The Canadian healthcare system is currently experiencing important organizational transformations through the reform of primary healthcare (PHC). These reforms vary in scope but share a common feature of proposing the transformation of PHC organizations by implementing new models of PHC organization. These models vary in their performance with respect to client affiliation, utilization of services, experience of care and perceived outcomes of care.
In early 2005 we conducted a study in the two most populous regions of Quebec province (Montreal and Montérégie) which assessed the association between prevailing models of primary healthcare (PHC) and population-level experience of care. The goal of the present research project is to track the evolution of PHC organizational models and their relative performance through the reform process (from 2005 until 2010) and to assess factors at the organizational and contextual levels that are associated with the transformation of PHC organizations and their performance.
This study will consist of three interrelated surveys, hierarchically nested. The first survey is a population-based survey of randomly-selected adults from two populous regions in the province of Quebec. This survey will assess the current affiliation of people with PHC organizations, their level of utilization of healthcare services, attributes of their experience of care, reception of preventive and curative services and perception of unmet needs for care. The second survey is an organizational survey of PHC organizations assessing aspects related to their vision, organizational structure, level of resources, and clinical practice characteristics. This information will serve to develop a taxonomy of organizations using a mixed methods approach of factorial analysis and principal component analysis. The third survey is an assessment of the organizational context in which PHC organizations are evolving. The five year prospective period will serve as a natural experiment to assess contextual and organizational factors (in 2005) associated with migration of PHC organizational models into new forms or models (in 2010) and assess the impact of this evolution on the performance of PHC.
The results of this study will shed light on changes brought about in the organization of PHC and on factors associated with these changes.
To measure the association between primary healthcare (PHC) organizational types and patient coverage for clinical preventive services (CPS).
Study conducted in Quebec (2005), including a population-based survey of patients' experience of care (N=4,417) and a survey of PHC clinics.
Patient-reported CPS delivery rates and CPS coverage scores. Multiple logistic regressions used to assess factors associated with higher probability of receiving CPS.
CPS delivery rates were higher among patients with a regular source of PHC. Higher CPS score was associated with having a public (OR 1.79; 95% CI 1.35—2.37) or mixed (OR 1.22; 95% CI 1.01—1.48) type of organization as source of PHC compared to a private one, and having had a high number of visits to the regular source of PHC in the past two years (≤6: OR 1.83; 95% CI 1.41—2.38) compared to a single visit.
Public and mixed PHC organizations seem to perform better. CPS delivery is strongly associated with having a regular source of care.
Increasing access for citizens to health services, including dental care, is one of the primary targets of the Indonesian Ministry of Health. To assess progress toward this goal, we sought to describe the magnitude of unmet needs for dental care among Indonesians. Secondary data of nationally representative surveys conducted from 2003 to 2007 were analysed to describe the associations between unmet needs for dental care in different demographic groups. In average, 2.28% of the Indonesian population reported perceiving need for dental care and 0.74% reported utilizing dental care. The average of unmet need was 72.04%. Logistic regression analysis indicated that respondents who lived in rural areas, who were uninsured, had higher odds ratios in reporting unmet dental care needs. Perceived need for and utilization of dental care among Indonesians was found to be low. Moreover, the unmet need for dental care is relatively high.
Over the past decade, in the province of Quebec, Canada, the government has initiated two consecutive reforms. These have created a new type of primary healthcare – family medicine groups (FMGs) – and have established 95 geographically defined local health networks (LHNs) across the province. A key goal of these reforms was to improve collaboration among healthcare organizations. The objective of the paper is to analyze the impact of these reforms on the development of collaborations among primary healthcare practices and between these organisations and hospitals both within and outside administrative boundaries of the local health networks.
We surveyed 297 primary healthcare practices in 23 LHNs in Quebec’s two most populated regions (Montreal & Monteregie) in 2005 and 2010. We characterized collaborations by measuring primary healthcare practices’ formal or informal arrangements among themselves or with hospitals for different activities. These collaborations were measured based on the percentage of clinics that identified at least one collaborative activity with another organization within or outside of their local health network. We created measures of collaboration for different types of primary healthcare practices: first- and second-generation FMGs, network clinics, local community services centres (CLSCs) and private medical clinics. We compared their situations in 2005 and in 2010 to observe their evolution.
