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1.  It's Academic: Public Policy Activities Among Faculty Members in a Department of Medicine 
Problem
To investigate whether and how faculty members in a Department of Medicine are engaged in public policy activities.
Approach
Between February and April 2011 the authors conducted a cross-sectional web-based survey of all active Department of Medicine (DOM) faculty members at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Survey questions covered demographics, academic role, academic rank, and participation in three specific public policy activities during the past five years: (1) policy related research, (2) expert advice to government officials, and (3) public policy advocacy in collaboration with organizations outside government.
Outcomes
Two hundred twenty of 553 faculty (40%) responded to the survey. One hundred twenty-four faculty members (56% of respondents and 22% of total active faculty) reported that they were engaged in at least one of the three types of policy related activities: 51 (23%) conducted policy related research, 67 (30%) provided expert advice to government officials, and 93 (42%) collaborated with organizations to advocate for public policy. Higher faculty rank was significantly associated with faculty members reporting that they were involved in one or more of the three policy activities (P = .04).
Next Steps
Academic departments should identify public policy expertise among their faculty and leverage this expertise by facilitating opportunities to develop a shared faculty awareness of their public policy activities, by supporting the establishment of mentoring relationships for less experienced faculty in the area of public policy, and by incorporating standards of excellence for work in public policy into the promotions process.
doi:10.1097/ACM.0b013e3182a37329
PMCID: PMC4140189  PMID: 23969373
2.  Youth Advocacy as a Tool for Environmental and Policy Changes That Support Physical Activity and Nutrition: An Evaluation Study in San Diego County 
Background
As evidence grows about the benefits of policy and environmental changes to support active living and healthy eating, effective tools for implementing change must be developed. Youth advocacy, a successful strategy in the field of tobacco control, should be evaluated for its potential in the field of obesity prevention.
Community Context
San Diego State University collaborated with the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative to evaluate Youth Engagement and Action for Health! (YEAH!), a youth advocacy project to engage youth and adult mentors in advocating for neighborhood improvements in physical activity and healthy eating opportunities. Study objectives included documenting group process and success of groups in engaging in community advocacy with decision makers.
Methods
In 2011 and 2012, YEAH! group leaders were recruited from the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative’s half-day train-the-trainer seminars for adult leaders. Evaluators collected baseline and postproject survey data from youth participants and adult group leaders and interviewed decision makers.
Outcomes
Of the 21 groups formed, 20 completed the evaluation, conducted community assessments, and advocated with decision makers. Various types of decision makers were engaged, including school principals, food service personnel, city council members, and parks and recreation officials. Eleven groups reported change(s) implemented as a result of their advocacy, 4 groups reported changes pending, and 5 groups reported no change as a result of their efforts.
Interpretation
Even a brief training session, paired with a practical manual, technical assistance, and commitment of adult leaders and youth may successfully engage decision makers and, ultimately, bring about change.
doi:10.5888/pcd11.130321
PMCID: PMC3970770  PMID: 24674636
3.  Practice-Based Teaching for Health Policy Action and Advocacy 
Public Health Reports  2008;123(Suppl 2):65-70.
SYNOPSIS
The Institute of Medicine has issued numerous reports calling for the public health workforce to be adept in policy-making, communication, science translation, and other advocacy skills. Public health competencies include advocacy capabilities, but few public health graduate institutions provide systematic training for translating public health science into policy action. Specialized health-advocacy training is needed to provide future leaders with policy-making knowledge and skills in generating public support, policy-maker communications, and policy campaign operations that could lead to improvements in the outcomes of public health initiatives. Advocacy training should draw on nonprofit and government practitioners who have a range of advocacy experiences and skills. This article describes a potential model curriculum for introductory health-advocacy theory and skills based on the course, Health Advocacy, a winner of the Delta Omega Innovative Public Health Curriculum Award, at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland.
PMCID: PMC2431098  PMID: 18770919
4.  Teaching Health Policy to Residents—Three-Year Experience with a Multi-Specialty Curriculum 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2009;24(12):1322-1326.
ABSTRACT
INTRODUCTION
Most residents have limited education or exposure to health policy during residency.
AIMS
We developed a course to (1) educate residents on health policy topics applicable to daily physician practice; (2) expose residents to health policy careers through visits with policy makers and analysts; (3) promote personal engagement in health policy.
SETTING
Residents registered for a 3-week elective offered twice annually through the George Washington University Department of Health Policy.
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The course format includes: daily required readings and small-group seminars with policy experts, interactive on-site visits with policy makers, and final team presentations to senior faculty on topical health policy issues.
PROGRAM EVALUATION
One hundred thirty residents from 14 specialties have completed the course to date. Seventy completed our post-course survey. Most participants [59 (84%)] felt the course was very or extremely helpful. Participant self-ratings increased from pre- to post-course in overall knowledge of health policy [2 (3%) good or excellent before, 58 (83%) after], likelihood of teaching policy concepts to peers [20 (25%) vs. 62 (86%)], and likelihood of pursuing further health policy training [28 (37%) vs. 56 (82%)].
CONCLUSIONS
This 3-week elective in health policy improves self-reported knowledge and interest in health policy research, advocacy, and teaching.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-009-1143-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s11606-009-1143-1
PMCID: PMC2787946  PMID: 19862580
health policy; residency education; curriculum; medical education
5.  Tobacco Industry Manipulation of Tobacco Excise and Tobacco Advertising Policies in the Czech Republic: An Analysis of Tobacco Industry Documents 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(6):e1001248.
Risako Shirane and colleagues examined the the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library and found evidence of transnational tobacco company influence over tobacco advertising and excise policy in the Czech Republic, a country with one of the poorest tobacco control records in Europe.
Background
The Czech Republic has one of the poorest tobacco control records in Europe. This paper examines transnational tobacco companies' (TTCs') efforts to influence policy there, paying particular attention to excise policies, as high taxes are one of the most effective means of reducing tobacco consumption, and tax structures are an important aspect of TTC competitiveness.
Methods and Findings
TTC documents dating from 1989 to 2004/5 were retrieved from the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library website, analysed using a socio-historical approach, and triangulated with key informant interviews and secondary data. The documents demonstrate significant industry influence over tobacco control policy. Philip Morris (PM) ignored, overturned, and weakened various attempts to restrict tobacco advertising, promoting voluntary approaches as an alternative to binding legislation. PM and British American Tobacco (BAT) lobbied separately on tobacco tax structures, each seeking to implement the structure that benefitted its own brand portfolio over that of its competitors, and enjoying success in turn. On excise levels, the different companies took a far more collaborative approach, seeking to keep tobacco taxes low and specifically to prevent any large tax increases. Collective lobbying, using a variety of arguments, was successful in delaying the tax increases required via European Union accession. Contrary to industry arguments, data show that cigarettes became more affordable post-accession and that TTCs have taken advantage of low excise duties by raising prices. Interview data suggest that TTCs enjoy high-level political support and continue to actively attempt to influence policy.
Conclusion
There is clear evidence of past and ongoing TTC influence over tobacco advertising and excise policy. We conclude that this helps explain the country's weak tobacco control record. The findings suggest there is significant scope for tobacco tax increases in the Czech Republic and that large (rather than small, incremental) increases are most effective in reducing smoking.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every year, about 5 million people die from tobacco-related diseases and, if current trends continue, annual tobacco-related deaths will increase to 10 million by 2030. Faced with this global tobacco epidemic, national and international bodies have drawn up conventions and directives designed to control tobacco. For example, European Union (EU) Directives on tobacco control call for member states to ban tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship and to adopt taxation policies (for example, high levels of tobacco excise tax) aimed at reducing tobacco consumption. Within the EU, implementation of tobacco control policies varies widely but the Czech Republic, which was formed in 1993 when Czechoslovakia split following the 1989 collapse of communism, has a particularly poor record. The Czech Republic, which joined the EU in 2004, is the only EU Member State not to have ratified the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which entered into force in 2005, and its tobacco control policies were the fourth least effective in Europe in 2010.
Why Was This Study Done?
