Over the last years, several initiatives on early detection and intervention have been put in place to proactively identify health and social problems in (frail) older people. An overview of the initiatives currently available in the Netherlands is lacking, and it is unknown whether they meet the preferences and needs of older people. Therefore, the objectives of this study were threefold: 1. To identify initiatives on early detection and intervention for older people in the Netherlands and compare their characteristics; 2. To explore the experiences of professionals with these initiatives; and 3. To explore to what extent existing initiatives meet the preferences and needs of older people.
We performed a qualitative descriptive study in which we conducted semi-structured interviews with seventeen experts in preventive elderly care and three group interviews with volunteer elderly advisors. Data were analysed using the framework analysis method.
We identified eight categories of initiatives based on the setting (e.g. general practitioner practice, hospital, municipality) in which they were offered. Initiatives differed in their aims and target groups. The utilization of peers to identify problems and risks, as was done by some initiatives, was seen as a strength. Difficulties were experienced with identifying the target group that would benefit from proactive delivery of care and support most, and with addressing prevalent issues among older people (e.g. psychosocial issues, self-reliance issues).
Although there is a broad array of initiatives available, there is a discrepancy between supply and demand. Current initiatives insufficiently address needs of (frail) older people. More insight is needed in “what should be done by whom, for which target group and at what moment”, in order to improve current practice in preventive elderly care.
Early detection; Preventive home visit; Health and social problems; Older people; Frailty; Qualitative research
To study the prevalence, impact and dose–response relationship of comorbid chronic conditions on quality of life of type 2 diabetes patients.
Research design and methods
Cross-sectional data of 1676 type 2 diabetes patients, aged 31–96 years, and treated in primary care, were analyzed. Quality of life (QoL) was measured using the mental component summary (MCS) and the physical component summary (PCS) scores of the Short Form-12. Diagnosis of type 2 diabetes was obtained from medical records and comorbidities from self-reports.
Only 361 (21.5 %) of the patients reported no comorbidities. Diabetes patients with comorbidities showed significantly lower mean difference in PCS [−8.5; 95 % confidence interval (CI) −9.8 to −7.3] and MCS scores (−1.9; 95 % CI −3.0 to −0.9), compared to diabetes patients without. Additional adjustments did not substantially change these associations. Both MCS and PCS scores decrease significantly with the number of comorbid conditions, yet most pronounced regarding physical QoL. Comorbidities that reduced physical QoL most significantly were retinopathy, heart diseases, atherosclerosis in abdomen or legs, lung diseases, incontinence, back, neck and shoulder disorder, osteoarthritis and chronic rheumatoid arthritis, using the backwards stepwise regression procedure.
Comorbidities are highly prevalent among type 2 diabetes patients and have a negative impact on the patient’s QoL. A strong dose–response relationship between comorbidities and physical QoL was found. Reduced physical QoL is mainly determined by musculoskeletal and cardiovascular disorders.
Type 2 diabetes; Comorbidities; Quality of life; Primary care
To enhance the quality of diabetes care in the Netherlands, so-called care groups with three to 250 general practitioners emerged to organise and coordinate diabetes care. This introduced a new quality management level in addition to the quality management of separate general practices. We hypothesised that this new level of quality management might be associated with the aggregate performance indicators on the patient level. Therefore, we aimed to explore the association between quality management at the care group level and its aggregate performance indicators.
A cross-sectional study.
All Dutch care groups (n=97).
23 care groups provided aggregate register-based performance indicators of all their practices as well as data on quality management measured with a questionnaire filled out by 1 or 2 of their quality managers.
The association between quality management, overall and in 6 domains (‘organisation of care’, ‘multidisciplinary teamwork’, ‘patient centredness’, ‘performance management’, ‘quality improvement policy’ and ‘management strategies’) on the one hand and 3 process indicators (the percentages of patients with at least 1 measurement of glycated haemoglobin, lipid profile and systolic blood pressure), and 3 intermediate outcome indicators (the percentages of patients with glycated haemoglobin below 53 mmol/mol (7%); low-density lipoprotein cholesterol below 2.5 mmol/L; and systolic blood pressure below 140 mm Hg) by weighted univariable linear regression.
The domain ‘management strategies’ was significantly associated with the percentage of patients with a glycated haemoglobin <53 mmol/mol (β 0.28 (0.09; 0.46) p=0.01) after correction for multiple testing. The other domains as well as overall quality management were not associated with aggregate process or outcome indicators.
This first exploratory study on quality management showed weak or no associations between quality management of diabetes care groups and their performance. It remains uncertain whether this second layer on quality management adds to better quality of care.
