The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate in developing countries. However, glycaemia control remains suboptimal and insulin use is low. One important barrier is the lack of an efficient and effective insulin initiation delivery approach. This study aimed to document the strategies used and proposed by healthcare professionals to improve insulin initiation in the Malaysian dual-sector (public–private) health system.
In depth interviews and focus group discussions were conducted in Klang Valley and Seremban, Malaysia in 2010–11. Healthcare professionals consisting of general practitioners (n = 11), medical officers (n = 8), diabetes educators (n = 3), government policy makers (n = 4), family medicine specialists (n = 10) and endocrinologists (n = 2) were interviewed. We used a topic guide to facilitate the interviews, which were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic approach.
Three main themes emerged from the interviews. Firstly, there was a lack of collaboration between the private and public sectors in diabetes care. The general practitioners in the private sector proposed an integrated system for them to refer patients to the public health services for insulin initiation programmes. There could be shared care between the two sectors and this would reduce the disproportionately heavy workload at the public sector. Secondly, besides the support from the government health authority, the healthcare professionals wanted greater involvement of non-government organisations, media and pharmaceutical industry in facilitating insulin initiation in both the public and private sectors. The support included: training of healthcare professionals; developing and disseminating patient education materials; service provision by diabetes education teams; organising programmes for patients’ peer group sessions; increasing awareness and demystifying insulin via public campaigns; and subsidising glucose monitoring equipment. Finally, the healthcare professionals proposed the establishment of multidisciplinary teams as a strategy to increase the rate of insulin initiation. Having team members from different ethnic backgrounds would help to overcome language and cultural differences when communicating with patients.
The challenges faced by a dual-sector health system in delivering insulin initiation may be addressed by greater collaborations between the private and public sectors and governmental and non-government organisations, and among different healthcare professionals.
Insulin initiation; Dual-sector health system; Malaysia; Diabetes; Public sector; Private sector
Patients with type 2 diabetes often require insulin as the disease progresses. However, health care professionals frequently encounter challenges when managing patients who require insulin therapy. Understanding how health care professionals perceive the barriers faced by patients on insulin will facilitate care and treatment strategies.
This study explores the views of Malaysian health care professionals on the barriers faced by patients using insulin.
Semi-structured qualitative interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with health care professionals involved in diabetes care using insulin. Forty-one health care professionals participated in the study, consisting of primary care doctors (n = 20), family medicine specialists (n = 10), government policymakers (n = 5), diabetes educators (n = 3), endocrinologists (n = 2), and one pharmacist. We used a topic guide to facilitate the interviews, which were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using a thematic approach.
Five themes were identified as barriers: side effects, patient education, negative perceptions, blood glucose monitoring, and patient adherence to treatment and follow-up. Patients perceive that insulin therapy causes numerous negative side effects. There is a lack of patient education on proper glucose monitoring and how to optimize insulin therapy. Cost of treatment and patient ignorance are highlighted when discussing patient self-monitoring of blood glucose. Finally, health care professionals identified a lack of a follow-up system, especially for patients who do not keep to regular appointments.
This study identifies five substantial barriers to optimizing insulin therapy. Health care professionals who successfully identify and address these issues will empower patients to achieve effective self-management. System barriers require government agency in establishing insulin follow-up programs, multidisciplinary diabetes care teams, and subsidies for glucometers and test strips.
primary care; focus groups; noncommunicable disease; diabetes; insulin; qualitative study
We aimed to identify facilitators of and barriers to healthcare professionals' motivation in a diabetes centre in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
A qualitative research approach was employed using semistructured interviews to assess perception of and attitudes regarding healthcare professionals' motivation in providing good quality diabetes care.
A diabetes centre located in Abu-Dhabi, UAE.
Healthcare professionals including specialist physicians, dieticians, podiatrists, health educators and nurses were recruited through purposive sampling.
Main outcome measures
After data collection, the audiotaped interviews were transcribed verbatim and subjected to content analysis.
Nine semistructured interviews were conducted with healthcare professionals of various professional backgrounds. Important facilitators and barriers related to patient, professional, organization and cultural factors were identified. Barriers that related to heavy workload, disjointed care, lack of patient compliance and awareness, and cultural beliefs and attitudes about diabetes were common. Key facilitators included the patient's role in achieving therapeutic outcomes as well as compliance, cooperation and communication.