During the communist era, state-run tobacco monopolies controlled the supply of cigarettes and other tobacco products in Czechoslovakia. Privatization of these monopolies began in 1991 and several transnational tobacco companies (TTCs)—in particular, Philip Morris and British American Tobacco—entered the tobacco market in what was to become the Czech Republic. In this socio-historical study, which aims to improve understanding of both effective tobacco excise policy and the ways in which TTCs seek to influence policy in emerging markets, the researchers analyze publically available internal TTC documents and interview key informants to examine efforts made by TTCs to influence tobacco advertising and tobacco excise tax policies in the Czech Republic. A socio-historical study examines the interactions between individuals and groups in a historical context.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers analyzed 511 documents (dated 1989 onwards) in the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library website (a collection of internal tobacco industry documents released through US litigation cases) that mentioned tobacco control policies in the Czech Republic. They also analyzed information obtained from sources such as tobacco industry journals and data obtained in 2010 in interviews with key Czech informants (including a tobacco industry representative and a politician). The researchers' analysis of the industry documents indicates that Philip Morris ignored, overturned, and weakened attempts to restrict tobacco advertising and promoted voluntary approaches as an alternative to binding legislation. Importantly, while the internal documents show that Philip Morris lobbied for a specific excise tax (a fixed amount of tax per cigarette, a tax structure that favors the expensive brands that Philip Morris mainly markets), the European strategy employed at that time by British American Tobacco was to lobby for a mixed excise structure that combined an “ad valorem” tax (a tax levied as a proportion of price) and a specific tax, an approach that favors a mixed portfolio of tobacco brands. By contrast, the documents show that TTCs collaborated in trying to keep tobacco taxes low and in trying to prevent any large tax increases. This collective lobbying successfully delayed the tobacco tax increases required as a condition of the Czech Republic's accession to the EU. Finally, the interview data suggest that TTCs had high-level political support in the Czech Republic and continue actively to attempt to influence policy.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide clear evidence that Philip Morris and British American Tobacco (the two TTCs that have dominated the Czech market since privatization of the tobacco industry) have significantly influenced tobacco advertising and excise policy in the Czech Republic since 1989. The findings, which also suggest that this influence is ongoing, help to explain the Czech Republic's poor tobacco control record, which was reflected in a fall in the real price of cigarettes between 1990 and 2000. More generally, this study provides valuable insight into how TTCs might try to influence policy in other emerging markets. Improvements in global tobacco control, the researchers conclude, will be possible only if efforts are made to protect tobacco control policies from the vested interests of the tobacco industry, a principle enshrined in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco control, and if public and political attitudes to the industry shift.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001248.
The World Health Organization provides information about the dangers of tobacco (in several languages) and about its Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
For information about the tobacco industry's influence on policy, see the 2009 World Health Organization report Tobacco interference with tobacco control
The Framework Convention Alliance more information about the FCTC
Details of European Union legislation on excise duty applied to manufactured tobacco and on the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco products are available (in several languages)
The Legacy Tobacco Documents Library is a searchable public database of tobacco company internal documents detailing their advertising, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and scientific activities
The UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies is a network of UK universities that undertakes original research, policy development, advocacy, and teaching and training in the field of tobacco control
SmokeFree, a website provided by the UK National Health Service, offers advice on quitting smoking and includes personal stories from people who have stopped smoking
Smokefree.gov, from the US National Cancer Institute, offers online tools and resources to help people quit smoking and not start again
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001248
PMCID: PMC3383744  PMID: 22745606
6.  Challenging Ties between State and Tobacco Industry: Advocacy Lessons from India 
Health Promotion Perspectives  2013;3(1):102-112.
Background: Globally, tobacco use is a major public health concern given its huge morbidity and mortality burden that is inequitably high in low- and middle-income countries. The World Health Organization has suggested banning the advertisement, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco. However, governments in some countries, including India, are either directly engaged in tobacco industry operations or have a mandate to promote tobacco industry development. This paper analyses a short-term advocacy campaign that challenged the state-tobacco industry ties to draw lessons for effective public health advocacy.
Method: This paper uses a case study method to analyze advocacy efforts in India to thwart the state-tobacco industry partnership: the Indian government’s sponsorship and support to a global tobacco industry event. The paper explores multiple strategies employed in the five-month advocacy campaign (May to October 2010) to challenge this state-industry tie. In doing so, we describe the challenges faced and the lessons learnt for effective advocacy.
Results: Government withdrew participation and financial sponsorship from the tobacco industry event. Use of multiple strategies including engaging all concerned government agencies from the beginning, strategic use of media, presence and mobilization of civil society, and use of legal tools to gain information and judicial action, were complementary in bringing desired outcomes.
Conclusion: Use of multiple and complementary advocacy strategies could lead to positive outcomes in a short-time campaign. The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control could form an important advocacy tool, especially in countries that have ratified it, to advocate for improvements in national tobacco control regulations.
doi:10.5681/hpp.2013.012
PMCID: PMC3963681  PMID: 24688958
Tobacco industry; Advocacy; Conflict of interests; India
7.  A rapid assessment and response approach to review and enhance Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilisation for Tuberculosis control in Odisha state, India 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:463.
Background
Tuberculosis remains a major public health problem in India with the country accounting for 1 in 5 of all TB cases reported globally. An advocacy, communication and social mobilisation project for Tuberculosis control was implemented and evaluated in Odisha state of India. The purpose of the study was to identify the impact of project interventions including the use of 'Interface NGOs' and involvement of community groups such as women's self-help groups, local government bodies, village health sanitation committees, and general health staff in promoting TB control efforts.
Methods
The study utilized a rapid assessment and response (RAR) methodology. The approach combined both qualitative field work approaches, including semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with empirical data collection and desk research.
Results
Results revealed that a combination of factors including the involvement of Interface NGOs, coupled with increased training and engagement of front line health workers and community groups, and dissemination of community based resources, contributed to improved awareness and knowledge about TB in the targeted districts. Project activities also contributed towards improving health worker and community effectiveness to raise the TB agenda, and improved TB literacy and treatment adherence. Engagement of successfully treated patients also assisted in reducing community stigma and discrimination.
Conclusion
The expanded use of advocacy, communication and social mobilisation activities in TB control has resulted in a number of benefits. These include bridging pre-existing gaps between the health system and the community through support and coordination of general health services stakeholders, NGOs and the community. The strategic use of 'tailored messages' to address specific TB problems in low performing areas also led to more positive behavioural outcomes and improved efficiencies in service delivery. Implications for future studies are that a comprehensive and well planned range of ACSM activities can enhance TB knowledge, attitudes and behaviours while also mobilising specific community groups to build community efficacy to combat TB. The use of rapid assessments combined with other complementary evaluation approaches can be effective when reviewing the impact of TB advocacy, communication and social mobilisation activities.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-463
PMCID: PMC3141449  PMID: 21663623
tuberculosis; advocacy; communication; social mobilisation; rapid assessment and review
8.  Health researchers in Alberta: an exploratory comparison of defining characteristics and knowledge translation activities 
Background
Canadian funding agencies are no longer content to support research that solely advances scientific knowledge, and key directives are now in place to promote research transfer to policy- and decision-makers. Therefore, it is necessary to improve our understanding of how researchers are trained and supported to facilitate knowledge translation activities. In this study, we investigated differences in health researcher characteristics and knowledge translation activities.
Methods
Our sample consisted of 240 health researchers from three Alberta universities. Respondents were classified by research domain [basic (n = 72) or applied (n = 168)] and faculty [medical school (n = 128) or other health science (n = 112)]. We examined our findings using Mode I and Mode II archetypes of knowledge production, which allowed us to consider the scholarly and social contexts of knowledge production and translation.
Results
Differences among health researcher professional characteristics were not statistically significant. There was a significant gender difference in the applied researcher faculty group, which was predominantly female (p < .05). Research domain was linked to translation activities. Applied researchers reported engaging in significantly more Mode II activities than basic researchers (p < .001), and scored higher than basic researchers regarding the perceived importance of translation activities (Mode I, p = .01; Mode II, p < .001). Main effects of faculty were limited to engaged dissemination (medical school < other faculties; p = .025) and number of publications (medical school > other faculties; p = .004). There was an interaction effect for research domain and faculty group for number of publications (p = .01), in that applied researchers in medical faculties published more than their peers in other faculty groups.
