • 5. Ekirapa-Kiracho, Elizabeth
    et al.
    Namazzi, Gertrude
    Tetui, Moses
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Health Policy Planning and Management, Makerere University School of Public Health, Mulago Hill Road, Kampala, Uganda.
    Mutebi, Aloysius
    Waiswa, Peter
    Oo, Htet
    Peters, David H.
    George, Asha S.
    Unlocking community capabilities for improving maternal and newborn health: participatory action research to improve birth preparedness, health facility access, and newborn care in rural Uganda2016Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 16, artikel-id 638Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Community capacities and resources must be harnessed to complement supply side initiatives addressing high maternal and neonatal mortality rates in Uganda. This paper reflects on gains, challenges and lessons learnt from working with communities to improve maternal and newborn health in rural Uganda. Methods: A participatory action research project was supported from 2012 to 2015 in three eastern districts. This project involved working with households, saving groups, sub county and district leaders, transporters and village health teams in diagnosing causes of maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity, developing action plans to address these issues, taking action and learning from action in a cyclical manner. This paper draws from project experience and documentation, as well as thematic analysis of 20 interviews with community and district stakeholders and 12 focus group discussions with women who had recently delivered and men whose wives had recently delivered. Results: Women and men reported increased awareness about birth preparedness, improved newborn care practices and more male involvement in maternal and newborn health. However, additional direct communication strategies were required to reach more men beyond the minority who attended community dialogues and home visits. Saving groups and other saving modalities were strengthened, with money saved used to meet transport costs, purchase other items needed for birth and other routine household needs. However saving groups required significant support to improve income generation, management and trust among members. Linkages between savings groups and transport providers improved women's access to health facilities at reduced cost. Although village health teams were a key resource for providing information, their efforts were constrained by low levels of education, inadequate financial compensation and transportation challenges. Ensuring that the village health teams and savings groups functioned required regular supervision, review meetings and payment for supervisors to visit. Conclusions: This participatory program, which focused on building the capacity of community stakeholders, was able to improve local awareness of maternal and newborn health practices and instigate local action to improve access to healthcare. Collaborative problem solving among diverse stakeholders, continuous support and a participatory approach that allowed flexibility were essential project characteristics that enabled overcoming of challenges faced.

  • 6.
    Forouzan, Ameneh Setareh
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Social Determinants of Health Research Centre, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
    Ghazinour, Mehdi
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för socialt arbete.
    Dejman, Masoumeh
    Rafeiey, Hassan
    San Sebastian, Miguel
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Testing the WHO responsiveness concept in the Iranian mental healthcare system: a qualitative study of service users2011Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 11, nr 1, artikel-id 325Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background Individuals' experience of interacting with the healthcare system has significant impact on their overall health and well-being. To relate patients' experiences to a common set of standards, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed the concept of health system responsiveness. This study aimed to assess if the WHO responsiveness concept reflected the non-medical expectations of mental healthcare users in Teheran.

    Methods In this qualitative study, four mixed focus group discussions were formed, comprising 53 mental health service users in Tehran, Iran, in 2010. Content analysis was performed for data analysis. Responses were examined in relation to the eight domains of the WHO's responsiveness model.

    Results There were many commonalities between the findings of this study and the eight domains of the WHO responsiveness model, although some variations were found. Effective care was a new domain generated from our findings. In addition, the domain of prompt attention was included in two new labelled domains: attention and access to care. Participants could not differentiate autonomy from choice of healthcare provider, believing that free choice is part of autonomy. Therefore these domains were unified under the name of autonomy. The domains of quality of basic amenities, access to social support, dignity and confidentiality were considered to be important for the responsiveness concept. Some differences regarding how these domains should be defined were observed, however.

    Conclusions The results showed that the concept of responsiveness developed by the WHO is applicable to mental health services in Iran. These findings might help policy-makers' better understanding of what is useful for the improvement of mental health services.

  • 7.
    Franzén, Carin
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad. Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för kirurgisk och perioperativ vetenskap, Kirurgi.
    Björnstig, Ulf
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för kirurgisk och perioperativ vetenskap, Kirurgi.
    Brulin, Christine
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Lindholm, Lars
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    A cost-utility analysis of nursing intervention via telephone follow-up for injured road users2009Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 9, s. 98-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Traffic injuries can cause physical, psychological, and economical impairment, and affected individuals may also experience shortcomings in their post-accident care and treatment. In an earlier randomised controlled study of nursing intervention via telephone follow-up, self-ratings of health-related quality of life were generally higher in the intervention group than in the control group. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of nursing intervention via telephone follow-up by examining costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). METHODS: A randomised controlled study was conducted between April 2003 and April 2005. Car occupants, cyclists, and pedestrians aged between 18 and 70 years and attending the Emergency Department of Umeå University Hospital in Sweden after an injury event in the traffic environment were randomly assigned to an intervention (n = 288) or control group (n = 280). The intervention group received routine care supplemented by nursing via telephone follow-up during half a year, while the control group received routine care only. Data were collected from a mail survey using the non-disease-specific health-related quality of life instrument EQ5D, and a cost-effectiveness analysis was performed including the costs of the intervention and the QALYs gained. RESULTS: Overall, the intervention group gained 2.60 QALYs (260 individuals with an average gain of 0.01 QALYs). The car occupants gained 1.54 QALYs (76 individuals, average of 0.02). Thus, the cost per QALY gained was 16 000 Swedish Crown (SEK) overall and 8 500 SEK for car occupants. CONCLUSION: Nursing intervention by telephone follow-up after an injury event, is a cost effective method giving improved QALY to a very low cost, especially for those with minor injuries. 

  • 8. Frumence, Gasto
    et al.
    Nyamhanga, Tumaini
    Mwangu, Mughwira
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    The dependency on central government funding of decentralised health systems: experiences of the challenges and coping strategies in the Kongwa District, Tanzania2014Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 14, nr 39Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Decentralised health systems in Tanzania depend largely on funding from the central government to run health services. Experience has shown that central funding in a decentralised system is not an appropriate approach to ensure the effective and efficient performance of local authorities due to several limitations. One of the limitations is that funds from the central government are not disbursed on a timely basis, which in turn, leads to the serious problem of shortage of financial resources for Council Health Management Teams (CHMT). This paper examines how dependency on central government funding in Tanzania affects health activities in Kongwa district council and the strategies used by the CHMT cope with the situation.

    Methods: The study adopted a qualitative approach and data were collected using semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. One district in the central region of Tanzania was strategically selected. Ten key informants involved in the management of health service delivery at the district level were interviewed and one focus group discussion was held, which consisted of members of the council health management team. The data generated were analysed for themes and patterns.

    Results: The results showed that late disbursement of funds interrupts the implementation of health activities in the district health system. This situation delays the implementation of some activities, while a few activities may not be implemented at all. However, based on their prior knowledge of the anticipated delays in financial disbursements, the council health management team has adopted three main strategies to cope with this situation. These include obtaining supplies and other services on credit, borrowing money from other projects in the council, and using money generated from cost sharing.

    Conclusion: Local government authorities (LGAs) face delays in the disbursement of funds from the central government. This has necessitated introduction of informal coping strategies to deal with the situation. National-level policy and decision makers should minimise the bureaucracy involved in allocating funds to the district health systems to reduce delays.

  • 9. Geary, Rebecca Sally
    et al.
    Gomez-Olive, Francesc Xavier
    Kahn, Kathleen
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Tollman, Stephen
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Norris, Shane Anthony
    Barriers to and facilitators of the provision of a youth-friendly health services programme in rural South Africa2014Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 14, s. 259-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Youth-friendly health services are a key strategy for improving young people's health. This is the first study investigating provision of the Youth Friendly Services programme in South Africa since the national Department of Health took over its management in 2006. In a rural area of South Africa, we aimed to describe the characteristics of the publicly-funded primary healthcare facilities, investigate the proportion of facilities that provided the Youth Friendly Services programme and examine healthcare workers' perceived barriers to and facilitators of the provision of youth-friendly health services.

    Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nurses of all eight publicly-funded primary healthcare facilities in Agincourt sub-district, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. Thematic analysis of interview transcripts was conducted and data saturation was reached.

    Results: Participants largely felt that the Youth Friendly Services programme was not implemented in their primary healthcare facilities, with the exception of one clinic. Barriers to provision reported by nurses were: lack of youth-friendly training among staff and lack of a dedicated space for young people. Four of the eight facilities did not appear to uphold the right of young people aged 12 years and older to access healthcare independently. Breaches in young people's confidentiality to parents were reported.

    Conclusions: Participants reported that provision of the Youth Friendly Services programme is limited in this sub-district, and below the Department of Health's target that 70% of primary healthcare facilities should provide these services. Whilst a dedicated space for young people is unlikely to be feasible or necessary, all facilities have the potential to be youth-friendly in terms of staff attitudes and actions. Training and on-going support should be provided to facilitate this; the importance of such training is emphasised by staff. More than one member of staff per facility should be trained to allow for staff turnover. As one of a few countrywide, government-run youth-friendly clinic programmes in a low or middle-income country, these results may be of interest to programme managers and policy makers in such settings.

  • 10.
    Goicolea, Isabel
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Christianson, Monica
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Marchal, Bruno
    San Sebastian, Miguel
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Wiklund, Maria
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för samhällsmedicin och rehabilitering.
    Searching for best practices of youth friendly services - a study protocol using qualitative comparative analysis in Sweden2016Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 16, artikel-id 321Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Swedish youth clinics constitute one of the most comprehensive and consolidated examples of a nationwide network of health care services for young people. However, studies evaluating their 'youth-friendliness' and the combination of factors that makes them more or less 'youth-friendly' have not been conducted. This protocol will scrutinise the current youth-friendliness of youth clinics in northern Sweden and identify the best combination of conditions needed in order to implement the criteria of youth-friendliness within Swedish youth clinics and elsewhere.

    Methods/design: In this study, we will use qualitative comparative analysis to analyse the conditions that are sufficient and/or necessary to implement Youth Friendly Health Services in 20 selected youth-clinics (cases). In order to conduct Qualitative Comparative Analysis, we will first identify the outcomes and the conditions to be assessed. The overall outcome - youth-friendliness - will be assessed together with specific outcomes for each of the five domains - accessible, acceptable, equitable, appropriate and effective. This will be done using a questionnaire to be applied to a sample of young people coming to the youth clinics. In terms of conditions, we will first identify what might be the key conditions, to ensure the youth friendliness of health care services, through literature review, interviews with professionals working at youth clinics, and with young people. The combination of conditions and outcomes will form the hypothesis to be further tested later on in the qualitative comparative analysis of the 20 cases. Once information on outcomes and conditions is gathered from each of the 20 clinics, it will be analysed using Qualitative Comparative Analysis.