This qualitative study provides some unique insights about factors affecting healthcare professionals' motivation in providing good quality care. To improve the motivation of healthcare professionals in the management of diabetes and therefore the quality of diabetes care, several steps are needed. Importantly, the role of primary care should be reinforced and strengthened regarding the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus, privacy of the consultation time should be highly protected and regulated, and awareness of the Emirate culture and its impact on health should be disseminated to the healthcare professionals providing care to Emirates with diabetes. Also, greater emphasis should be placed on educating Emiratis with diabetes on, and involving them in, the management of their condition.
Research on the quality of diabetes care provided to young adults with Type 1 diabetes is lacking. This study investigates perceptions of quality of care for young adults with Type 1 diabetes (23–30 years old) living in the Republic of Ireland.
Thirty-five young adults with Type 1 diabetes (twenty-nine women, six men) and thirteen healthcare professionals (ten diabetes nurse specialists, three consultant Endocrinologists) were recruited. All study participants completed semi-structured interviews that explored their perspectives on the quality of diabetes services in Ireland. Interviews were analyzed using standard qualitative thematic analysis techniques.
Most interviewees identified problems with Irish diabetes services for young adults. Healthcare services were often characterised by long waiting times, inadequate continuity of care, overreliance on junior doctors and inadequate professional-patient interaction times. Many rural and non-specialist services lacked funding for diabetes education programmes, diabetes nurse specialists, insulin pumps or for psychological support, though these services are important components of quality Type 1 diabetes healthcare. Allied health services such as psychology, podiatry and dietician services appeared to be underfunded in many parts of the country. While Irish diabetes services lacked funding prior to the recession, the economic decline in Ireland, and the subsequent austerity imposed on the Irish health service as a result of that decline, appears to have additional negative consequences. Despite these difficulties, a number of specialist healthcare services for young adults with diabetes seemed to be providing excellent quality of care. Although young adults and professionals identified many of the same problems with Irish diabetes services, professionals appeared to be more critical of diabetes services than young adults. Young adults generally expressed high levels of satisfaction with services, even where they noted that aspects of those services were sub-optimal.
Good quality care appears to be unequally distributed throughout Ireland. National austerity measures appear to be negatively impacting health services for young adults with diabetes. There is a need for more Endocrinologist and diabetes nurse specialist posts to be funded in Ireland, as well as allied health professional posts.
Type 1 diabetes; Quality of care; Young adult; Emerging adult; Ireland
Chronic disease management has been implemented for some time in several countries to tackle the increasing burden of chronic diseases. While Switzerland faces the same challenge, such initiatives have only emerged recently in this country. The aim of this study is to assess their feasibility, in terms of barriers, facilitators and incentives to participation.
To meet our aim, we used qualitative methods involving the collection of opinions of various healthcare stakeholders, by means of 5 focus groups and 33 individual interviews. All the data were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was then performed and five levels were determined to categorize the data: political, financial, organisational/ structural, professionals and patients.
Our results show that, at each level, stakeholders share common opinions towards the feasibility of chronic disease management in Switzerland. They mainly mention barriers linked to the federalist political organization as well as to financing such programs. They also envision difficulties to motivate both patients and healthcare professionals to participate. Nevertheless, their favourable attitudes towards chronic disease management as well as the fact that they are convinced that Switzerland possesses all the resources (financial, structural and human) to develop such programs constitute important facilitators. The implementation of quality and financial incentives could also foster the participation of the actors.
Even if healthcare stakeholders do not have the same role and interest regarding chronic diseases, they express similar opinions on the development of chronic disease management in Switzerland. Their overall positive attitude shows that it could be further implemented if political, financial and organisational barriers are overcome and if incentives are found to face the scepticism and non-motivation of some stakeholders.
Chronic disease; Disease management; Attitude; Patients; Health personnel; Qualitative research
To explore knowledge and attitudes regarding the links between diabetes and periodontitis of medical and dental healthcare professionals as well as those of people with diabetes.
Qualitative interview study.
4 people with diabetes, four dental professionals, three general practitioners (GPs) with a specialist interest in diabetes, one GP without a specialist interest in diabetes, three diabetic nurse specialists and two consultant diabetologists.
Primary and secondary care in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Framework analysis was used iteratively to achieve progressive focusing and to develop conceptual ideas.
3 inter-related themes emerged: (1) uncertain knowledge—a lack of familiarity about the links between periodontitis and diabetes; (2) unworkable knowledge—that even if the links between periodontitis and diabetes were known, it is impossible for anything to be done for patient benefit given the differing systems that medical and dental health professionals work in and (3) isolated knowledge—the perceived division that exists between the medical and dental professions has the potential to negatively impact on advances in diabetes patient care. The patients simply wanted all the healthcare professionals to be giving the same messages consistently and to help them access the (dental) care they need.
