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1.  Interactions between Non-Physician Clinicians and Industry: A Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(11):e1001561.
In a systematic review of studies of interactions between non-physician clinicians and industry, Quinn Grundy and colleagues found that many of the issues identified for physicians' industry interactions exist for non-physician clinicians.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
With increasing restrictions placed on physician–industry interactions, industry marketing may target other health professionals. Recent health policy developments confer even greater importance on the decision making of non-physician clinicians. The purpose of this systematic review is to examine the types and implications of non-physician clinician–industry interactions in clinical practice.
Methods and Findings
We searched MEDLINE and Web of Science from January 1, 1946, through June 24, 2013, according to PRISMA guidelines. Non-physician clinicians eligible for inclusion were: Registered Nurses, nurse prescribers, Physician Assistants, pharmacists, dieticians, and physical or occupational therapists; trainee samples were excluded. Fifteen studies met inclusion criteria. Data were synthesized qualitatively into eight outcome domains: nature and frequency of industry interactions; attitudes toward industry; perceived ethical acceptability of interactions; perceived marketing influence; perceived reliability of industry information; preparation for industry interactions; reactions to industry relations policy; and management of industry interactions. Non-physician clinicians reported interacting with the pharmaceutical and infant formula industries. Clinicians across disciplines met with pharmaceutical representatives regularly and relied on them for practice information. Clinicians frequently received industry “information,” attended sponsored “education,” and acted as distributors for similar materials targeted at patients. Clinicians generally regarded this as an ethical use of industry resources, and felt they could detect “promotion” while benefiting from industry “information.” Free samples were among the most approved and common ways that clinicians interacted with industry. Included studies were observational and of varying methodological rigor; thus, these findings may not be generalizable. This review is, however, the first to our knowledge to provide a descriptive analysis of this literature.
Non-physician clinicians' generally positive attitudes toward industry interactions, despite their recognition of issues related to bias, suggest that industry interactions are normalized in clinical practice across non-physician disciplines. Industry relations policy should address all disciplines and be implemented consistently in order to mitigate conflicts of interest and address such interactions' potential to affect patient care.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Making and selling health care goods (including drugs and devices) and services is big business. To maximize the profits they make for their shareholders, companies involved in health care build relationships with physicians by providing information on new drugs, organizing educational meetings, providing samples of their products, giving gifts, and holding sponsored events. These relationships help to keep physicians informed about new developments in health care but also create the potential for causing harm to patients and health care systems. These relationships may, for example, result in increased prescription rates of new, heavily marketed medications, which are often more expensive than their generic counterparts (similar unbranded drugs) and that are more likely to be recalled for safety reasons than long-established drugs. They may also affect the provision of health care services. Industry is providing an increasingly large proportion of routine health care services in many countries, so relationships built up with physicians have the potential to influence the commissioning of the services that are central to the treatment and well-being of patients.
Why Was This Study Done?
As a result of concerns about the tension between industry's need to make profits and the ethics underlying professional practice, restrictions are increasingly being placed on physician–industry interactions. In the US, for example, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act now requires US manufacturers of drugs, devices, and medical supplies that participate in federal health care programs to disclose all payments and gifts made to physicians and teaching hospitals. However, other health professionals, including those with authority to prescribe drugs such as pharmacists, Physician Assistants, and nurse practitioners are not covered by this legislation or by similar legislation in other settings, even though the restructuring of health care to prioritize primary care and multidisciplinary care models means that “non-physician clinicians” are becoming more numerous and more involved in decision-making and medication management. In this systematic review (a study that uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic), the researchers examine the nature and implications of the interactions between non-physician clinicians and industry.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 15 published studies that examined interactions between non-physician clinicians (Registered Nurses, nurse prescribers, midwives, pharmacists, Physician Assistants, and dieticians) and industry (corporations that produce health care goods and services). They extracted the data from 16 publications (representing 15 different studies) and synthesized them qualitatively (combined the data and reached word-based, rather than numerical, conclusions) into eight outcome domains, including the nature and frequency of interactions, non-physician clinicians' attitudes toward industry, and the perceived ethical acceptability of interactions. In the research the authors identified, non-physician clinicians reported frequent interactions with the pharmaceutical and infant formula industries. Most non-physician clinicians met industry representatives regularly, received gifts and samples, and attended educational events or received educational materials (some of which they distributed to patients). In these studies, non-physician clinicians generally regarded these interactions positively and felt they were an ethical and appropriate use of industry resources. Only a minority of non-physician clinicians felt that marketing influenced their own practice, although a larger percentage felt that their colleagues would be influenced. A sizeable proportion of non-physician clinicians questioned the reliability of industry information, but most were confident that they could detect biased information and therefore rated this information as reliable, valuable, or useful.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These and other findings suggest that non-physician clinicians generally have positive attitudes toward industry interactions but recognize issues related to bias and conflict of interest. Because these findings are based on a small number of studies, most of which were undertaken in the US, they may not be generalizable to other countries. Moreover, they provide no quantitative assessment of the interaction between non-physician clinicians and industry and no information about whether industry interactions affect patient care outcomes. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that industry interactions are normalized (seen as standard) in clinical practice across non-physician disciplines. This normalization creates the potential for serious risks to patients and health care systems. The researchers suggest that it may be unrealistic to expect that non-physician clinicians can be taught individually how to interact with industry ethically or how to detect and avert bias, particularly given the ubiquitous nature of marketing and promotional materials. Instead, they suggest, the environment in which non-physician clinicians practice should be structured to mitigate the potentially harmful effects of interactions with industry.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by James S. Yeh and Aaron S. Kesselheim
The American Medical Association provides guidance for physicians on interactions with pharmaceutical industry representatives, information about the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, and a toolkit for preparing Physician Payments Sunshine Act reports
The International Council of Nurses provides some guidance on industry interactions in its position statement on nurse-industry relations
The UK General Medical Council provides guidance on financial and commercial arrangements and conflicts of interest as part of its good medical practice website, which describes what is required of all registered doctors in the UK
Understanding and Responding to Pharmaceutical Promotion: A Practical Guide is a manual prepared by Health Action International and the World Health Organization that schools of medicine and pharmacy can use to train students how to recognize and respond to pharmaceutical promotion.
The Institute of Medicine's Report on Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice recommends steps to identify, limit, and manage conflicts of interest
The University of California, San Francisco, Office of Continuing Medical Education offers a course called Marketing of Medicines
PMCID: PMC3841103  PMID: 24302892
2.  Using Latent Class Analysis to Identify Sophistication Categories of Electronic Medical Record Systems in U.S. Acute Care Hospitals 
Social science computer review  2013;31(2):10.1177/0894439312448726.
Many believe that electronic medical record systems hold promise for improving the quality of health care services. The body of research on this topic is still in the early stages, however, in part because of the challenge of measuring the capabilities of electronic medical record systems. The purpose of this study was to identify classes of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system sophistication in hospitals as well as hospital characteristics associated with the sophistication categories. The data used were from the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS). The sample included acute care hospitals in the United States with 50 beds or more. We used latent class analysis to identify the sophistication classes and logistic regression to identify relationships between these classes and hospital characteristics. Our study identifies cumulative categories of EMR sophistication: ancillary-based, ancillary/data aggregation, and ancillary-to-bedside. Rural hospital EMRs are likely to be ancillary-based, while hospitals in a network are likely to have either ancillary-based or ancillary-to-bedside EMRs. Future research should explore the effect of network membership on EMR system development.