    Discussion: The added value of this study in relation to the findings is twofold: on the one hand it will allow a thorough assessment of the youth-friendliness of northern Swedish youth clinics. On the other hand, it will extract lessons from one of the most consolidated examples of differentiated services for young people. Methodologically, this study can contribute to expanding the use of Qualitative Comparative Analysis in health systems research.

  • 11.
    Goicolea, Isabel
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Univ Alicante, Dept Community Nursing Prevent Med & Publ Hlth &, Publ Hlth Res Grp, E-03080 Alicante, Spain.
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Sebastian, Miguel San
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Vives-Cases, Carmen
    Marchal, Bruno
    Developing a programme theory to explain how primary health care teams learn to respond to intimate partner violence: a realist case-study2015Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 15, artikel-id 228Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Despite the progress made on policies and programmes to strengthen primary health care teams' response to Intimate Partner Violence, the literature shows that encounters between women exposed to IPV and health-care providers are not always satisfactory, and a number of barriers that prevent individual health-care providers from responding to IPV have been identified. We carried out a realist case study, for which we developed and tested a programme theory that seeks to explain how, why and under which circumstances a primary health care team in Spain learned to respond to IPV. Methods: A realist case study design was chosen to allow for an in-depth exploration of the linkages between context, intervention, mechanisms and outcomes as they happen in their natural setting. The first author collected data at the primary health care center La Virgen (pseudonym) through the review of documents, observation and interviews with health systems' managers, team members, women patients, and members of external services. The quality of the IPV case management was assessed with the PREMIS tool. Results: This study found that the health care team at La Virgen has managed 1) to engage a number of staff members in actively responding to IPV, 2) to establish good coordination, mutual support and continuous learning processes related to IPV, 3) to establish adequate internal referrals within La Virgen, and 4) to establish good coordination and referral systems with other services. Team and individual level factors have triggered the capacity and interest in creating spaces for team leaning, team work and therapeutic responses to IPV in La Virgen, although individual motivation strongly affected this mechanism. Regional interventions did not trigger individual and/ or team responses but legitimated the workings of motivated professionals. Conclusions: The primary health care team of La Virgen is involved in a continuous learning process, even as participation in the process varies between professionals. This process has been supported, but not caused, by a favourable policy for integration of a health care response to IPV. Specific contextual factors of La Virgen facilitated the uptake of the policy. To some extent, the performance of La Virgen has the potential to shape the IPV learning processes of other primary health care teams in Murcia.

  • 12.
    Hernández, Alison R
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Dahlblom, Kjerstin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    San Sebastián, Miguel
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    More than a checklist: a realist evaluation of supervision of mid-level health workers in rural Guatemala2014Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 14, nr 1, s. 112-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Mid-level health workers (MLHWs) form the front-line of service delivery in many low- and middle-income countries. Supervision is a critical institutional intervention linking their work to the health system, and it consists of activities intended to support health workers' motivation and enable them to perform. However its impact depends not only on the frequency of these activities but also how they are carried out and received. This study aims to deepen understanding of the mechanisms through which supervision activities support the performance of auxiliary nurses, a cadre of MLHWs, in rural Guatemala.

    METHODS: A multiple case study was conducted to examine the operation of supervision of five health posts using a realist evaluation approach. A program theory was formulated describing local understanding of how supervision activities are intended to work. Data was collected through interviews and document review to test the theory. Analysis focused on comparison of activities, outcomes, mechanisms and the influence of context across cases, leading to revision of the program theory.

    RESULTS: The supervisor's orientation was identified as the main mechanism contributing to variation observed in activities and their outcomes. Managerial control was the dominant orientation, reflecting the influence of standardized performance criteria and institutional culture. Humanized support was present in one case where the auxiliary nurse was motivated by the sense that the full scope of her work was valued. This orientation reflected the supervisor's integration of her professional identity as a nurse.

    CONCLUSIONS: The nature of the support health workers received was shaped by supervisors' orientation, and in this study, nursing principles were central to humanized support. Efforts to strengthen the support that supervision provides to MLHWs should promote professional ethos as a means of developing shared performance goals and orient supervisors to a more holistic view of the health worker and their work.

  • 13.
    Hitimana, Regis
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. School of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda.
    Lindholm, Lars
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Krantz, Gunilla
    Nzayirambaho, Manasse
    Pulkki-Brännström, Anni-Maria
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Cost of antenatal care for the health sector and for households in Rwanda2018Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 18, artikel-id 262Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Rwanda has made tremendous progress in reduction of maternal mortality in the last twenty years. Antenatal care is believed to have played a role in that progress. In late 2016, the World Health Organization published new antenatal care guidelines recommending an increase from four visits during pregnancy to eight contacts with skilled personnel, among other changes. There is ongoing debate regarding the cost implications and potential outcomes countries can expect, if they make that shift. For Rwanda, a necessary starting point is to understand the cost of current antenatal care practice, which, according to our knowledge, has not been documented so far.

    Methods: Cost information was collected from Kigali City and Northern province of Rwanda through two cross-sectional surveys: a household-based survey among women who had delivered a year before the interview (N = 922) and a health facility survey in three public, two faith-based, and one private health facility. A micro costing approach was used to collect health facility data. Household costs included time and transport. Results are reported in 2015 USD.

    Results: The societal cost (household + health facility) of antenatal care for the four visits according to current Rwandan guidelines was estimated at $160 in the private health facility and $44 in public and faith-based health facilities. The first visit had the highest cost ($75 in private and $21 in public and faith-based health facilities) compared to the three other visits. Drugs and consumables were the main input category accounting for 54% of the total cost in the private health facility and for 73% in the public and faith-based health facilities.

    Conclusions: The unit cost of providing antenatal care services is considerably lower in public than in private health facilities. The household cost represents a small proportion of the total, ranging between 3% and 7%; however, it is meaningful for low-income families. There is a need to do profound equity analysis regarding the accessibility and use of antenatal care services, and to consider ways to reduce households’ time cost as a possible barrier to the use of antenatal care.

  • 14.
    Hoi, Le Van
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Tien, Nguyen Thi Kim
    Tien, Nguyen Van
    Dung, Dao Van
    Chuc, Nguyen Thi Kim
    Sahlen, Klas-Göran
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Sahlen, Klas Göran
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Centrum för befolkningsstudier (CBS). Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad. Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Lindholm, Lars
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Centrum för befolkningsstudier (CBS).
    Willingness to use and pay for options of care for community dwelling older people in rural Vietnam2012Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 12, s. 36-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The proportion of people in Vietnam who are 60 years and over has increased rapidly. The emigration of young people and impact of other socioeconomic changes leave more elderly on their own and with less family support. This study assesses the willingness to use and pay for different models of care for community-dwelling elderly in rural Vietnam.

    Methods: In 2007, people aged 60 and older and their family representatives, living in 2,240 households, were randomly selected from the FilaBavi Demographic Surveillance Site. They were interviewed using structured questionnaires to assess dependence in activities of daily living (ADLs), willingness to use and to pay for day care centres, mobile care teams, and nursing centres. Respondent socioeconomic characteristics were extracted from the FilaBavi repeated census. Percentages of those willing to use models and the average amount (with 95% confidence intervals) they are willing to pay were estimated. Multivariate analyses were performed to measure the relationship of willingness to use services with ADL index and socioeconomic factors. Four focus group discussions were conducted to explore people's perspectives on the use of services. The first discussion group was with the elderly. The second discussion group was with their household members. Two other discussion groups included community association representatives, one at the communal level and another at the village level.

    Results: Use of mobile team care is the most requested service. The fewest respondents intend to use a nursing centre. Households expect to use services for their elderly to a greater extent than do the elderly themselves. Willingness to use services decreases when potential fees increase. The proportion of respondents who require that services be free-of-charge is two to three times higher than the proportion willing to pay full cost. Households are willing to pay more than the elderly for day care and nursing centres. The elderly are more willing to pay for mobile teams than are their households. Age group, sex, literacy, marital status, living arrangement, living area, working status, poverty, household wealth and dependence in ADLs are factors related to willingness to use services.

    Conclusions: Community-centric elderly care will be used and partly paid for by individuals if it is provided by the government or associations. Capacity building for health professional networks and informal caregivers is essential for developing formal care models. Additional support is needed for the most vulnerable elderly to access services.

  • 15. Hounton, Sennen
    et al.
    Byass, Peter
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Kouyate, Bocar
    Assessing effectiveness of a community based health insurance in rural Burkina Faso2012Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 12, s. 363-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Financial barriers are a recognized major bottleneck of access and use of health services. The aim of this study was to assess effectiveness of a community based health insurance (CBHI) scheme on utilization of health services as well as on mortality and morbidity. Methods: Data were collected from April to December 2007 from the Nouna's Demographic Surveillance System on overall mortality, utilization of health services, household characteristics, distance to health facilities, membership in the Nouna CBHI. We analyzed differentials in overall mortality and selected maternal health process measures between members and non-members of the insurance scheme. Results: After adjusting for covariates there was no significant difference in overall mortality between households who could not have been members (because their area was yet to be covered by the stepped-wedged scheme), non-members but whose households could have been members (areas covered but not enrolled), and members of the insurance scheme. The risk of overall mortality increased significantly with distance to health facility (35% more outside Nouna town) and with education level (37% lower when at least primary school education achieved in households). Conclusion: There was no statistically significant difference in overall mortality between members and nonmembers. The enrolment rates remain low, with selection bias. It is important that community based health insurances, exemptions fees policy and national health insurances be evaluated on prevention of deaths and severe morbidities instead of on drop-out rates, selection bias, adverse selection and catastrophic payments for health care only. Effective social protection will require national health insurance.

  • 16.
    Johansson, Helene
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Weinehall, Lars
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Emmelin, Maria
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    "It depends on what you mean": a qualitative study of Swedish health professionals' views on health and health promotion2009Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 9, nr 191Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: The role of health services must be re-oriented towards health promotion to more effectively contribute to population health. One of the objectives of the Swedish public health policy is that health promotion and disease prevention should be an integral part of the health care system and an important component of all care and treatment. However, the uncertainty about what the concepts of health and health promotion mean poses a challenge for implementation. Depending on how these concepts are interpreted, the attitudes of health professionals toward health promoting practices will differ. Thus, a more in-depth understanding of health professionals' views can be a starting point for a discussion about the values and attitudes that influence the current health care system and about the barriers and possibilities for future development of a health promoting health service.

