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1.  Contested professional role boundaries in health care: a systematic review of the literature 
Background
Across the Western world, demographic changes have led to healthcare policy trends in the direction of role flexibility, challenging established role boundaries and professional hierarchies. Population ageing is known to be associated with a rise in prevalence of chronic illnesses which, coupled with a reducing workforce, now places much greater demands on healthcare provision. Role flexibility within the health professions has been identified as one of the key innovative practice developments which may mitigate the effects of these demographic changes and help to ensure a sustainable health provision into the future. However, it is clear that policy drives to encourage and enable greater role flexibility among the health professions may also lead to professional resistance and inter-professional role boundary disputes. In the foot and ankle arena, this has been evident in areas such as podiatric surgery, podiatrist prescribing and extended practice in diabetes care, but it is far from unique to podiatry.
Methods
A systematic review of the literature identifying examples of disputed role boundaries in health professions was undertaken, utilising the STARLITE framework and adopting a focus on the specific characteristics and outcomes of boundary disputes. Synthesis of the data was undertaken via template analysis, employing a thematic organisation and structure.
Results
The review highlights the range of role boundary disputes across the health professions, and a commonality of events preceding each dispute. It was notable that relatively few disputes were resolved through recourse to legal or regulatory mandates.
Conclusions
Whilst there are a number of different strategies underpinning boundary disputes, some common characteristics can be identified and related to existing theory. Importantly, horizontal substitution invokes more overt role boundary disputes than other forms, with less resolution, and with clear implications for professions working within the foot and ankle arena.
doi:10.1186/s13047-015-0061-1
PMCID: PMC4322807  PMID: 25670968
Contested boundaries; Professional boundaries; Inter-professional boundaries
2.  Factors associated with non-attendance in a general practice super clinic population in regional Australia: A retrospective cohort study 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2014;7(8):323-333.
Background
Non-attendance at medical appointments is associated with increased patient morbidity and is a significant drain on health service resources. Australian studies have focused on secondary healthcare settings, screening, and interventions to reduce non-attendance.
Aims
To explore factors associated with non-attendance in a regional primary care setting.
Method
A retrospective cohort of all patients with a scheduled appointment between October 2011 and October 2013 at a regional, primary care clinic providing medical and allied health services in a region of New South Wales (NSW) serving a large Aboriginal population (10.7 per cent). Using multivariate logistic regression, non-attendance was regressed on a range of covariates, including number of appointments per person, gender and ethnicity, and day of the week.
Results
The overall proportion of missed appointments was 7.6 per cent. Risk factors for non-attendance were day of the week [Mondays (8.1 per cent), Fridays (8.0 per cent), and Thursdays (7.9 per cent), (χ2(4)= 20.208, p<0.0005], having fewer scheduled appointments [≤5 appointments resulted in 19.1 per cent greater risk of failure to attend (FTA) (95% CI: 11–28%)]; Aboriginality (OR=4.022, 95% CI: 3.263, 4.956), and female gender (OR=1.077; 95% CI 1.024, 1.132). There was a trend toward an interaction between gender and Aboriginality, with Aboriginal females being the group most likely to miss appointments (OR=1.272, 95% CI: 0.949, 1.705).
Conclusion
This is the largest study of non-attendance in an Australian primary healthcare setting. While not a typical setting, the study had the advantage of a large, mixed population. The suggested high rates of non-attendance by Aboriginal females have potentially important policy implications.
doi:10.4066/AMJ.2014.2098
PMCID: PMC4157152  PMID: 25279008
Non-attendance; super clinic; Aboriginal
3.  A qualitative study of staff perspectives of patient non-attendance in a regional primary healthcare setting 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2014;7(5):218-226.
Background
Non-attendance at health appointments reduces health service efficiency, is costly to services, and can risk patient health. Reminder systems are widely used to overcome forgetfulness, the most common reason for non-attendance; however, other factors, such as patient demographics and service accessibility, may also affect attendance rates.
Aims
There is limited primary research on the reasons for patient non-attendance in the Australian healthcare setting, although the success of preventative health initiatives requires ongoing monitoring of patients. This study aims to improve our understanding of the Australian experience by examining staff perspectives.
Method
This qualitative study explored staff perspectives of the reasons for non-attendance in a large, regional general practice super clinic, which has a low socioeconomic catchment, and serves a large Aboriginal population.
