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author:("tullgren, Per")
1.  Thai district Leaders’ perceptions of managing the direct observation treatment program in Trang Province, Thailand 
BMC Public Health  2016;16:653.
Thailand is 18th out of the 22 countries with the highest tuberculosis (TB) burden. It will be a challenge for Thailand to achieve the UN Millennium Development target for TB, as well as the new WHO targets for eliminating TB by 2035. More knowledge and a new approach are needed to tackle the complex challenges of managing the DOT program in Thailand. Contextual factors strongly influence the local implementation of evidence in practice. Using the PARIHS model, the aim has been to explore district leaders’ perceptions of the management of the DOT program in Trang province, Thailand.
A phenomenographic approach was used to explore the perceptions among district DOT program leaders in Trang province. We conducted semi-structured interviews with district leaders responsible for managing the DOT program in five districts. The analysis of the data transcriptions was done by grouping similarities and differences of perceptions, which were constructed in a hierarchical outcome space that shows a set of descriptive categories.
The first descriptive category revealed a common perception of the leaders’ duty and wish to comply with the NTP guidelines when managing and implementing the DOT program in their districts. More varied perceptions among the leaders concerned how to achieve successful treatment. Other perceptions concerned practical dilemmas, which included fear of infection, mutual distrust, and inadequate knowledge about TB. Further, the leaders perceived a need for improved management practices in implementing the TB guidelines.
Using the PARIHS framework to gain a retrospective perspective on the district-level policy implementation of the DOT program and studying the leadership’s perceptions about applying the guidelines to practice, has brought new knowledge about management practices. Additional support and resources from the regional level are needed to manage the challenges.
PMCID: PMC4964034  PMID: 27464758
DOT program; Leadership; Phenomenography; PARIHS model; Thailand
2.  Non-attendance of mammographic screening: the roles of age and municipality in a population-based Swedish sample 
Inequality in health and health care is increasing in Sweden. Contributing to widening gaps are various factors that can be assessed by determinants, such as age, educational level, occupation, living area and country of birth. A health care service that can be used as an indicator of health inequality in Sweden is mammographic screening. The non-attendance rate is between 13 and 31 %, while the average is about 20 %. This study aims to shed light on three associations: between municipality and non-attendance, between age and non-attendance, and the interaction of municipality of residence and age in relation to non-attendance.
The study is based on data from the register that identifies attenders and non-attenders of mammographic screening in a Swedish county, namely the Radiological Information System (RIS). Further, in order to provide a socio-demographic profile of the county’s municipalities, aggregated data for women in the age range 40–74 in 2012 were retrieved from Statistics Sweden (SCB), the Public Health Agency of Sweden, the National Board of Health and Welfare, and the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. The sample consisted of 52,541 women. Analysis conducted of the individual data were multivariate logistic regressions, and pairwise chi-square tests.
The results show that age and municipality of residence associated with non-attendance of mammographic screening. Municipality of residence has a greater impact on non-attendance among women in the age group 70 to 74. For most of the age categories there were differences between the municipalities in regard to non-attendance to mammographic screening.
Age and municipality of residence affect attendance of mammographic screening. Since there is one sole and pre-selected mammographic screening facility in the county, distance to the screening facility may serve as one explanation to non-attendance which is a determinant of inequity. From an equity perspective, lack of equal access to health and health care influences facility utilization.
PMCID: PMC4696103  PMID: 26715453
Age; Distance; Equitable health care; Mammographic screening; Municipality of residence; Sweden
3.  Client/patient perceptions of achieving equity in primary health care: a mixed methods study 
To provide health care on equal terms has become a challenge for the health system. As the front line in health services, primary care has a key role to play in developing equitable health care, responsive to the needs of different population groups. Reducing inequalities in care has been a central and recurring theme in Swedish health reforms. The aim of this study is to describe and assess client/patient experiences and perceptions of care in four primary health care units (PHCUs) involved in Sweden’s national Care on Equal Terms project.
Mixed Method Research (MMR) was chosen to describe and assess client/patient experiences and perceptions of health care with regard to equity. There was a focus group discussion, and individual interviews with 21 clients/patients and three representatives of patient associations. Data from the Swedish National Patient Survey (NPS), conducted in 2011 and followed up in 2013, were also used.
The interview data were divided into two main categories and three subcategories. The first category “Perception of equitable health care” had two subcategories, namely “Health care providers’ perceptions” and “Fairness and participation”. The second category “To achieve more equitable health care” had four subcategories: “Encounter”, “Access”, “Interpreters and bilingual/diverse health care providers” and “Time pressure and continuity”. Results from the NPS showed that two of the PHCUs improved in some aspects of patient perceived quality of care (PPQC) while two were not so successful.