    METHODS: Seven focus group discussions (n = 34) were carried out with health professionals, from different health care settings, to understand how they communicate about health and health promotion. The data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

    RESULTS: The analysis of health professional's general understanding of the concept of health resulted in the category; a multi-facetted concept, whilst the category; a subjective assessment describes what health means to themselves. A third category; health is about life, the whole life. describes their understanding of health as an outcome of a multiplicity of contextually dependent determinants. The health professional's multiple ways of associating health promotion to disease prevention suggest a concept that is diffuse, elusive and difficult to apply in practice. Despite a shared view of health, the health professionals described their health promotion role very differently depending partly on how the concept of health promotion was interpreted. The analysis resulted in the development of three ideal types, labelled the demarcater, the integrater and the promoter describing different strategies for handling a health promotion role in practice.

    CONCLUSION: The study suggests that different interpretations of what constitutes health promotion can lead to unnecessary misunderstandings and pose barriers to further development of a health promoting practice.

  • 17.
    Jonzon, Robert
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. The Public Health Agency of Sweden, Nobels väg 18, Solna, Sweden.
    Lindkvist, Pille
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Structural and procedural barriers to health assessment for asylum seekers and other migrants - an explorative survey in Sweden2018Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 18, nr 1, artikel-id 813Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Health assessments (HAs) for newly arrived asylum seekers have become a regular practice in most EU countries, but what is performed, how they are organized, and whether it is mandatory or not to attend varies between countries. Swedish national statistics have shown that only about 45% of asylum seekers attend the optional HA offered upon their arrival in Sweden. There are significant variations among Sweden's 21 counties, ranging from 20 to 90%. The reasons for the low attendance have not yet been fully explored, though there are indications of structural weaknesses within the healthcare system. This study aimed to identify variations in policies and implementation of HAs targeting asylum seekers and other migrants. The study analyzes the structure and processes in different Swedish counties and discusses how this might influence the coverage.

    METHODS: This research project had an exploratory quantitative descriptive design applying a cross-sectional survey based on two structured questionnaires. Descriptive statistics were performed to summarize the data.

    RESULTS: The number of healthcare centers in each county that carried out HAs on asylum seekers varied independently of the size of the county. Variations in regard to structure, organization, processes, and performance monitoring of the HA process also appeared diverse, and these were in some cases also reported differently by administrators and healthcare professionals in the same county. Most commonly, the HAs were carried out in ordinary health centers, though some counties presented alternative solutions on how to organize the HAs.

    CONCLUSIONS: There seems to be no coherent national system for carrying out HAs on asylum seekers in Sweden. The structure, organization, processes, and outcomes vary between the counties, and the reasons for the low coverage of HAs appear to be multifaceted.

  • 18.
    Kardakis, Therese
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Jerdén, Lars
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Center for Clinical Research Dalarna, Falun, Sweden; School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Dalarna University, Falun, Sweden.
    Nyström, Monica E.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Weinehall, Lars
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Johansson, Helene
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Implementation of clinical practice guidelines on lifestyle interventions in Swedish primary healthcare: a two-year follow up2018Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 18, artikel-id 227Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Implementation of interventions concerning prevention and health promotion in health care has faced particular challenges resulting in a low frequency and quality of these services. In November 2011, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare released national clinical practice guidelines to counteract patients' unhealthy lifestyle habits. Drawing on the results of a previous study as a point of departure, the aim of this two-year follow up was to assess the progress of work with lifestyle interventions in primary healthcare as well as the uptake and usage of the new guidelines on lifestyle interventions in clinical practice. Methods: Longitudinal study among health professionals with survey at baseline and 2 years later. Development over time and differences between professional groups were calculated with Pearson chi-square test. Results: Eighteen percent of the physicians reported to use the clinical practice guidelines, compared to 58% of the nurses. Nurses were also more likely to consider them as a support in their work than physicians did. Over time, health professionals usage of methods to change patients' tobacco habits and hazardous use of alcohol had increased, and the nurses worked to a higher extent than before with all four lifestyles. Knowledge on methods for lifestyle change was generally high; however, there was room for improvement concerning methods on alcohol, unhealthy eating and counselling. Forty-one percent reported to possess thorough knowledge of counselling skills. Conclusions: Even if the uptake and usage of the CPGs on lifestyle interventions so far is low, the participants reported more frequent counselling on patients' lifestyle changes concerning use of tobacco and hazardous use of alcohol. However, these findings should be evaluated acknowledging the possibility of selection bias in favour of health promotion and lifestyle guidance, and the loss of one study site in the follow up. Furthermore, this study indicates important differences in physicians and nurses' attitudes to and use of the guidelines, where the nurses reported working to a higher extent with all four lifestyles compared to the first study. These findings suggest further investigations on the implementation process in clinical practice, and the physicians' uptake and use of the CPGs.

  • 19.
    Kasenga, Fyson
    et al.
    Malawi Union of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, P. O. Box 951, Blantyre, Malawi.
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Staff motivation and welfare in Adventist health facilities in Malawi: a qualitative study2014Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 14, nr 1, artikel-id 486Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background To explore factors that motivate members of staff at Adventist health facilities in Malawi to maximize their potential for work and improve their welfare. This was a qualitative study that utilized group discussions and in-depth interviews with health care staff members.

    Methods Four group discussions with health care workers and support staff were conducted. Results: Both motivating and demotivating factors were found. The motivating factors were spiritual nourishment of the institutions and working conditions with long term benefits for individuals and their families. The demotivating factors were unfair treatment without respect to staff by management. Specific areas like working condition, housing, allowances, training, communication, and personal support were highlighted as some of the factors that poorly motivated staff to stay at the health facility Further, issues related to the loose of purpose, where Christian values were seen to be deteriorating were observed to be undermining mission of the institutions.

    Conclusions Staff motivation is vital in any working condition in as far as good performance at the work environment is concerned. Poor working conditions have not been exceptions among the Adventist health institutions. Based on these findings, the study recommended that conditions of services for the Adventist health facilities need to be revised and implemented accordingly; training of staff for further facility development to be intensified, communication between management and health care staff through scheduled routine meetings need to be strengthened. Spiritual nourishment through staff interaction with church officials and pastors should always be considered. A further study is needed to look at the community perceptions towards the services offered in the Adventist health facilities.

  • 20.
    Kien, Vu Duy
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Oncare Medical Technology Company Limited , Hanoi, Vietnam; Center for Population Health Sciences, Hanoi University of Public Health, Hanoi, Vietnam.
    Van Minh, Hoang
    Giang, Kim Bao
    Ng, Nawi
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Nguyen, Viet
    Tuan, Le Thanh
    Eriksson, Malin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Views by health professionals on the responsiveness of commune health stations regarding non-communicable diseases in urban Hanoi, Vietnam: a qualitative study2018Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 18, artikel-id 392Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Primary health care plays an important role in addressing the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries. In light of the rapid urbanization of Vietnam, this study aims to explore health professionals' views about the responsiveness of primary health care services at commune health stations, particularly regarding the increase of NCDs in urban settings.

    METHODS: This qualitative study was conducted in Hanoi from July to August 2015. We implemented 19 in-depth interviews with health staff at four purposely selected commune health stations and conducted a brief inventory of existing NCD activities at these commune health stations. We also interviewed NCD managers at national, provincial, and district levels. The interview guides reflected six components of the WHO health system framework, including service delivery, health workforce, health information systems, access to essential medicines, financing, and leadership/governance. A thematic analysis approach was applied to analyze the interview data in this study.

    RESULTS: Six themes, related to the six building blocks of the WHO health systems framework, were identified. These themes explored the responsiveness of commune health stations to NCDs in urban Hanoi. Health staff at commune health stations were not aware of the national strategy for NCDs. Health workers noted the lack of NCD informational materials for management and planning. The limited workforce at health commune stations would benefit from more health workers in general and those with NCD-specific training and skills. In addition, the budget for NCDs at commune health stations remains very limited, with large differences in the implementation of national targeted NCD programs. Some commune health stations had no NCD services available, while others had some programming. A lack of NCD treatment drugs was also noted, with a negative impact on the provision of NCD-related services at commune health stations. These themes were also reflected in the inventory of existing NCD related activities.

    CONCLUSIONS: Health professionals view the responsiveness of commune health stations to NCDs in urban Hanoi, Vietnam as weak. Appropriate policies should be implemented to improve the primary health care services on NCDs at commune health stations in urban Hanoi, Vietnam.

  • 21.
    Kinsman, John
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Angrén, John
    Umeå universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Europeiska CBRNE-centret.
    Elgh, Fredrik
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för klinisk mikrobiologi.
    Furberg, Maria
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för klinisk mikrobiologi.
    Mosquera, Paola A.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Otero-García, Laura
    Snacken, René
    Derrough, Tarik
    Carrillo Santisteve, Paloma
    Ciotti, Massimo
    Tsolova, Svetla
    Preparedness and response against diseases with epidemic potential in the European Union: a qualitative case study of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and poliomyelitis in five member states2018Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 18, nr 1, artikel-id 528Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: EU Decision 1082/2013/EU on serious cross-border health threats provides a legal basis for collaboration between EU Member States, and between international and European level institutions on preparedness, prevention, and mitigation in the event of a public health emergency. The Decision provides a context for the present study, which aims to identify good practices and lessons learned in preparedness and response to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) (in UK, Greece, and Spain) and poliomyelitis (in Poland and Cyprus).

    METHODS: Based on a documentary review, followed by five week-long country visits involving a total of 61 interviews and group discussions with experts from both the health and non-health sectors, this qualitative case study has investigated six issues related to preparedness and response to MERS and poliomyelitis: national plans and overall preparedness capacity; training and exercises; risk communication; linking policy and implementation; interoperability between the health and non-health sectors; and cross-border collaboration.

    RESULTS: Preparedness and response plans for MERS and poliomyelitis were in place in the participating countries, with a high level of technical expertise available to implement them. Nevertheless, formal evaluation of the responses to previous public health emergencies have sometimes been limited, so lessons learned may not be reflected in updated plans, thereby risking mistakes being repeated in future. The nature and extent of inter-sectoral collaboration varied according to the sectors involved, with those sectors that have traditionally had good collaboration (e.g. animal health and food safety), as well as those that have a financial incentive for controlling infectious diseases (e.g. agriculture, tourism, and air travel) seen as most likely to have integrated public health preparedness and response plans. Although the formal protocols for inter-sectoral collaboration were not always up to date, good personal relations were reported within the relevant professional networks, which could be brought into play in the event of a public health emergency. Cross-border collaboration was greatly facilitated if the neighbouring country was a fellow EU Member State.

    CONCLUSIONS: Infectious disease outbreaks remain as an ongoing threat. Efforts are required to ensure that core public health capacities for the full range of preparedness and response activities are sustained.