To investigate risk of a recurrent cardiovascular event and its predictors in a population-based cohort.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Participants of the Hoorn Study who had experienced a first cardiovascular event after baseline (n = 336) were followed with respect to a recurrent event. Absolute risk of a recurrent event was calculated for individuals with normal glucose metabolism, intermediate hyperglycemia, and type 2 diabetes. Cox regression models were used to investigate which variables, measured before the first vascular event, predicted a recurrent event using the stepwise backward procedure.
During a median follow-up of 4.1 years, 44% (n = 148) of the population developed a recurrent vascular event. The rate of recurrent events per 100 person-years was 7.2 (95% CI 5.8–8.7) in individuals with normal glucose metabolism, compared with 9.8 (6.6–14.0) in individuals with intermediate hyperglycemia and 12.5 (8.5–17.6) in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Higher age (hazard ratio 1.02 [95% CI 1.00–1.04]), male sex (1.56 [1.08–2.25]), waist circumference (1.02 [1.02–1.03]), higher systolic blood pressure (1.01 [1.01–1.02]), higher HbA1c (%, 1.13 [0.97–1.31]/ mmol/mol, 1.01 [1.00–1.03]), and family history of myocardial infarction (1.38 [0.96–2.00]) predicted a recurrent cardiovascular event.
Individuals with type 2 diabetes, but not individuals with intermediate hyperglycemia, are at increased risk for a recurrent vascular event compared with individuals with normal glucose metabolism. In people with a history of cardiovascular disease, people at increased risk of a recurrent event can be identified based on the patient’s risk profile before the first event.
To support decision making on how to best redesign chronic care by studying the heterogeneity in effectiveness across chronic care management evaluations for heart failure.
Reviews and primary studies that evaluated chronic care management interventions.
A systematic review including meta-regression analyses to investigate three potential sources of heterogeneity in effectiveness: study quality, length of follow-up, and number of chronic care model components.
Our meta-analysis showed that chronic care management reduces mortality by a mean of 18 percent (95 percent CI: 0.72–0.94) and hospitalization by a mean of 18 percent (95 percent CI: 0.76–0.93) and improves quality of life by 7.14 points (95 percent CI: −9.55 to −4.72) on the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure questionnaire. We could not explain the considerable differences in hospitalization and quality of life across the studies.
Chronic care management significantly reduces mortality. Positive effects on hospitalization and quality of life were shown, however, with substantial heterogeneity in effectiveness. This heterogeneity is not explained by study quality, length of follow-up, or the number of chronic care model components. More attention to the development and implementation of chronic care management is needed to support informed decision making on how to best redesign chronic care.
Heart failure; chronic care management; quality improvement; statistical heterogeneity; systematic review
In recent years, most Dutch general practitioners started working under the umbrella of diabetes care groups, responsible for the organisation and coordination of diabetes care. The quality management of these new organisations receives growing interest, although its association with quality of diabetes care is yet unclear. The best way to measure quality management is unknown and it has not yet been studied at the level of outpatient clinics or care groups. We aimed to assess quality management of type 2 diabetes care in care groups and outpatient clinics.
Quality management was measured with online questionnaires, containing six domains (see below). They were divided into 28 subdomains, with 59 (care groups) and 57 (outpatient clinics) questions respectively. The mean score of the domains reflects the overall score (0-100%) of an organisation. Two quality managers of all Dutch care groups and outpatient clinics were invited to fill out the questionnaire.
Sixty care groups (response rate 61.9%) showed a mean score of 59.6% (CI 57.1-62.1%). The average score in 52 outpatient clinics (response rate 50.0%) was 61.9% (CI 57.5-66.8%).
Mean scores on the six domains for care groups and outpatient clinics respectively were: ‘organisation of care’ 71.9% (CI 68.8-74.9%), 76.8% (CI 72.8-80.7%); ‘multidisciplinary teamwork’ 67.1% (CI 62.4-71.9%), 71.5% (CI 65.3-77.8%); ‘patient centeredness’ 46.7% (CI 42.6-50.7%), 62.5% (CI 57.7-67.2%); ‘performance management’ 63.3% (CI 61.2-65.3%), 50.9% (CI 44.2-57.5%); ‘quality improvement policy’ 52.6% (CI 49.2-56.1%), 50.9% (CI 44.6-57.3%); and ‘management strategies’ 56.0% (CI 51.4-60.7%), 59.0% (CI 52.8-65.2%). On subdomains, care groups scored highest on ‘care program’ (83.3%) and ‘measured outcomes’ (98.3%) and lowest on ‘patient safety’ (15.1%) and ‘patient involvement’ (17.7%). Outpatient clinics scored high on the presence of a ‘diabetic foot team’ (81.6%) and the support in ‘self-management’ (81.0%) and low on ‘patient involvement’ (26.8%) and ‘inspection of medical file’ (28.0%).