Clients/patients perceived health care providers’ perceptions of their ethnic origin and mental health status as important for equitable health care. Discriminatory perceptions may lead to those in need of care refraining from seeking it. More equitable care means longer consultations, better accessibility in terms of longer opening hours, and ways of communicating other than just via voice mail. It also involves continuity in care and access to an interpreter if needed. Employing bilingual/diverse kinds of health providers is a way of providing more equitable primary health care.
PMCID: PMC4533953  PMID: 26265148
4.  When Life Got in the Way: How Danish and Norwegian Immigrant Women in Sweden Reason about Cervical Screening and Why They Postpone Attendance 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0107624.
Danish and Norwegian immigrant women in Sweden have an increased risk of cervical cancer compared to Swedish-born women. In addition, Danish and Norwegian immigrant women follow the national recommendations for attendance at cervical screening to much lesser extent than Swedish-born women. The aim of this study was to explore how Danish and Norwegian immigrant women in Sweden reason about attending cervical screening, focusing on women’s perceptions as to why they and their compatriots do not attend.
Eight focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with Danish and Norwegian immigrant women living in Stockholm. The women were between 26 and 66 years of age at the time of the FGDs, and were aged between <1 and 48 years old when they immigrated to Sweden. A FGD guide was used, which included questions related to cervical screening, and obstacles and motivators to attend cervical screening. The FGDs were tape recorded and transcribed, and the results analysed according to the principles of qualitative content analysis.
The main theme was “Women have a comprehensive rationale for postponing cervical screening, yet do not view themselves as non-attenders”. Investigation of women’s rationale for non-attendance after being invited to cervical screening revealed some complex reasons related to immigration itself, including competing needs, organisational and structural factors and differences in mentality, but also reasons stemming from other factors. Postponing attendance at cervical screening was the category that linked all these factors as the reasons to why women did not attend to cervical screening according to the recommendations of the authorities.
The rationale used to postpone cervical screening, in combination with the fact that women do not consider themselves to be non-attenders, indicates that they have not actively taken a stance against cervical screening, and reveals an opportunity to motivate these women to attend.
PMCID: PMC4497727  PMID: 26158449
5.  Long-term follow-up of a high- and a low-intensity smoking cessation intervention in a dental setting– a randomized trial 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:592.
Achieving lifelong tobacco abstinence is an important public health goal. Most studies use 1-year follow-ups, but little is known about how good these are as proxies for long-term and life-long abstinence. Also, intervention intensity is an important issue for development of efficient and cost-effective cessation treatment protocols.
The study aims were to assess the long-term effectiveness of a high- and a low-intensity treatment (HIT and LIT) for smoking cessation and to analyze to what extent 12-month abstinence predicted long-term abstinence.
300 smokers attending dental or general health care were randomly assigned to HIT or LIT at the public dental clinic. Main outcome measures were self-reported point prevalence, continuous abstinence (≥6 months), and sustained abstinence. The study was a follow-up after 5–8 years of a previously performed 12-month follow-up, both by postal questionnaires.
Response rate was 85% (n=241) of those still alive and living in Sweden. Abstinence rates were 8% higher in both programs at the long-term than at the 12-month follow-up. The difference of 7% between HIT and LIT had not change, being 31% vs. 24% for point prevalence and 26% vs. 19% for 6-month continuous abstinence, respectively. Significantly more participants in HIT (12%) than in LIT (5%) had been sustained abstinent (p=0.03). Logistic regression analyses showed that abstinence at 12-month follow-up was a strong predictor for abstinence at long-term follow-up.
Abstinence at 12-month follow-up is a good predictor for long-term abstinence. The difference in outcome between HIT and LIT for smoking cessation remains at least 5–8 years after the intervention.
Trial registration number
PMCID: PMC3693879  PMID: 23777201
Tobacco cessation; Treatment intensity; Public health; Health care; Questionnaire
6.  Drivers' and conductors' views on the causes and ways of preventing workplace violence in the road passenger transport sector in Maputo City, Mozambique 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:800.
Workplace violence (WPV) is an occupational health hazard in both low and high income countries. To design WPV prevention programs, prior knowledge and understanding of conditions in the targeted population are essential. This study explores and describes the views of drivers and conductors on the causes of WPV and ways of preventing it in the road passenger transport sector in Maputo City, Mozambique.