Conclusion
Our findings illustrate important differences between health researchers and provide beginning insights into their professional characteristics and engagement in Mode I and Mode II activities. A future study designed to examine these dimensions in greater detail, including potential covariates across more varied institutions, would yield richer insights and enable an examination of relative influences, needs and costs of each mode of activity.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-2-1
PMCID: PMC1781466  PMID: 17204143
9.  Description of a Research-Based Health Activism Curriculum for Medical Students 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2006;21(12):1325-1328.
INTRODUCTION
Few curricula train medical students to engage in health system reform.
AIM
To develop physician activists by teaching medical students the skills necessary to advocate for socially equitable health policies in the U.S. health system.
SETTING
Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY.
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
We designed a 1-month curriculum in research-based health activism to develop physician activists. The annual curriculum includes a student project and 4 course sections; health policy, research methods, advocacy, and physician activists as role models; taught by core faculty and volunteers from academic institutions, government, and nongovernmental organizations.
PROGRAM EVALUATION
From 2002 to 2005, 47 students from across the country have participated. Students reported improved capabilities to generate a research question, design a research proposal, and create an advocacy plan.
DISCUSSION
Our curriculum demonstrates a model for training physician activists to engage in health systems reform.
doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2006.00608.x
PMCID: PMC1924746  PMID: 16961754
medical education; professionalism; health care reform; curriculum evaluation
10.  Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients With Chronic Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 
Executive Summary
In July 2010, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) evidentiary framework, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding treatment strategies for patients with COPD. This project emerged from a request by the Health System Strategy Division of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that MAS provide them with an evidentiary platform on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of COPD interventions.
After an initial review of health technology assessments and systematic reviews of COPD literature, and consultation with experts, MAS identified the following topics for analysis: vaccinations (influenza and pneumococcal), smoking cessation, multidisciplinary care, pulmonary rehabilitation, long-term oxygen therapy, noninvasive positive pressure ventilation for acute and chronic respiratory failure, hospital-at-home for acute exacerbations of COPD, and telehealth (including telemonitoring and telephone support). Evidence-based analyses were prepared for each of these topics. For each technology, an economic analysis was also completed where appropriate. In addition, a review of the qualitative literature on patient, caregiver, and provider perspectives on living and dying with COPD was conducted, as were reviews of the qualitative literature on each of the technologies included in these analyses.
The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Mega-Analysis series is made up of the following reports, which can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: http://www.hqontario.ca/en/mas/mas_ohtas_mn.html.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Evidentiary Framework
Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Smoking Cessation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Community-Based Multidisciplinary Care for Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Long-term Oxygen Therapy for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Acute Respiratory Failure Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Chronic Respiratory Failure Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Hospital-at-Home Programs for Patients With Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Home Telehealth for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Using an Ontario Policy Model
Experiences of Living and Dying With COPD: A Systematic Review and Synthesis of the Qualitative Empirical Literature
For more information on the qualitative review, please contact Mita Giacomini at: http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/ceb/faculty member_giacomini.htm.
For more information on the economic analysis, please visit the PATH website: http://www.path-hta.ca/About-Us/Contact-Us.aspx.
The Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) collaborative has produced an associated report on patient preference for mechanical ventilation. For more information, please visit the THETA website: http://theta.utoronto.ca/static/contact.
Objective
The objective of this evidence-based review was to determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of pulmonary rehabilitation in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Technology
Pulmonary rehabilitation refers to a multidisciplinary program of care for patients with chronic respiratory impairment that is individually tailored and designed to optimize physical and social performance and autonomy. Exercise training is the cornerstone of pulmonary rehabilitation programs, though they may also include components such as patient education and psychological support. Pulmonary rehabilitation is recommended as the standard of care in the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with COPD who remain symptomatic despite treatment with bronchodilators.
For the purpose of this review, the Medical Advisory Secretariat focused on pulmonary rehabilitation programs as defined by the Cochrane Collaboration—that is, any inpatient, outpatient, or home-based rehabilitation program lasting at least 4 weeks that includes exercise therapy with or without any form of education and/or psychological support delivered to patients with exercise limitations attributable to COPD.
Research Questions
What is the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of pulmonary rehabilitation compared with usual care (UC) for patients with stable COPD?
Does early pulmonary rehabilitation (within 1 month of hospital discharge) in patients who had an acute exacerbation of COPD improve outcomes compared with UC (or no rehabilitation)?
Do maintenance or postrehabilitation programs for patients with COPD who have completed a pulmonary rehabilitation program improve outcomes compared with UC?
Research Methods
Literature Search
Search Strategy
For Research Questions 1and 2, a literature search was performed on August 10, 2010 for studies published from January 1, 2004 to July 31, 2010. For Research Question 3, a literature search was performed on February 3, 2011 for studies published from January 1, 2000 to February 3, 2011. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists and health technology assessment websites were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the systematic search.
Inclusion Criteria
Research questions 1 and 2:
published between January 1, 2004 and July 31, 2010
randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses
COPD study population
studies comparing pulmonary rehabilitation with UC (no pulmonary rehabilitation)
duration of pulmonary rehabilitation program ≥ 6 weeks
pulmonary rehabilitation program had to include at minimum exercise training
Research question 3:
published between January 1, 2000 and February 3, 2011
randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses
COPD study population
studies comparing a maintenance or postrehabilitation program with UC (standard follow-up)
duration of pulmonary rehabilitation program ≥ 6 weeks
initial pulmonary rehabilitation program had to include at minimum exercise training
Exclusion Criteria
Research questions 1, 2, and 3:
grey literature
duplicate publications
non-English language publications
study population ≤ 18 years of age
studies conducted in a palliative population
studies that did not report primary outcome of interest
Additional exclusion criteria for research question 3:
studies with ≤ 2 sessions/visits per month
Outcomes of Interest
The primary outcomes of interest for the stable COPD population were exercise capacity and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). For the COPD population following an exacerbation, the primary outcomes of interest were hospital readmissions and HRQOL. The primary outcomes of interest for the COPD population undertaking maintenance programs were functional exercise capacity and HRQOL.
Quality of Evidence
The quality of each included study was assessed taking into consideration allocation concealment, randomization, blinding, power/sample size, withdrawals/dropouts, and intention-to-treat analyses.
The quality of the body of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE Working Group criteria. The following definitions of quality were used in grading the quality of the evidence:
Summary of Findings
Research Question 1: Effect of Pulmonary Rehabilitation on Outcomes in Stable COPD
Seventeen randomized controlled trials met the inclusion criteria and were included in this review.
The following conclusions are based on moderate quality of evidence.
Pulmonary rehabilitation including at least 4 weeks of exercise training leads to clinically and statistically significant improvements in HRQOL in patients with COPD.1
Pulmonary rehabilitation also leads to a clinically and statistically significant improvement in functional exercise capacity2 (weighted mean difference, 54.83 m; 95% confidence interval, 35.63–74.03; P < 0.001).
Research Question 2: Effect of Pulmonary Rehabilitation on Outcomes Following an Acute Exacerbation of COPD
Five randomized controlled trials met the inclusion criteria and are included in this review. The following conclusion is based on moderate quality of evidence.
Pulmonary rehabilitation (within 1 month of hospital discharge) after acute exacerbation significantly reduces hospital readmissions (relative risk, 0.50; 95% confidence interval, 0.33–0.77; P = 0.001) and leads to a statistically and clinically significant improvement in HRQOL.3
Research Question 3: Effect of Pulmonary Rehabilitation Maintenance Programs on COPD Outcomes
Three randomized controlled trials met the inclusion criteria and are included in this review. The conclusions are based on a low quality of evidence and must therefore be considered with caution.
Maintenance programs have a nonsignificant effect on HRQOL and hospitalizations.
Maintenance programs have a statistically but not clinically significant effect on exercise capacity (P = 0.01). When subgrouped by intensity and quality of study, maintenance programs have a statistically and marginally clinically significant effect on exercise capacity.
