Reduction of the duration of postpartum hospital stay in western countries highlights the need for better support and continuity of care for expectant and new mothers. The aim of this study was to investigate strategies to improve continuity of care for expectant and new mothers. The study also aimed to elaborate on a preliminary substantive grounded theory model of “linkage in the chain of care” that had been developed earlier. Grounded theory methodology, which involved multiple data sources comprising structured interviews with midwives and child healthcare nurses (n=20), as well as mothers (n=21), participant observation, and written material, was used. Comparative analysis was used to analyse the data. To achieve continuity, three main strategies, transfer, establishing and maintaining a relation, and adjustment, were identified. These strategies for continuity formed the basis of the core category, joint action. In all the strategies for continuity, midwives and child healthcare nurses worked together. In addition, mothers benefited from the joint action and recognized continuity of care when strategies for continuity were implemented. The results are discussed in relation to the established concepts of continuity.
Continuity; collaboration; midwives; child healthcare nurses; expectant and new mothers; grounded theory
Ethnic and socioeconomic inequalities in the Swedish health care system have increased. Most indicators suggest that immigrants have significantly poorer health than native Swedes. The purpose of this study was to explore the views of midwives on the factors that contribute to health care inequality among immigrants.
Data were collected via semi-structured interviews with ten midwives. These were transcribed and related categories identified through content analysis.
The interview data were divided into three main categories and seven subcategories. The category “Communication” was divided into subcategories “The meeting”, “Cultural diversity and language barriers” and “Trust and confidence”. The category “Potential barriers to the use of health care services” contained two subcategories, “Seeking health care” and “Receiving equal treatment”. Finally, the category “Transcultural health care” had subcategories “Education on transcultural health care” and “The concept”.
This study suggests that midwives believe that health care inequality among immigrants can be the result of miscommunication which may arise due to a shortage of meeting time, language barriers, different systems of cultural beliefs and practices and limited patient-caregiver trust. Midwives emphasized that education level, country of origin and length of stay in Sweden play a role when an immigrant seeks health care. Immigrants face more difficulties when seeking health care and in receiving adequate levels of care. However, different views among the midwives were also observed. Some midwives were sensitive to individual and intra-group differences, while some others viewed immigrants as a group of “others”. Midwives’ beliefs about subgroup-specific health services vs. integrating immigrants’ health care into mainstream health care services should be investigated further. Patients’ perspective should also be considered.
Immigrants; Midwives; Communication; Inequality; Transcultural health care
Registered Sick Children’s Nurses and District Nurses employed at Child Health Care centres are in a position to help prevent childhood overweight and obesity. Prevention of this challenging public health threat could be improved through having a better understanding of how this group of nurses perceives childhood obesity. The aim of this study was to elucidate the conceptions of childhood overweight, including obesity, among nurses working in Child Health Care.
A qualitative study using a phenomenographic approach, based on open-ended interviews with 18 Child Health Care nurses (CHC-nurses) strategically selected from 17 Child Health Care Centres in the southern part of Sweden.
Four categories of description emerged from the data: Perception of childhood overweight changes, Overweight in younger children a neglected concern, Overweight a delicate issue and Importance of family lifestyle. The participating CHC-nurses conceived overweight in children, primarily obesity in children to be an extensive and serious problem which affects children, families and the surrounding society. Overweight in children was further perceived as a consequence of their parent’s lifestyle and their awareness of the problem, which was considered by the CHC-nurses as a sensitive and a provoking issue. It was also perceived that overweight in children is not taken seriously during the pre-school period and that concerns regarding overweight in younger children were mainly about the appearance and not the health of the child. The CHC-nurses perceived that the proportion of overweight children has increased, which Swedish society and the CHC-nurses have adapted to. This adaptation makes it difficult for CHC-nurses to define those children who are overweight.
CHC-nurses provide a comprehensive and complex picture of childhood overweight, which includes several difficulties dealing with this issue. Attention to CHC-nurse’s conceptions of overweight in children is important since it can affect the parent-nurse relationship and thereby the nurse’s, as well as the parent’s efforts to influence the children’s weight. It is suggested that CHC- nurses should work with person centered counseling and empowerment concerning parent to child relations in cases involving overweight.