  • 22.
    Lundell, Sara
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för samhällsmedicin och rehabilitering, Fysioterapi.
    Tistad, Malin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för samhällsmedicin och rehabilitering, Fysioterapi. School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Dalarna University, Sweden.
    Rehn, Börje
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för samhällsmedicin och rehabilitering, Fysioterapi.
    Wiklund, Maria
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för samhällsmedicin och rehabilitering, Fysioterapi.
    Holmner, Åsa
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för strålningsvetenskaper.
    Wadell, Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för samhällsmedicin och rehabilitering, Fysioterapi.
    Building COPD care on shaky ground: a mixed methods study from Swedish primary care professional perspective2017Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 17, artikel-id 467Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a public health problem. Interprofessional collaboration and health promotion interventions such as exercise training, education, and behaviour change are cost effective, have a good effect on health status, and are recommended in COPD treatment guidelines. There is a gap between the guidelines and the healthcare available to people with COPD. The aim of this study was to increase the understanding of what shapes the provision of primary care services to people with COPD and what healthcare is offered to them from the perspective of healthcare professionals and managers.

    Methods: The study was conducted in primary care in a Swedish county council during January to June 2015. A qualitatively driven mixed methods design was applied. Qualitative and quantitative findings were merged into a joint analysis. Interviews for the qualitative component were performed with healthcare professionals (n = 14) from two primary care centres and analysed with qualitative content analysis. Two questionnaires were used for the quantitative component; one was answered by senior managers or COPD nurses at primary care centres (n = 26) in the county council and the other was answered by healthcare professionals (n = 18) at two primary care centres. The questionnaire data were analysed with descriptive statistics.

    Results: The analysis gave rise to the overarching theme building COPD care on shaky ground. This represents professionals driven to build a supportive COPD care on 'shaky' organisational ground in a fragmented and non-compliant healthcare organisation. The shaky ground is further represented by uninformed patients with a complex disease, which is surrounded with shame. The professionals are autonomous and pragmatic, used to taking responsibility for their work, and with limited involvement of the management. They wish to provide high quality COPD care with interprofessional collaboration, but they lack competence and are hindered by inadequate routines and lack of resources.

    Conclusions: There is a gap between COPD treatment guidelines and the healthcare that is provided in primary care. To facilitate implementation of the guidelines several actions are needed, such as further training for professionals, additional resources, and improved organisational structure for interprofessional collaboration and patient education.

  • 23.
    Maluka, Stephen
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Institute of Development Studies, University of Dar Es Salaam, P.O. Box 35169 Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
    Kamuzora, Peter
    Institute of Development Studies, University of Dar Es Salaam, P.O. Box 35169 Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
    San Sebastian, Miguel
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Byskov, Jens
    DBL - Centre for Health Research and Development, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Thorvaldsensvej 57, DK 1871 Frederiksberg, Denmark.
    Ndawi, Benedict
    Primary Health Care Institute (PHCI), P.O. Box 235, Iringa, Tanzania.
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Improving district level health planning and priority setting in Tanzania through implementing accountability for reasonableness framework: perceptions of stakeholders2010Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 10, s. Article nr 322-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: In 2006, researchers and decision-makers launched a five year project, Response to Accountable Priority Setting for Trust in Health Systems (REACT) to improve planning and priority setting through implementing the Accountability for Reasonableness framework in Mbarali District in Tanzania. The objective of this paper is to explore the acceptability of Accountability for Reasonableness from perspectives of the Council Health Management Team, local government officials, health workforce and members of user boards and committees.

    METHODS: Individual interviews were carried out with different categories of actors and stakeholders in the district. The interview guide consisted of a series of questions asking respondents to describe their perceptions regarding the applicability and feasibility of each condition of the Accountability for Reasonableness framework to priority setting. Interviews were analysed using thematic framework analysis. Documentary data was used to support, verify and highlight key issues that emerged.

    RESULTS: Almost all stakeholders viewed Accountability for Reasonableness as an important and feasible approach for improving priority setting and health service delivery in their context. However, a few aspects of the Accountability for Reasonableness framework were seen as difficult to implement given the socio-political conditions and traditions in Tanzania. Respondents mentioned budget ceilings and guidelines, low level of public awareness, unreliable and untimely funding as well as limited capacity of the district to generate local resources as the major contextual factors that hamper the full implementation of the framework in their context.

    CONCLUSION: This study was one of the first assessments of the applicability of Accountability for Reasonableness in health care priority setting in Tanzania. The analysis, overall, suggests that the Accountability for Reasonableness framework could be an important tool for improving priority-setting process in the contexts of resource poor settings. However, the full implementation of Accountability for Reasonableness framework would require a proper capacity-building plan to all relevant stakeholders, particularly members of the community since public accountability is the ultimate aim, and it is the public that will live with the consequences of priority setting decisions.

  • 24.
    Mkoka, Dickson Ally
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad. School of Nursing, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, MUHAS, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
    Kiwara, Angwara
    School of Nursing, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, MUHAS, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
    Goicolea, Isabel
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Governing the implementation of Emergency Obstetric Care: experiences of Rural District Health Managers, Tanzania2014Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 14, s. 333-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Many health policies developed internationally often become adopted at the national level and are implemented locally at the district level. A decentralized district health system led by a district health management team becomes responsible for implementing such policies. This study aimed at exploring the experiences of a district health management team in implementing Emergency Obstetric Care (EmOC) related policies and identifying emerging governance aspects.

    METHODS: The study used a qualitative approach in which data was obtained from thirteen individual interviews and one focus group discussion (FGD). Interviews were conducted with members of the district health management team, district health service boards and NGO representatives. The FGD included key informants who were directly involved in the work of implementing EmOC services in the district. Documentary reviews and observation were done to supplement the data. All the materials were analysed using a qualitative content analysis approach.

    RESULTS: Implementation of EmOC was considered to be a process accompanied by achievements and challenges. Achievements included increased institutional delivery, increased number of ambulances, training service providers in emergency obstetric care and building a new rural health centre that provides comprehensive emergency obstetric care. These achievements were associated with good leadership skills of the team together with partnerships that existed between different actors such as the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), development partners, local politicians and Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs). Most challenges faced during the implementation of EmOC were related to governance issues at different levels and included delays in disbursement of funds from the central government, shortages of health workers, unclear mechanisms for accountability, lack of incentives to motivate overburdened staffs and lack of guidelines for partnership development.

    CONCLUSION: The study revealed that implementing EmOC is a process accompanied by challenges that require an approach with multiple partners to address them and that, for effective partnership, the roles and responsibilities of each partner should be well stipulated in a clear working framework within the district health system. Partnerships strengthen health system governance and therefore ensure effective implementation of health policies at a local level.

  • 25.
    Mosquera Mendéz, Paola A
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Hernandez, Jinneth
    Vega, Roman
    Martinez, Jorge
    Sebastian, Miguel San
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Performance evaluation of the essential dimensions of the primary health care services in six localities of Bogota-Colombia: a cross-sectional study2013Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 13, s. 315-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The high segmentation and fragmentation in the provision of services are some of the main problems of the Colombian health system. In 2004 the district government of Bogota decided to implement a Primary Health Care (PHC) strategy through the Home Health program. PHC was conceived as a model for transforming health care delivery within the network of the first-level public health care facilities. This study aims to evaluate the performance of the essential dimensions of the PHC strategy in six localities geographically distributed throughout Bogota city.

    Methods: The rapid assessment tool to measure PHC performance, validated in Brazil, was applied. The perception of participants (users, professionals, health managers) in public health facilities where the Home Health program was implemented was compared with the perception of participants in private health facilities not implementing the program. A global performance index and specific indices for each primary care dimension were calculated. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine possible associations between the performance of the PHC dimensions and the self-perceived health status of users.

    Results: The global performance index was rated as good for all participants interviewed. In general, with the exception of professionals, the differences in most of the essential dimensions seemed to favor public health care facilities where the Home Health program was implemented. The weakest dimensions were the family focus and community orientation-rated as critical by users; the distribution of financial resources-rated as critical by health managers; and, accessibility-rated as intermediate by users.

    Conclusions: The overall findings suggest that the Home Health program could be improving the performance of the network of the first-level public health care facilities in some PHC essential dimensions, but significant efforts to achieve its objectives and raise its visibility in the community are required.

  • 26.
    Nilsson, Anita
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Lindkvist, Marie
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Rasmussen, Birgit
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Edvardsson, David
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Measuring levels of person-centeredness in acute care of older people with cognitive impairment: evaluation of the POPAC scale2013Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 13, s. 327-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Person-centeredness is increasingly advocated in the literature as a gold-standard, best practice concept in health services for older people. This concept describes care that incorporates individual and multidimensional needs, personal biography, subjectivity and interpersonal relationships. However, acute in-patient hospital services have a long-standing biomedical tradition that may contrast with person-centred care. Since few tools exist that enable measurements of the extent to which acute in-patient hospital services are perceived as being person-centred, this study aimed to translate the English version of the Person-centred care of older people with cognitive impairment in acute care scale (POPAC) to Swedish, and evaluate its psychometric properties in a sample of acute hospital staff.

    METHODS: The 15-item POPAC was translated, back-translated and culturally adjusted, and distributed to a cross-sectional sample of Swedish acute care staff (n = 293). Item performance was evaluated through assessment of item means, internal consistency by Cronbach's alpha on total and on subscale levels; temporal stability was assessed through Pearson's product correlation and intra-class correlation between test and retest scores. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to explore model fit.

    RESULTS: The results indicate that the Swedish version POPAC provides a tentatively construct-valid and reliable contribution to measuring the extent to which acute in-patient hospital services have processes and procedures that can facilitate person-centred care of older patients with cognitive impairment. However, some questions remain regarding the dimensionality of POPAC.

    CONCLUSIONS: POPAC provides a valuable contribution to the quest of improving acute care for older patients with cognitive impairment by enabling measures and subsequent accumulation of internationally comparable data for research and practice development purposes. POPAC can be used to highlight strengths and areas for improvements in care practice for older patients, and to illuminate aspects that risk being overlooked in busy acute hospital settings.

  • 27.
    Nilsson, Ingeborg
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för samhällsmedicin och rehabilitering, Arbetsterapi.
    Luborsky, Mark
    Rosenberg, Lena
    Sandberg, Linda
    Bostrom, Anne-Marie
    Borell, Lena
    Perpetuating harms from isolation among older adults with cognitive impairment: observed discrepancies in homecare service documentation, assessment and approval practices2018Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 18, artikel-id 800Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Older persons with cognitive impairment (CI) risk social isolation. Strong evidence shows that perceived loneliness, or inadequate social networks, triggers and increases health problems. How homecare systems address social participation remains unknown; anecdotal data suggests there are significant gaps. This study's objective was to identify and describe how the assessors of homecare needs document social participation among persons with CI and how their documentation corresponds with the services actually provided to meet social needs. The research questions were: How and what kinds of social participation needs are documented on need assessment forms? What types of homecare services (with a social focus) are documented and approved? How are specified needs in social participation profiles addressed by a homecare service?