PMCID: PMC3384375  PMID: 23074434
11.  Implementing the 2009 Institute of Medicine recommendations on resident physician work hours, supervision, and safety 
Long working hours and sleep deprivation have been a facet of physician training in the US since the advent of the modern residency system. However, the scientific evidence linking fatigue with deficits in human performance, accidents and errors in industries from aeronautics to medicine, nuclear power, and transportation has mounted over the last 40 years. This evidence has also spawned regulations to help ensure public safety across safety-sensitive industries, with the notable exception of medicine.
In late 2007, at the behest of the US Congress, the Institute of Medicine embarked on a year-long examination of the scientific evidence linking resident physician sleep deprivation with clinical performance deficits and medical errors. The Institute of Medicine’s report, entitled “Resident duty hours: Enhancing sleep, supervision and safety”, published in January 2009, recommended new limits on resident physician work hours and workload, increased supervision, a heightened focus on resident physician safety, training in structured handovers and quality improvement, more rigorous external oversight of work hours and other aspects of residency training, and the identification of expanded funding sources necessary to implement the recommended reforms successfully and protect the public and resident physicians themselves from preventable harm.
Given that resident physicians comprise almost a quarter of all physicians who work in hospitals, and that taxpayers, through Medicare and Medicaid, fund graduate medical education, the public has a deep investment in physician training. Patients expect to receive safe, high-quality care in the nation’s teaching hospitals. Because it is their safety that is at issue, their voices should be central in policy decisions affecting patient safety. It is likewise important to integrate the perspectives of resident physicians, policy makers, and other constituencies in designing new policies. However, since its release, discussion of the Institute of Medicine report has been largely confined to the medical education community, led by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
To begin gathering these perspectives and developing a plan to implement safer work hours for resident physicians, a conference entitled “Enhancing sleep, supervision and safety: What will it take to implement the Institute of Medicine recommendations?” was held at Harvard Medical School on June 17–18, 2010. This White Paper is a product of a diverse group of 26 representative stakeholders bringing relevant new information and innovative practices to bear on a critical patient safety problem. Given that our conference included experts from across disciplines with diverse perspectives and interests, not every recommendation was endorsed by each invited conference participant. However, every recommendation made here was endorsed by the majority of the group, and many were endorsed unanimously. Conference members participated in the process, reviewed the final product, and provided input before publication. Participants provided their individual perspectives, which do not necessarily represent the formal views of any organization.
In September 2010 the ACGME issued new rules to go into effect on July 1, 2011. Unfortunately, they stop considerably short of the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations and those endorsed by this conference. In particular, the ACGME only applied the limitation of 16 hours to first-year resident physicans. Thus, it is clear that policymakers, hospital administrators, and residency program directors who wish to implement safer health care systems must go far beyond what the ACGME will require. We hope this White Paper will serve as a guide and provide encouragement for that effort.
Resident physician workload and supervision
By the end of training, a resident physician should be able to practice independently. Yet much of resident physicians’ time is dominated by tasks with little educational value. The caseload can be so great that inadequate reflective time is left for learning based on clinical experiences. In addition, supervision is often vaguely defined and discontinuous. Medical malpractice data indicate that resident physicians are frequently named in lawsuits, most often for lack of supervision. The recommendations are: The ACGME should adjust resident physicians workload requirements to optimize educational value. Resident physicians as well as faculty should be involved in work redesign that eliminates nonessential and noneducational activity from resident physician dutiesMechanisms should be developed for identifying in real time when a resident physician’s workload is excessive, and processes developed to activate additional providersTeamwork should be actively encouraged in delivery of patient care. Historically, much of medical training has focused on individual knowledge, skills, and responsibility. As health care delivery has become more complex, it will be essential to train resident and attending physicians in effective teamwork that emphasizes collective responsibility for patient care and recognizes the signs, both individual and systemic, of a schedule and working conditions that are too demanding to be safeHospitals should embrace the opportunities that resident physician training redesign offers. Hospitals should recognize and act on the potential benefits of work redesign, eg, increased efficiency, reduced costs, improved quality of care, and resident physician and attending job satisfactionAttending physicians should supervise all hospital admissions. Resident physicians should directly discuss all admissions with attending physicians. Attending physicians should be both cognizant of and have input into the care patients are to receive upon admission to the hospitalInhouse supervision should be required for all critical care services, including emergency rooms, intensive care units, and trauma services. Resident physicians should not be left unsupervised to care for critically ill patients. In settings in which the acuity is high, physicians who have completed residency should provide direct supervision for resident physicians. Supervising physicians should always be physically in the hospital for supervision of resident physicians who care for critically ill patientsThe ACGME should explicitly define “good” supervision by specialty and by year of training. Explicit requirements for intensity and level of training for supervision of specific clinical scenarios should be providedCenters for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) should use graduate medical education funding to provide incentives to programs with proven, effective levels of supervision. Although this action would require federal legislation, reimbursement rules would help to ensure that hospitals pay attention to the importance of good supervision and require it from their training programs
Resident physician work hours
Although the IOM “Sleep, supervision and safety” report provides a comprehensive review and discussion of all aspects of graduate medical education training, the report’s focal point is its recommendations regarding the hours that resident physicians are currently required to work. A considerable body of scientific evidence, much of it cited by the Institute of Medicine report, describes deteriorating performance in fatigued humans, as well as specific studies on resident physician fatigue and preventable medical errors.
The question before this conference was what work redesign and cultural changes are needed to reform work hours as recommended by the Institute of Medicine’s evidence-based report? Extensive scientific data demonstrate that shifts exceeding 12–16 hours without sleep are unsafe. Several principles should be followed in efforts to reduce consecutive hours below this level and achieve safer work schedules. The recommendations are: Limit resident physician work hours to 12–16 hour maximum shiftsA minimum of 10 hours off duty should be scheduled between shiftsResident physician input into work redesign should be actively solicitedSchedules should be designed that adhere to principles of sleep and circadian science; this includes careful consideration of the effects of multiple consecutive night shifts, and provision of adequate time off after night work, as specified in the IOM reportResident physicians should not be scheduled up to the maximum permissible limits; emergencies frequently occur that require resident physicians to stay longer than their scheduled shifts, and this should be anticipated in scheduling resident physicians’ work shiftsHospitals should anticipate the need for iterative improvement as new schedules are initiated; be prepared to learn from the initial phase-in, and change the plan as neededAs resident physician work hours are redesigned, attending physicians should also be considered; a potential consequence of resident physician work hour reduction and increased supervisory requirements may be an increase in work for attending physicians; this should be carefully monitored, and adjustments to attending physician work schedules made as needed to prevent unsafe work hours or working conditions for this group“Home call” should be brought under the overall limits of working hours; work load and hours should be monitored in each residency program to ensure that resident physicians and fellows on home call are getting sufficient sleepMedicare funding for graduate medical education in each hospital should be linked with adherence to the Institute of Medicine limits on resident physician work hours
Moonlighting by resident physicians
The Institute of Medicine report recommended including external as well as internal moonlighting in working hour limits. The recommendation is: All moonlighting work hours should be included in the ACGME working hour limits and actively monitored. Hospitals should formalize a moonlighting policy and establish systems for actively monitoring resident physician moonlighting
Safety of resident physicians
The “Sleep, supervision and safety” report also addresses fatigue-related harm done to resident physicians themselves. The report focuses on two main sources of physical injury to resident physicians impaired by fatigue, ie, needle-stick exposure to blood-borne pathogens and motor vehicle crashes. Providing safe transportation home for resident physicians is a logistical and financial challenge for hospitals. Educating physicians at all levels on the dangers of fatigue is clearly required to change driving behavior so that safe hospital-funded transport home is used effectively. Fatigue-related injury prevention (including not driving while drowsy) should be taught in medical school and during residency, and reinforced with attending physicians; hospitals and residency programs must be informed that resident physicians’ ability to judge their own level of impairment is impaired when they are sleep deprived; hence, leaving decisions about the capacity to drive to impaired resident physicians is not recommendedHospitals should provide transportation to all resident physicians who report feeling too tired to drive safely; in addition, although consecutive work should not exceed 16 hours, hospitals should provide transportation for all resident physicians who, because of unforeseen reasons or emergencies, work for longer than consecutive 24 hours; transportation under these circumstances should be automatically provided to house staff, and should not rely on self-identification or request