Our results showed different patterns of evolution in inter-organizational collaboration among different types of primary healthcare practices. The local health network reform appears to have had an impact on territorializing collaborations firstly by significantly reducing collaborations outside LHNs areas for all types of primary healthcare practices, including new type of primary healthcare and CLSCs, and secondly by improving collaborations among healthcare organizations within LHNs areas for all organizations. This is with the exception of private medical clinics, where collaborations decreased both outside and within LHNs.
Health system reforms aimed at creating geographically based networks influenced primary healthcare practices’ both among themselves (horizontal collaborations) and with hospitals (vertical collaborations). There is evidence of increased collaborations within defined geographic areas, particularly among new type of primary healthcare.
Primary care; Network; Inter-organization collaboration
Unmet healthcare needs - the difference between healthcare services deemed necessary to deal with a particular health problem and the actual services received - is commonly measured by the question, "During the past 12 months, was there ever a time when you felt that you needed healthcare, but you didn't receive it?" In 2003, unmet needs were reported by 10% of immigrants in Canada, yet, little is known specifically about Chinese- or Punjabi-speaking immigrants' perceptions and reporting of unmet needs. Our study examined: 1) How are unmet healthcare needs conceptualized among Chinese- and Punjabi-speaking immigrants? 2) Are their primary healthcare experiences related to their unmet healthcare needs?
Twelve focus groups (6 Chinese, 6 Punjabi; n = 78) were conducted in Chinese or Punjabi and socio-demographic and health data were collected. Thematic analysis of focus group data examined the perceptions of unmet needs and any relationship to primary healthcare experiences.
Our analysis revealed two overarching themes: 1) defining an unmet healthcare need and 2) identifying an unmet need. Participants had unmet healthcare needs in relation to barriers to accessing care, their lack of health system literacy, and when the health system was less responsive than their expectations.
Asking whether someone ever had a time when they needed healthcare but did not receive it can either underestimate or overestimate unmet need. Measuring unmet need using single items is likely insufficient since more detail in a revised set of questions could begin to clarify whether the reporting of an unmet need was based on an expectation or a clinical need. Who defines what an unmet healthcare need is depends on the context (insured versus uninsured health services, experience in two or more healthcare systems versus experience in one healthcare system) and who is defining it (provider, patient, insurer).
In this study, we compare self-perceived unmet need across Canadian provinces and assess how the reasons for unmet need – problems with availability, accessibility and acceptability – vary. This cross-sectional study uses data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (2.1) conducted in 2003. Overall, 11.7% perceived having had unmet healthcare needs in the previous 12 months. The adjusted provincial rates varied from 13.3% in Manitoba to 7.8% in Prince Edward Island. Among those reporting unmet health service needs, the leading reason was problems of availability of services (54.9%), followed by acceptability (42.8%) and accessibility related to cost or transportation (12.7%). Unmet need due to problems of availability was most likely in Quebec, Newfoundland and Manitoba, while Alberta and British Columbia had the highest likelihood of unmet need due to accessibility problems. Those in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba were more likely to report problems of acceptability. The reasons for unmet need vary across provinces, with each reason having different policy implications.
To examine whether fiduciary trust in a physician is related to unmet health care needs and delayed care among patients who have a regular physician, and to investigate whether the relationships between trust and unmet health care needs and delays in care are attenuated for disadvantaged patients who face structural obstacles to obtaining health care.
Data Sources/Study Setting
The 1998–1999 Community Tracking Study (CTS) Household Survey, a cross-sectional sample representative of the U.S. noninstitutionalized population. This study analyzes adults who usually see the same physician for their health care (n=29,994).
We estimated logistic regression models of the association of trust with unmet health care needs and delayed care. We tested interactions between trust and barriers to obtaining care, including minority race/ethnicity, poverty, and the absence of health insurance. Control variables included patients' sociodemographic characteristics, health status, satisfaction with the available choice of primary physicians, and the number of physician visits during the last year.