PMCID: PMC3826986  PMID: 24244071
Electronic Medical Records; Electronic Health Records; Hospitals; Diffusion of Innovation
3.  Survey of nonphysician tasks performed by medicine residents at a municipal hospital. 
In June 1988, the New York State Hospital Review and Planning Council approved major revisions in the state hospital code (Part 405). Among the most controversial of these changes were the recommendations of the Bell Commission concerning limitations on resident work hours, new emergency service requirements, and enhancements in ancillary staffing. The ancillary staffing mandated by the new code regulations for teaching hospitals include the provision at all times of intravenous services, phlebotomy services, messenger services, transport services, nurses aides, housekeeping services, and other ancillary support in a manner sufficient to meet patient care needs and to prevent adverse impact on the delivery of medical and nursing care. The intent of the new health code requirements is to reduce or eliminate many of the nonphysician tasks performed by residents so as to effectively reduce their workload. We conducted a survey of Medicine residents at Queens Hospital Center to assess the amount of time they presently devote to nonphysician tasks, their perceptions of the need for ancillary staff to relieve them of the burden of these nonphysician tasks, and their evaluation of the effectiveness of a recently instituted intravenous therapy team.
PMCID: PMC2626996  PMID: 2213911
4.  The Economic Benefits Resulting from the First 8 Years of the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (2000–2007) 
Between 2000–2007, the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) delivered more than 1.9 billion treatments to nearly 600 million individuals via annual mass drug administration (MDA) of anti-filarial drugs (albendazole, ivermectin, diethylcarbamazine) to all at-risk for 4–6 years. Quantifying the resulting economic benefits of this significant achievement is important not only to justify the resources invested in the GPELF but also to more fully understand the Programme's overall impact on some of the poorest endemic populations.
To calculate the economic benefits, the number of clinical manifestations averted was first quantified and the savings associated with this disease prevention then analyzed in the context of direct treatment costs, indirect costs of lost-labor, and costs to the health system to care for affected individuals. Multiple data sources were reviewed, including published literature and databases from the World Health Organization, International Monetary Fund, and International Labour Organization
Principal Findings
An estimated US$21.8 billion of direct economic benefits will be gained over the lifetime of 31.4 million individuals treated during the first 8 years of the GPELF. Of this total, over US$2.3 billion is realized by the protection of nearly 3 million newborns and other individuals from acquiring lymphatic filariasis as a result of their being born into areas freed of LF transmission. Similarly, more than 28 million individuals already infected with LF benefit from GPELF's halting the progression of their disease, which results in an associated lifetime economic benefit of approximately US$19.5 billion. In addition to these economic benefits to at-risk individuals, decreased patient services associated with reduced LF morbidity saves the health systems of endemic countries approximately US$2.2 billion.
MDA for LF offers significant economic benefits. Moreover, with favorable program implementation costs (largely a result of the sustained commitments of donated drugs from the pharmaceutical industry) it is clear that the economic rate of return of the GPELF is extremely high and that this Programme continues to prove itself an excellent investment in global health.
Author Summary
Lymphatic filariasis (LF), commonly known as ‘elephantiasis’, is one of the world's most debilitating infectious diseases. In 83 countries worldwide, more than 1.3 billion people are at risk of infection with an estimated 120 million individuals already infected. A recent publication reviewing the health impact of the first 8 years of the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) demonstrated the enormous health benefits achieved in populations receiving annual mass drug administration (MDA), as a result of infection prevented, disease progression halted, and ancillary treatment of co-infections. To date, however, no studies have estimated the economic value of these health benefits, either to the individuals or the societies afflicted with LF. Our study estimates that US$21.8 billion will be gained among individuals benefitting from just the first 8 years of the Global Programme, and an additional US$2.2 billion will be saved by the health systems of endemic countries. Treating endemic populations is possible at very low cost – particularly because of the generous drug donations from two pharmaceutical companies – but results in enormous economic benefits. Findings from this study yield a much clearer understanding the GPELF's full economic impact and strengthen the conviction that it is a ‘best buy’ in global health.
PMCID: PMC2879371  PMID: 20532228
5.  Impact of prenatal care provider on the use of ancillary health services during pregnancy 
Recent declines in the provision of prenatal care by family physicians and the integration of midwives into the Canadian health care system have led to a shift in the pattern of prenatal care provision; however it is unknown if this also impacts use of other health services during pregnancy. This study aimed to assess the impact of the type of prenatal care provider on the self-reported use of ancillary services during pregnancy.
Data for this study was obtained from the All Our Babies study, a community-based prospective cohort study of women’s experiences during pregnancy and the post-partum period. Chi-square tests and logistic regression were used to assess the association between type of prenatal care provider and use of ancillary health services in pregnancy.
During pregnancy, 85.8% of women reported accessing ancillary health services. Compared to women who received prenatal care from a family physician, women who saw a midwife were less likely to call a nurse telephone advice line (OR = 0.30, 95% CI: 0.18-0.50) and visit the emergency department (OR = 0.47, 95% CI: 0.24-0.89), but were more likely receive chiropractic care (OR = 4.07, 95% CI: 2.49-6.67). Women who received their prenatal care from an obstetrician were more likely to visit a walk-in clinic (OR = 1.51, 95% CI: 1.11-2.05) than those who were cared for by a family physician.
Prenatal care is a complex entity and referral pathways between care providers and services are not always clear. This can lead to the provision of fragmented care and create opportunities for errors and loss of information. All types of care providers have a role in addressing the full range of health needs that pregnant women experience.
PMCID: PMC3599935  PMID: 23497179
Physician practice patterns; Pregnancy; Health services research
6.  Medical and psychosocial services in drug abuse treatment: do stronger linkages promote client utilization? 
Health Services Research  2000;35(2):443-465.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the extent to which linkage mechanisms (on-site delivery, external arrangements, case management, and transportation assistance) are associated with increased utilization of medical and psychosocial services in outpatient drug abuse treatment units. DATA SOURCES: Survey of administrative directors and clinical supervisors from a nationally representative sample of 597 outpatient drug abuse treatment units in 1995. STUDY DESIGN: We generated separate two-stage multivariate generalized linear models to evaluate the correlation of on-site service delivery, formal external arrangements (joint program/venture or contract), referral agreements, case management, and transportation with the percentage of clients reported to have utilized eight services: physical examinations, routine medical care, tuberculosis screening, HIV treatment, mental health care, employment counseling, housing assistance, and financial counseling services. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: On-site service delivery and transportation assistance were significantly associated with higher levels of client utilization of ancillary services. Referral agreements and formal external arrangements had no detectable relationship to most service utilization. On-site case management was related to increased clients' use of routine medical care, financial counseling, and housing assistance, but off-site case management was not correlated with utilization of most services. CONCLUSIONS: On-site service delivery appears to be the most reliable mechanism to link drug abuse treatment clients to ancillary services, while referral agreements and formal external mechanisms offer little detectable advantage over ad hoc referral. On-site case management might facilitate utilization of some services, but transportation seems a more important linkage mechanism overall. These findings imply that initiatives and policies to promote linkage of such clients to medical and psychosocial services should emphasize on-site service delivery, transportation and, for some services, on-site case management.