Child; Conceptions; Nurses; Overweight; Perceptions; Primary health care; Qualitative research
Research on the mal-distribution of health care workers has focused mainly on physicians and nurses. To meet the Millennium Development Goal Five and the reproductive needs of all women, it is predicted that an additional 334,000 midwives are needed. Despite the on-going efforts to increase this cadre of health workers there are still glaring gaps and inequities in distribution. The objectives of this study are to determine the perceived barriers and motivators influencing final year midwifery students’ acceptance of rural postings in Ghana, West Africa.
An exploratory qualitative study using focus group interviews as the data collection strategy was conducted in two of the largest midwifery training schools in Ghana. All final year midwifery students from the two training schools were invited to participate in the focus groups. A purposive sample of 49 final year midwifery students participated in 6 focus groups. All students were women. Average age was 23.2 years. Glaser’s constant comparative method of analysis was used to identify patterns or themes from the data.
Three themes were identified through a broad inductive process: 1) social amenities; 2) professional life; and 3) further education/career advancement. Together they create the overarching theme, quality of life, we use to describe the influences on midwifery students’ decision to accept a rural posting following graduation.
In countries where there are too few health workers, deployment of midwives to rural postings is a continuing challenge. Until more midwives are attracted to work in rural, remote areas health inequities will exist and the targeted reduction for maternal mortality will remain elusive.
Africa; West; Health care; Human resources for health; Maternal health; Midwifery; Qualitative Methods; Recruitment; Retention; Rural
Excess gestational weight gain (GWG) can affect the immediate and long term health outcomes of mother and infant. Understanding health providers’ views, attitudes and practices around GWG is crucial to assist in the development of practical, time efficient and cost effective ways of supporting health providers to promote healthy GWGs. This study aimed to explore midwives’ views, attitudes and approaches to the assessment, management and promotion of healthy GWG and to investigate their views on optimal interventions.
Midwives working in antenatal care were recruited from one rural and one urban Australian maternity hospital employing purposive sampling strategies to assess a range of practice areas. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 15 experienced midwives using an interview guide and all interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically.
Midwives interviewed exhibited a range of views, attitudes and practices related to GWG. Three dominant themes emerged. Overall GWG was given low priority for midwives working in the antenatal care service in both hospitals. In addition, the midwives were deeply concerned for the physical and psychological health of pregnant women and worried about perceived negative impacts of discussion about weight and related interventions with women. Finally, the midwives saw themselves as central in providing lifestyle behaviour education to pregnant women and identified opportunities for support to promote healthy GWG.
The findings indicate that planning and implementation of healthy GWG interventions are likely to be challenging because the factors impacting on midwives’ engagement in the GWG arena are varied and complex. This study provides insights for guideline and intervention development for the promotion of healthy GWG.
Gestational weight gain; Pregnancy; Midwives; Weight; Qualitative research
In Mexico 87% of births are attended by physicians. However, the decline in the national maternal mortality rate has been slower than expected. The Mexican Ministry of Health’s 2009 strategy to reduce maternal mortality gives a role to two non-physician models that meet criteria for skilled attendants: obstetric nurses and professional midwives. This study compares and contrasts these two provider types with the medical model, analyzing perspectives on their respective training, scope of practice, and also their perception and/or experiences with integration into the public system as skilled birth attendants.
This paper synthesizes qualitative research that was obtained as a component of the quantitative and qualitative study that evaluated three models of obstetric care: professional midwives (PM), obstetric nurses (ON) and general physicians (GP). A total of 27 individual interviews using a semi-structured guide were carried out with PMs, ONs, GPs and specialists. Interviews were transcribed following the principles of grounded theory, codes and categories were created as they emerged from the data. We analyzed data in ATLAS.ti.
All provider types interviewed expressed confidence in their professional training and acknowledge that both professional midwives and obstetric nurses have the necessary skills and knowledge to care for women during normal pregnancy and childbirth. The three types of providers recognize limits to their practice, namely in the area of managing complications.