Patients' fiduciary trust in a physician is negatively associated with the likelihood of reporting delayed care and unmet health care needs among most patients. Among African Americans, Hispanics, the poor, and the uninsured, however, fiduciary trust is not significantly associated with the likelihood of delayed care. For unmet needs, only the uninsured have no significant association with trust.
Results show that trust is associated with improved chances of getting needed care across most subgroups of the population, although this relationship varies by subpopulation.
Unmet health care needs; delayed care; utilization of services; patient–physician trust; barriers to care
What did we do?
We reviewed the degree to which existing population-based data in Canada can be used to describe and report on primary healthcare (PHC) performance. We identified gaps in current data sources and made recommendations on how these gaps might be addressed to support quality improvement and public reporting for PHC.
What did we learn?
Population-based survey and administrative data are available to describe population characteristics and other contextual factors for PHC, as well as some aspects of the material, financial and human resources inputs, and selected activities and decisions at the policy, management and clinical levels. Existing data can also be used to describe some volumes and types of PHC outputs. However, we currently have limited population-based data to assess selected qualities of PHC services (e.g., coordination and interpersonal effectiveness) and most immediate outcomes of PHC. The ability to link data to assess outcomes and attribute changes in outcomes to PHC is limited. A full report describing more than 130 indicators from existing data sources and gaps in current data is available at www.chspr.ubc.ca.
What are the implications?
As we look to the future, there is a clear need to build on existing data sources to expand PHC data capacity in Canada. Data are needed to inform an understanding of PHC outputs, outcomes and the linkages among PHC dimensions. Commitment to a comprehensive PHC data collection strategy and information system is needed across Canadian provinces and territories to inform policy development and planning, to evaluate PHC redesign initiatives and to meet the accountability expectations of Canadians.
An understanding of the nature and magnitude of the impact of cancer is critical to planning how best to deliver supportive care to the growing population of cancer survivors whose need for care may span many years. This study aimed to describe the prevalence of and factors associated with moderate to high level unmet supportive care needs among adult cancer survivors six months after diagnosis.
A population-based sample of adult cancer survivors diagnosed with one of the eight most incident cancers in Australia was recruited from two state-based cancer registries. Data for 1323 survivors were obtained by self-report questionnaire and linkage with cancer registry data. Unmet needs were assessed by the 34-item Supportive Care Needs Survey (SCNS-SF34). The data were examined using chi-square and multiple logistic regression analyses.
A total of 444 (37%) survivors reported at least one ‘moderate to high’ level unmet need and 496 (42%) reported ‘no need’ for help. Moderate to high level unmet needs were most commonly reported in the psychological (25%) and physical aspects of daily living (20%) domains. The five most frequently endorsed items of moderate to high unmet need were concerns about the worries of those close to them (15%), fears about the cancer spreading (14%), not being able to do the things they used to do (13%), uncertainty about the future (13%) and lack of energy/tiredness (12%). Survivors’ psychological characteristics were the strongest indicators of unmet need, particularly caseness for anxious preoccupation coping which was associated (OR = 2.2-5.9) with unmet need for help across all domains.
Unmet supportive care needs are prevalent among a subgroup of survivors transitioning from active treatment to survivorship, although lower than previously reported. In addition to coping support, valuable insight about how to prevent or address survivors’ unmet needs could be gained by examining the substantial proportion of survivors who report no unmet needs.
To determine the degree of disparity in unmet healthcare needs between people with disabilities and the general population in South Korea, and to analyze their perspective reasons.
Survey results of 9,744 subjects that participated in the 4th Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and 7,000 people that participated in the 2008 Survey of Disabled people were used in this population-based cross-sectional study. Unmet healthcare needs were identified as reporting experience during the last 12 months when there was a need to see a doctor, but were unable to get it. We assessed unmet healthcare needs by demographic variables, social variables and characteristics of disability. Chi-square test and logistic regression were used to determine which variables were related to unmet healthcare needs.