The design was qualitative. Participants were purposefully selected from among transport workers identified as victims of WPV in an earlier quantitative study, and with six or more years of experience in the transport sector. Data were collected in semi-structured interviews. Seven open questions covered individual views on causes of WPV and its prevention, based on the interviewees' experiences of violence while on duty. Thirty-two transport professionals were interviewed. The data were analyzed by means of qualitative content analysis.
The triggers and causes of violence included fare evasion, disputes over revenue owing to owners, alcohol abuse, overcrowded vehicles, and unfair competition for passengers. Failures to meet passenger expectations, e.g. by-passing parts of a bus route or missing stops, were also important. There was disrespect on the part of transport workers, e.g. being rude to passengers and jumping of queues at taxi ranks, and there were also robberies. Proposals for prevention included: training for workers on conflict resolution, and for employers on passenger-transport administration; and, promoting learning among passengers and workers on how to behave when traveling collectively. Regarding control and supervision, there were expressed needs for the recording of mileage, and for the sanctioning of workers who transgress queuing rules at taxi ranks. The police or supervisors should prevent drunken passengers from getting into vehicles, and drivers should refuse to go to dangerous, secluded neighborhoods. Finally, there is a need for an institution to judge alleged cases of employees not handing over demanded revenues to their employer.
The causes of WPV lie in problems regarding money, behavior, environment, organization and crime. Suggestions for prevention include education, control to avoid critical situations, and a judicial system to assess malpractices. Further research in the road passenger transport sector in Maputo City, Mozambique and similar settings is warranted.
PMCID: PMC3209656  PMID: 21995594
7.  The relevance of WHO injury surveillance guidelines for evaluation: learning from the aboriginal community-centered injury surveillance system (ACCISS) and two institution-based systems 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:744.
Over the past three decades, the capacity to develop and implement injury surveillance systems (ISS) has grown worldwide and is reflected by the diversity of data gathering environments in which ISS operate. The capacity to evaluate ISS, however, is less advanced and existing evaluation guidelines are ambiguous. Furthermore, the applied relevance of these guidelines to evaluate ISS operating in various settings is unclear. The aim of this paper was to examine how the World Health Organization (WHO) injury surveillance guidelines have been applied to evaluate systems operating in three different contexts.
The attributes of a good surveillance system as well as instructions for conducting evaluations, outlined in the WHO injury surveillance guidelines, were used to develop an analytical framework. Using this framework, a comparative analysis of the application of the guidelines was conducted using; the Aboriginal Community-Centered Injury Surveillance System (ACCISS) from Canada, the Shantou-Emergency Department Injury Surveillance Project (S-EDISP) from China, and the Yorkhill-Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (Y-CHIRPP) imported from Canada and implemented in Scotland.
The WHO guidelines provide only a basic platform for evaluation. The guidelines over emphasize epidemiologic attributes and methods and under emphasize public health and injury prevention perspectives requiring adaptation for context-based relevance. Evaluation elements related to the dissemination and use of knowledge, acceptability, and the sustainability of ISS are notably inadequate. From a public health perspective, alternative reference points are required for re-conceptualizing evaluation paradigms. This paper offers an ISS evaluation template that considers how the WHO guidelines could be adapted and applied.
Findings suggest that attributes of a good surveillance system, when used as evaluation metrics, cannot be weighted equally across ISS. In addition, the attribute of acceptability likely holds more relevance than previously recognized and should be viewed as a critical underpinning attribute of ISS. Context-oriented evaluations sensitive to distinct operational environments are more likely to address knowledge gaps related to; understanding links between the production of injury data and its use, and the effectiveness, impact, and sustainability of ISS. Current frameworks are predisposed to disassociating epidemiologic approaches from subjective factors and social processes.
PMCID: PMC3292514  PMID: 21958054
8.  Health promotion at local level: a case study of content, organization and development in four Swedish municipalities 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:455.
Several health determinants are related to local conditions and prerequisites at community level. For this reason, strengthening community action has been one of five strategies implemented in health promotion since the end of the 1980s. Such action includes setting priorities, making decisions, planning strategies, and implementing them to achieve better health. The aim of this paper is to obtain a deeper understanding of content, organization and processes in the development of local health promotion.
A qualitative multiple case study of four Swedish municipalities. The cases were analyzed in accordance with the principles of cross-case study analysis, and a content analysis of documents and interviews was conducted in two steps. First, a manifest content analysis was performed to identify present and former actors and measures. Thereafter, a latent content analysis was performed to investigate structures and processes in local contexts.