We found differences in how each type of practitioner perceived the concept and process of birth and their role in this process. The barriers to incorporation as a model to attend birth faced by PMs and ONs are at the individual, hospital and system level. GPs question their ability and training to handle deliveries, in particular those that become complicated, and the professional midwifery model particularly as it relates to a clinical setting, is also questioned.
Hospitals in the Mexican public health sector have a heavy obstetric workload; physicians carry the additional burden of non-obstetric cases. The incorporation of a non- physician model at the primary health center level to attend low-risk, normal deliveries would contribute to the reduction of non-necessary referrals. There is also a role for these providers at the hospital level.
Midwifery; Obstetric care; Mexico; Obstetric nurses; Skilled birth attendants
Despite knowledge of the adverse health effects of passive smoking, children are still being exposed. Children's nurses play an important role in tobacco preventive work through dialogue with parents aimed at identifying how children can be protected from environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure. The study describes the experiences of Child Health Care (CHC) nurses when using the validated instrument SiCET (Smoking in Children's Environment Test) in dialogue with parents.
In an intervention in CHC centres in south-eastern Sweden nurses were invited to use the SiCET. Eighteen nurses participated in focus group interviews. Transcripts were reviewed and their contents were coded into categories by three investigators using the method described for focus groups interviews.
The SiCET was used in dialogue with parents in tobacco preventive work and resulted in focused discussions on smoking and support for behavioural changes among parents. The instrument had both strengths and limitations. The nurses experienced that the SiCET facilitated dialogue with parents and gave a comprehensive view of the child's ETS exposure. This gave nurses the possibility of taking on a supportive role by offering parents long-term help in protecting their child from ETS exposure and in considering smoking cessation.
Our findings indicate that the SiCET supports nurses in their dialogue with parents on children's ETS exposure at CHC. There is a need for more clinical use and evaluation of the SiCET to determine its usefulness in clinical practice under varying circumstances.
Although evidence-based guidelines are important for improving the quality of patient care, implementation in practice is below expectations. With the recent focus on team care, guidelines are intended to promote the integration of care across multiple disciplines. We conducted an exploratory study to understand oncology nurses' perceptions of guideline implementation and to learn their views on how their experiences affected the implementation.
A qualitative study was used with focus group interviews. We collected data from 11 nurses with more than 5 years of oncology nursing experience in Japan. The data were analyzed using grounded theory.
Results of the analysis identified "preconditions for successful guideline implementation" as a core category. There were 4 categories (goal congruence, equal partnership, professional self-development and user-friendliness) and 11 subcategories related to organizational, multidisciplinary, individual, and guideline levels.
Although the guidelines were viewed as important, they were not fully implemented in practice. There are preconditions at the organizational, multidisciplinary, individual, and guideline levels that must be met if an organization is to successfully implement the guideline in clinical settings. Prioritizing strategies by focusing on these preconditions will help to facilitate successful guideline implementation.
Worldwide, multicultural interaction within health care seems to be challenging and problematic. This is also true among Primary Child Health Care nurses (PCHC nurses) in the Swedish Primary Child Health Care services (PCHC services). Therefore, there was a need to investigate the parents' perspective in-depth.
The aim of the study was to construct a theoretical model that could promote further understanding of the variety of experiences of parents of foreign origin regarding their interaction with the PCHC nurses at PCHC services.
The study used Grounded Theory Methodology. Twenty-one parents of foreign origin in contact with PCHC servicies were interviewed.
In our study parents were watchfully checking rapport, i.e. if they could perceive sympathy and understanding from the PCHC nurses. This was done by checking the nurse's demeanour and signs of judgement. From these interviews we created a theoretical model illustrating the interactive process between parents and PCHC nurses.
We found it to be of utmost importance for parents to be certain that it was possible to establish rapport with the PCHC nurse. If not, disruptions in the child's attendance at PCHC services could result. PCHC nurses can use the theoretical model resulting from this study as a basis for understanding parents, avoiding a demeanour and judgements that may cause misunderstandings thus promoting high-quality interaction in PCHC services.