    Methods: Descriptive data from need assessment forms and their attached care plans for all applicants aged 65+ were collected during a 2 month period from a large homecare agency serving a municipality in Sweden. Persons with documented CI (n = 43) in the group were identified. Qualitative data analysis was conducted to examine the research questions.

    Results: Social participation factors were not documented consistently. The relationship between recognition of limitations to social participation and approval of service eligibility was not consistent. Social participation was designated by references to social status, sometimes by social network size, and occasionally by limitations to social participation. The range of approved homecare services (with social focus) covered services such as day care center visits or companionship. Three profiles of social participation were identified: clients with, (a) no participation limitations; (b) potential limitations; and (c) marked limitations.

    Conclusion: Given the known health harms from social isolation and the high risk of isolation among older persons with CI, this novel study's documentation of inadequate and inconsistent information in homecare social need assessments and services is sobering. The findings suggest a pressing need for initiatives to formulate best practices and standards to ensure alignment of care service systems to the health needs of the growing group of aging individuals with CI.

  • 28.
    Nilsson, Karin
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Juthberg, Christina
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Söderberg, Johan
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för medicinsk biovetenskap, Klinisk kemi.
    Bölenius, Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Grankvist, Kjell
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för medicinsk biovetenskap, Klinisk kemi.
    Brulin, Christine
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Lindkvist, Marie
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet, Statistik.
    Associations between workplace affiliation and phlebotomy practices regarding patient identification and test request handling practices in primary healthcare centres: a multilevel model approach2015Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 15, artikel-id 503Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Clinical practice guidelines aim to enhance patient safety by reducing inappropriate variations in practice. Despite considerable efforts to enhance the use of clinical practice guidelines, adherence is often suboptimal. We investigated to what extent workplace affiliation explains variation of self-reported adherence to venous blood specimen collection regarding patient identification and test request handling practices, taking into consideration other primary healthcare centre and individual phlebotomist characteristics. Methods: Data were collected through a questionnaire survey of 164 phlebotomy staff from 25 primary healthcare centres in northern Sweden. To prevent the impact of a large-scale education intervention in 2008, only baseline data, collected over a 3-month period in 2006-2007, were used and subjected to descriptive statistics and multilevel logistic analyses. Results: In two patient identification outcomes, stable high median odds ratios (MOR) were found in both the empty model, and in the adjusted full model including both individual and workplace factors. Our findings suggest that variances among phlebotomy staff can be largely explained by primary healthcare centre affiliation also when individual and workplace demographic characteristics were taken in consideration. Analyses showed phlebotomy staff at medium and large primary healthcare centres to be more likely to adhere to guidelines than staff at small centres. Furthermore, staff employed shorter time at worksite to be more likely to adhere than staff employed longer. Finally, staff performing phlebotomy every week or less were more likely to adhere than staff performing phlebotomy on a daily basis. Conclusion: Workplace affiliation largely explains variances in self-reported adherence to venous blood specimen collection guidelines for patient identification and test request handling practices among phlebotomy staff. Characteristics of the workplace, as well as of the individual phlebotomist, need to be identified in order to design strategies to improve clinical practice in this and other areas.

  • 29.
    Njozing, Barnabas N
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Edin, Kerstin E
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Umeå centrum för genusstudier (UCGS).
    San Sebastián, Miguel
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Voices from the frontline: counsellors’ perspectives on TB/HIV collaborative activities in the Northwest Region, Cameroon2011Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 11, s. 328-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: The overlapping epidemiology of tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections prompted the World Health Organisation in 2004 to recommend collaboration between national TB and HIV programmes. The goal of this collaboration is to decrease the burden of both infections in the population. This policy was subsequently adopted by the national TB and HIV programmes in Cameroon with TB and HIV nurses/counsellors acting as frontline implementers of the collaborative activities in the 10 regions of the country.

    METHODS: Qualitative research interviews were conducted with 30 nurses/counsellors in four approved treatment centres providing comprehensive TB and HIV/AIDS services in the Northwest region of Cameroon. The aim was to explore their experiences in counselling, in delivering joint TB and HIV services, and the constraints to effective collaboration between TB and HIV services. To complement the findings from the counsellors' interviews, as part of an emergent design, further interviews with 2 traditional healers and non-participant observations in two HIV support group meetings were conducted.

    RESULTS: According to the respondents, counselling was regarded as a call to serve humanity irrespective of the reasons for choosing the profession. In addition, the counselling training and supervision received, and the skills acquired, have altogether contributed to build patients' trust in the healthcare system. Teamwork among healthcare workers and other key stakeholders in the community involved in TB/HIV prevention and control was used as a strategy to improve joint service delivery and patients' uptake of services. Several constraints to effective collaboration between TB and HIV services were identified, including shortage of human resources, infrastructure and drug supplies, poor patients' adherence to treatment and the influence of traditional healers who relentlessly dissuade patients from seeking mainstream medical care.

    CONCLUSIONS: In order to achieve a sustainable collaboration between TB and HIV services, adequate planning, investment and strengthening of the health system including human resources, infrastructure and ensuring uninterrupted supplies of medicines are essential. A multidisciplinary approach to service delivery particularly focusing on harnessing the enormous potentials of traditional healers in TB/HIV prevention and control would also be indispensible.

  • 30.
    Nkulu Kalengayi, Faustine
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Nordstrand, Annika
    Ahlm, Clas
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för klinisk mikrobiologi, Infektionssjukdomar.
    Ahlberg, Beth Maina
    Perspectives and experiences of new migrants on health screening in Sweden2016Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 16, nr 14Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: In Sweden, migrants from countries considered to have a high burden of certain infectious diseases are offered health screening to prevent the spread of these diseases, but also identify their health needs. However, very little is known about their experiences and perceptions about the screening process. This study aimed at exploring these perceptions and experiences in order to inform policy and clinical practice. Method: Using an interpretive description framework, 26 new migrants were interviewed between April and June 2013 in four Swedish counties. Thematic analysis was used to analyze data. Results: The three themes developed include: new country, new practices; new requirements in the new country; and unmet needs and expectations. Participants described what it meant for them to come to a new country with a foreign language, new ways of communicating with caregivers/authorities and being offered health screening without clarification. Participants perceived health screening as a requirement from the authorities to be fulfilled by all newcomers but conceded that it benefits equally the host society and themselves. However, they also expressed concern over the involvement of the Migration Board staff and feared possible collaboration with health service to their detriment. They further stated that the screening program fell short of their expectations as it mainly focused on identifying infectious diseases and overlooked their actual health needs. Finally, they expressed frustration over delay in screening, poor living conditions in reception centers and the restrictive entitlement to care. Conclusions: Migrants are aware of their vulnerability and the need to undergo health screening though they view it as an official requirement. Thus, those who underwent the screening were more concerned about residency rather than the actual benefits of screening. The issues highlighted in this study may limit access to and uptake of the screening service, and compromise its effectiveness. To maximize the uptake: (1) linguistically and culturally adapted information is needed, (2) other screening approaches should be tried, (3) trained medical interpreters should be used, (4) a holistic and human right approach should be applied, (5) the involvement of migration staff should be reconsidered to avoid confusion and worries. Finally, to improve the effectiveness, (6) all migrants from targeted countries should be offered screening and efforts should be taken to improve the health literacy of migrants and the living conditions in reception centers.

  • 31.
    Nkulu Kalengayi, Faustine Kyungu
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Ahlm, Clas
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för klinisk mikrobiologi, Infektionssjukdomar.
    Ahlberg, Beth Maina
    "It is a challenge to do it the right way": an interpretive description of caregivers' experiences in caring for migrant patients in Northern Sweden2012Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 12, s. 433-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Experiences from nations with population diversity show extensive evidence on the need for cultural and linguistic competence in health care. In Sweden, despite the increasing diversity, only few studies have focused on challenges in cross-cultural care. The aim of this study was to explore the perspectives and experiences of caregivers in caring for migrant patients in Northern Sweden in order to understand the challenges they face and generate knowledge that could inform clinical practice.

    METHODS: We used an interpretive description approach, combining semi-structured interviews with 10 caregivers purposively selected and participant observation of patient-provider interactions in caring encounters. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using thematic analysis approach. Field notes were also used to orient data collection and confirm or challenge the analysis.

    RESULTS: We found complex and intertwined challenges as indicated in the three themes we present including: the sociocultural diversity, the language barrier and the challenges migrants face in navigating through the Swedish health care system. The caregivers described migrants as a heterogeneous group coming from different geographical areas but also having varied social, cultural and religious affiliations, migration history and status all which influenced the health care encounter, whether providing or receiving. Participants also described language as a major barrier to effective provision and use of health services. Meanwhile, they expressed concern over the use of interpreters in the triad communication and over the difficulties encountered by migrants in navigating through the Swedish health care system.

    CONCLUSIONS: The study illuminates complex challenges facing health care providers caring for migrant populations and highlights the need for multifaceted approaches to improve the delivery and receipt of care. The policy implications of these challenges are discussed in relation to the need to (a) adapt care to the individual needs, (b) translate key documents and messages in formats and languages accessible and acceptable to migrants, (c) train interpreters and enhance caregivers' contextual understanding of migrant groups and their needs, (d) and improve migrants' health literacy through strategies such as community based educational outreach.

  • 32.
    Nyström, Monica E
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet.
    Höög, Elisabet
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Garvare, R.
    Andersson Bäck, M.
    Terris, D. D.
    Hansson, J.
    Exploring the potential of a multi-level approach to improve capability for continuous organizational improvement and learning in a Swedish healthcare region2018Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 18, artikel-id 376Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Eldercare and care of people with functional impairments is organized by the municipalities in Sweden. Improving care in these areas is complex, with multiple stakeholders and organizations. Appropriate strategies to develop capability for continuing organizational improvement and learning (COIL) are needed. The purpose of our study was to develop and pilot-test a flexible, multilevel approach for COIL capability building and to identify what it takes to achieve changes in key actors' approaches to COIL. The approach, named "Sustainable Improvement and Development through Strategic and Systematic Approaches" (SIDSSA), was applied through an action-research and action-learning intervention.

    METHODS: The SIDSSA approach was tested in a regional research and development (R&D) unit, and in two municipalities handling care of the elderly and people with functional impairments. Our approach included a multilevel strategy, development loops of five flexible phases, and an action-learning loop. The approach was designed to support systems understanding, strategic focus, methodological practices, and change process knowledge - all of which required double-loop learning. Multiple qualitative methods, i.e., repeated interviews, process diaries, and documents, provided data for conventional content analyses.

    RESULTS: The new approach was successfully tested on all cases and adopted and sustained by the R&D unit. Participants reported new insights and skills. The development loop facilitated a sense of coherence and control during uncertainty, improved planning and problem analysis, enhanced mapping of context and conditions, and supported problem-solving at both the individual and unit levels. The systems-level view and structured approach helped participants to explain, motivate, and implement change initiatives, especially after working more systematically with mapping, analyses, and goal setting.