The research on the links between periodontal disease and diabetes appears to have limited impact on the organisation of diabetes care, and the divisions that exist between the medical and dental professions have the potential to negatively impact on patient care.
Diabetes & Endocrinology; Diabetes Mellitus; Periodontal Disease; Qualitative Research
Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) can cause profound and prolonged illness and disability, and poses significant problems of uncertainty for healthcare professionals in its diagnosis and management. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the nature of professional 'best practice' in working with people with CFS/ME.
The views and experiences of health care practitioners (HCPs) were sought, who had been judged by people with CFS/ME themselves to have been particularly helpful and effective. Qualitative semi-structured interviews following a topic guide were carried out with six health care practitioners. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and subject to thematic analysis.
Five main themes were developed: 1) Diagnosis; 2) Professional perspectives on living with CFS/ME; 3) Interventions for treatment and management; 4) Professional values and support for people with CFS/ME and their families; 5) Health professional roles and working practices. Key findings related to: the diagnostic process, especially the degree of uncertainty which may be shared by primary care physicians and patients alike; the continued denial in some quarters of the existence of CFS/ME as a condition; the variability, complexity, and serious impact of the condition on life and living; the onus on the person with CFS/ME to manage their condition, supported by HCPs; the wealth of often conflicting and confusing information on the condition and options for treatment; and the vital role of extended listening and trustful relationships with patients.
While professional frustrations were clearly expressed about the variability of services both in primary and specialist care and continuing equivocal attitudes to CFS/ME as a condition, there were also strong positive messages for people with CFS/ME where the right services are in place. Many of the findings from these practitioners seen by their patients as helping them more effectively, accord with the existing literature identifying the particular importance of listening skills, respect and trust for establishing a therapeutic relationship which recognises key features of the patient trajectory and promotes effective person-centred management of this complex condition. These findings indicate the need to build such skills and knowledge more systematically into professional training informed by the experience of specialist services and those living with the condition.
The risk of depression is increased in people with long term conditions (LTCs) and is associated with poorer patient outcomes for both the depressive illness and the LTC, but often remains undetected and poorly managed. The aim of this study was to identify and explore barriers to detecting and managing depression in primary care in people with two exemplar LTCs: diabetes and coronary heart disease (CHD).
Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with 19 healthcare professionals drawn predominately from primary care, along with 7 service users and 3 carers (n = 29). One focus group was then held with a set of 6 healthcare professionals and a set of 7 service users and 1 carer (n = 14). Interviews and the focus group were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed independently. The two data sets were then inspected for commonalities using a constant comparative method, leading to a final thematic framework used in this paper.
Barriers to detecting and managing depression in people with LTCs in primary care exist: i) when practitioners in partnership with patients conceptualise depression as a common and understandable response to the losses associated with LTCs - depression in the presence of LTCs is normalised, militating against its recognition and treatment; ii) where highly performanced managed consultations under the terms of the Quality and Outcomes Framework encourage reductionist approaches to case-finding in people with CHD and diabetes, and iii) where there is uncertainty among practitioners about how to negotiate labels for depression in people with LTCs in ways that might facilitate shared understanding and future management.
Depression was often normalised in the presence of LTCs, obviating rather than facilitating further assessment and management. Furthermore, structural constraints imposed by the QOF encouraged reductionist approaches to case-finding for depression in consultations for CHD and diabetes. Future work might focus on how interventions that draw on the principles of the chronic care model, such as collaborative care, could support primary care practitioners to better recognise and manage depression in patients with LTCs.
It is not fully understood why healthcare decision-makers of developing countries often give low priority to infection control and why they are unable to implement international guidelines. This study aimed to identify the main perceived challenges and barriers that hinder the effective implementation of infection control programmes in Mongolia.
In 2008, qualitative research involving 4 group and 55 individual interviews was conducted in the capital city of Mongolia and two provincial centres.
A total of 87 health professionals participated in the study, including policy and hospital-level managers, doctors, nurses and infection control practitioners. Thematic analysis revealed a large number of perceived challenges and barriers to the formulation and implementation of infection control policy. These challenges and barriers were complex in nature and related to poor funding, suboptimal knowledge and attitudes, and inadequate management. The study results suggest that the availability of infection control policy and guidelines, and the provision of specific recommendations for low-resource settings, do not assure effective implementation of infection control programmes.
The current infection control system in Mongolia is likely to remain ineffective unless the underlying barriers and challenges are adequately addressed. Multifaceted interventions with logistical, educational and management components that are specific to local circumstances need to be designed and implemented in Mongolia. The importance of international peer support is highlighted.