To improve health in the population, public health interventions must be successfully implemented within organisations, requiring behaviour change in health service providers as well as in the target population group. Such behavioural change is seldom easily achieved. The purpose of this study was to examine the outcomes of a child health promotion programme (The Salut Programme) on professionals’ self-reported health promotion practices, and to investigate perceived facilitators and barriers for programme implementation.
A before-and-after design was used to measure programme outcomes, and qualitative data on implementation facilitators and barriers were collected on two occasions during the implementation process. The sample included professionals in antenatal care, child health care, dental services and open pre-schools (n=144 pre-implementation) in 13 out of 15 municipalities in a Swedish county. Response rates ranged between 81% and 96% at the four measurement points.
Self-reported health promotion practices and collaboration were improved in all sectors at follow up. Significant changes included: 1) an increase in the extent to which midwives in antenatal care raised issues related to men’s violence against women, 2) an increase in the extent to which several lifestyle topics were raised with parents/clients in child health care and dental services, 3) an increased use of motivational interviewing (MI) and separate ‘fathers visits’ in child health care 4) improvements in the supply of healthy snacks and beverages in open pre-schools and 5) increased collaboration between sectors. Main facilitators for programme implementation included cross-sectoral collaboration and sector-specific work manuals/questionnaires for use as support in everyday practice. Main barriers included high workload, and shortage of time and staff.
This multisectoral programme for health promotion, based on sector-specific intervention packages developed and tested by end users, and introduced via interactive multisectoral seminars, shows potential for improving health promotion practices and collaboration across sectors. Consideration of the key facilitators and barriers for programme implementation as highlighted in this study can inform future improvement efforts.
Antenatal care; Change barriers; Change facilitators; Child health care; Complex interventions; Dental health services; Health promotion; Implementation; Prevention; Primary health care
California's health care industry includes workers prepared in many ways to perform many jobs. One significant group of health care workers prepared to provide care that often overlaps with physician-generated services is known as "nonphysician providers." Commonly, this label refers to nurse practitioners (NPs), certified nurse midwives (CNMs), and physician assistants (PAs). In this article, we will describe this group in five main areas: (1) the characteristics of the current and projected workforce and programs preparing these professionals; (2) the current skill expectations and knowledge bases of each; (3) trends in the education of these health professionals; (4) innovative models of education of these health professionals; and (5) the inclusion of NPs, PAs, and CNMs in workforce planning in a changing health care system. We conclude that, particularly in light of the overlapping functions of this provider group with many physician functions, the NP, CNM, and NP workforces must be recognized and considered when planning for the future of the physician workforce.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the form of midwifery practice preferred by physicians practising obstetrics, nurses providing maternity care and midwives. DESIGN: Mail survey conducted in 1991. SETTING: Province of Quebec. PARTICIPANTS: A systematic random sample of 844 physicians, 808 nurses and 92 midwives; 597, 723 and 92 respectively completed the questionnaire, for an overall response rate of 80%. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Midwife training options, range of responsibilities, location of midwifery care, relationship to other maternity care providers and degree of autonomy. RESULTS: Most of the physicians, nurses and midwives surveyed agreed that if midwifery was legalized, midwives should have a university degree, provide basic care to women with normal pregnancy and delivery, provide prenatal and postnatal care in hospitals and community health centres, perform delivery in hospitals and work in close collaboration with the other maternity care professionals. Disagreement existed concerning the level of university training required, the need for training in nursing first, the scope of medical intervention performed by midwives, out-of-hospital delivery, the autonomy of midwives and control over their practice. CONCLUSION: Some consensus on midwifery practice exists between physicians, nurses and midwives. In jurisdictions where opposition to midwives is strong, such consensus could serve as the starting point for the introduction of midwifery.
The purpose of this study was to explore how care providers handle the transition process from paediatric to adult diabetes outpatient clinic and to describe their perception of adolescents' needs during this process.
Participant observations of patient visits to nurses and physicians and 10 semi-structured interviews with care providers in two paediatric and two adult clinics in Sweden were carried out. Data were analysed using the constant comparative method developed in the grounded theory tradition.