A total of 22.1% of people with disabilities and 22.8% of the general population had unmet healthcare needs. However, brain impairment (25.3%) and physical impairment (25.2%) had more unmet healthcare needs than the general population and other disabilities. Unmet healthcare needs of people with disabilities was related to sex, age, self-perceived health, marital status, income, occupation and category of disability. Whereas the reasons for unmet healthcare needs in people with disabilities were lack of money (57.3%) and inaccessible transportation (12.8%), those for the general population were no available time (30.2%) and mild symptoms (23.8%).
Brain and physical impairment cases with limitations to accessible transportation had the higher unmet healthcare needs. In addition, the reasons for people with these disabilities were more environmental than
those of the general population.
Disabled persons; Population surveillance; Needs assessment
In the light of the universal healthcare coverage that was achieved in Thailand in 2002, policy makers have raised concerns about whether there is still unmet need within the population. Our objectives were to assess the annual prevalence, characteristics and reasons for unmet healthcare need in the Thai population in 2010 and to compare our findings with relevant international literature.
A standard set of OECD unmet need questionnaires was used in a nationally-representative household survey conducted in 2010 by the National Statistical Office. The prevalence of unmet need among respondents with various socio-economic characteristics was estimated to determine an inequity in the unmet need and the reasons behind it.
The annual prevalence of unmet need for outpatient and inpatient services in 2010 was 1.4% and 0.4%, respectively. Despite this low prevalence, there are inequities with relatively higher proportion of the unmet need among Universal Coverage Scheme members, and the poor and rural populations. There was less unmet need due to cost than there was due to geographical barriers. The prevalence of unmet need due to cost and geographical barriers among the richest and poorest quintiles were comparable to those of selected OECD countries. The geographical extension of healthcare infrastructure and of the distribution of health workers is a major contributing factor to the low prevalence of unmet need.
The low prevalence of unmet need for both outpatient and inpatient services is a result of the availability of well-functioning health services at the most peripheral level, and of the comprehensive benefit package offered free of charge by all health insurance schemes. This assessment prompts a need for regular monitoring of unmet need in nationally-representative household surveys.
Unmet need; Inequity; Access to healthcare; Health policies
Despite Canada’s universal health insurance coverage, many Canadians still report an unmet need for health care. I investigated whether not having prescription drug insurance increases the likelihood of reporting an unmet need for health care. I hypothesized that people without prescription drug insurance would be more likely than those with insurance to report an unmet health care need.
I included 31 630 people in Ontario 64 years of age or younger who had participated in the Canadian Community Health Survey Cycle 3.1. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to obtain an adjusted odds ratio (OR) for the association between having prescription drug insurance and reporting an unmet need for health care in the past 12 months, adjusting for age, sex, socio-economic status, health status and having a regular medical doctor. The reasons for reporting an unmet need for care were stratified into reasons related or not related to prescription drug insurance. Three separate multivariate logistic regressions were performed to obtain an adjusted OR for the association between prescription drug insurance and unmet need based on the reasons for reporting unmet need.
Not having prescription drug insurance that covers all or part of prescription medication costs increased the likelihood of reporting an unmet need for health care services (adjusted OR 1.27, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.16–1.39). Not having such insurance significantly increased the likelihood of reporting an unmet need for health care for reasons that were related to prescription drug insurance (adjusted OR 2.21, 95% CI 1.80–2.71). This relation was not significant when the analysis was restricted to people who reported unmet need for health care for reasons that did not relate to prescription drug insurance (adjusted OR 1.12, 95% CI 1.00–1.23).
These results suggest an association between a lack of prescription drug coverage and reporting an unmet need for health care. This association warrants further investigation.
Recent health care reform policies focus on finding the best medical home for everyone. Less is known about how the stability of a usual source of care (USC) over time impacts on structural access to care.
To examine the prevalence of USC changes among a low-income population of children, and how these changes were associated with unmet need.
Design and Methods
Cross-sectional, multivariable analyses of mail-return survey data from Oregon's food stamp program in January 2005. Results from 2,681 completed surveys were weighted back to a population of 84,087 families with adjustments for oversampling and non-response. The independent variable: whether a child had ever been required to change USC for insurance reasons. Dependent variables included: parents report of unmet medical need, unmet prescription need, missed medication doses, delayed urgent care, no ambulatory visits; and problems obtaining dental care, specialty care and counseling.