PMCID: PMC1089128  PMID: 10857471
7.  The relationship of hospital ownership and service composition to hospital charges 
Health Care Financing Review  1985;6(3):51-58.
The relationship of hospital ownership and service composition to hospital charges was examined for 456 general acute hospitals in California. Ancillary services had higher profit margins, both gross and net profits, than daily hospital services. Ancillary services accounted for 55.3 percent of total patient revenue. Charges per day were 23 percent higher for ancillary services than for daily hospital services. Net profits for daily and ancillary services were lowest at county hospitals. Proprietary hospitals had the highest net profits for total ancillary services and the highest mean charges. Not-for-profit hospitals had the highest profit margins for daily hospital services. Neither direct nor total costs for ancillary services were significantly different among ownership groups, although direct costs for daily hospital services were significantly higher at proprietary hospitals.
PMCID: PMC4191480  PMID: 10311161
8.  Explaining outputs of primary health care: population and practice factors. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1991;303(6796):225-229.
OBJECTIVE--To examine whether variations in the activities of general practice among family health service authorities can be explained by the populations characteristics and the organisation and resourcing of general practice. DESIGN--The family health services authorities were treated as discrete primary health care systems. Nineteen performance indicators reflecting the size, distribution, and characteristics of the population served; the organisation of general practice (inputs); and the activities generated by general practitioners and their staff (output) were analysed by stepwise regression. SETTING--90 family health services authorities in England. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Rates of cervical smear testing, immunisation, prescribing, and night visiting. RESULTS--53% of the variation in uptake of cervical cytology was accounted for by Jarman score (t = -3.3), list inflation (-0.41), the proportion of practitioners over 65 (-0.64), the number of ancillary staff per practitioner (2.5), and 70% of the variation in immunisation rates by standardised mortality ratios (-6.6), the proportion of practitioners aged over 65 (-4.8), and the number of practice nurses per practitioner (3.5). Standardised mortality ratios (8.4), the number of practitioners (2.3), and the proportion over 65 (2.2), and the number of ancillary staff per practitioner (-3.1) accounted for 69% of variation in prescribing rates. 54% of the variation in night visiting was explained by standardised mortality ratios (7.1), the proportion of practitioners with lists sizes below 1000 (-2.2), the proportion aged over 65 (-0.4), and the number of practice nurses per practitioner (-2.5). CONCLUSIONS--Family health services authorities are appropriate systems for studying output of general practice. Their performance indicators need to be refined and to be linked to other relevant factors, notably the performance of hospital, community, and social services.
PMCID: PMC1670540  PMID: 1653065
9.  Task-shifting: experiences and opinions of health workers in Mozambique and Zambia 
This paper describes the task-shifting taking place in health centres and district hospitals in Mozambique and Zambia. The objectives of this study were to identify the perceived causes and factors facilitating or impeding task-shifting, and to determine both the positive and negative consequences of task-shifting for the service users, for the services and for health workers.
Data collection involved individual and group interviews and focus group discussions with health workers from the civil service.
In both the Republic of Mozambique and the Republic of Zambia, health workers have to practice beyond the traditional scope of their professional practice to cope with their daily tasks. They do so to ensure that their patients receive the level of care that they, the health workers, deem due to them, even in the absence of written instructions.
The “out of professional scope” activities consume a significant amount of working time. On occasions, health workers are given on-the-job training to assume new roles, but job titles and rewards do not change, and career progression is unheard of. Ancillary staff and nurses are the two cadres assuming a greater diversity of functions as a result of improvised task-shifting.
Our observations show that the consequences of staff deficits and poor conditions of work include heavier workloads for those on duty, the closure of some services, the inability to release staff for continuing education, loss of quality, conflicts with patients, risks for patients, unsatisfied staff (with the exception of ancillary staff) and hazards for health workers and managers. Task-shifting is openly acknowledged and widespread, informal and carries risks for patients, staff and management.
PMCID: PMC3515799  PMID: 22985229
10.  Workplace Measurements by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration since 1979: Descriptive Analysis and Potential Uses for Exposure Assessment 
Annals of Occupational Hygiene  2012;57(1):77-97.
: Inspectors from the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have been collecting industrial hygiene samples since 1972 to verify compliance with Permissible Exposure Limits. Starting in 1979, these measurements were computerized into the Integrated Management Information System (IMIS). In 2010, a dataset of over 1 million personal sample results analysed at OSHA’s central laboratory in Salt Lake City [Chemical Exposure Health Data (CEHD)], only partially overlapping the IMIS database, was placed into public domain via the internet. We undertook this study to inform potential users about the relationship between this newly available OSHA data and IMIS and to offer insight about the opportunities and challenges associated with the use of OSHA measurement data for occupational exposure assessment.
: We conducted a literature review of previous uses of IMIS in occupational health research and performed a descriptive analysis of the data recently made available and compared them to the IMIS database for lead, the most frequently sampled agent.
: The literature review yielded 29 studies reporting use of IMIS data, but none using the CEHD data. Most studies focused on a single contaminant, with silica and lead being most frequently analysed. Sixteen studies addressed potential bias in IMIS, mostly by examining the association between exposure levels and ancillary information. Although no biases of appreciable magnitude were consistently reported across studies and agents, these assessments may have been obscured by selective under-reporting of non-detectable measurements. The CEHD data comprised 1 450 836 records from 1984 to 2009, not counting analytical blanks and erroneous records. Seventy eight agents with >1000 personal samples yielded 1 037 367 records. Unlike IMIS, which contain administrative information (company size, job description), ancillary information in the CEHD data is mostly analytical. When the IMIS and CEHD measurements of lead were merged, 23 033 (39.2%) records were in common to both IMIS and CEHD datasets, 10 681 (18.2%) records were only in IMIS, and 25 012 (42.6%) records were only in the CEHD database. While IMIS-only records represent data analysed in other laboratories, CEHD-only records suggest partial reporting of sampling results by OSHA inspectors into IMIS. For lead, the percentage of non-detects in the CEHD-only data was 71% compared to 42% and 46% in the both-IMIS-CEHD and IMIS-only datasets, respectively, suggesting differential under-reporting of non-detects in IMIS.
: IMIS and the CEHD datasets represent the biggest source of multi-industry exposure data in the USA and should be considered as a valuable source of information for occupational exposure assessment. The lack of empirical data on biases, adequate interpretation of non-detects in OSHA data, complicated by suspected differential under-reporting, remain the principal challenges to the valid estimation of average exposure conditions. We advocate additional comparisons between IMIS and CEHD data and discuss analytical strategies that may play a key role in meeting these challenges.