This nationwide assessment reveals that the level of quality management in diabetes care varies between several subdomains in both diabetes care groups and outpatient clinics.
Diabetes care; Quality management; Quality improvement; Diabetes care group
The increasing prevalence of diabetes is associated with increased health care use and costs. Innovations to improve the quality of care, manage the increasing demand for health care and control the growth of health care costs are needed. The aim of this study is to evaluate the care process and costs of managed, protocolized and usual care for type 2 diabetes patients from a societal perspective.
In two distinct regions of the Netherlands, both managed and protocolized diabetes care were implemented. Managed care was characterized by centralized organization, coordination, responsibility and centralized annual assessment. Protocolized care had a partly centralized organizational structure. Usual care was characterized by a decentralized organizational structure. Using a quasi-experimental control group pretest-posttest design, the care process (guideline adherence) and costs were compared between managed (n = 253), protocolized (n = 197), and usual care (n = 333). We made a distinction between direct health care costs, direct non-health care costs and indirect costs. Multivariate regression models were used to estimate differences in costs adjusted for confounding factors. Because of the skewed distribution of the costs, bootstrapping methods (5000 replications) with a bias-corrected and accelerated approach were used to estimate 95% confidence intervals (CI) around the differences in costs.
Compared to usual and protocolized care, in managed care more patients were treated according to diabetes guidelines. Secondary health care use was higher in patients under usual care compared to managed and protocolized care. Compared to usual care, direct costs were significantly lower in managed care (€-1.181 (95% CI: -2.597 to -334)) while indirect costs were higher (€758 (95% CI: -353 to 2.701), although not significant. Direct, indirect and total costs were lower in protocolized care compared to usual care (though not significantly).
Compared to usual care, managed care was significantly associated with better process in terms of diabetes care, fewer secondary care consultations and lower health care costs. The same trends were seen for protocolized care, however they were not statistically significant.
Current Controlled trials: ISRCTN66124817.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Controlled clinical trial; Quality of health care; Health economy
Multimorbidity is common among ageing populations and it affects the demand for health services. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between multimorbidity (i.e. the number of diseases and specific combinations of diseases) and the use of general practice services in the Dutch population of 55 years and older.
Data on diagnosed chronic diseases, contacts (including face-to-face consultations, phone contacts, and home visits), drug prescription rates, and referral rates to specialised care were derived from the Netherlands Information Network of General Practice (LINH), limited to patients whose data were available from 2006 to 2008 (N = 32,583). Multimorbidity was defined as having two or more out of 28 chronic diseases. Multilevel analyses adjusted for age, gender, and clustering of patients in general practices were used to assess the association between multimorbidity and service utilization in 2008.
Patients diagnosed with multiple chronic diseases had on average 18.3 contacts (95% CI 16.8 19.9) per year. This was significantly higher than patients with one chronic disease (11.7 contacts (10.8 12.6)) or without any (6.1 contacts (5.6 6.6)). A higher number of chronic diseases was associated with more contacts, more prescriptions, and more referrals to specialized care. However, the number of contacts per disease decreased with an increasing number of diseases; patients with a single disease had between 9 to 17 contacts a year and patients with five or more diseases had 5 or 6 contacts per disease per year. Contact rates for specific combinations of diseases were lower than what would be expected on the basis of contact rates of the separate diseases.
Multimorbidity is associated with increased health care utilization in general practice, yet the increase declines per additional disease. Still, with the expected rise in multimorbidity in the coming decades more extensive health resources are required.
Multimorbidity; Chronic disease; Epidemiology; Health care utilisation
Many type 2 diabetes mellitus patients face difficulties self-managing their illness, which can lead to high levels of diabetes-related distress. Diabetes distress may be decreased by peer support, as peers understand and have dealt with similar problems, and can help motivate each other. A recent systematic review concluded that evidence of benefits of peer support in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus is too inconsistent due to weak theoretical foundation of the interventions. This study describes the design of a trial evaluating the effectiveness of a group-based, peer support programme with a strong theoretical foundation on diabetes-related distress in type 2 diabetes patients.
This is a parallel group randomised controlled trial of a six session group-based peer support intervention, delivered by peer leaders and group psychotherapists, compared with one educational meeting on diabetes. At least 152 patients with a type 2 diabetes duration of three years or more and between 50 and 70 years of age, recruited via their general practitioner, will be randomised to receive the peer support intervention or one educational meeting. The intervention is developed in line with three key stages of research development of the Medical Research Council framework. The primary outcome measure for this study is diabetes-related distress. Secondary outcomes include self-management behaviour, well-being and health-related quality of life. Perceived social support is a process measure. Outcomes will be measured one month before, and 6, and 12 months after the intervention by means of self-reported questionnaires. Analysis will be on an intention-to-treat basis.