Infection control; Qualitative research; Challenges; Barriers; Mongolia
The need to understand barriers to the implementation of health care innovations in daily practice has been widely documented, but perceived facilitators and barriers in diabetes care by Dutch health care professionals remain unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate these factors among health care professionals (HCPs) using a qualitative research design.
Data were collected from 18 semi-structured interviews with HCPs from all professions relevant to diabetes care. The interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim and the data were analyzed using NVivo 8.0.
Major facilitators were the more prominent role of the practice nurses and diabetes nurses in diabetes care, benchmarking, the Care Standard (CS) of the Netherlands Diabetes federation and multidisciplinary collaboration, although collaboration with certain professional groups (i.e. dieticians, physical therapists and pharmacists), as well as the collaboration between primary and secondary care, could still be improved. The bundled payment system for the funding of diabetes care and the role of the health insurers were perceived as major barriers within the health care system. Other important barriers were reported to be the lack of motivation among patients and the lack of awareness of lifestyle programs and prevention initiatives for diabetes patients among professionals.
Organizational changes in diabetes care, as a result of the increased attention given to management continuity of care, have led to an increased need for multidisciplinary collaboration within and between health care sectors (e.g. public health, primary care and secondary care). To date, daily routines for shared care are still sub-optimal and improvements in facilities, such as registration systems, should be implemented to further optimize communication and exchange of information.
Diabetes; Health care professionals; Facilitators; Barriers
Identify important organizational elements for providing self-management support (SMS).
Semi-structured qualitative interviews conducted in two healthcare systems.
Kaiser Permanente Northern California and the Danish Health Care System.
36 managers and healthcare professionals in the two healthcare systems.
Main outcome measures
Elements important to providing self-management support to persons with diabetes.
Healthcare professionals’ provision of SMS was influenced by healthcare system organization and their perceptions of SMS, the capability and responsibility of healthcare systems, and their roles in the healthcare organization. Enabling factors for providing SMS included: strong leadership; aligned incentives; use of an integrated health information technology (HIT) system; multidisciplinary healthcare provider teams; ongoing training for healthcare professionals; outreach; and quality goals. Barriers to providing SMS included lack of collaboration between providers and skeptical attitudes towards prevention and outreach.
Conclusions and implications
Implementation of SMS can be improved by an understanding of the elements that enhance its provision: (1) initiatives seeking to improve collaboration and integration between providers; (2) implementation of an integrated HIT system; and (3) ongoing training of healthcare professionals.
Denmark; diabetes mellitus; general practice; health system; international comparison; patient education; self-management support
Type 2 diabetes is a major public health concern. Screening and early diagnosis followed by prompt and aggressive treatment interventions can help control progression of diabetes and its complications. Nurses are often the first healthcare team members to interact with patients and are being called on to apply their specialized knowledge, training, and skills to educate and motivate patients with diabetes about insulin use and practical ways to achieve treatment goals. Clinical nurse specialists possess specific training and skills to provide this level of care, while staff or office-based nurses may be trained by physicians to fulfill a task-specific role. This manuscript reviews the benefits of intensive glycemic control in type 2 diabetes, therapeutic goals and guidelines, advances in insulin therapy, and contribution of nurses in overcoming barriers to insulin initiation and related aspects of diabetes care. Nurses are particularly well positioned to fill the gap and improve efficiency in diabetes-related healthcare by assisting patients with insulin initiation and other aspects of glycemic self-management.
insulin; diabetes; diabetes educator; hypoglycemia; diabetes counseling; insulin clinic; insulin pens
Hospital admission provides a powerful opportunity to promote smoking cessation. We explored patients’ and healthcare professionals’ (HCP) views of a specialist smoking cessation service comprising systematic smoking ascertainment, default provision of pharmacotherapy and behavioural counselling at the bedside, and post-discharge follow-up, in a clinical trial in a United Kingdom teaching hospital.
Semi-structured interviews with 30 patients who were offered the intervention, and 27 HCPs working on intervention wards, were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis.
The shock of being admitted, and awareness that smoking may have contributed to the need for hospital admission, caused many patients to reassess their quit intentions. Most patients felt the service was too good an opportunity to pass up, because having long-term support and progress monitored was more likely to result in abstinence than trying alone. Had they not been approached, many patients reported that they would have attempted to quit alone, though some would have been discouraged from doing so by pharmacotherapy costs. Service delivery by a specialist advisor was favoured by patients and HCPs, largely because HCPs lacked time and expertise to intervene. HCPs reported that in usual practice, discussions about smoking were usually limited to ascertainment of smoking status. Timing of service delivery and improved co-ordination between service staff and inpatient ward staff were matters to address.