Training in effective handovers and quality improvement
Handover practice for resident physicians, attendings, and other health care providers has long been identified as a weak link in patient safety throughout health care settings. Policies to improve handovers of care must be tailored to fit the appropriate clinical scenario, recognizing that information overload can also be a problem. At the heart of improving handovers is the organizational effort to improve quality, an effort in which resident physicians have typically been insufficiently engaged. The recommendations are: Hospitals should train attending and resident physicians in effective handovers of careHospitals should create uniform processes for handovers that are tailored to meet each clinical setting; all handovers should be done verbally and face-to-face, but should also utilize written toolsWhen possible, hospitals should integrate hand-over tools into their electronic medical records (EMR) systems; these systems should be standardized to the extent possible across residency programs in a hospital, but may be tailored to the needs of specific programs and services; federal government should help subsidize adoption of electronic medical records by hospitals to improve signoutWhen feasible, handovers should be a team effort including nurses, patients, and familiesHospitals should include residents in their quality improvement and patient safety efforts; the ACGME should specify in their core competency requirements that resident physicians work on quality improvement projects; likewise, the Joint Commission should require that resident physicians be included in quality improvement and patient safety programs at teaching hospitals; hospital administrators and residency program directors should create opportunities for resident physicians to become involved in ongoing quality improvement projects and root cause analysis teams; feedback on successful quality improvement interventions should be shared with resident physicians and broadly disseminatedQuality improvement/patient safety concepts should be integral to the medical school curriculum; medical school deans should elevate the topics of patient safety, quality improvement, and teamwork; these concepts should be integrated throughout the medical school curriculum and reinforced throughout residency; mastery of these concepts by medical students should be tested on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) stepsFederal government should support involvement of resident physicians in quality improvement efforts; initiatives to improve quality by including resident physicians in quality improvement projects should be financially supported by the Department of Health and Human Services
Monitoring and oversight of the ACGME
While the ACGME is a key stakeholder in residency training, external voices are essential to ensure that public interests are heard in the development and monitoring of standards. Consequently, the Institute of Medicine report recommended external oversight and monitoring through the Joint Commission and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The recommendations are: Make comprehensive fatigue management a Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal; fatigue is a safety concern not only for resident physicians, but also for nurses, attending physicians, and other health care workers; the Joint Commission should seek to ensure that all health care workers, not just resident physicians, are working as safely as possibleFederal government, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, should encourage development of comprehensive fatigue management programs which all health systems would eventually be required to implementMake ACGME compliance with working hours a “ condition of participation” for reimbursement of direct and indirect graduate medical education costs; financial incentives will greatly increase the adoption of and compliance with ACGME standards
Future financial support for implementation
The Institute of Medicine’s report estimates that $1.7 billion (in 2008 dollars) would be needed to implement its recommendations. Twenty-five percent of that amount ($376 million) will be required just to bring hospitals into compliance with the existing 2003 ACGME rules. Downstream savings to the health care system could potentially result from safer care, but these benefits typically do not accrue to hospitals and residency programs, who have been asked historically to bear the burden of residency reform costs. The recommendations are: The Institute of Medicine should convene a panel of stakeholders, including private and public funders of health care and graduate medical education, to lay down the concrete steps necessary to identify and allocate the resources needed to implement the recommendations contained in the IOM “Resident duty hours: Enhancing sleep, supervision and safety” report. Conference participants suggested several approaches to engage public and private support for this initiativeEfforts to find additional funding to implement the Institute of Medicine recommendations should focus more broadly on patient safety and health care delivery reform; policy efforts focused narrowly upon resident physician work hours are less likely to succeed than broad patient safety initiatives that include residency redesign as a key componentHospitals should view the Institute of Medicine recommendations as an opportunity to begin resident physician work redesign projects as the core of a business model that embraces safety and ultimately saves resourcesBoth the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services should take the Institute of Medicine recommendations into consideration when promulgating rules for innovation grantsThe National Health Care Workforce Commission should consider the Institute of Medicine recommendations when analyzing the nation’s physician workforce needs
Recommendations for future research
Conference participants concurred that convening the stakeholders and agreeing on a research agenda was key. Some observed that some sectors within the medical education community have been reluctant to act on the data. Several logical funders for future research were identified. But above all agencies, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the only stakeholder that funds graduate medical education upstream and will reap savings downstream if preventable medical errors are reduced as a result of reform of resident physician work hours.
doi:10.2147/NSS.S19649
PMCID: PMC3630963  PMID: 23616719
resident; hospital; working hours; safety
12.  Donor Funding for Newborn Survival: An Analysis of Donor-Reported Data, 2002–2010 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(10):e1001332.
With recent increases in development assistance money for maternal and child health, Catherine Pitt and colleagues examine whether foreign aid specifically for newborns has changed, whether it's on par with the burden of newborn deaths worldwide, and how such funding can be tracked.
Background
Neonatal mortality accounts for 43% of global under-five deaths and is decreasing more slowly than maternal or child mortality. Donor funding has increased for maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH), but no analysis to date has disaggregated aid for newborns. We evaluated if and how aid flows for newborn care can be tracked, examined changes in the last decade, and considered methodological implications for tracking funding for specific population groups or diseases.
Methods and Findings
We critically reviewed and categorised previous analyses of aid to specific populations, diseases, or types of activities. We then developed and refined key terms related to newborn survival in seven languages and searched titles and descriptions of donor disbursement records in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Creditor Reporting System database, 2002–2010. We compared results with the Countdown to 2015 database of aid for MNCH (2003–2008) and the search strategy used by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Prior to 2005, key terms related to newborns were rare in disbursement records but their frequency increased markedly thereafter. Only two mentions were found of “stillbirth” and only nine references were found to “fetus” in any spelling variant or language. The total value of non-research disbursements mentioning any newborn search terms rose from US$38.4 million in 2002 to US$717.1 million in 2010 (constant 2010 US$). The value of non-research projects exclusively benefitting newborns fluctuated somewhat but remained low, at US$5.7 million in 2010. The United States and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) provided the largest value of non-research funding mentioning and exclusively benefitting newborns, respectively.
Conclusions
Donor attention to newborn survival has increased since 2002, but it appears unlikely that donor aid is commensurate with the 3.0 million newborn deaths and 2.7 million stillbirths each year. We recommend that those tracking funding for other specific population groups, diseases, or activities consider a key term search approach in the Creditor Reporting System along with a detailed review of their data, but that they develop their search terms and interpretations carefully, taking into account the limitations described.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
In 1990, 12 million children—most of them living in developing countries—died before they reached their fifth birthday. Faced with this largely avoidable loss of young lives, in 2000, world leaders set a target of reducing under-five mortality (deaths) to one-third of its 1990 level by 2015 as Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG4); this goal, together with seven others, aims to eradicate extreme poverty globally. In recent years, progress towards reducing child mortality has accelerated but remains insufficient to achieve MDG4, in part, because progress towards reducing neonatal mortality—deaths during the first 28 days of life—has been particularly slow. Neonatal deaths now account for a greater proportion of global child deaths than in 1990—43% of the 7 million children who died before their fifth birthday in 2011 died during the neonatal period. The major causes of neonatal deaths are complications of preterm and term delivery and infections. Simple interventions such as improved hygiene at birth and advice on breastfeeding can substantially reduce neonatal deaths.
Why Was This Study Done?