This article contains a description of the design of a study that will investigate the effect of a group-based, peer support intervention on diabetes-related distress in type 2 diabetes patients. The intervention was developed in recognition of the limited evidence, and the importance of a theoretical foundation and its implementation. Findings will contribute to knowledge in the field of peer support and patient-important outcomes in type 2 diabetes patients.
Dutch Trial Registry: NTR3474
Peer support; Diabetes mellitus type 2; Distress; Randomised controlled trial
To evaluate the relationship between presence and nature of co-morbidity and quality of care for diabetes patients enrolled in diabetes disease management programmes provided by care groups.
We performed an observational study within eight Dutch diabetes care groups. Data from patient record systems of care groups and patient questionnaires were used to determine quality of care. Quality of care was measured as provision of the recommended diabetes care, patients’ achievement of recommended clinical outcomes and patients’ perception of coordination and integration of care.
527 diabetes patients without and 1187 diabetes patients with co-morbidity were included. Of the co-morbid patients, 7.8% had concordant co-morbid conditions only, 63.8% had discordant co-morbid diseases only and 28.4% had both types of conditions. Hardly any differences were observed between patients with and without co-morbidity in terms of provided care, achievement of clinical outcomes and perceived coordination and integration of care.
Our study implies that care groups are able to provide similar quality of diabetes care for diabetes patients with and without co-morbidity. Considering the expected developments regarding additional disease management programmes in care groups, it is of importance to monitor quality of care, including patient experiences, for all chronic diseases. It will then become clear whether accountable provider-led organisations such as care groups are able to ensure quality of care for the increasing number of patients with multiple chronic conditions.
bundled payment; care groups; co-morbidity; diabetes; disease management; integrated care; quality of care
Despite the favorable effects of behavior change interventions on diabetes risk, lifestyle modification is a complicated process. In this study we therefore investigated opportunities for refining a lifestyle intervention for type 2 diabetes prevention, based on participant perceptions of behavior change progress.
A 30 month intervention was performed in Dutch primary care among high-risk individuals (FINDRISC-score ≥ 13) and was compared to usual care. Participant perceptions of behavior change progress for losing weight, dietary modification, and increasing physical activity were assessed after18 months with questionnaires. Based on the response, participants were categorized as ‘planners’, ‘initiators’ or ‘achievers’ and frequencies were evaluated in both study groups. Furthermore, participants reported on barriers for lifestyle change.
In both groups, around 80% of all participants (intervention: N = 370; usual care: N = 322) planned change. Except for reducing fat intake (p = 0.08), the number of initiators was significantly higher in the intervention group than in usual care. The percentage of achievers was high for the dietary and exercise objectives (intervention: 81–95%; usual care: 83–93%), but was lower for losing weight (intervention: 67%; usual care: 62%). Important motivational barriers were ‘I already meet the standards’ and ‘I’m satisfied with my current behavior’. Temptation to snack, product taste and lack of time were important volitional barriers.
The results suggest that the intervention supports participants to bridge the gap between motivation and action. Several opportunities for intervention refinement are however revealed, including more stringent criteria for participant inclusion, tools for (self)-monitoring of health, emphasis on the ‘small-step-approach’, and more attention for stimulus control.
Netherlands Trial Register: NTR1082
Type 2 diabetes; Primary care; Behavior change; Lifestyle intervention
Worldwide, the organisation of diabetes care is changing. As a result general practices and diabetes teams in hospitals are becoming part of new organisations in which multidisciplinary care programs are implemented. In the Netherlands, 97 diabetes care groups and 104 outpatient clinics are working with a diabetes care program. Both types of organisations aim to improve the quality of diabetes care. Therefore, it is essential to understand the comprehensive elements needed for optimal quality management at organisational level. This study aims to assess the current level of diabetes quality management in both care groups and outpatient clinics and its improvement after providing feedback on their quality management system and tailored support.
This study is a before-after study with a one-year follow-up comparing the levels of quality management before and after an intervention to improve diabetes quality management. To assess the status of quality management, online questionnaires were developed based on current literature. They consist of six domains: organisation of care, multidisciplinary teamwork, patient centeredness, performance management, quality improvement policy and management strategies. Based on the questionnaires, respondents will receive feedback on their score in a radar diagram and an elucidating table. They will also be granted access to an online toolbox with instruments that proved to be effective in quality of care improvement and with practical examples. If requested, personal support in implementing these tools will be available. After one year quality management will be measured again using the same questionnaire.