PMCID: PMC3589950  PMID: 22952385
database; exposure reconstruction; IMIS; occupational hygiene
11.  An Analysis of Hospital Costs by Cost Center, 1971 Through 1978 
Health Care Financing Review  1982;4(1):37-53.
Hospital cost analyses generally have not used costs broken down by hospital department or function due to the unavailability of appropriate data. The Medicare Cost Reports display direct cost by cost center, and the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) funded a project to abstract, edit, and categorize these data from a sample of 457 hospitals into meaningful groups. The author used the resulting data base to analyze trends in hospital costs, with cross tabulations by a hospital's teaching status, type of control, and bed size class, from 1971 through 1978. The author also used this data base to preliminarily assess whether introduction of the Medicare Section 223 reimbursement limits altered cost center growth trends.
The study found that the largest cost increases occurred among Ancillary Services. It also found slightly higher than average increases in Inpatient Services (concentrated in Special Care Units), and General Services increased at a below average rate. Outpatient Service costs escalated rapidly in absolute terms but rose much more slowly in per unit terms. The fastest growing cost quantity in the study was Other Ancillary Services, a miscellaneous group encompassing many of the new advanced technology services, which Increased at a rate of 24 percent per year between 1973 and 1978. The study found costs per unit of output to be positively associated with bed size across all cost center categories, including General Services, where some evidence of economies of scale might have been expected.
The study found no evidence that the Section 223 limits affected cost growth longitudinally, but an understanding of the impact of these limits will require considerably more study.
PMCID: PMC4191284  PMID: 10309719
12.  A Guide for Health Professionals Working with Aboriginal Peoples: Executive Summary 
to provide Canadian health professionals with a network of information and recommendations regarding Aboriginal health.
health professionals working with Aboriginal individuals and communities in the area of women’s health care.
improved health status of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.
Appropriateness and accessibility of women’s health services for Aboriginal peoples.
Improved communication and clinical skills of health professionals in the area of Aboriginal health.
Improved quality of relationship between health professionals and Aboriginal individuals and communities.
Improved quality of relationship between health care professionals and Aboriginal individuals and communities.
recommendations are based on expert opinion and a review of the literature. Published references were identified by a Medline search of all review articles, randomized clinical control trials, meta-analyses, and practice guidelines from 1966 to February 1999, using the MeSH headings “Indians, North American or Eskimos” and “Health.”* Subsequently published articles were brought to the attention of the authors in the process of writing and reviewing the document. Ancillary and unpublished references were recommended by members of the SOGC Aboriginal Health Issues Committee and the panel of expert reviewers.
information collected was reviewed by the principal author. The social, cultural, political, and historic context of Aboriginal peoples in Canada, systemic barriers regarding the publication of information by Aboriginal authors, the diversity of Aboriginal peoples in Canada, and the need for a culturally appropriate and balanced presentation were carefully considered in addition to more traditional scientific evaluation. The majority of information collected consisted of descriptive health and social information and such evaluation tools as the evidence guidelines of the Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health exam were not appropriate.
Benefits, costs, and harms
utilization of the information and recommendations by Canadian health professionals will enhance understanding, communication, and clinical skills in the area of Aboriginal health. The resulting enhancement of collaborative relationships between Aboriginal peoples and their women’s health providers may contribute to health services that are more appropriate, effective, efficient, and accessible for Aboriginal peoples in Canada. The educational process may require an initial investment of time from the health professional.
Recommendations were grouped according to four themes: sociocultural context, health concerns, cross-cultural understanding, and Aboriginal health resources. Health professionals are encouraged to learn the appropriate names, demographics, and traditional geographic territories and language groups of the various Aboriginal groups in Canada. In addition, sensitivity to the impact of colonization and current socioeconomic challenges to the health status of Aboriginal peoples is warranted. Health services for Aboriginal peoples should take place as close to home as possible. Governmental obligations and policies regarding determination are recognized. With respect to health concerns, holistic definitions of health, based on Aboriginal perspectives, are put forward. Aboriginal peoples continue to experience a disproportionate burden of health problems. Health professionals are encouraged to become familiar with several key areas of morbidity and mortality. Relationships between Aboriginal peoples and their care providers need to be based on a foundation of mutual respect. Gaps and barriers in the current health care system for Aboriginal peoples are identified. Health professionals are encouraged to work with Aboriginal individuals and communities to address these gaps and barriers. Aboriginal peoples require culturally appropriate health care, including treatment in their own languages when possible. This may require interpreters or Aboriginal health advocates. Health professionals are encouraged to recognize the importance of family and community roles, and to respect traditional medicines and healers. Health professionals can develop their sensitivities towards Aboriginal peoples by participating in workshops, making use of educational resources, and by spending time with Aboriginal peoples in their communities. Aboriginal communities and health professionals are encouraged to support community-based, community-directed health services and health research for Aboriginal peoples. In addition, the education of more Aboriginal health professionals is essential. The need for a preventative approach to health programming in Aboriginal communities is stressed.
recommendations were reviewed and revised by the SOGC Aboriginal Health Issues Committee, a panel of expert reviewers, and the SOGC Council. In addition, this document was also reviewed and supported by the Assembly of First Nations, Canadian Institute of Child Health, Canadian Paediatric Society, College of Family Physicians of Canada, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, Federation of Medical Women of Canada, Inuit Tapirisat of Canada, Metis National Council, National Indian and Inuit Community Health Representatives Organization, and Pauktuutit Inuit Women’s Association.
Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.
PMCID: PMC3653835  PMID: 23682204 CAMSID: cams2752
13.  Early experiences on the feasibility, acceptability, and use of malaria rapid diagnostic tests at peripheral health centres in Uganda-insights into some barriers and facilitators 
While feasibility of new health technologies in well-resourced healthcare settings is extensively documented, it is largely unknown in low-resourced settings. Uganda's decision to deploy and scale up malaria rapid diagnostic tests (mRDTs) in public health facilities and at the community level provides a useful entry point for documenting field experience, acceptance, and predictive variables for technology acceptance and use. These findings are important in informing implementation of new health technologies, plans, and budgets in low-resourced national disease control programmes.
A cross-sectional qualitative descriptive study at 21 health centres in Uganda was undertaken in 2007 to elucidate the barriers and facilitators in the introduction of mRDTs as a new diagnostic technology at lower-level health facilities. Pre-tested interview questionnaires were administered through pre-structured patient exit interviews and semi-structured health worker interviews to gain an understanding of the response to this implementation. A conceptual framework on technology acceptance and use was adapted for this study and used to prepare the questionnaires. Thematic analysis was used to generate themes from the data.