    CONCLUSIONS: An easily understood and generalizable model internalized by key organizational actors is an important step before more complex development models can be implemented. SIDSSA facilitated individual and group learning through action-learning and supported systems-level views and structured approaches across multiple organizational levels. Active involvement of diverse organizational functions and levels in the learning process was facilitated. However, the time frame was too short to fully test all aspects of the approach, specifically in reaching beyond the involved managers to front-line staff and patients.

  • 33.
    Nyström, Monica E.
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Westerlund, Anna
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Höög, Elisabet
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Millde-Luthander, Charlotte
    Högberg, Ulf
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Grunewald, Charlotta
    Healthcare system intervention for prevention of birth injuries: process evaluation of self-assessment, peer review, feedback and agreement for change2012Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 12, artikel-id 274Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Patient safety is fundamental in high quality healthcare systems but despite an excellent record of perinatal care in Sweden some children still suffer from substandard care and unnecessary birth injuries. Sustainable patient safety improvements assume changes in key actors' mental models, norms and culture as well as in the tools, design and organisation of work. Interventions positively affecting team mental models on safety issues are a first step to enhancing change. Our purpose was to study a national intervention programme for the prevention of birth injuries with the aim to elucidate how the main interventions of self-assessment, peer review, feedback and written agreement for change affected the teams and their mental model of patient safety, and thereby their readiness for change. Knowledge of relevant considerations before implementing this type of patient safety intervention series could thereby be increased.

    Methods: Eighty participants in twenty-seven maternity units were interviewed after the first intervention sequence of the programme. A content analysis using a priori coding was performed in order to relate results to the anticipated outcomes of three basic interventions: self-assessment, peer review and written feedback, and agreement for change.

    Results: The self-assessment procedure was valuable and served as a useful tool for elucidating strengths and weaknesses and identifying areas for improvement for a safer delivery in maternity units. The peer-review intervention was appreciated, despite it being of less value when considering the contribution to explicit outcome effects (i.e. new input to team mental models and new suggestions for actions). The feedback report and the mutual agreement on measures for improvements reached when signing the contract seemed exert positive pressures for change.

    Conclusions: Our findings are in line with several studies stressing the importance of self-evaluation by encouraging a thorough review of objectives, practices and outcomes for the continuous improvement of an organisation. Even though effects of the peer review were limited, feedback from peers, or other change agents involved, and the support that a clear and well-structured action plan can provide are considered to be two important complements to future self-assessment procedures related to patient safety improvement.

  • 34.
    Nyström, Monica Elisabeth
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet, SE 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.
    Strehlenert, Helena
    Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet, SE 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.
    Hansson, Johan
    Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet, SE 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.
    Hasson, Henna
    Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet, SE 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden and Centre for Epidemiology and community medicine, Stockholm county council, SE 171 29 Stockholm, Sweden.
    Strategies to facilitate implementation and sustainability of large system transformations: a case study of a national program for improving quality of care for elderly people2014Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 14, artikel-id 401Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Large-scale change initiatives stimulating change in several organizational systems in the health and social care sector are challenging both to lead and evaluate. There is a lack of systematic research that can enrich our understanding of strategies to facilitate large system transformations in this sector. The purpose of this study was to examine the characteristics of core activities and strategies to facilitate implementation and change of a national program aimed at improving life for the most ill elderly people in Sweden. The program outcomes were also addressed to assess the impact of these strategies.

    METHODS: A longitudinal case study design with multiple data collection methods was applied. Archival data (n = 795), interviews with key stakeholders (n = 11) and non-participant observations (n = 23) were analysed using content analysis. Outcome data was obtained from national quality registries.

    RESULTS: This study presents an approach for implementing a large national change program that is characterized by initial flexibility and dynamism regarding content and facilitation strategies and a growing complexity over time requiring more structure and coordination. The description of activities and strategies show that the program management team engaged a variety of stakeholders and actor groups and accordingly used a palate of different strategies. The main strategies used to influence change in the target organisations were to use regional improvement coaches, regional strategic management teams, national quality registries, financial incentives and annually revised agreements. Interactive learning sessions, intense communication, monitor and measurements, and active involvement of different experts and stakeholders, including elderly people, complemented these strategies. Program outcomes showed steady progress in most of the five target areas, less so for the target of achieving coordinated care.

    CONCLUSIONS: There is no blue-print on how to approach the challenging task of leading large scale change programs in complex contexts, but our conclusion is that more attention has to be given to the multidimensional strategies that program management need to consider. This multidimensionality comprises different strategies depending on types of actors, system levels, contextual factors, program progress over time, program content, types of learning and change processes, and the conditions for sustainability.

  • 35.
    Pembe, Andrea B
    et al.
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
    Carlstedt, Anders
    Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH), Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Urassa, David P
    Department of Community Health, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
    Lindmark, Gunilla
    Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH), Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Nyström, Lennarth
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Darj, Elisabeth
    Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH), Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Effectiveness of maternal referral system in a rural setting: a case study from Rufiji district, Tanzania2010Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 10, s. 326-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Majority of the maternal referrals were due to demographic risks, where few women complied. To improve compliance to maternal referrals there is need to review the referral indications and strengthen counseling on birth preparedness and complication readiness.

  • 36.
    Petersson, Kerstin
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för klinisk vetenskap, Obstetrik och gynekologi.
    Persson, Margareta
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Lindkvist, Marie
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet, Statistik.
    Hammarström, Margareta
    Haglund, Ingrid
    Nilses, Carin
    Skogsdal, Yvonne
    Mogren, Ingrid
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för klinisk vetenskap, Obstetrik och gynekologi.
    User perspectives on the Swedish Maternal Health Care Register2014Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 14, artikel-id 613Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Established in 1999, the Swedish Maternal Health Care Register (MHCR) collects data on pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period for most pregnant women in Sweden. Antenatal care (ANC) midwives manually enter data into the Web-application that is designed for MHCR. The aim of this study was to investigate midwives? experiences, opinions and use of the MHCR. Method: A national, cross-sectional, questionnaire survey, addressing all Swedish midwives working in ANC, was conducted January to March 2012. The questionnaire included demographic data, preformed statements with six response options ranging from zero to five (0 = totally disagree and 5 = totally agree), and opportunities to add information or further clarification in the form of free text comments. Parametric and non-parametric methods and logistic regression analyses were applied, and content analysis was used for free text comments. Results: The estimated response rate was 53.1%. Most participants were positive towards the Web-application and the included variables in the MHCR. Midwives exclusively engaged in patient-related work tasks perceived the register as burdensome (70.3%) and 44.2% questioned the benefit of the register. The corresponding figures for midwives also engaged in administrative supervision were 37.8% and 18.5%, respectively. Direct electronic transfer of data from the medical records to the MHCR was emphasised as significant future improvement. In addition, the midwives suggested that new variables of interest should be included in the MHCR ? e.g., infertility, outcomes of previous pregnancy and birth, and complications of the index pregnancy. Conclusions: In general, the MHCR was valued positively, although perceived as burdensome. Direct electronic transfer of data from the medical records to the MHCR is a prioritized issue to facilitate the working situation for midwives. Finally, the data suggest that the MHCR is an underused source for operational planning and quality assessment in local ANC centres.

  • 37.
    Petersson, Kerstin
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för klinisk vetenskap, Obstetrik och gynekologi.
    Persson, Margareta
    Dalarna University, School of Health and Social Studies, Falun, Sweden.
    Lindkvist, Marie
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet, Statistik.
    Hammarström, Margareta
    Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Nilses, Carin
    Department of Research and Development, Västernorrland County Council, Västernorrland, Sweden.
    Haglund, Ingrid
    Primary Health Care, Parental and Child Health Care, Östersund, Sweden.
    Skogsdal, Yvonne
    Primary Health Care, Maternal Health Care Unit, Örebro, Sweden.
    Mogren, Ingrid
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för klinisk vetenskap, Obstetrik och gynekologi.
    Internal validity of the Swedish Maternal Health Care Register2014Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 14, s. 364-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The Swedish Maternal Health Care Register (MHCR) is a national quality register that has been collecting pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum data since 1999. A substantial revision of the MHCR resulted in a Web-based version of the register in 2010. Although MHCR provides data for health care services and research, the validity of the MHCR data has not been evaluated. This study investigated degree of coverage and internal validity of specific variables in the MHCR and identified possible systematic errors. Methods: This cross-sectional observational study compared pregnancy and delivery data in medical records with corresponding data in the MHCR. The medical record was considered the gold standard. The medical records from nine Swedish hospitals were selected for data extraction. This study compared data from 878 women registered in both medical records and in the MHCR. To evaluate the quality of the initial data extraction, a second data extraction of 150 medical records was performed. Statistical analyses were performed for degree of coverage, agreement and correlation of data, and sensitivity and specificity. Results: Degree of coverage of specified variables in the MHCR varied from 90.0% to 100%. Identical information in both medical records and the MHCR ranged from 71.4% to 99.7%. For more than half of the investigated variables, 95% or more of the information was identical. Sensitivity and specificity were analysed for binary variables. Probable systematic errors were identified for two variables. Conclusions: When comparing data from medical records and data registered in the MHCR, most variables in the MHCR demonstrated good to very good degree of coverage, agreement, and internal validity. Hence, data from the MHCR may be regarded as reliable for research as well as for evaluating, planning, and decision-making with respect to Swedish maternal health care services.

  • 38.
    Probandari, Ari
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Lindholm, Lars
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Stenlund, Hans
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Utarini, Adi
    Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Missed opportunity for standardized diagnosis and treatment among adult tuberculosis patients in hospitals involved in public-private mix for directly observed treatment short-course strategy in Indonesia: a cross-sectional study2010Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 10, s. 113-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: The engagement of hospitals in Public-Private Mix (PPM) for Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course (DOTS) strategy has increased rapidly internationally - including in Indonesia. In view of the rapid global scaling-up of hospital engagement, we aimed to estimate the proportion of outpatient adult Tuberculosis patients who received standardized diagnosis and treatment at outpatients units of hospitals involved in the PPM-DOTS strategy.

    METHODS: A cross-sectional study using morbidity reports for outpatients, laboratory registers and Tuberculosis patient registers from 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2005. By quota sampling, 62 hospitals were selected. Post-stratification analysis was conducted to estimate the proportion of Tuberculosis cases receiving standardized management according to the DOTS strategy.

    RESULT: Nineteen to 53% of Tuberculosis cases and 4-18% of sputum smear positive Tuberculosis cases in hospitals that participated in the PPM-DOTS strategy were not treated with standardized diagnosis and treatment as in DOTS.