Results
The practical barriers to attendance of travel, cost, and waiting times had largely been overcome with transport provision, free medical care and responsive appointment times, but paradoxically, these were seen to devalue allocated appointments and reinforce the expectations of “on-demand” health care. For Aboriginal patients specifically, a distrust of authority, combined with poor health literacy was perceived to impact negatively on the uptake of diagnostic tests, filling of prescriptions, health monitoring, and adherence to medication.
Conclusion
The results suggest a complex interplay between poor health literacy and low patient self-worth; a funding system that encourages “five-minute medicine and prevents doctors getting to the root cause of patient problems or having the ability to provide health education.
doi:10.4066/AMJ.2014.2056
PMCID: PMC4051357  PMID: 24944719
Non-attendance; super clinic; Aboriginal; adherence; reminders
4.  Supervision, support and mentoring interventions for health practitioners in rural and remote contexts: an integrative review and thematic synthesis of the literature to identify mechanisms for successful outcomes 
Objective
To identify mechanisms for the successful implementation of support strategies for health-care practitioners in rural and remote contexts.
Design
This is an integrative review and thematic synthesis of the empirical literature that examines support interventions for health-care practitioners in rural and remote contexts.
Results
This review includes 43 papers that evaluated support strategies for the rural and remote health workforce. Interventions were predominantly training and education programmes with limited evaluations of supervision and mentoring interventions. The mechanisms associated with successful outcomes included: access to appropriate and adequate training, skills and knowledge for the support intervention; accessible and adequate resources; active involvement of stakeholders in programme design, implementation and evaluation; a needs analysis prior to the intervention; external support, organisation, facilitation and/or coordination of the programme; marketing of the programme; organisational commitment; appropriate mode of delivery; leadership; and regular feedback and evaluation of the programme.
Conclusion
Through a synthesis of the literature, this research has identified a number of mechanisms that are associated with successful support interventions for health-care practitioners in rural and remote contexts. This research utilised a methodology developed for studying complex interventions in response to the perceived limitations of traditional systematic reviews. This synthesis of the evidence will provide decision-makers at all levels with a collection of mechanisms that can assist the development and implementation of support strategies for staff in rural and remote contexts.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-12-10
PMCID: PMC3944003  PMID: 24521004
Supervision; professional development; synthesis; mechanism; health practitioner; rural
5.  Implementing large-scale workforce change: learning from 55 pilot sites of allied health workforce redesign in Queensland, Australia 
Background
Increasingly, health workforces are undergoing high-level ‘re-engineering’ to help them better meet the needs of the population, workforce and service delivery. Queensland Health implemented a large scale 5-year workforce redesign program across more than 13 health-care disciplines. This study synthesized the findings from this program to identify and codify mechanisms associated with successful workforce redesign to help inform other large workforce projects.
Methods
This study used Inductive Logic Reasoning (ILR), a process that uses logic models as the primary functional tool to develop theories of change, which are subsequently validated through proposition testing. Initial theories of change were developed from a systematic review of the literature and synthesized using a logic model. These theories of change were then developed into propositions and subsequently tested empirically against documentary, interview, and survey data from 55 projects in the workforce redesign program.
Results
Three overarching principles were identified that optimized successful workforce redesign: (1) drivers for change need to be close to practice; (2) contexts need to be supportive both at the local levels and legislatively; and (3) mechanisms should include appropriate engagement, resources to facilitate change management, governance, and support structures. Attendance to these factors was uniformly associated with success of individual projects.
Conclusions
ILR is a transparent and reproducible method for developing and testing theories of workforce change. Despite the heterogeneity of projects, professions, and approaches used, a consistent set of overarching principles underpinned success of workforce change interventions. These concepts have been operationalized into a workforce change checklist.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-11-66
PMCID: PMC3895764  PMID: 24330616
Role redesign; Workforce change; Implementation; Logic model; Proposition testing; Mixed methods; Workforce flexibility; Allied health; Inductive logic reasoning
6.  Interprofessional teamwork in the trauma setting: a scoping review 
Approximately 70 to 80% of healthcare errors are due to poor team communication and understanding. High-risk environments such as the trauma setting (which covers a broad spectrum of departments in acute services) are where the majority of these errors occur. Despite the emphasis on interprofessional collaborative practice and patient safety, interprofessional teamworking in the trauma setting has received little attention. This paper presents the findings of a scoping review designed to identify the extent and nature of this literature in this setting. The MEDLINE (via OVID, using keywords and MeSH in OVID), and PubMed (via NCBI using MeSH), and CINAHL databases were searched from January 2000 to April 2013 for results of interprofessional teamworking in the trauma setting. A hand search was conducted by reviewing the reference lists of relevant articles. In total, 24 published articles were identified for inclusion in the review. Studies could be categorized into three main areas, and within each area were a number of themes: 1) descriptions of the organization of trauma teams (themes included interaction between team members, and leadership); 2) descriptions of team composition and structure (themes included maintaining team stability and core team members); and 3) evaluation of team work interventions (themes included activities in practice and activities in the classroom setting).