A hospital-based specialist smoking cessation service designed to identify smokers and initiate cessation support at the bedside was deemed appropriate by patients and HCPs.
Trial registration: ISRCTN25441641.
Smoking cessation; Support; Secondary care; Provider-patient relations; Qualitative
Many health professionals engage in providing health services for drug users; however, there is evidence of stigmatisation by some health professionals. Prescription drug misusers as a specific group, may also be subject to such judgment. This study aimed to understand issues for primary care health practitioners in relation to prescription drug misuse (PDM), by exploring the attitudes and experiences of healthcare professionals with respect to PDM.
Tape-recorded interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of general practitioners (17), community pharmacists (16) and 'key experts' (18) in New Zealand. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and a thematic analysis undertaken. Participants were offered vouchers to the value of NZ$30 for their participation.
A major theme that was identified was that of two different types of patients involved in PDM, as described by participants - the 'abuser' and the 'overuser'. The 'abuser' was believed to acquire prescription medicines through deception for their own use or for selling on to the illicit market, to use the drugs recreationally, for a 'high' or to stave off withdrawal from illicit drugs. 'Overusers' were characterised as having become 'addicted' through inadvertent overuse and over prescribing, and were generally viewed more sympathetically by practitioners. It also emerged that practitioners' attitudes may have impacted on whether any harm reduction interventions might be offered. Furthermore, whilst practitioners might be more willing to offer help to the 'over-user', it seemed that there is a lack of appropriate services for this group, who may also lack a peer support network.
A binary view of PDM may not be helpful in understanding the issues surrounding PDM, nor in providing appropriate interventions. There is a need for further exploration of 'over users’ whose needs may not be being met by mainstream drug services, and issues of stigma in relation to ‘abusers’.
The regulation of the markets for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) products presents a global challenge. There is a dearth of studies that have examined or evaluated the regulatory policies of CAM products in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR). We investigate the regulatory frameworks and the barriers for the proper regulation and integration of CAM products in Lebanon, as an example of an EMR country with a weak public infrastructure.
We utilized a qualitative study design involving a series of semi-structured interviews with stakeholders of the CAM market in Lebanon. Snowball sampling was used to identify interviewees; interviews continued until the "saturation" point was reached. A total of 16 interviews were carried out with decision makers, representatives of professional associations, academic researchers, CAM product importers, policy makers and a media representative. Interviews were transcribed and thematic analysis of scripts was carried out.
There was a consensus among all stakeholders that the regulation of the market for CAM products in Lebanon needs to be strengthened. Thematic analysis identified a number of impediments jeopardizing the safety of public consumption and hindering the integration of CAM therapies into mainstream medicine; including: weak infrastructure, poor regulation, ineffective policies and politics, weak CAM awareness and sub-optimal coordination and cooperation among stakeholders. With respect to policy instruments, voluntary instruments (self regulation) were deemed ineffective by stakeholders due to poor awareness of both users and providers on safe use of CAM products. Stakeholders' rather recommended the adoption of a combination of mixed (enhancing public awareness and integration of CAM into medical and nursing curricula) and compulsory (stricter governmental regulation) policy instruments for the regulation of the market for CAM products.
The current status quo with respect to the regulation of CAM products in Lebanon is not conducive to public safety, nor does it support the integration of CAM products into the healthcare system. The Ministry of Health indeed plays a dominant role in the regulation of these products through a combination of mixed and compulsory policy instruments. Yet, the proper implementation of these regulations requires political resolve coupled with the cooperation of all CAM stakeholders.
To explore the needs and expectations of diabetic patients and healthcare professionals in the canton of Vaud.
Development and implementation of a diabetes cantonal program.
We conducted one focus group (FG) with diabetic patients and one with healthcare professionals (general practitioners, diabetologists, pharmacists, home healthcare managers, podologists) in each of the four health regions of the canton (n=8 FG). FGs were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim, and content analysis performed.
Results and conclusion
Perceived quality of diabetes care varies, depending on participants and regions considered. Participants describe a lack of collaboration and communication between professionals, problems linked to self-management education, and a lack of information on diabetes for the general population.
They propose to improve the quality of care by strengthening existing structures, by developing centralization of care and information, and by reinforcing teamwork and self-management education. They also suggest implementing information and prevention campaigns for the general population.
Diabetics and healthcare professionals express the need to develop a cantonal program at a local level and adapted to patients’ needs. For patients, such a program would represent an opportunity to have access to comprehensive care. For healthcare professionals, it would favor the development of teamwork and of local networks.