To achieve MDG4, more must be done to prevent deaths among newborn babies. One reason that progress in reducing neonatal mortality is slow could be insufficient donor funding (aid) for newborn health. Previous analyses by, for example, Countdown to 2015 (which tracks coverage levels for health interventions that reduce maternal, newborn, and child mortality) indicate that donor funding has increased for maternal, newborn, and child health over the past decade, but how much of this aid directly benefits newborns is unknown. Here, the researchers develop a method for tracking aid flows for newborns and examine changes in this flow over the past decade by applying their new strategy to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Creditor Reporting System (CRS) Aid Activity database. This database collects information about official development assistance for health given (disbursed) to developing countries by member countries of the OECD Development Assistance Committee, international organizations, and some private donors.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers developed a comprehensive set of search terms related to newborn survival by piloting it on the Countdown to 2015 official development assistance database, which covers the years 2003–2008. They then used their list of 24 key terms to search the CRS database from 2002 (the first year for which relatively complete disbursement data are available) to 2010 (the most recent year for which data are available) and classified each retrieved project according to whether its funding activities aimed to benefit newborns exclusively or to improve the health of other population groups as well. The researchers found that key terms related to newborns were rare in disbursement records before 2005 but that their frequency increased markedly thereafter. The total value of non-research disbursements (aid provided for programmatic or advocacy activities) that mentioned any newborn search terms increased from US$38.4 million in 2002 to US$717.1 million in 2010. The value of non-research projects that exclusively benefitted newborns fluctuated; in 2010, it was $US5.7 million. Finally, the US and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) provided the largest value of non-research funding mentioning newborns and exclusively benefitting newborns, respectively.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that the value of aid disbursements mentioning newborns or an activity likely to benefit newborns increased 20-fold between 2002 and 2010 and constituted an increasing proportion of aid for maternal, newborn, and child health. Although this increase may partly reflect increased detail in aid disbursement reporting, it is also likely to reflect an increase in donor attention to newborn survival. The accuracy of these findings is likely to be affected by limitations in the search strategy and in the CRS database, which does not capture aid flows from emerging donors such as China or from many private foundations. Moreover, because these findings take no account of domestic expenditure, they do not provide a comprehensive estimate of the value of resources available in developing countries for newborn health. Nevertheless, investment in newborn survival is unlikely to be commensurate with global newborn mortality. Thus, an expansion of programmatic funding from donors as well as increased governmental support for newborn health in developing countries is urgently needed to catalyze the scale-up of cost-effective interventions to save newborn lives and to meet MDG4.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001332.
The United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) works for children's rights, survival, development, and protection around the world; it provides information on Millennium Development Goal 4 and its Childinfo website provides detailed statistics about child survival and health, including the 2012 report of UN Inter-agency Group of Child Mortality Estimation; its Committing to Child Survival: a Promise Renewed webpage includes links to its 2012 progress report, to a video about progress made in reducing child deaths worldwide, and to stories about child survival in the field
The World Health Organization has information about Millennium Development Goal 4 and about maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (some information in several languages)
Countdown to 2015 provides additional information on maternal, newborn, and child survival, including its 2012 report Building a Future for Women and Children
The Healthy Newborn Network (HNN) is a community of more than 70 partner organizations addressing critical knowledge gaps for newborn health providing recent data on newborn survival and analyses of country programs
Information on and access to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation Development Creditor Reporting System Aid Activities database is available
Further information about the Millennium Development Goals is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001332
PMCID: PMC3484125  PMID: 23118619
13.  The Evolution of Advocacy and Orthopaedic Surgery 
Background
The future direction of American health care has become increasingly controversial during the last decade. As healthcare costs, quality, and delivery have come under intense scrutiny, physicians play evolving roles as “advocates” for both their profession and patients via healthcare policy. Hospital-physician alignment is critical to the future success of advocacy among orthopaedic surgeons, as both hospitals and physicians are key stakeholders in health care and can work together to influence major health policy decisions.
Questions/purposes
We (1) define the role of advocacy in medicine, specifically within orthopaedic surgery; (2) explore the history of physician advocacy and its evolution; (3) examine the various avenues of involvement for orthopaedic surgeons interested in advocacy; and (4) reflect on the impact of such activities on the future of orthopaedic surgery as it relates to hospital-physician alignment.
Methods
We performed a comprehensive review of the literature through a bibliographic search of MEDLINE® and Google Scholar databases from January 2000 to December 2010 to identify articles related to advocacy and orthopaedic surgery.
Results
Advocacy among orthopaedic surgeons is critical in guiding the future of the American healthcare system. In today’s world, advocacy necessitates a wider effort to improve healthcare access, quality, and delivery for patients on a larger scale. The nature of physician advocacy among orthopaedic surgeons is grounded in the desire to serve patients and alleviate their suffering. Participation in medical societies and political campaigns are two avenues of involvement.
Conclusions
The increasing role of government in American health care will require a renewed commitment to advocacy efforts from orthopaedic surgeons. The role of advocacy is rapidly redefining the continuum of care to a trinity of clinical excellence, innovative research, and effective advocacy. Failure to recognize this growing role of advocacy limits the impact we can have for our patients.
doi:10.1007/s11999-013-2900-3
PMCID: PMC3706663  PMID: 23479232
14.  Harnessing genomics to improve health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region – an executive course in genomics policy 
Background
While innovations in medicine, science and technology have resulted in improved health and quality of life for many people, the benefits of modern medicine continue to elude millions of people in many parts of the world. To assess the potential of genomics to address health needs in EMR, the World Health Organization's Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office and the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics jointly organized a Genomics and Public Health Policy Executive Course, held September 20th–23rd, 2003, in Muscat, Oman. The 4-day course was sponsored by WHO-EMRO with additional support from the Canadian Program in Genomics and Global Health. The overall objective of the course was to collectively explore how to best harness genomics to improve health in the region. This article presents the course findings and recommendations for genomics policy in EMR.
Methods
The course brought together senior representatives from academia, biotechnology companies, regulatory bodies, media, voluntary, and legal organizations to engage in discussion. Topics covered included scientific advances in genomics, followed by innovations in business models, public sector perspectives, ethics, legal issues and national innovation systems.
Results
A set of recommendations, summarized below, was formulated for the Regional Office, the Member States and for individuals.
• Advocacy for genomics and biotechnology for political leadership;
• Networking between member states to share information, expertise, training, and regional cooperation in biotechnology; coordination of national surveys for assessment of health biotechnology innovation systems, science capacity, government policies, legislation and regulations, intellectual property policies, private sector activity;
• Creation in each member country of an effective National Body on genomics, biotechnology and health to:
- formulate national biotechnology strategies
- raise biotechnology awareness
- encourage teaching and training of biotechnology
- devise integration of biotechnology within national health systems.
Conclusion
The recommendations provide the basis for a road map for EMR to take steps to harness biotechnology for better and more equitable health. As a result of these recommendations, health ministers from the region, at the 50th Regional Committee Meeting held in October 2003, have urged Member States to establish national bodies of biotechnology to formulate a strategic vision for developing biotechnology in the service of the region's health. These efforts promise to raise the profile of genomics in EMR and increase regional cooperation in this exciting new field.
doi:10.1186/1478-4505-3-1
PMCID: PMC548293  PMID: 15663786
15.  Assessing the Connection Between Health and Education: Identifying Potential Leverage Points for Public Health to Improve School Attendance 
American journal of public health  2014;104(9):e47-e54.
Objectives
We examined multiple variables influencing school truancy to identify potential leverage points to improve school attendance.
Methods
A cross-sectional observational design was used to analyze inner-city data collected in Los Angeles County, California, during 2010 to 2011. We constructed an ordinal logistic regression model with cluster robust standard errors to examine the association between truancy and various covariates.
Results
The sample was predominantly Hispanic (84.3%). Multivariable analysis revealed greater truancy among students (1) with mild (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.57; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.22, 2.01) and severe (AOR = 1.80; 95% CI = 1.04, 3.13) depression (referent: no depression), (2) whose parents were neglectful (AOR = 2.21; 95% CI = 1.21, 4.03) or indulgent (AOR = 1.71; 95% CI = 1.04, 2.82; referent: authoritative parents), (3) who perceived less support from classes, teachers, and other students regarding college preparation (AOR = 0.87; 95% CI = 0.81, 0.95), (4) who had low grade point averages (AOR = 2.34; 95% CI = 1.49, 4.38), and (5) who reported using alcohol (AOR = 3.47; 95% CI = 2.34, 5.14) or marijuana (AOR = 1.59; 95% CI = 1.06, 2.38) during the past month.