This study will reveal a nationwide picture of quality management in diabetes care groups and outpatient clinics in the Netherlands and evaluate the effect of offering tailored support. The operationalisation of quality management on organisational level may be of interest for other countries as well.
Type 2 diabetes; Quality management; Quality improvement; Care groups; Outpatient clinics; Questionnaire; Integrated care; Shared care; Disease management
The patient assessment of chronic illness care (PACIC) is a promising instrument to evaluate the chronic care experiences of patients, yet additional validation is needed to improve its usefulness.
A total of 1941 patients with diabetes completed the questionnaire. Reliability coefficients and factor analyses were used to psychometrically test the PACIC and PACIC+ (i.e. PACIC extended with six additional multidisciplinary team functioning items to improve content validity). Intra-class correlations were computed to identify the extent to which variation in scores can be attributed to GP practices.
The PACIC and PACIC+ showed a good psychometric quality (Cronbach’s alpha’s >0.9). Explorative factor analyses showed inconclusive results. Confirmative factor analysis showed that none of the factor structures had an acceptable fit (RMSEA>0.10). In addition, 5.1 to 5.4% of the total variation was identified at the GP practice level.
The PACIC and PACIC+ are reliable instruments to measure the chronic care management experiences of patients. The PACIC+ is preferred because it also includes multidisciplinary coordination and cooperation—one of the central pillars of chronic care management—with good psychometric quality. Previously identified subscales should be used with caution. Both PACIC instruments are useful in identifying GP practice variation.
chronic care model; patient experience; chronic care management; integrated care; diabetes; PACIC
Multimorbidity is increasingly recognized as a major public health challenge of modern societies. However, knowledge about the size of the population suffering from multimorbidity and the type of multimorbidity is scarce. The objective of this study was to present an overview of the prevalence of multimorbidity and comorbidity of chronic diseases in the Dutch population and to explore disease clustering and common comorbidities.
We used 7 years data (2002–2008) of a large Dutch representative network of general practices (212,902 patients). Multimorbidity was defined as having two or more out of 29 chronic diseases. The prevalence of multimorbidity was calculated for the total population and by sex and age group. For 10 prevalent diseases among patients of 55 years and older (N = 52,014) logistic regressions analyses were used to study disease clustering and descriptive analyses to explore common comorbid diseases.
Multimorbidity of chronic diseases was found among 13% of the Dutch population and in 37% of those older than 55 years. Among patients over 55 years with a specific chronic disease more than two-thirds also had one or more other chronic diseases. Most disease pairs occurred more frequently than would be expected if diseases had been independent. Comorbidity was not limited to specific combinations of diseases; about 70% of those with a disease had one or more extra chronic diseases recorded which were not included in the top five of most common diseases.
Multimorbidity is common at all ages though increasing with age, with over two-thirds of those with chronic diseases and aged 55 years and older being recorded with multimorbidity. Comorbidity encompassed many different combinations of chronic diseases. Given the ageing population, multimorbidity and its consequences should be taken into account in the organization of care in order to avoid fragmented care, in medical research and healthcare policy.
Multimorbidity; Comorbidity; Chronic disease; Epidemiology; Prevalence
As in clinical practice resources may be limited compared to experimental settings, translation of evidence-based lifestyle interventions into daily life settings is challenging. In this study we therefore evaluated the implementation of the APHRODITE lifestyle intervention for the prevention of type 2 diabetes in Dutch primary care. Based on this evaluation we discuss opportunities for refining intervention delivery.
A 2.5-year intervention was performed in 14 general practices in the Netherlands among individuals at high risk for type 2 diabetes (FINDRISC-score ≥ 13) (n = 479) and was compared to usual care (n = 446). Intervention consisted of individual lifestyle counselling by nurse practitioners (n = 24) and GPs (n = 48) and group-consultations. Drop-out and attendance were registered during the programme. After the intervention, satisfaction with the programme and perceived implementation barriers were assessed with questionnaires.
Drop-out was modest (intervention: 14.6 %; usual care: 13.2 %) and attendance at individual consultations was high (intervention: 80-97 %; usual care: 86-94 %). Providers were confident about diabetes prevention by lifestyle intervention in primary care. Participants were more satisfied with counselling from nurse practitioners than from GPs. A major part of the GPs reported low self-efficacy regarding dietary guidance. Lack of counselling time (60 %), participant motivation (12 %), and financial reimbursement (11 %) were regarded by providers as important barriers for intervention implementation.
High participant compliance and a positive attitude of providers make primary care a suitable setting for diabetes prevention by lifestyle counselling. Results support a role for the nurse practitioner as the key player in guiding lifestyle modification. Further research is needed on strategies that could increase cost-effectiveness, such as more stringent criteria for participant inclusion, group-counselling, more tailor-made counselling and integration of screening and / or interventions for different disorders.