    CONCLUSION: This study found that a substantial proportion of TB patients cared for at PPM-DOTS hospitals are not managed under the DOTS strategy. This represents a missed opportunity for standardized diagnoses and treatment. A combination of strong individual commitment of health professionals, organizational supports, leadership, and relevant policy in hospital and National Tuberculosis Programme may be required to strengthen DOTS implementation in hospitals.

  • 39.
    Richter Sundberg, Linda
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för klinisk vetenskap, Barn- och ungdomspsykiatri.
    Garvare, Rickard
    Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Luleå University of Technology.
    Nyström, Monica Elisabeth
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet.
    Reaching beyond the review of research evidence: a qualitative study of decision making during the development of clinical practice guidelines for disease prevention in healthcare2017Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 17, nr 1, artikel-id 344Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: The judgment and decision making process during guideline development is central for producing high-quality clinical practice guidelines, but the topic is relatively underexplored in the guideline research literature. We have studied the development process of national guidelines with a disease-prevention scope produced by the National board of Health and Welfare (NBHW) in Sweden. The NBHW formal guideline development model states that guideline recommendations should be based on five decision-criteria: research evidence; curative/preventive effect size, severity of the condition; cost-effectiveness; and ethical considerations. A group of health profession representatives (i.e. a prioritization group) was assigned the task of ranking condition-intervention pairs for guideline recommendations, taking into consideration the multiple decision criteria. The aim of this study was to investigate the decision making process during the two-year development of national guidelines for methods of preventing disease.

    METHODS: A qualitative inductive longitudinal case study approach was used to investigate the decision making process. Questionnaires, non-participant observations of nine two-day group meetings, and documents provided data for the analysis. Conventional and summative qualitative content analysis was used to analyse data.

    RESULTS: The guideline development model was modified ad-hoc as the group encountered three main types of dilemmas: high quality evidence vs. low adoptability of recommendation; insufficient evidence vs. high urgency to act; and incoherence in assessment and prioritization within and between four different lifestyle areas. The formal guideline development model guided the decision-criteria used, but three new or revised criteria were added by the group: 'clinical knowledge and experience', 'potential guideline consequences' and 'needs of vulnerable groups'. The frequency of the use of various criteria in discussions varied over time. Gender, professional status, and interpersonal skills were perceived to affect individuals' relative influence on group discussions.

    CONCLUSIONS: The study shows that guideline development groups make compromises between rigour and pragmatism. The formal guideline development model incorporated multiple aspects, but offered few details on how the different criteria should be handled. The guideline development model devoted little attention to the role of the decision-model and group-related factors. Guideline development models could benefit from clarifying the role of the group-related factors and non-research evidence, such as clinical experience and ethical considerations, in decision-processes during guideline development.

  • 40.
    Richter-Sundberg, Linda
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.
    Kardakis, Therese
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.
    Weinehall, Lars
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Garvare, Rickard
    Nyström, Monica E
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.
    Addressing implementation challenges during guideline development - A case study of Swedish national guidelines for methods of preventing disease.2015Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 15, nr 1, s. 19-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BackgroundMany of the world¿s life threatening diseases (e.g. cancer, heart disease, stroke) could be prevented by eliminating life-style habits such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol use. Incorporating evidence-based research on methods to change unhealthy lifestyle habits in clinical practice would be equally valuable. However gaps between guideline development and implementation are well documented, with implications for health care quality, safety and effectiveness. The development phase of guidelines has been shown to be important both for the quality in guideline content and for the success of implementation. There are, however, indications that guidelines related to general disease prevention methods encounter specific barriers compared to guidelines that are diagnosis-specific. In 2011 the Swedish National board for Health and Welfare launched guidelines with a preventive scope. The aim of this study was to investigate how implementation challenges were addressed during the development process of these disease preventive guidelines.MethodsSeven semi-structured interviews were conducted with members of the guideline development management group. Archival data detailing the guideline development process were also collected and used in the analysis. Qualitative data were analysed using content analysis as the analytical framework.ResultsThe study identified several strategies and approaches that were used to address implementation challenges during guideline development. Four themes emerged from the analysis: broad agreements and consensus about scope and purpose; a formalized and structured development procedure; systematic and active involvement of stakeholders; and openness and transparency in the specific guideline development procedure. Additional factors concerning the scope of prevention and the work environment of guideline developers were perceived to influence the possibilities to address implementation issues.ConclusionsThis case study provides examples of how guideline developers perceive and approach the issue of implementation during the development and early launch of prevention guidelines. Models for guideline development could benefit from an initial assessment of how the guideline topic, its target context and stakeholders will affect the upcoming implementation.

  • 41.
    Rosvall, Per-Åke
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för tillämpad utbildningsvetenskap.
    Nilsson, Stefan
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Gender-based generalisations in school nurses' appraisals of and interventions addressing students' mental health2016Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 16, artikel-id 451Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: There has been an increase of reports describing mental health problems in adolescents, especially girls. School nurses play an important role in supporting young people with health problems. Few studies have considered how the nurses' gender norms may influence their discussions.

    Methods: To investigate this issue, semi-structured interviews focusing on school nurses' work with students who have mental health problems were conducted. Transcripts of interviews with Swedish school nurses (n = 15) from the Help overcoming pain early project (HOPE) were analysed using theories on gender as a theoretical framework and then organised into themes related to the school nurses' provision of contact and intervention. The interviewees were all women, aged between 42–63 years, who had worked as nurses for 13–45 years, and as school nurses for 2–28 years. Five worked in upper secondary schools (for students aged 16–19) and 10 in secondary schools (for students aged 12–16).

    Results: The results show that school nurses more commonly associated mental health problems with girls. When the school nurses discussed students that were difficult to reach, boys in particular were mentioned. However, very few nurses mentioned specific intervention to address students' mental health problems, and all of the mentioned interventions were focused on girls. Some of the school nurses reported that it was more difficult to initiate a health dialogue with boys, yet none of the nurses had organized interventions for the boys.

    Conclusions: We conclude that generalisations can sometimes be analytically helpful, facilitating, for instance, the identification of problems in school nurses' work methods and interventions. However, the most important conclusion from our research, which applied a design that is not commonly used, is that more varied approaches, as well as a greater awareness of potential gender stereotype pitfalls, are necessary to meet the needs of diverse student groups.

  • 42. Rurangirwa, Akashi Andrew
    et al.
    Mogren, Ingrid
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för klinisk vetenskap, Obstetrik och gynekologi. Judith Lumley Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.
    Ntaganira, Joseph
    Govender, Kaymarlin
    Krantz, Gunilla
    Quality of antenatal care services in Rwanda: assessing practices of health care providers2018Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 18, artikel-id 865Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Although most pregnant women in Rwanda visit antenatal care (ANC) clinics, little has been studied about the quality of services being provided. We investigated the ANC providers' (HCPs) current practices in relation to prevention, management and referral of maternal conditions as well as the information provided to pregnant women attending ANC services in Rwanda.

    Methods: This facility-based, cross-sectional study included 312 ANC providers as participants and a review of 605 ANC medical records from 121 health centers. Data collection was performed using an interviewer-administered questionnaire and a structured observation checklist. For the analyses, descriptive statistics and bi-and multivariable logistic regression were used.

    Results: Nurses and midwives in ANC services failed to report a number of pregnancy-related conditions that would need urgent referral to a higher level of health care. Midwives did somewhat better than nurses in reporting these conditions. There was no statistically significant difference in how nurses and midwives informed pregnant women about pregnancy-related issues. Ever been trained in how to manage a pregnant woman exposed to violence was reported by 14% of the participants. In 12, 13 and 15% of the medical records there was no report on tetanus immunization, anthelmintic treatment and syphilis testing, respectively.

    Conclusion: The providers in ANC clinics reported suboptimal practices on conditions of pregnancy that needed urgent referral for adequate management. Information to pregnant women on danger signs of pregnancy, recommended medicines and tests do not seem to be consistently provided. Midwifery training in Rwanda should be expanded so that most of staff at ANC clinics are trained as midwives to help lower maternal and child mortality and morbidity.

  • 43.
    Sahlen, Klas-Göran
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Löfgren, Curt
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Brodin, Håkan
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Dahlgren, Lars
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Sociologiska institutionen.
    Lindholm, Lars
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Measuring the value of older people's production: a diary study2012Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 12, s. 4-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The productive capacity of retired people is usually not valued. However, some retirees produce much more than we might expect. This diary-based study identifies the activities of older people, and suggests some value mechanisms. One question raised is whether it is possible to scale up this diary study into a larger representative study. Methods: Diaries kept for one week were collected among 23 older people in the north of Sweden. The texts were analysed with a grounded theory approach; an interplay between ideas and empirical data. Results: Some productive activities of older people must be valued as the opportunity cost of time or according to the market value, and others must be valued with the replacement cost. In order to make the choice between these methods, it is important to consider the societal entitlement. When there is no societal entitlement, the first or second method must be used; and when it exists, the third must be used. Conclusions: An explicit investigation of the content of the entitlement is needed to justify the choice of valuation method for each activity. In a questionnaire addressing older people's production, each question must be adjusted to the type of production. In order to fully understand this production, it is important to consider the degree of free choice to conduct an activity, as well as health-related quality of life.

  • 44.
    Sanz-Barbero, Belén
    et al.
    National School of Public Health, Health Institute Carlos III, Madrid, Spain ; CIBER of Epidemiology and Public Health, CIBERESP, Madrid, Spain.
    Otero-García, Laura
    National School of Public Health, Health Institute Carlos III, Madrid, Spain ; CIBER of Epidemiology and Public Health, CIBERESP, Madrid, Spain.
    Blasco-Hernández, Teresa
    National Centre of Tropical Medicine, Health Institute Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.
    San Sebastián, Miguel
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Factors associated with the utilization of primary care emergency centers in a Spanish region with high population dispersion: a mixed-methods study2014Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 14, s. 368-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Adequate access to primary care emergency centers is particularly important in rural areas isolated from urban centers. However, variability in utilization of emergency services located in primary care centers among inhabitants of nearby geographical areas is understudied. The objectives of this study are twofold: 1) to analyze the association between the availability of municipal emergency care centers and utilization of primary care emergency centers (PCEC), in a Spanish region with high population dispersion; and 2) to determine healthcare providers' perceptions regarding PCEC utilization. Methods: A mixed-methods study was conducted. Quantitative phase: multilevel logistic regression modeling using merged data from the 2003 Regional Health Survey of Castile and Leon and the 2001 census data (Spain). Qualitative phase: 14 in-depth-interviews of rural-based PCEC providers. Results: Having PCEC as the only emergency center in the municipality was directly associated with its utilization (p < 0.001). Healthcare providers perceived that distance to hospital increased PCEC utilization, and distance to PCEC decrease its use. PCEC users were considered to be predominantly workers and students with scheduling conflicts with rural primary care opening hours. Conclusions: The location of emergency care centers is associated with PCEC utilization. Increasing access to primary care by extending hours may be an important step toward optimal PCEC utilization. Further research would determine whether lower PCEC use by certain groups is associated with disparities in access to care.