Nearly 23% of children had changed their USC due to insurance reasons, and 10% had no current USC. Compared to children who had maintained a stable USC, children who had changed their USC due to insurance reasons had higher rates of unmet medical need (unadjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.69, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.83, 3.29); unmet prescription need (OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.31, 2.61); delayed care (OR 1.87, 95% CI 1.21, 2.89); and reported more problems obtaining dental care (OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.20, 2.31) and counseling (OR 3.22, 95% CI 1.53, 6.77).
This study highlights the importance of ensuring stability with a USC. In our zeal to move people into new medical homes, we need to be wary of harming quality by disturbing existing care relationships, thus merely creating “temporary housing.”
access to health care; pediatrics; health insurance; delivery of health care; primary care; continuity of patient care
One important goal of strengthening and renewal in primary healthcare (PHC) is achieving health equity, particularly for vulnerable populations. There has been a flurry of international activity toward the establishment of indicators relevant to measuring and monitoring PHC. Yet, little attention has been paid to whether current indicators: 1) are sensitive enough to detect inequities in processes or outcomes of care, particularly in relation to the health needs of vulnerable groups or 2) adequately capture the complexity of delivering PHC services across diverse groups. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the discourse regarding what ought to be considered a PHC indicator and to provide some concrete examples illustrating the need for modification and development of new indicators given the goal of PHC achieving health equity.
Within the context of a larger study of PHC delivery at two Health Centers serving people facing multiple disadvantages, a mixed methods ethnographic design was used. Three sets of data collected included: (a) participant observation data focused on the processes of PHC delivery, (b) interviews with Health Center staff, and (c) interviews with patients.
Thematic analysis suggests there is a disjuncture between clinical work addressing the complex needs of patients facing multiple vulnerabilities such as extreme levels of poverty, multiple chronic conditions, and lack of housing and extant indicators and how they are measured. Items could better measure and monitor performance at the management level including, what is delivered (e.g., focus on social determinants of health) and how services are delivered to socially disadvantaged populations (e.g., effective use of space, expectation for all staff to have welcoming and mutually respectful interactions). New indicators must be developed to capture inputs (e.g., stability of funding sources) and outputs (e.g., whole person care) in ways that better align with care provided to marginalized populations.
The current emphasis on achieving greater equity through PHC, the continued calls for the renewal and strengthening of PHC, and the use of monitoring and performance indicators highlight the relevance of ensuring that there are more accurate methods to capture the complex work of PHC organizations.
The authors' findings suggest directions for service provision and development of standards for quality care in adult leukemia and lymphoma survivors.
To examine and characterize the psychosocial and health service needs of adult leukemia and lymphoma survivors who had completed active treatment within the past 4 years.
Self-report surveys were completed by 477 survivors, age 18 to 85 years, to identify areas and correlates of unmet psychosocial, health, and instrumental service needs. Unmet service needs were rank ordered, and nonparametric tests were run to assess relationships.
The rate of unmet need was highest regarding sexual issues, handling medical and living expenses, emotional difficulties, employment, and health insurance. Women were more likely to report unmet child care needs than men; younger individuals were more likely to report needing help with emotional difficulties and family problems; and lower income was related to greater unmet need regarding medical and living expenses. Relationships were also observed among the service needs, suggesting overlapping areas of unmet need.
Adult leukemia and lymphoma survivors demonstrated a diverse range of needs, many of which were related to the psychosocial and physical sequelae of cancer. The findings suggest directions for service provision and development of standards for quality care in this underserved post-treatment population.
Quality improvement is attracting the attention of the primary health care system as a means by which to achieve higher quality patient care. Ontario, Canada has demonstrated leadership in terms of its improvement in healthcare, but the province lacks a structured framework by which it can consistently evaluate its quality improvement initiatives specific to the primary healthcare system. The intent of this research was to complete an environmental scan and capacity map of quality improvement activities being built in and by the primary healthcare sector (QI-PHC) in Ontario as a first step to developing a coordinated and sustainable framework of primary healthcare for the province.