Type 2 diabetes; Primary care; Lifestyle intervention; Implementation
Oral anticoagulant therapy (OAT) involves many health care disciplines. Even though collaboration between care professionals is assumed to improve the quality of OAT, very little research has been done into the practice of OAT management to arrange and manage the collaboration. This study aims to identify the problems in collaboration experienced by the care professionals involved, the solutions they proposed to improve collaboration, and the barriers they encountered to the implementation of these solutions.
In the Netherlands, intensive follow-up of OAT is provided by specialized anticoagulant clinics (ACs). Sixty-eight semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with 103 professionals working at an AC. These semi-structured interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed inductively. Wagner's chronic care model (CCM) and Cabana's framework for improvement were used to categorize the results.
AC professionals experienced three main bottlenecks in collaboration: lack of knowledge (mostly of other professionals), lack of consensus on OAT, and limited information exchange between professionals. They mentioned several solutions to improve collaboration, especially solutions of CCM's decision support component (i.e. education, regular meetings, and agreements and protocols). Education is considered a prerequisite for the successful implementation of other proposed solutions such as developing a multidisciplinary protocol and changing the allocation of tasks. The potential of the health care organization to improve collaboration seemed to be underestimated by professionals. They experienced several barriers to the successful implementation of the proposed solutions. Most important barriers were the lack motivation of non-AC professionals and lack of time to establish collaboration.
This study revealed that the collaboration in OAT is limited by a lack of knowledge, a lack of consensus, and a limited information exchange. Education was identified as the best way to improve collaboration and considered a prerequisite for a successful implementation of other proposed solutions. Hence, the implementation sequence is of importance in order to improve the collaboration successfully. First step is to establish alignment regarding collaboration with all involved professionals to encounter the lack of motivation of non-AC professionals and lack of time.
Pay-for-performance (P4P) is increasingly implemented in the healthcare system to encourage improvements in healthcare quality. P4P is a payment model that rewards healthcare providers for meeting pre-established targets for delivery of healthcare services by financial incentives. Based on their performance, healthcare providers receive either additional or reduced payment. Currently, little is known about P4P schemes intending to improve delivery of chronic care through disease management. The objectives of this paper are therefore to provide an overview of P4P schemes used to stimulate delivery of chronic care through disease management and to provide insight into their effects on healthcare quality and costs.
A systematic PubMed search was performed for English language papers published between 2000 and 2010 describing P4P schemes related to the implementation of disease management. Wagner's chronic care model was used to make disease management operational.
Eight P4P schemes were identified, introduced in the USA (n = 6), Germany (n = 1), and Australia (n = 1). Five P4P schemes were part of a larger scheme of interventions to improve quality of care, whereas three P4P schemes were solely implemented. Most financial incentives were rewards, selective, and granted on the basis of absolute performance. More variation was found in incented entities and the basis for providing incentives. Information about motivation, certainty, size, frequency, and duration of the financial incentives was generally limited. Five studies were identified that evaluated the effects of P4P on healthcare quality. Most studies showed positive effects of P4P on healthcare quality. No studies were found that evaluated the effects of P4P on healthcare costs.
The number of P4P schemes to encourage disease management is limited. Hardly any information is available about the effects of such schemes on healthcare quality and costs.
Diabetes mellitus brings an increased risk for cardiovascular complications and patients profit from prevention. This prevention also suits the general population. The question arises what is a better strategy: target the general population or diabetes patients.
A mathematical programming model was developed to calculate optimal allocations for the Dutch population of the following interventions: smoking cessation support, diet and exercise to reduce overweight, statins, and medication to reduce blood pressure. Outcomes were total lifetime health care costs and QALYs. Budget sizes were varied and the division of resources between the general population and diabetes patients was assessed.
Full implementation of all interventions resulted in a gain of 560,000 QALY at a cost of €640 per capita, about €12,900 per QALY on average. The large majority of these QALY gains could be obtained at incremental costs below €20,000 per QALY. Low or high budgets (below €9 or above €100 per capita) were predominantly spent in the general population. Moderate budgets were mostly spent in diabetes patients.
Major health gains can be realized efficiently by offering prevention to both the general and the diabetic population. However, a priori setting a specific distribution of resources is suboptimal. Resource allocation models allow accounting for capacity constraints and program size in addition to efficiency.
To test the hypothesis that type 2 diabetes is associated with greater decline in cognitive function in middle-aged individuals.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
In the Dutch prospective Doetinchem Cohort Study, cognitive functioning was measured twice within a 5-year time interval in 2,613 men and women. Participants were aged 43–70 years at baseline (1995–2002), and no one had a history of stroke. Change in scores on global cognitive function as well as on specific cognitive function domains (memory, speed of cognitive processes, and cognitive flexibility) were compared for respondents with and without type 2 diabetes (verified by the general practitioner or random plasma glucose levels ≥11.1 mmol/l).