Participants point out similar problems and solutions, even if not similarly expressed. These results should help the development and implementation of a program adapted to the patients’ and professionals’ needs.
diabetes; chronic disease management; qualitative methods; Switzerland
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) brings significant human and healthcare costs. Its progressive nature means achieving normoglycaemia is increasingly difficult, yet critical to avoiding long term vascular complications. Nearly one-half of people with T2D have glycaemic levels out of target. Insulin is effective in achieving glycaemic targets, yet initiation of insulin is often delayed, particularly in primary care. Given limited access to specialist resources and the size of the diabetes epidemic, primary care is where insulin initiation must become part of routine practice. This would also support integrated holistic care for people with diabetes. Our Stepping Up Program is based on a general practitioner (GP) and practice nurse (PN) model of care supported appropriately by endocrinologists and credentialed diabetes educator-registered nurses. Pilot work suggests the model facilitates integration of the technical work of insulin initiation within ongoing generalist care.
This protocol is for a cluster randomized controlled trial to examine the effectiveness of the Stepping Up Program to enhance the role of the GP-PN team in initiating insulin and improving glycaemic outcomes for people with T2D. 224 patients between the ages of 18 and 80 years with T2D, on two or more oral hypoglycaemic agents and with an HbA1c ≥7.5% in the last six months will be recruited from 74 general practices. The unit of randomization is the practice.
Primary outcome is change in glycated haemoglobin HbA1c (measured as a continuous variable). We hypothesize that the intervention arm will achieve an absolute HbA1c mean difference of 0.5% lower than control group at 12 months follow up. Secondary outcomes include the number of participants who successfully transfer to insulin and the proportion who achieve HbA1c measurement of <7.0%. We will also collect data on patient psychosocial outcomes and healthcare utilization and costs.
The study is a pragmatic translational study with important potential implications for people with T2D, healthcare professionals and funders of healthcare though making better use of scarce healthcare resources, improving timely access to therapy that can improve disease outcomes.
Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12612001028897
Type 2 diabetes; Primary care; Nursing; Randomized trial; Insulin; Implementation; Australia; Health services research
Patient decisions are influenced by their personal values. However, there is a lack of clarity and attention on the concept of patient values in the clinical context despite clear emphasis on patient values in evidence-based medicine and shared decision making. The aim of the study was to explore the concept of patient values in the context of making decisions about insulin initiation among people with type 2 diabetes.
Methods and Findings
We conducted individual in-depth interviews with people with type 2 diabetes who were making decisions about insulin treatment. Participants were selected purposively to achieve maximum variation. A semi-structured topic guide was used to guide the interviews which were audio-recorded and analysed using a thematic approach. We interviewed 21 participants between January 2011 and March 2012. The age range of participants was 28–67 years old. Our sample comprised 9 women and 12 men. Three main themes, ‘treatment-specific values’, ‘life goals and philosophies’, and ‘personal and social background’, emerged from the analysis. The patients reported a variety of insulin-specific values, which were negative and/or positive beliefs about insulin. They framed insulin according to their priorities and philosophies in life. Patients’ decisions were influenced by sociocultural (e.g. religious background) and personal backgrounds (e.g. family situations).
This study highlighted the need for expanding the current concept of patient values in medical decision making. Clinicians should address more than just values related to treatment options. Patient values should include patients’ priorities, life philosophy and their background. Current decision support tools, such as patient decision aids, should consider these new dimensions when clarifying patient values.
Oral anticoagulant therapy (OAT) involves many health care disciplines. Even though collaboration between care professionals is assumed to improve the quality of OAT, very little research has been done into the practice of OAT management to arrange and manage the collaboration. This study aims to identify the problems in collaboration experienced by the care professionals involved, the solutions they proposed to improve collaboration, and the barriers they encountered to the implementation of these solutions.
In the Netherlands, intensive follow-up of OAT is provided by specialized anticoagulant clinics (ACs). Sixty-eight semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with 103 professionals working at an AC. These semi-structured interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed inductively. Wagner's chronic care model (CCM) and Cabana's framework for improvement were used to categorize the results.
AC professionals experienced three main bottlenecks in collaboration: lack of knowledge (mostly of other professionals), lack of consensus on OAT, and limited information exchange between professionals. They mentioned several solutions to improve collaboration, especially solutions of CCM's decision support component (i.e. education, regular meetings, and agreements and protocols). Education is considered a prerequisite for the successful implementation of other proposed solutions such as developing a multidisciplinary protocol and changing the allocation of tasks. The potential of the health care organization to improve collaboration seemed to be underestimated by professionals. They experienced several barriers to the successful implementation of the proposed solutions. Most important barriers were the lack motivation of non-AC professionals and lack of time to establish collaboration.