A total of 52 of 57 health workers (92%) reported a belief that a positive mRDT result was true, although only 41 of 57 (64%) believed that treatment with anti-malarials was justified for every positive mRDT case. Of the same health workers, only 49% believed that a negative mRDT result was truly negative. Factors linked to these findings were related to mRDT acceptance and use, including the design and characteristics of the device, availability and quality of mRDT ancillary supplies, health worker capacity to investigate febrile cases testing negative with the device and provide appropriate treatment, availability of effective malaria treatments, reliability of the health commodity supply chain, existing national policy recommendations, individual health worker dynamism, and vitality of supervision.
mRDTs were found to be acceptable to and used by the target users, provided clear policy guidelines exist, ancillary tools are easy to use and health supplies beyond the diagnostic tools are met. Based on our results, health workers' needs for comprehensive case management should be met, and specific guidance for managing febrile patients with negative test outcomes should be provided alongside the new health technology. The extent, to which the implementation process of mRDT-led, parasite-based diagnosis accommodates end user beliefs, attitudes, perceptions, and satisfaction, as well as technology learnability and suitability, influences the level of acceptance and use of mRDTs. The effectiveness of the health system in providing the enabling environment and the integration of the diagnostic tool into routine service delivery is critical.
PMCID: PMC3398266  PMID: 22269037
14.  Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Screening Status is Associated with Increased VA Medical and Surgical Utilization in Women 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2006;21(Suppl 3):S58-S64.
Women with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) report poor health, but associations with health care utilization are understudied.
To determine associations between medical/surgical utilization and PTSD in female Veterans Affairs (VA) patients.
Prospective comparison of utilization rates between women screening positive or negative for PTSD on a mailed survey.
Women receiving care at an urban VA medical center between October 1996 and January 2000.
Survey responses, including a validated screen for PTSD (PCL-C), and VA utilization data through September 2002.
Two thousand five hundred and seventy-eight (2,578) women (78% of those eligible) completed the PCL-C; 858 (33%) of them screened positive for PTSD (PTSD+). In unadjusted models, PTSD+ women had higher rates of medical/surgical hospitalizations and surgical inpatient procedures. Among women ages 35 to 49, mean days hospitalized/100 patients/year was 43.4 (95% CI 26 to 61) for PTSD+ women versus 17.0 (16 to 18) for PTSD negative (PTSD–) women. More PTSD+ women underwent surgical procedures (P<.001). Mean annual outpatient visits were significantly higher among PTSD+ women, including: emergency department (ED) (1.1 [1.0 to 1.2] vs 0.6 [0.5 to 0.6]), primary care (3.2 [3.0 to 3.4] vs 2.2 [2.1 to 2.3]), medical/surgical subspecialists (2.1 [1.9 to 2.3] vs 1.5 [1.4 to 1.6]), ancillary services (4.1 [3.7 to 4.5] vs 2.4 [2.2 to 2.6]), and diagnostic tests (5.6 [5.1 to 6.1] vs 3.7 [3.4 to 4.0]). In multivariate models adjusted for demographics, smoking, service access, and medical comorbidities, PTSD+ women had greater likelihood of medical/surgical hospitalization (OR=1.37 [1.04 to 1.79]) and of being among the top quartile of patients for visits to the ED, primary care, ancillary services, and diagnostic testing.
Female veterans who screen PTSD+ receive more VA medical/surgical services. Appropriateness of that care deserves further study.
PMCID: PMC1513171  PMID: 16637948
mental health; survey research; utilization; veterans; women's health
15.  Global Health Governance and the Commercial Sector: A Documentary Analysis of Tobacco Company Strategies to Influence the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(6):e1001249.
Heide Weishaar and colleagues did an analysis of internal tobacco industry documents together with other data and describe the industry's strategic response to the proposed World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
In successfully negotiating the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the World Health Organization (WHO) has led a significant innovation in global health governance, helping to transform international tobacco control. This article provides the first comprehensive review of the diverse campaign initiated by transnational tobacco corporations (TTCs) to try to undermine the proposed convention.
Methods and Findings
The article is primarily based on an analysis of internal tobacco industry documents made public through litigation, triangulated with data from official documentation relating to the FCTC process and websites of relevant organisations. It is also informed by a comprehensive review of previous studies concerning tobacco industry efforts to influence the FCTC. The findings demonstrate that the industry's strategic response to the proposed WHO convention was two-fold. First, arguments and frames were developed to challenge the FCTC, including: claiming there would be damaging economic consequences; depicting tobacco control as an agenda promoted by high-income countries; alleging the treaty conflicted with trade agreements, “good governance,” and national sovereignty; questioning WHO's mandate; claiming the FCTC would set a precedent for issues beyond tobacco; and presenting corporate social responsibility (CSR) as an alternative. Second, multiple tactics were employed to promote and increase the impact of these arguments, including: directly targeting FCTC delegations and relevant political actors, enlisting diverse allies (e.g., mass media outlets and scientists), and using stakeholder consultation to delay decisions and secure industry participation.
TTCs' efforts to undermine the FCTC were comprehensive, demonstrating the global application of tactics that TTCs have previously been found to have employed nationally and further included arguments against the FCTC as a key initiative in global health governance. Awareness of these strategies can help guard against industry efforts to disrupt the implementation of the FCTC and support the development of future, comparable initiatives in global health.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Every year, about 5 million people die worldwide from tobacco-related causes and, if current trends continue, annual deaths from tobacco-related causes will increase to 10 million by 2030. In response to this global tobacco epidemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has developed an international instrument for tobacco control called the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Negotiations on the FCTC began in 1999, and the international treaty—the first to be negotiated under the auspices of WHO—entered into force on 27 February 2005. To date, 174 countries have become parties to the FCTC. As such, they agree to implement comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship; to ban misleading and deceptive terms on cigarette packaging; to implement health warnings on tobacco packaging; to protect people from tobacco smoke exposure in public spaces and indoor workplaces; to implement taxation policies aimed at reducing tobacco consumption; and to combat illicit trade in tobacco products.
Why Was This Study Done?