At the 5-year follow-up, the decline in global cognitive function in diabetic patients was 2.6 times greater than that in individuals without diabetes. For individuals aged ≥60 years, patients with incident and prevalent diabetes showed a 2.5 and 3.6 times greater decline, respectively, in cognitive flexibility than individuals without diabetes. For most cognitive domains, the magnitude of cognitive decline in patients with incident diabetes was intermediate between that of individuals without diabetes and that of patients with diabetes at baseline.
Middle-aged individuals with type 2 diabetes showed a greater decline in cognitive function than middle-aged individuals without diabetes.
More than half of the patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) patients are diagnosed with one or more comorbid disorders. They can participate in several single-disease oriented disease management programs, which may lead to fragmented care because these programs are not well prepared for coordinating care between programs. Comorbid patients are therefore at risk for suboptimal treatment, unsafe care, inefficient use of health care services and unnecessary costs. Case management is a possible model to counteract fragmented care for comorbid patients. It includes evidence-based optimal care, but is tailored to the individual patients' preferences.
The objective of this study is to examine the effectiveness of a case management program, in addition to a diabetes management program, on the quality of care for comorbid T2DM patients.
The study is a randomized controlled trial among patients with T2DM and at least one comorbid chronic disease (N = 230), who already participate in a diabetes management program. Randomization will take place at the level of the patients in general practices. Trained practice nurses (case managers) will apply a case management program in addition to the diabetes management program. The case management intervention is based on the Guided Care model and includes six elements; assessing health care needs, planning care, create access to other care providers and community resources, monitoring, coordinating care and recording of all relevant information. Patients in the control group will continue their participation in the diabetes management program and receive care-as-usual from their general practitioner and other care providers.
We expect that the case management program, which includes better structured care based on scientific evidence and adjusted to the patients' needs and priorities, will improve the quality of care coordination from both the patients' and caregivers' perspective and will result in less consumption of health care services.
Netherlands Trial Register (NTR): NTR1847
The oral anticoagulant therapy - provided to prevent thrombosis - is known to be associated with substantial avoidable hospitalization. Improving the quality of the oral anticoagulant therapy could avoid drug related hospitalizations. Therefore, this study compared the patient outcomes between Dutch anticoagulant clinic (AC) regions taking the variation in chronic care management into account in order to explore whether chronic care management elements could improve the quality of oral anticoagulant therapy.
Two data sources were combined. The first source was a questionnaire that was send to all ACs in the Netherlands in 2008 (response = 100%) to identify the application of chronic care management elements in the AC regions. The Chronic Care Model of Wagner was used to make the concept of chronic care management operational. The second source was the report of the Dutch National Network of ACs which contains patient outcomes of the ACs.
Patient outcomes achieved by the ACs were good, yet differences existed; for instance the percentage of patients in the appropriate therapeutic ranges varied from 67 to 87% between AC regions. Moreover, differences existed in the use of chronic care management elements of the chronic care model, for example 12% of the ACs had multidisciplinary meetings and 58% of the ACs had formal agreements with at least one hospital within their region. Patient outcomes were significantly associated with patient orientation and the number of specialized nurses versus doctors (p-values < 0.05). Furthermore, the overall extent to which chronic care management elements were applied was positively associated with patient outcomes (p-values < 0.05).
Substantial differences in the patient outcomes as well as chronic care management of oral anticoagulant therapy existed. Since our results showed a positive association between overall application of chronic care management and patient outcomes, additional research is needed to fully understand the working mechanism of chronic care management.
High total cholesterol and low HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol are important determinants of cardiovascular disease. Little is known about dyslipidemia among Turkish and Moroccan migrants, two of the largest ethnic minority groups in several European countries. This study examines ethnic differences in total and HDL cholesterol levels between Dutch, Turkish and Moroccan ethnic groups.
Data were collected in the setting of a general health survey, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2004. Total response rate was 45% (Dutch: 46%, Turks: 50%, Moroccans: 39%). From 1,220 adults information on history of hypercholesterolemia, lifestyle and demographic background was obtained via health interviews. In a physical examination measurements of anthropometry and blood pressure were performed and blood was collected. Total and HDL cholesterol were determined in serum.
Total cholesterol levels were lower and hypercholesterolemia was less prevalent among the Moroccan and Turkish than the Dutch ethnic population. HDL cholesterol was also relatively low among these migrant groups. The resulting total/HDL cholesterol ratio was particularly unfavourable among the Turkish ethnic group. Controlling for Body Mass Index and alcohol abstinence substantially attenuated ethnic differences in HDL cholesterol levels and total/HDL cholesterol ratio.