Conclusions
Study findings suggest depression, substance use, and parental engagement as potential leverage points for public health to intervene to improve school attendance.
doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.301977
PMCID: PMC4143243  PMID: 25033134
16.  Engaging External Senior Faculty Members as Faculty Mentors 
A small nonprofit private college with limited resources and a high proportion of junior faculty developed a nontraditional external faculty mentor program in the summer of 2011 in response to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) faculty survey data regarding the professional development needs of pharmacy faculty members. Experienced faculty members with national reputations from other colleges and schools of pharmacy were hired as consultants to serve as mentors for assigned faculty members. Program goals were to provide directed, individual mentorship for pharmacy practice and basic science faculty members, expand peer review of faculty teaching prowess, and enhance monthly faculty development programming. The latter was based upon the specific needs assessment of the faculty. Program outcomes reported will include faculty satisfaction (AACP faculty survey data) changes over time, achievement of board certification for clinical faculty members and other credentialing, and other benchmarks, eg, publications, grant funding, service engagement (site development, professional organizations), after the implementation of the nontraditional faculty-mentoring program.
doi:10.5688/ajpe785101
PMCID: PMC4064478  PMID: 24954941
17.  Positioning women's and children's health in African union policy-making: a policy analysis 
Background
With limited time to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, progress towards improving women's and children's health needs to be accelerated. With Africa accounting for over half of the world's maternal and child deaths, the African Union (AU) has a critical role in prioritizing related policies and catalysing required investments and action. In this paper, the authors assess the evolution of African Union policies related to women's and children's health, and analyze how these policies are prioritized and framed.
Methods
The main method used in this policy analysis was a document review of all African Union policies developed from 1963 to 2010, focusing specifically on policies that explicitly mention health. The findings from this document review were discussed with key actors to identify policy implications.
Results
With over 220 policies in total, peace and security is the most common AU policy topic. Social affairs and other development issues became more prominent in the 1990s. The number of policies that mentioned health rose steadily over the years (with 1 policy mentioning health in 1963 to 7 in 2010).
This change was catalysed by factors such as: a favourable shift in AU priorities and systems towards development issues, spurred by the transition from the Organization of African Unity to the African Union; the mandate of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights; health-related advocacy initiatives, such as the Campaign for the Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA); action and accountability requirements arising from international human rights treaties, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and new health-funding mechanisms, such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Prioritization of women's and children's health issues in AU policies has been framed primarily by human rights, advocacy and accountability considerations, more by economic and health frames looking at investments and impact. AU policies related to reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health also use fewer policy frames than do AU policies related to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Conclusion
We suggest that more effective prioritization of women's and children's health in African Union policies would be supported by widening the range of policy frames used (notably health and economic) and strengthening the evidence base of all policy frames used. In addition, we suggest it would be beneficial if the partner groups advocating for women's and children's health were multi-stakeholder, and included, for instance, health care professionals, regional institutions, parliamentarians, the media, academia, NGOs, development partners and the public and private sectors.
doi:10.1186/1744-8603-8-3
PMCID: PMC3298467  PMID: 22340362
African Union; Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); policy-making; women's and children's health
18.  Youth advocacy for obesity prevention: the next wave of social change for health 
ABSTRACT
Recommended obesity prevention interventions target multiple levels. Effective advocacy is needed to influence factors at individual, social, environmental, and policy levels. This paper describes the rationale for engaging youth in obesity prevention advocacy efforts targeting environment and policy changes to improve nutrition and physical activity. Advocacy involves education, skill development, and behavior and attitude changes, with the goal of persuading others or taking action. Youth advocacy has been successfully used in substance use prevention, but it is relatively new in obesity prevention. A model is presented to guide intervention and evaluation in youth advocacy for obesity prevention. With youth advocacy as a central construct, the model outlines inputs and outcomes of advocacy at individual, social environment, built environment, and policy levels. The model can be used and refined in youth advocacy evaluation projects. By involving youth in their communities, advocacy can produce ownership, engagement, and future involvement yielding sustainable changes.
doi:10.1007/s13142-011-0060-0
PMCID: PMC3717625  PMID: 24073069
Advocacy; Ecological models; Nutrition; Physical activity; Policy; Environment
19.  Integrating patient safety into health professionals’ curricula: a qualitative study of medical, nursing and pharmacy faculty perspectives 
BMJ Quality & Safety  2013;23(3):257-264.
Background
As efforts to integrate patient safety into health professional curricula increase, there is growing recognition that the rate of curricular change is very slow, and there is a shortage of research that addresses critical perspectives of faculty who are on the ‘front-lines’ of curricular innovation. This study reports on medical, nursing and pharmacy teaching faculty perspectives about factors that influence curricular integration and the preparation of safe practitioners.
Methods
Qualitative methods were used to collect data from 20 faculty members (n=6 medical from three universities; n=6 pharmacy from two universities; n=8 nursing from four universities) engaged in medical, nursing and pharmacy education. Thematic analysis generated a comprehensive account of faculty perspectives.
Results
Faculty perspectives on key challenges to safe practice vary across the three disciplines, and these different perspectives lead to different priorities for curricular innovation. Additionally, accreditation and regulatory requirements are driving curricular change in medicine and pharmacy. Key challenges exist for health professional students in clinical teaching environments where the culture of patient safety may thwart the preparation of safe practitioners.
Conclusions
Patient safety curricular innovation depends on the interests of individual faculty members and the leveraging of accreditation and regulatory requirements. Building on existing curricular frameworks, opportunities now need to be created for faculty members to act as champions of curricular change, and patient safety educational opportunities need to be harmonises across all health professional training programmes. Faculty champions and practice setting leaders can collaborate to improve the culture of patient safety in clinical teaching and learning settings.
doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2013-001900
PMCID: PMC3932978  PMID: 24299734
Patient safety; Nurses; Medical education; Continuing education, continuing professional development; Pharmacists
20.  Feasibility and acceptability of home-based management of malaria strategy adapted to Sudan's conditions using artemisinin-based combination therapy and rapid diagnostic test 
Malaria Journal  2009;8:39.
Background
Malaria remains a major public health problem especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the efforts exerted to provide effective anti-malarial drugs, still some communities suffer from getting access to these services due to many barriers. This research aimed to assess the feasibility and acceptability of home-based management of malaria (HMM) strategy using artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) for treatment and rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for diagnosis.
Methods
This is a study conducted in 20 villages in Um Adara area, South Kordofan state, Sudan. Two-thirds (66%) of the study community were seeking treatment from heath facilities, which were more than 5 km far from their villages with marked inaccessibility during rainy season. Volunteers (one per village) were trained on using RDTs for diagnosis and artesunate plus sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine for treating malaria patients, as well as referral of severe and non-malaria cases. A system for supply and monitoring was established based on the rural health centre, which acted as a link between the volunteers and the health system. Advocacy for the policy was done through different tools. Volunteers worked on non-monetary incentives but only a consultation fee of One Sudanese Pound (equivalent to US$0.5).
Pre- and post-intervention assessment was done using household survey, focus group discussion with the community leaders, structured interview with the volunteers, and records and reports analysis.
Results and discussion
The overall adherence of volunteers to the project protocol in treating and referring cases was accepted that was only one of the 20 volunteers did not comply with the study guidelines. Although the use of RDTs seemed to have improved the level of accuracy and trust in the diagnosis, 30% of volunteers did not rely on the negative RDT results when treating fever cases. Almost all (94.7%) the volunteers felt that they were satisfied with the spiritual outcome of their new tasks. As well, volunteers have initiated advocacy campaigns supported by their village health committees which were found to have a positive role to play in the project that proved their acceptability of the HMM design. The planned system for supply was found to be effective. The project was found to improve the accessibility to ACTs from 25% to 64.7% and the treatment seeking behaviour from 83.3% to 100% before- and after the HMM implementation respectivly.