  • 45. Schoo, A
    et al.
    Lawn, S
    Carson, Dean
    Flinders Rural Clinical School, Flinders University, Mount Gambier, South Australia, Australia; Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.
    Towards equity and sustainability of rural and remote health services access: Supporting social capital and integrated organisational and professional development2016Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 16, artikel-id 111Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Access to rural health services is compromised in many countries including Australia due to workforce shortages. The issues that consequently impact on equity of access and sustainability of rural and remote health services are complex. Discussion: The purpose of this paper is to describe a number of approaches from the literature that could form the basis of a more integrated approach to health workforce and rural health service enhancement that can be supported by policy. A case study is used to demonstrate how such an approach could work. Summary: Disjointed health services are common in rural areas due to the 'tyranny of distance.' Recruitment and retention of health professionals in rural areas and access to and sustainability of rural health services is therefore compromised. Strategies to address these issues tend to have a narrow focus. An integrated approach is needed to enhance rural workforce and health services; one that develops, acknowledges and accounts for social capital and social relations within the rural community.

  • 46.
    Sirili, Nathanael
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Development Studies, School of Public Health and Social Sciences, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
    Frumence, Gasto
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Kiwara, Angwara
    Mwangu, Mughwira
    Anaeli, Amani
    Nyamhanga, Tumaini
    Goicolea, Isabel
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Retention of medical doctors at the district level: a qualitative study of experiences from Tanzania2018Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 18, artikel-id 260Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Retention of Human Resources for Health (HRH), particularly doctors at district level is a big challenge facing the decentralized health systems in poorly resourced countries. Tanzania, with 75% of its population in rural areas, has only 26% of doctors serving in rural areas. We aimed to analyze the experiences regarding the retention of doctors at district level in Tanzania from doctors' and district health managers' perspectives.

    METHODS: A qualitative study was carried out in three districts from June to September 2013. We reviewed selected HRH documents and then conducted 15 key informant interviews with members of the District Health Management teams and medical doctors working at the district hospitals. In addition, we conducted three focus group discussions with Council Health Management Team members in the three districts. Incentive package plans, HRH establishment, and health sector development plans from the three districts were reviewed. Data analysis was performed using qualitative content analysis.

    RESULTS: None of the districts in this study has the number of doctors recommended. Retention of doctors in the districts faced the following challenges: unfavourable working conditions including poor working environment, lack of assurance of career progression, and a non-uniform financial incentive system across districts; unsupportive environment in the community, characterized by: difficulty in securing houses for rent, lack of opportunities to earn extra income, lack of appreciation from the community and poor social services. Health managers across districts endeavour to retain their doctors through different retention strategies, including: career development plans, minimum financial incentive packages and avenues for private practices in the district hospitals. However, managers face constrained financial resources, with many competing priorities at district level.

    CONCLUSIONS: Retention of doctors at district level faces numerous challenges. Assurance of career growth, provision of uniform minimum financial incentives and ensuring availability of good social services and economic opportunities within the community are among important retention strategies.

  • 47. Sparring, Vibeke
    et al.
    Granström, Emma
    Sachs, Magna Andreen
    Brommels, Mats
    Nyström, Monica E
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet, SE-17177 Stockholm, Sweden.
    One size fits none: a qualitative study investigating nine national quality registries' conditions for use in quality improvement, research and interaction with patients2018Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 18, artikel-id 802Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Swedish National Quality Registries (NQRs) are observational clinical registries that have long been seen as an underused resource for research and quality improvement (QI) in health care. In recent years, NQRs have also been recognised as an area where patients can be involved, contributing with self-reported experiences and estimations of health effects. This study aimed to investigate what the registry management perceived as barriers and facilitators for the use of NQRs in QI, research, and interaction with patients, and main activities undertaken to enhance their use for these purposes. The aim was further to identify potential differences between various types of NQRs for their use in these areas.

    Methods: In this multiple case study, nine NQRs were purposively selected. Interviews (n = 18) were conducted and analysed iteratively using conventional and directed content analysis.

    Results: A recent national investment initiative enabled more intensive work with development areas previously identified by the NQR management teams. The recent focus on value-based health care and other contemporary national healthcare investments aiming at QI and public benchmarking were perceived as facilitating factors. Having to perform double registrations due to shortcomings in digital systems was perceived as a barrier, as was the lack of authority on behalf of the registry management to request participation in NQRs and QI activities based on registry outcomes. The registry management teams used three strategies to enhance the use of NQRs: ensuring registering of correct and complete data, ensuring updated and understandable information available for patients, clinicians, researchers and others stakeholders, and intensifying cooperation with them. Varied characteristics of the NQRs influenced their use, and the possibility to reach various end-users was connected to the focus area and context of the NQRs.

    Conclusions: The recent national investment initiative contributed to already ongoing work to strengthen the use of NQRs. To further increase the use, the demands of stakeholders and end-users must be in focus, but also an understanding of the NQRs' various characteristics and challenges. The end-users may have in common a need for training in the methodology of registry based research and benchmarking, and how to be more patient-centred.

  • 48. Strehlenert, Helena
    et al.
    Hansson, Johan
    Nyström, Monica Elisabeth
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Hasson, Henna
    Implementation of a national policy for improving health and social care: a comparative case study using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research2019Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 19, nr 1, artikel-id 730Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Comprehensive policies are becoming common for addressing wicked problems in health and social care. Success of these policies often varies between target organizations. This variation can often be attributed to contextual factors. However, there is a lack of knowledge about the conditions for successful policy implementation and how context influences this process. The aim of this study was to investigate county-level actors' perspectives on the implementation of a comprehensive national policy in three Swedish counties. The policy focused on developing quality of care for elderly based on the use of national quality registries (NQRs) and to improve coordination of care.

    Methods: A comparative case study approach was used. Data was collected longitudinally through documents and interviews. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) guided the analysis.

    Results: All three counties shared the view that the policy addressed important issues. Still, there was variation regarding how it was perceived and managed. Adaptable features-i.e., NQRs and improvement coaches-were perceived as relevant and useful. However, the counties differed in their perceptions of another policy component-i.e., senior management program-as an opportunity or a disturbance. This program, while tackling complex issues of collaboration, fell short in recognizing the counties' pre-existing conditions and needs and also offered few opportunities for adaptations. Performance bonuses and peer pressure were strong incentives for all counties to implement the policy, despite the poor fit of policy content and local context.

    Conclusions: Comprehensive health policies aiming to address wicked problems have better chances of succeeding if the implementation includes assessments of the target organizations' implementation capacity as well as the implicit quid pro quos involved in policy development. Special attention is warranted regarding the use of financial incentives when dealing with wicked problems since the complexity makes it difficult to align incentives with the goals and to assess potential consequences. Other important aspects in the implementation of such policies are the use of collaborative approaches to engage stakeholders with differing perspectives, and the tailoring of policy communication to facilitate shared understanding and commitment.

  • 49.
    Tetui, Moses
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), Makerere University, New Mulago Complex, P.O. B0X 7072, Kampala, Uganda.
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Ekirpa-Kiracho, Elizabeth
    Kiwanuka, Suzanne N.
    Coe, Anna-Britt
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Building a competent health manager at district level: a grounded theory study from Eastern Uganda2016Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 16, artikel-id 665Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Health systems in low-income countries are often characterized by poor health outcomes. While many reasons have been advanced to explain the persistently poor outcomes, management of the system has been found to play a key role. According to a WHO framework, the management of health systems is central to its ability to deliver needed health services. In this study, we examined how district managers in a rural setting in Uganda perceived existing approaches to strengthening management so as to provide a pragmatic and synergistic model for improving management capacity building.

    Methods: Twenty-two interviews were conducted with district level administrative and political managers, district level health managers and health facility managers to understand their perceptions and definitions of management and capacity building. Kathy Charmaz's constructive approach to grounded theory informed the data analysis process.

    Results: An interative, dynamic and complex model with three sub-process of building a competent health manager was developed. A competent manager was understood as one who knew his/her roles, was well informed and was empowered to execute management functions. Professionalizing health managers which was viewed as the foundation, the use of engaging learning approaches as the inside contents and having a supportive work environment the frame of the model were the sub-processes involved in the model. The sub-processes were interconnected although the respondents agreed that having a supportive work environment was more time and effort intensive relative to the other two sub-processes.

    Conclusions: The model developed in our study makes four central contributions to enhance the WHO framework and the existing literature. First, it emphasizes management capacity building as an iterative, dynamic and complex process rather than a set of characteristics of competent managers. Second, our model suggests the need for professionalization of health managers at different levels of the health system. Third, our model underscores the benefits that could be accrued from the use of engaging learning approaches through prolonged and sustained processes that act in synergy. Lastly, our model postulates that different resource investments and a varied range of stakeholders could be required at each of the sub-processes.

  • 50.
    Thanh, Nguyen Xuan
    et al.
    Institute of Health Economics, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada .
    Lindholm, Lars
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Has Vietnam Health care funds for the poor policy favored the elderly poor?2012Ingår i: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 12, s. 333-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: The elderly population is increasing in Vietnam. Access to health services for the elderly is often limited, especially for those in rural areas. User fees at public health care facilities and out-of-pocket payments for health care services are major barriers to access. With the aim of helping the poor access public health care services and reduce health care expenditures (HCE), the Health Care Funds for the Poor policy (HCFP) was implemented in 2002. The aim of this study is to investigate the impacts of this policy on elderly households.

    METHODS: Elderly households were defined as households which have at least one person aged 60 years or older. The impacts of HCFP on elderly household HCE as a percentage of total expenditure and health care utilization were assessed by a double-difference propensity score matching method using panel data of 3,957 elderly households in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007, of which 509 were classifies as "treated" (i.e. covered by the policy). Variables included in a logistic regression for estimating the propensity scores to match the treated with the control households, were household and household-head characteristics.

    RESULTS: In the first time period (2001-2003) there were no significant differences between treated and controls. This can be explained by the delay in implementing the policy by the local governments. In the second (2001-2005) and third period (2001-2007) the utilizations of Communal Health Stations (CHS) and go-to-pharmacies were significant. The treated were using CHS and pharmacies more between 2001 and 2007 while control households decreased their use.

    CONCLUSION: The main findings suggest HCFP met some goals but not all in the group of households having at least one elderly member. Utilization of CHS and pharmacies increased while the change in HCE as a proportion of total expenditures was not significant. To some extent, private health care and self-treatment are replaced by more utilization of CHS, indicating the poor elderly are better off. However, further efforts are needed to help them access higher levels of public health care (e.g. district health centers and provincial/central hospitals) and to reduce their HCE.

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