The results of the inductive content analysis showed development of local health promotion in three phases: initiation, action, and achievement. Strengthening factors were local actors, health statistics and events. Hindering factors were lack of resources and vague objectives. External factors, e.g. national policies, were not perceived as prominent influencing factors. Media reports were regarded as having had an influence, but only to some extent. The content of local health promotion has developed from ad-hoc lifestyle and behaviour-related actions into structural, intersectoral actions related to determinants of health.
The municipalities have organized and developed their health promotion targets, actions and priorities on the basis of local needs and prerequisites. The three phases in the identified health promotion processes were experienced and documented as being subject to greater influence from internal rather than external strengthening and hindering factors in their local contexts.
PMCID: PMC2923108  PMID: 20682052
9.  Comparison of a high and a low intensity smoking cessation intervention in a dentistry setting in Sweden – a randomized trial 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:121.
Tobacco is still the number one life style risk factor for ill health and premature death and also one of the major contributors to oral problems and diseases. Dentistry may be a potential setting for several aspects of clinical public health interventions and there is a growing interest in several countries to develop tobacco cessation support in dentistry setting. The aim of the present study was to assess the relative effectiveness of a high intensity intervention compared with a low intensity intervention for smoking cessation support in a dental clinic setting.
300 smokers attending dental or general health care were randomly assigned to two arms and referred to the local dental clinic for smoking cessation support. One arm received support with low intensity treatment (LIT), whereas the other group was assigned to high intensity treatment (HIT) support. The main outcome measures included self-reported point prevalence and continuous abstinence (≥ 183 days) at the 12-month follow-up.
Follow-up questionnaires were returned from 86% of the participants. People in the HIT-arm were twice as likely to report continuous abstinence compared with the LIT-arm (18% vs. 9%, p = 0.02). There was a difference (not significant) between the arms in point prevalence abstinence in favour of the HIT-protocol (23% vs. 16%). However, point prevalence cessation rates in the LIT-arm reporting additional support were relatively high (23%) compared with available data assessing abstinence in smokers trying to quit without professional support.
Screening for willingness to quit smoking within the health care system and offering smoking cessation support within dentistry may be an effective model for smoking cessation support in Sweden. The LIT approach is less expensive and time consuming and may be appropriate as a first treatment option, but should be integrated with other forms of available support in the community. The more extensive and expensive HIT-protocol should be offered to those who are unable to quit with the LIT approach in combination with other support.
Trial Registration
Trial registration number: NCT00670514
PMCID: PMC2685131  PMID: 19405969
10.  Non-pharmaceutical prevention of hip fractures – a cost-effectiveness analysis of a community-based elderly safety promotion program in Sweden 
Elderly injuries are a recognized public health concern and are due to two factors; osteoporosis and accidental falls. Several osteoporosis pharmaceuticals are considered cost-effective, but intervention programs aiming at preventing falls should also be subjected to economic evaluations. This study presents a cost-effectiveness analysis of a community-based elderly safety promotion program.
A five-year elderly safety promotion program combining environmental structural changes with individually based measures was implemented in a community in the metropolitan area of Stockholm, Sweden. The community had around 5,500 inhabitants aged 65+ years and a first hip fracture incidence of 10.7 per 1,000 in pre-intervention years 1990–1995. The intervention outcome was measured as avoided hip fractures, obtained from a register-based quasi-experimental longitudinal analysis with several control areas. The long-term consequences in societal costs and health effects due to the avoided hip fractures, conservatively assumed to be avoided for one year, were estimated with a Markov model based on Swedish data. The analysis holds the societal perspective and conforms to recommendations for pharmaceutical cost-effectiveness analyses.
Total societal intervention costs amounted to 6.45 million SEK (in Swedish krona 2004; 1 Euro = 9.13 SEK). The number of avoided hip fractures during the six-year post-intervention period was estimated to 14 (0.44 per 1,000 person-years). The Markov model estimated a difference in societal costs between an individual that experiences a first year hip fracture and an individual that avoids a first year hip fracture ranging from 280,000 to 550,000 SEK, and between 1.1 and 3.2 QALYs (quality-adjusted life-years, discounted 3%), for males and females aged 65–79 years and 80+ years. The cost-effectiveness analysis resulted in zero net costs and a gain of 35 QALYs, and the do-nothing alternative was thus dominated.
The community-based elderly safety promotion program aiming at preventing accidental falls seems as cost-effective as osteoporosis pharmaceuticals.
PMCID: PMC2440733  PMID: 18513425

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