The integrated framework developed in the analysis consists of subcategories, process categories and a core phenomenon. The preparation phase showed in this study that preparing transition requires modified strategies. The transition phase implied transferring responsibility and changing care relations while the evaluation phase revealed that care providers are creating mutual understanding through appraisal. All categories are related to the generated core phenomenon: enabling integration through professional meetings. The way care providers construct meeting arenas has a crucial impact on the possibility to bridge uncertainty, insufficient knowledge, routines and strategies.
The way participating clinics handle transition greatly influences the process. Professional meetings appeared to be of vital importance to enable the building of bridges between paediatric and adult diabetes care in this study.
adolescents; Diabetes Mellitus Type 1; transition; grounded theory
Sweden's population is gradually changing to become more multiethnic and diverse and that applies also for recipients of health care, including childhood cancer care. A holistic view on the sick child in the context of its family has always been a cornerstone in childhood cancer care in Sweden. The purpose of this study was to gain knowledge about the experiences and main concern of foreign-born parents in the context of paediatric cancer care. Interviews were performed with eleven foreign-born parents and data were analysed using a classic grounded theory approach. Foreign-born parents often feel in a position of powerless dependence, but family interests are protected in their approaches to interaction with healthcare staff, through cooperation, contesting, and reluctant resigning. Healthcare staff need to listen to foreign-born parents and deal with their concerns seriously to prevent powerless-dependence and work for trustful cooperation in the common fight against childhood cancer.
The Swedish midwife plays a significant role in the antenatal care (ANC) system, and a majority of pregnant women are satisfied with their ANC. Pelvic pain during pregnancy (PP) is prevalent. The study investigated the views, perceptions and attitudes of midwives currently working in ANC regarding PP during pregnancy.
The informants were ten midwives between the ages of 35 to 64 years, with a combined experience of 250 years of midwifery. In-depth interviews (n = 4) and one focus group discussion (n = 6) were conducted. The data were interpreted using a qualitative content analysis design.
PP was considered a common, clinical problem that had most likely increased in prevalence in recent decades and could feature prominently in a woman's experience of pregnancy. The informants had developed a strategy for supporting pregnant women affected by PP. The pregnant woman's fear of not being believed concerning her symptoms and the risk of being regarded as a malingerer were acknowledged. Mistrust between a midwife and a woman might occur when the patient's symptoms were vague and ill defined. PP was not considered as something that complicated delivery, and women experiencing it were advised to await 'the natural course of the pregnancy'.
PP was considered a common, clinical problem and the informants had developed a strategy for supporting pregnant women affected by PP. However, the woman's fear of not being believed concerning her symptoms of PP was acknowledged and mistrust might occur between a midwife and a woman if vague symptoms were reported.
Nursing critically ill patients includes planning and performing safe discharges from Intensive Care Units (ICU) to the general wards. The aim of this study was to obtain a deeper understanding of the main concern in the ICU transitional process—the care before, during, and after the transfer of ICU patients. Interviews were conducted with 35 Swedish nurses and analysed according to grounded theory. The main concern was the nurses' “struggling with a gap.” The “gap” was caused by differences in the altered level of care and contributed to difficulties for nurses encountering an overlap during the transitional care. The categories: sheltering, seeking organizational intertwining and striving for control are related to the core category and were used to generate a theory. The nurses sought improved collaboration, and employed patient-centred routines. They wanted access to necessary tools; they relayed or questioned their own competence and sought assurance of the patients' ability to be transferred. If the nurses felt a loss of control, lack of intertwining and lack of collaboration, they sheltered their patients and themselves. Intertwining was more difficult to perform, but actually even more important to do. With knowledge about ICU transitional care, collaboration, routines, and with an organization that provides an educational environment, the process could be improved.
Collaborating; discharge process; ICU discharge; grounded theory; nursing; transitional care
Despite recent developments, health care provision in Indonesia remains suboptimal. Difficult terrain, economic crises, endemic diseases and high population numbers, coupled with limited availability of qualified health care professionals, all contribute to poor health status. In a country with a population of 220 million, there are currently an estimated 50 nurses and 26 midwives per 100 000 people. In line with government initiatives, this series of studies was undertaken to establish the training and development needs of nurses and midwives working within a variety of contexts in Indonesia, with the ultimate aim of enhancing care provision within these domains.