Transnational tobacco corporations (TTCs) are sometimes described as “vectors” of the global tobacco epidemic because of their drive to maximize shareholder value and tobacco consumption. Just like conventional disease vectors (agents that carry or transmit infectious organisms), TTCs employ a variety of tactics to ensure the spread of tobacco consumption. For example, various studies have shown that TTCs have developed strategies that attempt to limit the impact of tobacco control measures such as the FCTC. However, to date, studies investigating the influence of TTCs on the FCTC have concentrated on specific countries or documented specific tactics. Here, the researchers undertake a comprehensive review of the diverse tactics employed by TTCs to undermine the development of the FCTC. Such a review is important because its results should facilitate the effective implementation of FCTC measures and could support the development of future tobacco control initiatives and of global initiatives designed to control alcohol-related and food-related disease and death.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers analyzed documents retrieved from the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library (a collection of internal tobacco industry documents released as a result of US litigation cases) dealing with the strategies employed by TTCs to influence the FCTC alongside data from the websites of industry, consultancy, and other organizations cited in the documents; the official records of the FCTC process; and previous studies of tobacco industry efforts to influence the FCTC. Their analysis reveals that the strategic response of the major TTCs to the proposed FCTC was two-fold. First, the TTCs developed a series of arguments and “frames” (beliefs and ideas that provide a framework for thinking about an issue) to challenge the FCTC. Core frames included claiming that the FCTC would have damaging economic consequences, questioning WHO's mandate to develop a legally binding international treaty by claiming that tobacco was not a cross-border problem, and presenting corporate social responsibility (the commitment by business to affect the environment, consumers, employees, and society positively in addition to making money for shareholders) as an alternative to the FCTC. Second, the TTCs employed multiple strategies to promote and increase the impact of these arguments and frames, such as targeting FCTC delegations and enlisting the help of diverse allies including media outlets and scientists.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings illustrate the variety and complexity of the tobacco industry's efforts to undermine the FCTC and show the extent to which TTCs combined and coordinated tactics on a global stage that they had previously used on a national stage. Indeed, “the comprehensiveness and scale of the tobacco industry's response to the FCTC suggests that it is reasonable to speak of a ‘globalisation of tobacco industry strategy’ in combating the development of effective tobacco control policies,” write the researchers. Awareness of the strategies employed by TTCs to influence the FCTC should help guard against industry efforts to disrupt the implementation of the FCTC and should support the development of future global tobacco control initiatives. More generally, these findings should support the development of global health initiatives designed to tackle cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes – non-communicable diseases that together account for 60% of global deaths and are partly driven by the commercial activities of food, alcohol, and tobacco corporations.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The World Health Organization provides information about the dangers of tobacco (in several languages) and about the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
For information about the tobacco industry's influence on policy, see the 2009 World Health Organization report Tobacco interference with tobacco control
The Framework Convention Alliance provides more information about the FCTC
The Legacy Tobacco Documents Library is a public, searchable database of tobacco company internal documents detailing their advertising, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and scientific activities
The UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies is a network of UK universities that undertakes original research, policy development, advocacy, and teaching and training in the field of tobacco control
SmokeFree, a website provided by the UK National Health Service, offers advice on quitting smoking and includes personal stories from people who have stopped smoking, from the US National Cancer Institute, offers online tools and resources to help people quit smoking and not start again
PMCID: PMC3383743  PMID: 22745607
16.  Methods and feasibility of collecting occupational data for a large population-based cohort study in the United States: the reasons for geographic and racial differences in stroke study 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:142.
Coronary heart disease and stroke are major contributors to preventable mortality. Evidence links work conditions to these diseases; however, occupational data are perceived to be difficult to collect for large population-based cohorts. We report methodological details and the feasibility of conducting an occupational ancillary study for a large U.S. prospective cohort being followed longitudinally for cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Current and historical occupational information were collected from active participants of the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study. A survey was designed to gather quality occupational data among this national cohort of black and white men and women aged 45 years and older (enrolled 2003–2007). Trained staff conducted Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviews (CATI). After a brief pilot period, interviewers received additional training in the collection of narrative industry and occupation data before administering the survey to remaining cohort members. Trained coders used a computer-assisted coding system to assign U.S. Census codes for industry and occupation. All data were double coded; discrepant codes were independently resolved.
Over a 2-year period, 17,648 participants provided consent and completed the occupational survey (87% response rate). A total of 20,427 jobs were assigned Census codes. Inter-rater reliability was 80% for industry and 74% for occupation. Less than 0.5% of the industry and occupation data were uncodable, compared with 12% during the pilot period. Concordance between the current and longest-held jobs was moderately high. The median time to collect employment status plus narrative and descriptive job information by CATI was 1.6 to 2.3 minutes per job. Median time to assign Census codes was 1.3 minutes per rater.
The feasibility of conducting high-quality occupational data collection and coding for a large heterogeneous population-based sample was demonstrated. We found that training for interview staff was important in ensuring that narrative responses for industry and occupation were adequately specified for coding. Estimates of survey administration time and coding from digital records provide an objective basis for planning future studies. The social and environmental conditions of work are important understudied risk factors that can be feasibly integrated into large population-based health studies.
PMCID: PMC3933294  PMID: 24512119
Occupations; Occupational exposure; Stressful events; Social class; Cohort studies; Epidemiologic methods; Data collection; Stroke; Cardiovascular disease
17.  Utilization and expenditures of veterans obtaining primary care in community clinics and VA medical centers: an observational cohort study 
To compare VA inpatient and outpatient utilization and expenditures of veterans seeking primary care in community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) and VA medical centers (VAMCs) in fiscal years 2000 (FY00) and 2001.
The sample included 25,092 patients who obtained primary care exclusively from 108 CBOCs in FY00, 26,936 patients who obtained primary care exclusively from 72 affiliated VAMCs in FY00, and 11,450 "crossover" patients who obtained primary care in CBOCs and VAMCs in FY00. VA utilization and expenditure data were drawn from the VA's system-wide cost accounting system. Veteran demographic characteristics and a 1999 Diagnostic Cost Group risk score were obtained from VA administrative files. Outpatient utilization (primary care, specialty care, mental health, pharmacy, radiology and laboratory) and inpatient utilization were estimated using count data models and expenditures were estimated using one-part or two-part models. The second part of two-part models was estimated using generalized linear regressions.
CBOC patients had a slightly more primary care visits per year than VAMC patients (p < 0.0001), but lower primary care costs (-$71, p < 0.0001). CBOC patients had lower odds of one or more specialty, mental health, ancillary visits and hospital stays per year, and fewer numbers of visits and stays if they had any and lower specialty, mental health, ancillary and inpatient expenditures (all, p < 0.0001). As a result, CBOC patients had lower total outpatient and overall expenditures than VAMC patients (p < 0.0001).
CBOCs provided veterans improved access to primary care and other services, but expenditures were contained because CBOC patients who sought health care had fewer visits and hospital stays than comparable VAMC patients. These results suggest a more complex pattern of health care utilization and expenditures by CBOC patients than has been found in prior studies. This study also illustrates that CBOCs continue to be a critical primary care and mental health access point for veterans.
PMCID: PMC1855054  PMID: 17442115
18.  Configuring Balanced Scorecards for Measuring Health System Performance: Evidence from 5 Years' Evaluation in Afghanistan 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(7):e1001066.
Anbrasi Edward and colleagues report the results of a balanced scorecard performance system used to examine 29 key performance indicators over a 5-year period in Afghanistan, between 2004 and 2008.
In 2004, Afghanistan pioneered a balanced scorecard (BSC) performance system to manage the delivery of primary health care services. This study examines the trends of 29 key performance indicators over a 5-year period between 2004 and 2008.
Methods and Findings
Independent evaluations of performance in six domains were conducted annually through 5,500 patient observations and exit interviews and 1,500 provider interviews in >600 facilities selected by stratified random sampling in each province. Generalized estimating equation (GEE) models were used to assess trends in BSC parameters. There was a progressive improvement in the national median scores scaled from 0–100 between 2004 and 2008 in all six domains: patient and community satisfaction of services (65.3–84.5, p<0.0001); provider satisfaction (65.4–79.2, p<0.01); capacity for service provision (47.4–76.4, p<0.0001); quality of services (40.5–67.4, p<0.0001); and overall vision for pro-poor and pro-female health services (52.0–52.6). The financial domain also showed improvement until 2007 (84.4–95.7, p<0.01), after which user fees were eliminated. By 2008, all provinces achieved the upper benchmark of national median set in 2004.