This study revealed that the collaboration in OAT is limited by a lack of knowledge, a lack of consensus, and a limited information exchange. Education was identified as the best way to improve collaboration and considered a prerequisite for a successful implementation of other proposed solutions. Hence, the implementation sequence is of importance in order to improve the collaboration successfully. First step is to establish alignment regarding collaboration with all involved professionals to encounter the lack of motivation of non-AC professionals and lack of time.
Patient's adherence is crucial to get the best out of antiretroviral therapy (ART). This study explores in-depth the barriers to and facilitators of ART adherence among Nepalese patients and service providers prescribing ART. Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with 34 participants. Interviews were audio-taped, transcribed, and translated into English before being analyzed thematically. ART-prescribed patients described a range of barriers for failing to adhere to ART. Financial difficulties, access to healthcare services, frequent transport blockades, religious/ritual obstacles, stigma and discrimination, and side-effects were the most-frequently discussed barriers whereas trustworthy health workers, perceived health benefits, and family support were the most-reported facilitators. Understanding barriers and facilitators can help in the design of an appropriate and targeted intervention. Healthcare providers should address some of the practical and cultural issues around ART whilst policy-makers should develop appropriate social policy to promote adherence among ART-prescribed patients.
Adherence; Antiretroviral drugs; Barriers; Facilitators; HIV/AIDS; South Asia
Members of the transgender community have identified healthcare access barriers, yet a corresponding inquiry into healthcare provider perspectives has lagged. Our aim was to examine physician perceptions of barriers to healthcare provision for transgender patients.
This was a qualitative study with physician participants from Ontario, Canada. Semi-structured interviews were used to capture a progression of ideas related to barriers faced by physicians when caring for trans patients. Qualitative data were then transcribed verbatim and analysed with an emergent grounded theory approach.
A total of thirteen (13) physician participants were interviewed. Analysis revealed healthcare barriers that grouped into five themes: Accessing resources, medical knowledge deficits, ethics of transition-related medical care, diagnosing vs. pathologising trans patients, and health system determinants. A centralising theme of “not knowing where to go or who to talk to” was also identified.
The findings of this study show that physicians perceive barriers to the care of trans patients, and that these barriers are multifactorial. Access barriers impede physicians when referring patients to specialists or searching for reliable treatment information. Clinical management of trans patients is complicated by a lack of knowledge, and by ethical considerations regarding treatments—which can be unfamiliar or challenging to physicians. The disciplinary division of responsibilities within medicine further complicates care; few practitioners identify trans healthcare as an interest area, and there is a tendency to overemphasise trans status in mental health evaluations. Failure to recognise and accommodate trans patients within sex-segregated healthcare systems leads to deficient health policy. The findings of this study suggest potential solutions to trans healthcare barriers at the informational level—with increased awareness of clinical guidelines and by including trans health issues in medical education—and at the institutional level, with support for both trans-focused and trans-friendly primary care models.
Ethnic diversity among physicians may be linked to improved access and quality of care for minorities. Academic medical institutions are challenged to increase representation of ethnic minorities among health professionals.
To explore the perceptions of physician faculty regarding the following: (1) the institution's cultural diversity climate and (2) facilitators and barriers to success and professional satisfaction in academic medicine within this context.
Qualitative study using focus groups and semi-structured interviews.
Nontenured physicians in the tenure track at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Focus groups and interviews were audio-taped, transcribed verbatim, and reviewed for thematic content in a 3-stage independent review/adjudication process.
Study participants included 29 faculty representing 9 clinical departments, 4 career tracks, and 4 ethnic groups. In defining cultural diversity, faculty noted visible (race/ethnicity, foreign-born status, gender) and invisible (religion, sexual orientation) dimensions. They believe visible dimensions provoke bias and cumulative advantages or disadvantages in the workplace. Minority and foreign-born faculty report ethnicity-based disparities in recruitment and subtle manifestations of bias in the promotion process. Minority and majority faculty agree that ethnic differences in prior educational opportunities lead to disparities in exposure to career options, and qualifications for and subsequent recruitment to training programs and faculty positions. Minority faculty also describe structural barriers (poor retention efforts, lack of mentorship) that hinder their success and professional satisfaction after recruitment. To effectively manage the diversity climate, our faculty recommended 4 strategies for improving the psychological climate and structural diversity of the institution.