Data were collected between January and July 2011 in collaboration with an advisory group of stakeholder representatives and quality improvement leaders in primary health care. Twenty participants were interviewed by telephone, followed by review of relevant websites and documents identified in the interviews. Data were systematically examined using Framework Analysis augmented by Prior’s approach to document analysis in an iterative process.
The environmental scan identified many activities (n = 43) designed to strategically build QI-PHC capacity, identify promising QI-PHC practices and outcomes, scale up quality improvement-informed primary healthcare practice changes, and make quality improvement a core organizational strategy in health care delivery, which were grouped into clusters. Cluster 1 was composed of initiatives in the form of on-going programs that deliberately incorporated long-term quality improvement capacity building through province-wide reach. Cluster 2 represented activities that were time-limited (research, pilot, or demonstration projects) with the primary aim of research production. The activities of most primary health care practitioners, managers, stakeholder organizations and researchers involved in this scan demonstrated a shared vision of QI-PHC in Ontario. However, this vision was not necessarily collaboratively developed nor were activities necessarily strategically linked.
Within the scope of this research, the scan affirmed that there is currently no province-wide, integrated, and measured quality improvement program for the primary healthcare sector in Ontario. This could be improved by the development of a coordinated plan, an accompanying accountability framework, and an appropriate sustainable funding envelope for QI-PHC at the provincial level.
Quality improvement; Primary healthcare; Human resources; Environmental scan; Policy analysis
The Quebec health care system, founded in 1970 as a public, single payer, state run system had by 2004 reached a turning point. Rising costs, working in silos, difficulty accessing physicians, increased waiting time for diagnostic imaging and surgical intervention led policy makers and politicians to propose a new model for the organisation and delivery of care.
Based on populational responsibility and the clear distinction between a community primary care and specialised services a new model was proposed to develop integrated health networks. The 7.2 million population of Quebec was divided into 95 territories. 95 Health and social service centres were created by merging a community hospital, rehab centre, long-term care centres, home care and primary care services into a single institution with a new CEO and board of directors. These new networks received the mandate to manage the health and well being of their population, to manage the utilisation of services by their population and to manage all primary care services on their territory.
The implementation of a chronic care model, the development of primary care multidisciplinary teams, empowering the population and performance management, are the key elements of Montreal's vision in implementing the Reform.
After three years of operation the results are promising.
chronic care model; integrated health care networks; Canada
An audit was undertaken to determine how well a primary care team supported lay carers of the demented elderly. The following standards were set: (1) primary care teams should know of the existence of symptomatic demented elderly patients in the community; (2) lay carers should be knowledgeable about dementia; and (3) the resources which the lay carers felt they needed should be supplied unless they were unavailable.
The primary care team knew of the existence of all symptomatic demented elderly patients in the practice but lay carers lacked knowledge about dementia and had unmet needs. Giving lay carers a booklet about dementia and reporting their unmet needs to the primary care team led to improvements in standards 2 and 3. In addition, stress among lay carers was reduced. In spite of a reduction in the number of carers' unmet needs, there was no overall change in the use of available resources following intervention.
It is concluded that structured support is necessary and worthwhile in order to provide effective support for lay carers of the demented elderly in the practice.
Oral health is an essential component of general health and well-being, yet dental access barriers and unmet needs are pronounced, particularly in rural areas. Despite associations with systemic health, few studies have assessed unmet dental needs across the lifespan as they present in primary care. This study describes the prevalence of oral health conditions and unmet dental needs among patients presenting for routine care in a rural Oregon family medicine practice.
Eight primary care clinicians were trained to conduct basic oral health screenings for seven dental conditions associated with ICD-9-CM codes. During the 6-week study period patients over 12 months in age who presented to the practice for a regularly scheduled appointment received the screening and completed a brief dental access survey.
Of 1655 eligible patients, 40.7% (n = 674) received the screening and 66.9% (n = 1108) completed the survey. Half of the patients screened (46.0%, n = 310) had oral health conditions detected, including: partial edentulism (24.5%), dental caries (12.9%), complete edentulism (9.9%), and cracked teeth (8.9%). Twenty eight percent of the patients reported experiencing unmet dental needs. Patients with dental insurance were significantly more likely to report better oral and general health outcomes as compared to those with no insurance or health insurance only.