The BSC has been successfully employed to assess and improve health service capacity and service delivery using performance benchmarking during the 5-year period. However, scorecard reconfigurations are needed to integrate effectiveness and efficiency measures and accommodate changes in health systems policy and strategy architecture to ensure its continued relevance and effectiveness as a comprehensive health system performance measure. The process of BSC design and implementation can serve as a valuable prototype for health policy planners managing performance in similar health care contexts.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Traditionally, the performance of a health system (the complete network of health care agencies, facilities, and providers in a defined geographical region) has been measured in terms of health outcomes: how many people have been treated, how many got better, and how many died. But, nowadays, with increased demand for improved governance and accountability, policy makers are seeking comprehensive performance measures that show in detail how innovations designed to strengthen health systems are affecting service delivery and health outcomes. One such performance measure is the “balanced scorecard,” an integrated management and measurement tool that enables organizations to clarify their vision and strategy and translate them into action. The balanced scorecard—essentially a list of key performance indicators and performance benchmarks in several domains—was originally developed for industry but is now becoming a popular strategic management tool in the health sector. For example, balanced scorecards have been successfully integrated into the Dutch and Italian public health care systems.
Why Was This Study Done?
Little is known about the use of balanced scorecards in the national public health care systems of developing countries but the introduction of performance management into health system reform in fragile states in particular (developing countries where the state fails to perform the fundamental functions necessary to meet its citizens' basic needs and expectations) could help to promote governance and leadership, and facilitate essential policy changes. One fragile state that has introduced the balanced scorecard system for public health care management is Afghanistan, which emerged from decades of conflict in 2002 with some of the world's worst health indicators. To deal with an extremely high burden of disease, the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) designed a Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS), which is delivered by nongovernmental organizations and MOPH agencies. In 2004, the MOPH introduced the National Health Service Performance Assessment (NHSPA), an annual country-wide assessment of service provision and patient satisfaction and pioneered a balanced scorecard, which uses data collected in the NHSPA, to manage the delivery of primary health care services. In this study, the researchers examine the trends between 2004 and 2008 of the 29 key performance indicators in six domains included in this balanced scorecard, and consider the potential and limitations of the scorecard as a management tool to measure and improve health service delivery in Afghanistan and other similar countries.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Each year of the study, a random sample of 25 facilities (district hospitals and comprehensive and basic health centers) in 28 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces was chosen (one province did not have functional facilities in 2004 and the other five missing provinces were inaccessible because of ongoing conflicts). NHSPA surveyors collected approximately 5,000 patient observations, 5,000 exit interviews with patients or their caregivers, and 1,500 health provider interviews by observing consultations involving five children under 5 years old and five patients over 5 years old in each facility. The researchers then used this information to evaluate the key performance indicators in the balanced scorecard and a statistical method called generalized estimating equation modeling to assess trends in these indicators. They report that there was a progressive improvement in national average scores in all six domains (patients and community satisfaction with services, provider satisfaction, capacity for service provision, quality of services, overall vision for pro-poor and pro-female health services, and financial systems) between 2004 and 2008.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that the balanced scorecard was successfully used to improve health system capacity and service delivery through performance benchmarking over the 5-year study period. Importantly, the use of the balanced scorecard helped to show the effects of investments, facilitate policy change, and create a more evidence-based decision-making culture in Afghanistan's primary health care system. However, the researchers warn that the continuing success of the balanced scorecard in Afghanistan will depend on its ability to accommodate changes in health systems policy. Furthermore, reconfigurations of the scorecard are needed to include measures of the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the health system such as mortality rates. More generally, the researchers conclude that the balanced scorecard offers a promising measure of health system performance that could be used to examine the effectiveness of health care strategies and innovations in other fragile and developing countries.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
A 2010 article entitled An Afghan Success Story: The Balanced Scorecard and Improved Health Services in The Globe, a newsletter produced by the Department of International Health at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, provides a detailed description of the balanced scorecard used in this study
Wikipedia has a page on health systems and on balanced scorecards (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
The World Health Organization country profile of Afghanistan provides information on the country's health system and burden of disease (in several languages)
PMCID: PMC3144209  PMID: 21814499
19.  Mental Health Diagnoses and Utilization of VA Non-Mental Health Medical Services Among Returning Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans 
Over 35% of returned Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in VA care have received mental health diagnoses; the most prevalent is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Little is known about these patients’ use of non-mental health medical services and the impact of mental disorders on utilization.
To compare utilization across three groups of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans: those without mental disorders, those with mental disorders other than PTSD, and those with PTSD.
National, descriptive study of 249,440 veterans newly utilizing VA healthcare between October 7, 2001 and March 31, 2007, followed until March 31, 2008.
We used ICD9-CM diagnostic codes to classify mental health status. We compared utilization of outpatient non-mental health services, primary care, medical subspecialty, ancillary services, laboratory tests/diagnostic procedures, emergency services, and hospitalizations during veterans’ first year in VA care. Results were adjusted for demographics and military service and VA facility characteristics.
Veterans with mental disorders had 42–146% greater utilization than those without mental disorders, depending on the service category (all P < 0.001). Those with PTSD had the highest utilization in all categories: 71–170% greater utilization than those without mental disorders (all P < 0.001). In adjusted analyses, compared with veterans without mental disorders, those with mental disorders other than PTSD had 55% higher utilization of all non-mental health outpatient services; those with PTSD had 91% higher utilization. Female sex and lower rank were also independently associated with greater utilization.
Veterans with mental health diagnoses, particularly PTSD, utilize significantly more VA non-mental health medical services. As more veterans return home, we must ensure resources are allocated to meet their outpatient, inpatient, and emergency needs.
PMCID: PMC2811589  PMID: 19787409
veterans; post-traumatic stress disorder; psychiatry; health services research; utilization
20.  Occupational health services in South Carolina manufacturing plants: results of a survey. 
Public Health Reports  1983;98(6):597-603.
A mailed survey of occupational health and safety practices in industrial manufacturing plants with more than 50 employees was carried out in South Carolina, with a response rate of 60 percent. The responding plants represented 73 percent of the total workforce in the industries. Data were analyzed in relation to the types of industry as delineated by the Standard Industrial Code. Eighty-three percent of the responding plants (a percentage that represented more than 92 percent of the total workforce in the industries) had some arrangements for the medical or nursing care of employees. For the study, occupational health services were defined at three levels: basic (mandatory), secondary (beneficial to management), and tertiary (health promotion-preventive medicine). The basic services provided by most of the industries surveyed appeared to be adequate. Secondary services were well developed except in the apparel and lumber industries. Tertiary services, in terms of five selected preventive programs, were moderately developed only in the paper, petroleum, and chemical industries. Only alcohol abuse control programs were commonly offered in the other types of industry. The size of the workforce in a plant partly dictated the level of occupational health services it offered but did not always account for all inter-industry variation.
PMCID: PMC1424510  PMID: 6419275
21.  Family medicine model in Turkey: a qualitative assessment from the perspectives of primary care workers 
BMC Family Practice  2014;15:38.
A person-list-based family medicine model was introduced in Turkey during health care reforms. This study aimed to explore from primary care workers’ perspectives whether this model could achieve the cardinal functions of primary care and have an integrative position in the health care system.