An established, psychometrically valid and reliable training needs instrument was modified for use within the Indonesian context. While this technique has had widespread international use in the developed world, its application for developing countries has not yet been established. The standard form consists of a biographical cover sheet and a core set of 30 items (all health-related tasks), which have to be rated along two seven-point scales. The first of these scales asks respondents to assess how important the task is to their job and the second scale is a self-assessment of respondents' current performance level of the task. By comparing the importance rating with the performance rating, an index of training need can be obtained (high importance and low performance indicating a significant training need). The modifications incorporated for use in this series of studies were a further 10 items, which were constructed following expert group and focus group discussions and a review of the relevant literature. Pilot trials with 109 respondents confirmed its feasibility and acceptability. The instrument was then administered to 524 nurses and 332 midwives across Indonesia.
The data were subjected to a retrospective factor analysis, using a Varimax rotation and Cronbach's α to check the instrument's validity and reliability following modification. The results yielded six factors, which accounted for >53% of the variance, each of which had a Cronbach's α score of between 0.8644 and 0.7068.
The results suggest that the modified instrument remained valid and reliable for use in the Indonesian nursing and midwifery context.
There is a shortfall in midwives in Indonesia (an estimated 26 per 100 000 people), which means that the quality of antenatal, perinatal and postnatal care varies widely. One consequence of this is the high rate of maternal and perinatal mortality, which has prompted a number of health initiatives. The current study was part of a review of the existing complex system of midwifery training and the development of a coherent programme of continuing professional development, tighter accreditation regulations and clearer professional roles. Its aims were to identify the occupational profiles and development needs of the participating midwives, and to establish whether any differences existed between grades, geographical location and hospital/community midwives.
A psychometrically valid training-needs instrument was administered to 332 midwives from three provinces, covering both hospital and community staff and a range of midwifery grades. The instrument had the capacity to identify occupational roles and education/training needs of the respondents.
The occupational roles of the midwives varied significantly by province, indicating regional service delivery distinctions, but very little difference in the roles of hospital and community midwives. The most educated midwives attributed more importance to 35 out of the 40 tasks, suggesting an implicit role distinction in terms of level of activity. All midwives reported significant training needs for all 40 tasks. The most-educated midwives recorded training needs for 24 tasks, while the less-educated had training requirements for all tasks, which suggests that new training programmes are effective. Few differences in training needs were revealed between hospital and community midwives
The results from this survey suggest important regional differences in how the midwife's role is discharged and underline the importance of this sort of research, in order to ensure the suitability of basic and postbasic educational provision. The study also highlights the need for further development and training of midwives in a wide range of tasks. These results provide a systematic and reliable overview of current midwifery roles and development needs and could serve to inform future training.
The burden of diabetes and obesity is increasing worldwide, indicating a need to find the best standard for diabetes care. The aim of this study was to generate a theory grounded in empirical data derived from a deeper understanding of health care professionals’ main concerns when they consult with individuals with diabetes and obesity and how they handle these concerns. Tape-recorded interviews were conducted with seven groups and three individual members of a diabetes team in an area of western Sweden. The grounded theory (GT) method was used to analyse the transcribed interviews. A core category, labelled Balancing coaching and caution and three categories (Coaching and supporting, Ambivalence and uncertainty, and Adjusting intentions) emerged. The core category and the three categories formed a substantive theory that explained and illuminated how health care professionals manage their main concern; their ambition to give professional individualised care; and find the right strategy for each individual with diabetes and obesity. The theory generated by this study can improve our understanding of how a lack of workable strategies limits caregivers’ abilities to reach their goals. It also helps identify the factors that contribute to the complexity of meetings between caregivers and individuals with diabetes.
Care meeting; coaching; diabetes Type 2; grounded theory; health care professional; obesity
The role of Australian general practice nurses (PNs) has developed exponentially since the introduction of service based funding in 2005. In particular, their role has expanded to include cervical screening and well women’s health care services provided under the supervision of a general practitioner (GP). While previous research identifies barriers to the provision of these services, this study sought to investigate enablers for nurse led care in this area.