Oral health disease and unmet dental needs are substantial as they present in one rural primary care practice across the lifespan. Primary care settings may present opportune environments for reaching patients who are unable to obtain regular dental care.
There is growing evidence that patients frequently bypass primary health care (PHC) facilities in favour of higher level hospitals regardless of substantial additional time and costs. Among the reasons given for bypassing are poor services (including lack of drugs and diagnostic facilities) and lack of trust in health workers. The World Health Report 2008 “PHC now more than ever” pointed to the importance of organizing health services around people’s needs and expectations as one of the four main issues of PHC reforms. There is limited documentation of user’s expectations to services offered at PHC facilities. The current study is a community extension of a hospital-based survey that showed a high bypassing frequency of PHC facilities among caretakers seeking care for their underfive children at two district hospitals. We aimed to explore caretakers’ perceptions and expectations to services offered at PHC facilities in their area with reference to their experiences seeking care at such facilities.
We conducted four community-based focus group discussions (FGD’s) with 47 caretakers of underfive children in Muheza district of Tanga region, Tanzania in October 2009.
Lack of clinical examinations and laboratory tests, combined with shortage of drugs and health workers, were common experiences. Across all the focus group discussions, unpleasant health workers’ behaviors, lack of urgency and unnecessary delays were major complaints. In some places, unauthorized fees reduced access to services.
The study revealed significant disappointments among caretakers with regard to the quality of services offered at PHC facilities in their areas, with implications for their utilization and proper functioning of the referral system. Practices regarding partial drugs administrations, skipping of injections, unofficial payments and consultations by unskilled health care providers need urgent action. There is also a need for proper accountability mechanisms to govern appropriate allocation and monitoring of health care resources and services in Tanzania.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death throughout the world. PHC doctors are in a unique position to prevent CHD and promote health in the population. However, the perception of PHC doctors on CHD prevention has not been well documented.
To explore and examine the perception of PHC doctors on the prevention of CHD. Subject and method: A questionnaire survey of all PHC doctors attending a continuing medical education (CME) activity in Riyadh city. The questionnaire was designed and piloted with local PHC doctors before being used in this survey.
All the 77 PHC doctors responded (100%) and almost all the them (97.4%) agreed that the primary prevention of CHD was an essential task. Fifty-two participants (67.53%) confirmed that little attention had been paid to the primary prevention of CHD. While the majority of respondents (71.43%) felt that the primary prevention of CHD was an easy task, a significant minority (23.37%) disagreed. Interestingly, 70 (90.91%) respondents were not aware of any local literature on how to achieve primary prevention of CHD and would like to have the literature made available to them. Finally, participants indicated that the percentage prevalence of CHD risk factors among their patients was high.
the findings of this survey confirm a general feeling that the primary prevention of CHD is not being given enough attention. Participants accepted that the primary prevention of CHD was an essential part of their work, but the lack of local literature and research on this vital area was a major concern.
Opinion of PHC doctors; Prevention and prevalence of CHD
Previous studies have demonstrated a strong association between minority race, low socioeconomic status (SES), and lack of potential access to care (e.g., no insurance coverage and no regular source of care) and poor receipt of health care services. Most studies have examined the independent effects of these risk factors for poor access, but more practical models are needed to account for the clustering of multiple risks.
To present a profile of risk factors for poor access based on income, insurance coverage, and having a regular source of care, and examine the association of the profiles with unmet health care needs due to cost. Relationships are examined by race/ethnicity.
Analysis of 32,374 adults from the 2000 National Health Interview Survey.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Reported unmet needs due to cost: missing/delaying needed medical care, and delaying obtaining prescriptions, mental health care, or dental care.
Controlling for personal demographic and community factors, individuals who were low income, uninsured, and had no regular source of care were more likely to miss or delay needed health care services due to cost. After controlling for these risk factors, whites were more likely than other racial/ethnic groups to report unmet needs. When presented as a risk profile, a clear gradient existed in the likelihood of having an unmet need according to the number of risk factors, regardless of racial/ethnic group.