Total cholesterol levels are relatively low in Turkish and Moroccan migrants. However part of this advantage is off-set by their relatively low levels of HDL cholesterol, resulting in an unfavourable total/HDL cholesterol ratio, particularly in the Turkish population. Important factors in explaining ethnic differences are the relatively high Body Mass Index and level of alcohol abstinence in these migrant groups.
To explore the potential long-term health and economic consequences of lifestyle interventions for diabetic patients.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
A literature search was performed to identify interventions for diabetic patients in which lifestyle issues were addressed. We selected recent (2003–2008), randomized controlled trials with a minimum follow-up of 12 months. The long-term outcomes for these interventions, if implemented in the Dutch diabetic population, were simulated with a computer-based model. Costs and effects were discounted at, respectively, 4 and 1.5% annually. A lifelong time horizon was applied. Probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed, taking account of variability in intervention costs and (long-term) treatment effects.
Seven trials with 147–5,145 participants met our predefined criteria. All interventions improved cardiovascular risk factors at ≥1 year follow-up and were projected to reduce cardiovascular morbidity over lifetime. The interventions resulted in an average gain of 0.01–0.14 quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) per participant. Health benefits were generally achieved at reasonable costs (≤€50,000/QALY). A self-management education program (X-PERT) and physical activity counseling achieved the best results with ≥0.10 QALYs gained and ≥99% probability to be very cost-effective (≤€20,000/QALY).
Implementation of lifestyle interventions would probably yield important health benefits at reasonable costs. However, essential evidence for long-term maintenance of health benefits was limited. Future research should be focused on long-term effectiveness and multiple treatment strategies should be compared to determine incremental costs and benefits of one over the other.
A higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms and an associated increase in health care utilization among children with parents who smoke is to be expected. From previous studies however, it appears that parents who smoke may underutilize health services for their children, especially with respect to respiratory care. This study explores the validity and generalizability of the previous assumption.
Data were obtained from a Dutch birth-cohort study; the Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy (PIAMA) project. Information regarding parental smoking, the child's respiratory symptoms and health care use and potential confounders were obtained by postal questionnaires. Multivariate logistic models were used to relate parental smoking to the child's respiratory symptoms and health care use.
The study comprised 3,564, 4-year old children. In the crude analysis, respiratory symptoms were more frequent among children with a parent who smoked, while health care utilization for respiratory symptoms was not significantly different between children with or without a parent who smoked. In the multivariate analyses, maternal smoking had a larger impact on the child's respiratory symptoms and health care use as compared to paternal smoking. Maternal smoking was positively associated with mild respiratory symptoms of the child, adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.50 (1.19–1.91), but not with severe respiratory symptoms AOR 1.03 (0.75–1.40). Among children with mild respiratory symptoms, children with a mother who smoked were less likely to be taken to the general practitioner (GP) for respiratory symptoms, than children with mothers who did not smoke, AOR 0.58 (0.33–1.01). This finding was less pronounced among children with severe respiratory symptoms AOR 0.86 (0.49–1.52). Neither GP visits for non-respiratory symptoms nor specialized care for respiratory disease were significantly associated with parental smoking.
Mothers who smoke appear to underutilize health care for their children with mild respiratory symptoms. Health care workers should be informed about this phenomenon. Inquiring after the respiratory health of the children during regular visits to healthy baby clinics may help to track potential underutilization of care.
Comorbidity has been shown to intensify health care utilization and to increase medical care costs for patients with diabetes. However, most studies have been focused on one health care service, mainly hospital care, or limited their analyses to one additional comorbid disease, or the data were based on self-reported questionnaires instead of health care registration data. The purpose of this study is to estimate the effects a broad spectrum of of comorbidities on the type and volume of medical health care utilization of patients with diabetes.
By linking general practice and hospital based registrations in the Netherlands, data on comorbidity and health care utilization of patients with diabetes (n = 7,499) were obtained. Comorbidity was defined as diabetes-related comorbiiabetes-related comorbidity. Multilevel regression analyses were applied to estimate the effects of comorbidity on health care utilization.
Our results show that both diabetes-related and non diabetes-related comorbidity increase the use of medical care substantially in patients with diabetes. Having both diabeterelated and non diabetes-related comorbidity incrases the demand for health care even more. Differences in health care utilization patterns were observed between the comorbidities.
Non diabetes-related comorbidity increases the health care demand as much as diabetes-related comorbidity. Current single-disease approach of integrated diabetes care should be extended with additional care modules, which must be generic and include multiple diseases in order to meet the complex health care demands of patients with diabetes in the future.