A number of grounded theory methods including constantly comparing data, concurrent data collection and analysis and theoretical sampling are utilised in this qualitative, exploratory study. A purposive sample of PNs who completed the required program of education in order to provide cervical screening and well women’s health care services was recruited to the study. Data is presented in categories, however a limitation of the study is that a fully integrated grounded theory was unable to be produced due to sampling constraints.
Four enablers for the implementation of a change in the PN role to include cervical screening and well women’s health checks are identified in this study. These enablers are: GPs being willing to relinquish the role of cervical screener and well women’s health service provider; PNs being willing to expand their role to include cervical screening and well women’s health services; clients preferring a female practice nurse to meet their cervical screening and well women’s health needs; and the presence of a culture that fosters interprofessional teamwork. Seven strategies for successfully implementing change from the perspective of PNs are also constructed from the data. This study additionally highlights the lack of feedback on smear quality provided to PNs cervical screeners and well women’s health service providers.
The influence of consumers on the landscape of primary care service delivery in Australia is of particular note in this study. Developing interprofessional teams that maximise each health care provider’s role will be fundamental to comprehensive service delivery in the future.
Exploring barriers to the uptake of research based recommendations into practice is an important part of the development of implementation programmes. Techniques to identify barriers can include use of theory-informed questionnaires and qualitative interviews. Conceptualising and measuring theory-informed factors, and engaging health professionals’ to uncover all potential barriers, can be a difficult task. This paper presents a case study of the process of trying to identify, systematically, the key factors influencing health professionals’ referrals for women diagnosed with mild to moderate postnatal depression for psychological treatment. The paper illustrates how the factors were conceptualised and measured and explores the real world challenges experienced, with implications for future implementation studies.
Theory-informed factors were conceptualised and measured using a questionnaire and interviews. The questionnaire was piloted, before being administered to general practitioners, practice nurses and health visitors working in general practices in one area of the UK NHS. The interviews were conducted with a small sample of general practitioners who had not completed the questionnaire, further exploring factors influencing their referral decisions in the local context.
The response rate to the questionnaire was low (19%), despite selecting the recommendation to target through engagement with local stakeholders and surveying local health professionals, and despite using two reminders, an incentive prize, and phone calls to practice managers to bolster response rates.
Two significant challenges to achieving higher response rates and successfully exploring local context were identified: the difficulties of developing a robust- but feasible- questionnaire to explore theory-informed factors, and targeting recommendations that are important to policy makers, but which health professionals view as unimportant. This case study highlights the “trade-off” between scientifically rigorous collection of data against the pragmatism and flexibility requirements of “real world” implementation. Future implementation studies should explore different ways of identifying factors influencing the adoption of recommendations to bridge this gulf.
Diagnostic analysis; Tailored implementation; Postnatal depression; Mixed methods
Haemoglobinopathies (HbP) are severe autosomal recessive disorders with high prevalence among certain ethnic groups. World Health Organisation (WHO) advises implementing screening programmes for risk groups. Research in the Netherlands has shown that general practitioners and midwives do not perceive ethnicity as a risk factor for HbP. Moreover, registration of ethnicity is a controversial societal issue, which may complicate the introduction of a national preconception or antenatal carrier screening programme. This study investigates attitudes, intention and behaviour of general practitioners and midwives towards ethnicity-based HbP-carrier screening in general. A structured questionnaire based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour was sent by mail to a random selection of 2100 general practitioners and 1800 primary care midwives. Response was 35% (midwives 44.2% GPs 27.6%). Although 45% of respondents thought that offering a carrier test on the basis of ethnicity alone should become national policy, it is currently not carried out. The main factor explaining lack of intention towards ethnicity-based HbP-carrier screening was subjective norm, the perception that their peers do not think they should offer screening (52.2% variance explained). If ethnicity-based HbP-carrier screening would become national policy, most professionals report that they would carry this out. Most respondents favoured ethnicity registration for health purposes. As most practitioners look for role models among peers, debate among general practitioners and midwives should be encouraged when new policy is to be developed, articulating the voices of colleagues who already actively offer HbP-carrier screening. Moreover, primary care professionals and professional organisations need support of policy at national level.
haemoglobinopathies; ethnicity; carrier screening; primary care; attitude; Theory of Planned Behaviour
National cancer policies identify the improvement of care coordination as a priority to improve the delivery of health services for people with cancer. Identification of the current barriers to effective cancer care coordination is needed to drive service improvement.