Unmet health care needs due to cost increased with higher risk profiles for each racial and ethnic group. Without attention to these co-occurring risk factors for poor access, it is unlikely that substantial reductions in disparities will be made in assuring access to needed health care services among vulnerable populations.
race/ethnicity; SES; vulnerability; access to care; disparities
Medical homes, an important component of U.S. health reform, were first developed to help families of children with special health care needs (CSHCN) find and coordinate services, and reduce their children’s unmet need for health services. We hypothesize that CSHCN lacking medical homes are more likely than those with medical homes to report health system delivery or coverage problems as the specific reasons for unmet need.
Data are from the 2005-2006 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NS-CSHCN), a national, population-based survey of 40,723 CSHCN. We studied whether lacking a medical home was associated with 9 specific reasons for unmet need for 11 types of medical services, controlling for health insurance, child’s health, and sociodemographic characteristics.
Weighted to the national population, 17% of CSHCN reported at least one unmet health service need in the previous year. CSHCN without medical homes were 2 to 3 times as likely to report unmet need for child or family health services, and more likely to report no referral (OR= 3.3), dissatisfaction with provider (OR=2.5), service not available in area (OR= 2.1), can’t find provider who accepts insurance (OR=1.8), and health plan problems (OR=1.4) as reasons for unmet need (all p<0.05).
CSHCN without medical homes were more likely than those with medical homes to report health system delivery or coverage reasons for unmet child health service needs. Attributable risk estimates suggest that if the 50% of CSHCN who lacked medical homes had one, overall unmet need for child health services could be reduced by as much as 35% and unmet need for family health services by 40%.
Assess the attitude and practice of Primary Health Care (PHC) physicians in Aseer region, their educational needs and recommendations to establish a continuing medical education program (CMEP) to address these needs.
This study was carried out during the first half of 1999 in Aseer region, Saudi Arabia. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to all PHC physicians in Aseer region. The questionnaire explored socio-demographic characteristics, scientific background, the attitude towards CME, the current method for medical updating, the barriers to CME, and the topics requested for a future CMEP.
There were a total of 383 PHC physicians in Aseer region, 86% of whom responded to this questionnaire. Of these 76.1% were Arabs, 91.2% were married, 26.3% had post-graduate qualifications and 68.6% had had no experience in the PHC field prior to arriving in Saudi Arabia. Most respondents showed a positive attitude toward CME. Nearly two-thirds (64.4%) had adequate time for CME, 86.7% allocated time for CME, and 64.4% were ready to participate as tutors in CMEP. Suggestions were given by 49.6% for establishing a CMEP in the region. The most popular methods practiced for CME were reading medical journals (79.8%) and medical textbooks (53.8%), and attending training courses (39.6%). The medical subjects that were identified as needed were emergency medicine (24.5%), pediatrics (20.8%), internal medicine (20%), and obstetrics/ gynecology (18.7%). However, 75.2% also indicated that computer literacy was a practice requirement, 57.7 and 54.1% thought designing diabetes and hypertension management programs were vital, and 41.7% said learning how to design a PHCC action plan was essential.
PHC physicians in Aseer region had a positive attitude towards selective CMEP. They needed CMEP but felt its content should be in line with their practice needs.
Attitude assessment; practice needs; CME; primary care physicians; Aseer region
Introduction. Solo practices have generally been viewed as forming a homogeneous group. However, they may differ on many characteristics. The objective of this paper is to identify different forms of solo practice and to determine the extent to which they are associated with patient experience of care. Methods. Two surveys were carried out in two regions of Quebec in 2010: a telephone survey of 9180 respondents from the general population and a postal survey of 606 primary healthcare (PHC) practices. Data from the two surveys were linked through the respondent's usual source of care. A taxonomy of solo practices was constructed (n = 213), using cluster analysis techniques. Bivariate and multilevel analyses were used to determine the relationship of the taxonomy with patient experience of care. Results. Four models were derived from the taxonomy. Practices in the “resourceful networked” model contrast with those of the “resourceless isolated” model to the extent that the experience of care reported by their patients is more favorable. Conclusion. Solo practice is not a homogeneous group. The four models identified have different organizational features and their patients' experience of care also differs. Some models seem to offer a better organizational potential in the context of current reforms.