Conclusion
The evaluation of the project identified the feasibility of the planned model in Sudan's condition. Moreover, the communities as well as the volunteers found to be satisfied with and supportive to the system and the outcome. The problem of treating other febrile cases when diagnosis is not malaria and other non-fever cases needs to be addressed as well.
doi:10.1186/1475-2875-8-39
PMCID: PMC2660358  PMID: 19272157
21.  Searching for Excellence & Diversity: Increasing the Hiring of Women Faculty at One Academic Medical Center 
One opportunity to realize the diversity goals of academic health centers comes at the time of hiring new faculty. To improve the effectiveness of search committees in increasing the gender diversity of faculty hires, the authors created and implemented a training workshop for faculty search committees designed to improve the hiring process and increase the diversity of faculty hires at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. They describe the workshops, which they presented in the School of Medicine and Public Health between 2004 and 2007, and they compare the subsequent hiring of women faculty in participating and nonparticipating departments and the self-reported experience of new faculty within the hiring process. Attendance at the workshop correlates with improved hiring of women faculty and with a better hiring experience for faculty recruits, especially women. The authors articulate successful elements of workshop implementation for other medical schools seeking to increase gender diversity on their faculties.
doi:10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181dbf75a
PMCID: PMC4128022  PMID: 20505400
22.  Strengthening capacity for AIDS vaccine research: analysis of the Pfizer Global Health Fellows Program and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative 
Background
Industry partnerships can help leverage resources to advance HIV/AIDS vaccine research, service delivery, and policy advocacy goals. This often involves capacity building for international and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). International volunteering is increasingly being used as a capacity building strategy, yet little is known about how corporate volunteers help to improve performance of NGOs in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Methods
This case study helps to extend our understanding by analyzing how the Pfizer Global Health Fellows (GHF) program helped develop capacity of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), looking specifically at Fellowship activities in South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda. From 2005–2009, 8 Pfizer GHF worked with IAVI and local research centers to strengthen capacity to conduct and monitor vaccine trials to meet international standards and expand trial activities. Data collection for the case study included review of Fellow job descriptions, online journals, evaluation reports, and interviews with Fellows and IAVI staff. Qualitative methods were used to analyze factors which influenced the process and outcomes of capacity strengthening.
Results
Fellows filled critical short-term expert staffing needs at IAVI as well as providing technical assistance and staff development activities. Capacity building included assistance in establishing operating procedures for the start-up period of research centers; training staff in Good Clinical Practice (GCP); developing monitoring capacity (staff and systems) to assure that centers are audit-ready at all times; and strategic planning for data management systems. Factors key to the success of volunteering partnerships included similarities in mission between the corporate and NGO partners, expertise and experience of Fellows, and attitudes of partner organization staff.
Conclusion
By developing standard operating procedures, ensuring that monitoring and regulatory compliance systems were in place, training African investigators and community members, and engaging in other systems strengthening activities, the GHF program helped IAVI to accelerate vaccine development activities in the field, and to develop the organization’s capacity to manage change in the future. Our study suggests that a program of sustained corporate volunteering over several years may increase organizational learning and trust, leading to stronger capacity to advance and achieve NGO goals.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-378
PMCID: PMC3851536  PMID: 24088300
23.  From Program to Policy: Expanding the Role of Community Coalitions 
Preventing Chronic Disease  2007;4(4):A103.
Background
Diabetes mortality at the United States–Mexico border is twice the national average. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is increasingly diagnosed among children and adolescents. Fragmented services and scarce resources further restrict access to health care. Increased awareness of the incidence of disease and poor health outcomes became a catalyst for creating community-based coalitions and partnerships with the University of Arizona that focused on diabetes.
Context
Five partnerships between the communities and the University of Arizona were formed to address these health issues. They began with health promotion as their goal and were challenged to add policy and environmental change to their objectives. Understanding the meaning of policy in the community context is the first step in the transition from program to policy. Policy participation brings different groups together, strengthening ties and building trust among community members and community organizations.
Methods
Data on progress and outcomes were collected from multiple sources. We used the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) 2010 Community Change Model as the capacity-building and analytic framework for supporting and documenting the transition of coalitions from program to policy.
Consequences
Over 5 years, the coalitions made the transition, in varying degrees, from a programmatic focus to a policy planning and advocacy focus. The coalitions raised community awareness, built community capacity, encouraged a process of "change in change agents," and advocated for community environmental and policy shifts to improve health behaviors.
Interpretation
The five coalitions made environmental and policy impacts by engaging in policy advocacy. These outcomes indicate the successful, if not consistently sustained, transition from program to policy. Whether and how these "changes in change agents" are transferable to the larger community over the long term remains to be seen.
PMCID: PMC2099268  PMID: 17875247
24.  Social determinants of health in Canada: Are healthy living initiatives there yet? A policy analysis 
Introduction
Preventative strategies that focus on addressing the social determinants of health to improve healthy eating and physical activity have become an important strategy in British Columbia and Ontario for combating chronic diseases. What has not yet been examined is the extent to which healthy living initiatives implemented under these new policy frameworks successfully engage with and change the social determinants of health.
Methods
Initiatives active between January 1, 2006 and September 1, 2011 were found using provincial policy documents, web searches, health organization and government websites, and databases of initiatives that attempted to influence to nutrition and physical activity in order to prevent chronic diseases or improve overall health. Initiatives were reviewed, analyzed and grouped using the descriptive codes: lifestyle-based, environment-based or structure-based. Initiatives were also classified according to the mechanism by which they were administered: as direct programs (e.g. directly delivered), blueprints (or frameworks to tailor developed programs), and building blocks (resources to develop programs).
Results
60 initiatives were identified in Ontario and 61 were identified in British Columbia. In British Columbia, 11.5% of initiatives were structure-based. In Ontario, of 60 provincial initiatives identified, 15% were structure-based. Ontario had a higher proportion of direct interventions than British Columbia for all intervention types. However, in both provinces, as the intervention became more upstream and attempted to target the social determinants of health more directly, the level of direct support for the intervention lessened.
Conclusions
The paucity of initiatives in British Columbia and Ontario that address healthy eating and active living through action on the social determinants of health is problematic. In the context of Canada's increasingly neoliberal political and economic policy, the public health sector may face significant barriers to addressing upstream determinants in a meaningful way. If public health cannot directly affect broader societal conditions, interventions should be focused around advocacy and education about the social determinants of health. It is necessary that health be seen for what it is: a political matter. As such, the health sector needs to take a more political approach in finding solutions for health inequities.
doi:10.1186/1475-9276-11-41
PMCID: PMC3492195  PMID: 22889402
Chronic disease prevention; Social determinants of health; Canada; Health policy; Healthy living; Policy analysis
25.  An assessment of mental health policy in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia 
Background
Approximately half of the countries in the African Region had a mental health policy by 2005, but little is known about quality of mental health policies in Africa and globally. This paper reports the results of an assessment of the mental health policies of Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.
Methods
The WHO Mental Health Policy Checklist was used to evaluate the most current mental health policy in each country. Assessments were completed and reviewed by a specially constituted national committee as well as an independent WHO team. Results of each country evaluation were discussed until consensus was reached.
Results
All four policies received a high level mandate. Each policy addressed community-based services, the integration of mental health into general health care, promotion of mental health and rehabilitation. Prevention was addressed in the South African and Ugandan policies only. Use of evidence for policy development varied considerably. Consultations were mainly held with the mental health sector. Only the Zambian policy presented a clear vision, while three of four countries spelt out values and principles, the need to establish a coordinating body for mental health, and to protect the human rights of people with mental health problems. None included all the basic elements of a policy, nor specified sources and levels of funding for implementation. Deinstitutionalisation and the provision of essential psychotropic medicines were insufficiently addressed. Advocacy, empowerment of users and families and intersectoral collaboration were inadequately addressed. Only Uganda sufficiently outlined a mental health information system, research and evaluation, while only Ghana comprehensively addressed human resources and training requirements. No country had an accompanying strategic mental health plan to allow the development and implementation of concrete strategies and activities.
Conclusions
Six gaps which could impact on the policies' effect on countries' mental health systems were: lack of internal consistency of structure and content of policies, superficiality of key international concepts, lack of evidence on which to base policy directions, inadequate political support, poor integration of mental health policies within the overall national policy and legislative framework, and lack of financial specificity. Three strategies to address these concerns emerged, namely strengthening capacity of key stakeholders in public (mental) health and policy development, creation of a culture of inclusive and dynamic policy development, and coordinated action to optimize use of available resources.
doi:10.1186/1478-4505-9-17
PMCID: PMC3090369  PMID: 21477285

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