A qualitative study was undertaken in which semi-structured individual interviews and focus groups were conducted with those best placed to identify issues; patients who had been treated for a range of cancers and their carers as well as health professionals involved in providing cancer care. Data collection continued until saturation of concepts was reached. A grounded theory influenced approach was used to explore the participants' experiences and views of cancer care coordination.
Overall, 20 patients, four carers and 29 health professionals participated. Barriers to cancer care coordination related to six aspects of care namely, recognising health professional roles and responsibilities, implementing comprehensive multidisciplinary team meetings, transitioning of care: falling through the cracks, inadequate communication between specialist and primary care, inequitable access to health services and managing scarce resources.
This study has identified a number of barriers to coordination of cancer care. Development and evaluation of interventions based on these findings is now required.
OBJECTIVE--To compare routine antenatal care provided by general practitioners and midwives with obstetrician led shared care. DESIGN--Multicentre randomised controlled trial. SETTING--51 general practices linked to nine Scottish maternity hospitals. SUBJECTS--1765 women at low risk of antenatal complications. INTERVENTION--Routine antenatal care by general practitioners and midwives according to a care plan and protocols for managing complications. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Comparisons of health service use, indicators of quality of care, and women's satisfaction. RESULTS--Continuity of care was improved for the general practitioner and midwife group as the number of carers was less (median 5 carers v 7 for shared care group, P<0.0001) and the number of routine visits reduced (10.9 v 11.7, P<0.0001). Fewer women in the general practitioner and midwife group had antenatal admissions (27% (222/834) v 32% (266/840), P<0.05), non-attendances (7% (57) v 11% (89), P<0.01) and daycare (12% (102) v 7% (139), P<0.05) but more were referred (49% (406) v 36% (305), P<0.0001). Rates of antenatal diagnoses did not differ except that fewer women in the general practitioner and midwife group had hypertensive disorders (pregnancy induced hypertension, 5% (37) v 8% (70), P<0.01) and fewer had labour induced (18% (149) v 24% (201), P<0.01). Few failures to comply with the care protocol occurred, but more Rhesus negative women in the general practitioner and midwife group did not have an appropriate antibody check (2.5% (20) v 0.4% (3), P<0.0001). Both groups expressed high satisfaction with care (68% (453/663) v 65% (430/656), P=0.5) and acceptability of allocated style of care (93% (618) v 94% (624), P=0.6). Access to hospital support before labour was similar (45% (302) v 48% (312) visited labour rooms before giving birth, P=0.6). CONCLUSION--Routine specialist visits for women initially at low risk of pregnancy complications offer little or no clinical or consumer benefit.
In the development of integrated care, there is an increasing need for knowledge about the actual degree of integration between different providers of health services. The purpose of this article is to describe the conceptualisation and validation of a practical model for measurement, which can be used by managers to implement and sustain integrated care.
The model is based on a continuum of integration, extending from full segregation through intermediate forms of linkage, coordination and cooperation to full integration.
The continuum was operationalised into a ratio scale of functional clinical integration. This scale was used in an explorative study of a local health authority in Sweden. Data on integration were collected in self-assessment forms together with estimated ranks of optimum integration between the different units of the health authority. The data were processed with statistical methods and the results were discussed with the managers concerned.
Judging from this explorative study, it seems that the model of measurement collects reliable and valid data of functional clinical integration in local health care. The model was also regarded as a useful instrument for managers of integrated care.
One of the main advantages with the model is that it includes optimum ranks of integration beside actual ranks. The optimum integration rank between two units is depending on the needs of both differentiation and integration.
integration rank; functional clinical integration; Local Health Care; chains of care