Soliciting input from faculty provides tangible ideas regarding interventions to improve an institution's diversity climate.
cultural diversity; academic medicine; ethnic minorities; recruitment; promotion
This article reports on the impact assessment experience of a funding program of non-commercial clinical and health services research. The aim was to assess the level of implementation of results from a subgroup of research projects (on respiratory diseases), and to detect barriers (or facilitators) in the translation of new knowledge to informed decision-making.
A qualitative study was performed. The sample consisted of six projects on respiratory diseases funded by the Agency for Health Quality and Assessment of Catalonia between 1996 and 2004. Semi-structured interviews to key informants including researchers and healthcare decision-makers were carried out. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed on an individual (key informant) and group (project) basis. In addition, the differences between achieved and expected impacts were described.
Twenty-three semi-structured interviews were conducted. Most participants indicated changes in health services or clinical practice had resulted from research. The channels used to transfer new knowledge were mainly conventional ones, but also in less explicit ways, such as with the involvement of local scientific societies, or via debates and discussions with colleagues and local leaders. The barriers and facilitators identified were mostly organizational (in research management, and clinical and healthcare practice), although there were also some related to the nature of the research as well as personal factors. Both the expected and achieved impacts enabled the identification of the gaps between what is expected and what is truly achieved.
In this study and according to key informants, the impact of these research projects on decision-making can be direct (the application of a finding or innovation) or indirect, contributing to a more complex change in clinical practice and healthcare organization, both having other contextual factors. The channels used to transfer this new knowledge to clinical practice are complex. Local scientific societies and the relationships between researchers and decision-makers can play a very important role. Specifically, the relationships between managers and research teams and the mutual knowledge of their activity have shown to be effective in applying research funding to practice and decision-making. Finally the facilitating factors and barriers identified by the respondents are closely related to the idiosyncrasy of the human relations between the different stakeholders involved.
Informed decision-making; Qualitative research; Research impact; Respiratory diseases; Payback model
Information on prescribing quality of diabetes care is required by health care providers, insurance companies, policy makers, and the public. Knowledge regarding the opinions and preferences of all involved parties regarding prescribing quality information is important for effective use of prescribing quality indicators.
Between June and December 2009 we conducted semi structured interviews with 16 key-informants representing eight different organizations in the Netherlands involved in healthcare quality measurement and improvement. The interview guide included topics on participants’ opinions and preferences regarding existing types of prescribing quality indicators in relation to their aim of using quality information. Content analysis methods were used to process the resulting transcripts following the framework of predetermined themes.
Findings from this qualitative study of stakeholder preferences showed that indicators focusing on undertreatment are found important by all participants. Furthermore, health care providers and policy makers valued prescribing safety indicators, insurance companies prioritized indicators focusing on prescribing costs, and patients’ organization representatives valued indicators focusing on interpersonal side of prescribing. Representatives of all stakeholders preferred positive formulation of the indicators to motivate health care providers to participate in health improvement programs. A composite score was found to be most useful by all participants as a starting point of prescribing quality assessment. Lack of information on reasons for deviating from guidelines recommendations appeared to be the most important barrier for using prescribing quality indicators. According to the health care providers, there are many legitimate reasons for not prescribing the recommended treatment and these reasons are not always taken into account by external evaluators. The latter may cause mistrust of health care providers towards external stakeholders and limit the use of PQI in external quality improvement programs.
Prescribing quality indicators are considered to be an important tool for assessing quality of provided diabetes care by all participants, although the preferences for specific types of indicators may differ by stakeholder depending on their user aim. Introduction of information systems to register the reasons for deviating from the recommended drug treatment may contribute to a more widespread use of PQI for assessment of provided health care quality to diabetic patents. This study identified the potential preferences regarding quality indicators for diabetes care, and this could be used for development of questionnaires to conduct a survey among a larger group of participants.
To explore patients' and health professionals' experiences of initiating insulin as part of the Treating To Target in Type 2 Diabetes (4-T) randomized controlled trial.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Interviews were conducted with 45 trial participants and 21 health professionals and thematically analyzed.
Patients were generally psychologically insulin receptive when approached to participate in the 4-T trial. Their receptiveness arose largely from their personal experiences observing intensifying prior treatments and deteriorating blood glucose control over time, which led them to engage with and accept the idea that their diabetes was progressive. Health professionals also fostered receptiveness by drawing on their clinical experience to manage patients' anxieties about initiating insulin.
Previous studies may have overemphasized the problem of psychological insulin resistance and overlooked factors and treatment experiences that may promote insulin receptiveness among type 2 patients.