Four groups of primary care workers were included in this exploratory-descriptive study. The first two groups were family physicians (FP) (n = 51) and their ancillary personnel (n = 22). The other two groups were physicians (n = 44) and midwives/nurses (n = 11) working in community health centres. Participants were selected for maximum variation and 102 in-depth interviews and six focus groups were conducted using a semi-structured form.
Data analysis yielded five themes: accessibility, first-contact care, longitudinality, comprehensiveness, and coordination. Most participants stated that many people are not registered with any FP and that the majority of these belong to the most disadvantaged groups in society. FPs reported that 40-60% of patients on their lists have never received a service from them and the majority of those who use their services do not use FPs as the first point of contact. According to most participants, the list-based system improved the longitudinality of the relationship between FPs and patients. However, based on other statements, this improvement only applies to one quarter of the population. Whereas there was an improvement limited to a quantitative increase in services (immunisation, monitoring of pregnant women and infants) included in the performance-based contracting system, participants stated that services not among the performance targets, such as family planning, postpartum follow-ups, and chronic disease management, could be neglected. FPs admitted not being able to keep informed of services their patients had received at other health institutions. Half of the participants stated that the list-based system removed the possibility of evaluating the community as a whole.
According to our findings, FPs have a limited role as the first point of contact and in giving longitudinal, comprehensive, and coordinated care. The family medicine model in Turkey is unable to provide a suitable structure to integrate health care services.
PMCID: PMC3942270  PMID: 24571275
Family physician; Family medicine; Primary care; Health care reform; Integration
22.  Clinical trials in pulmonary hypertension: Time for a consortium 
Pulmonary Circulation  2013;3(1):245-251.
Current and past clinical trials in pulmonary hypertension, while valuable, are limited by the absence of mechanistic aims, by dissatisfaction with endpoints and the inability to share data. Clinical studies in pulmonary hypertension might be enhanced by a consortium approach that utilizes the expertise of academic medicine, the treatment initiatives of the pharmaceutical industry and study design from funding agencies interested in biological mechanisms. A meeting of interested parties, the Pulmonary Hypertension Academic Research Consortium (PHARC), was held from 30 April to 1 May 2012 in Bethesda, Maryland. Members at the conference were from the USA Federal Drug Administration (FDA); pharmaceutical industry (Pfizer, Novartis, Bayer and Gilead); USA National Institutes of Health (NHLBI); the Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute (PVRI), a non-governmental organization (NGO); and research and clinical members of pulmonary hypertension programs of international scope. A recommendation to develop a clinical trials consortium was the product of the working group on academic standards in clinical trials. The working group concluded that clinical trials hold immense promise to move the field of pulmonary hypertension forward if the trials are designed by a consortium with input from multiple groups. This would result in study design, conduct and analysis determined by consortium members with a high degree of independent function. The components of a well-balanced consortium that give it scientific effectiveness are: (1) the consortium can work with multiple companies simultaneously; (2) sponsors with special interests, such as testing biological mechanisms, can add investigations to a study at lower cost than with present granting strategies; (3) data handling including archiving, analysis and future sharing would be improved; (4) ancillary studies supported by the collection and dissemination of tissues and fluids would generate a broader approach to discovery than is now possible; and (5) development of improved endpoints in consultation with regulatory agencies, industry and academia would be possible.
PMCID: PMC3641735  PMID: 23662202
clinical trial; consortium; Federal Drug Administration; international; National Institutes of Health; Non-Governmental Organization; pulmonary hypertension; Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute; pharmaceutical; industry
23.  Do Targeted HIV Programs Improve Overall Care for Pregnant Women? 
The implementation of disease-specific research or service programs may have an ancillary beneficial or harmful impact on routine clinical services.
We reviewed the records of 5801 first visits to 22 antenatal clinics from 1997 to 2004 in Lusaka, Zambia and examined documented syphilis rapid plasma reagin (RPR) screening and syphilis treatment before and after implementation of research and/or service programs in prevention of mother-to-child (PMTCT) HIV transmission.
Compared with before PMTCT program implementation, the prevalence odds ratios (PORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for documented RPR screening were 0.9 (0.7 to 1.1) after implementation of research, 0.7 (0.6 to 0.8) after service, and 2.5 (2.1 to 3.0) after research and service programs.
Documented RPR screening was improved after implementation of PMTCT research and service were operating simultaneously and not with research or service alone. Health policy makers and researchers should plan explicitly for how the targeted HIV programs, service, and/or research can have a broader primary care impact.
PMCID: PMC2745056  PMID: 17984757
antenatal syphilis; health care system; PMTCT; HIV; program evaluation; Zambia
24.  Organising a physiotherapy service in general practice 
This paper describes three years' experience of running a domiciliary physiotherapy service based on general practice and financed by limited voluntary funds.
The need arose from the remoteness of, and lack of, open access to, hospital physiotherapy. This was particularly so for elderly patients who were often frail and mentally confused. In addition there were obvious advantages in properly instructing relatives in management and treatment, especially since many of the patients and their relatives expressed a desire for home treatment.
There was also a desire on the part of the general practitioners, nurses, and ancillary workers to develop further the teamwork in the health services of the four villages involved. Details of the constitution of the voluntary service and its financial arrangements are given.
The results of the service and the nature of its work are described. There were no difficulties experienced in selecting the correct patients for treatment and the type of equipment required was almost all normally available through the health authority nursing service. There was no great need for expensive or heavy equipment and no transport problems arose.
It was found that one hour of physiotherapist's time per 1,000 patients per week was adequate to cover all patients requiring short-term intensive therapy and to allow a small amount of palliative therapy in addition, although this had not been the original intention of the service.
The physiotherapist averaged about 40 hours work per month and under these conditions the travelling and costs averaged 1·54 miles and 83 pence per visit. With self-determined hours of work and flexible timing, these conditions proved ideal for a married physiotherapist with the responsibility of a young family. Expansion of the hours of work in this particular area would have led to wasteful visits devoted to palliative and placebo therapy; and extension of the service beyond the area defined, would have increased travelling time at the expense of working time. Thus there appear to be considerable advantages in keeping general-practice based domiciliary physiotherapy work on a part-time basis and looking for staff living close to the practice.
PMCID: PMC2157716  PMID: 1195232
25.  Patient-doctor relationship: Changing perspectives and medical litigation 
The patient doctor relational dimer has become complex with the hierarchical or fiduciary manner changing to an equal or un equal relationship. Trust and control are interchangeable, leading to increased patient requirements for disclosure and expectations of a cafeteria approach in diagnoses and management of his/her bodily condition. From any mismatch, there is a potential for medical litigation. In this context, the rise of global consumerism, the explosion of information available on the internet, and the changed manner of the medical profession from being shrouded in mystic / ceremony to trifurcation of medical services to doctoral diagnoses and management, ancillary pharmacy industry, and paramedical services like nursing, counselling and the new age quackery have contributed to this dimer.
PMCID: PMC2779961  PMID: 19881132
Medical negligence; patient-doctor relationship

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