Descriptive studies highlighted the fluid nature of team processes, the shared mental models, and the need for teamwork and communication. Evaluative studies placed a greater emphasis on specialized roles and individual tasks and activities. This reflects a multiprofessional as opposed to an interprofessional model of teamwork. Some of the characteristics of high-performing interprofessional teams described in this review are also evident in effective teams in the community rehabilitation and intermediate care setting. These characteristics may well be pertinent to other settings, and so provide a useful foundation for future investigations.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-11-57
PMCID: PMC3826522  PMID: 24188523
Interprofessional teamworking; Interprofessional collaborative practice; Trauma setting
7.  Ten principles of good interdisciplinary team work 
Background
Interdisciplinary team work is increasingly prevalent, supported by policies and practices that bring care closer to the patient and challenge traditional professional boundaries. To date, there has been a great deal of emphasis on the processes of team work, and in some cases, outcomes.
Method
This study draws on two sources of knowledge to identify the attributes of a good interdisciplinary team; a published systematic review of the literature on interdisciplinary team work, and the perceptions of over 253 staff from 11 community rehabilitation and intermediate care teams in the UK. These data sources were merged using qualitative content analysis to arrive at a framework that identifies characteristics and proposes ten competencies that support effective interdisciplinary team work.
Results
Ten characteristics underpinning effective interdisciplinary team work were identified: positive leadership and management attributes; communication strategies and structures; personal rewards, training and development; appropriate resources and procedures; appropriate skill mix; supportive team climate; individual characteristics that support interdisciplinary team work; clarity of vision; quality and outcomes of care; and respecting and understanding roles.
Conclusions
We propose competency statements that an effective interdisciplinary team functioning at a high level should demonstrate.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-11-19
PMCID: PMC3662612  PMID: 23663329
Interdisciplinary team work; Competencies; Intermediate care; Transitional care; Allied health; Systematic review; Evidence synthesis; Qualitative research
8.  Barriers to the routine collection of health outcome data in an Australian community care organization 
For over a decade, organizations have attempted to include the measurement and reporting of health outcome data in contractual agreements between funders and health service providers, but few have succeeded. This research explores the utility of collecting health outcomes data that could be included in funding contracts for an Australian Community Care Organisation (CCO). An action-research methodology was used to trial the implementation of outcome measurement in six diverse projects within the CCO using a taxonomy of interventions based on the International Classification of Function. The findings from the six projects are presented as vignettes to illustrate the issues around the routine collection of health outcomes in each case. Data collection and analyses were structured around Donabedian’s structure–process–outcome triad. Health outcomes are commonly defined as a change in health status that is attributable to an intervention. This definition assumes that a change in health status can be defined and measured objectively; the intervention can be defined; the change in health status is attributable to the intervention; and that the health outcomes data are accessible. This study found flaws with all of these assumptions that seriously undermine the ability of community-based organizations to introduce routine health outcome measurement. Challenges were identified across all stages of the Donabedian triad, including poor adherence to minimum dataset requirements; difficulties standardizing processes or defining interventions; low rates of use of outcome tools; lack of value of the tools to the service provider; difficulties defining or identifying the end point of an intervention; technical and ethical barriers to accessing data; a lack of standardized processes; and time lags for the collection of data. In no case was the use of outcome measures sustained by any of the teams, although some quality-assurance measures were introduced as a result of the project.
doi:10.2147/JMDH.S37727
PMCID: PMC3544392  PMID: 23326199
health outcome measurement; allied health; community services; Australia; accountability; effectiveness; International Classification of Function
9.  Effects of person-centered care on residents and staff in aged-care facilities: a systematic review 
Background
Several residential aged-care facilities have replaced the institutional model of care to one that accepts person-centered care as the guiding standard of practice. This culture change is impacting the provision of aged-care services around the world. This systematic review evaluates the evidence for an impact of person-centered interventions on aged-care residents and nursing staff.
Methods
We searched Medline, Cinahl, Academic Search Premier, Scopus, Proquest, and Expanded Academic ASAP databases for studies published between January 1995 and October 2012, using subject headings and free-text search terms (in UK and US English spelling) including person-centered care, patient-centered care, resident-oriented care, Eden Alternative, Green House model, Wellspring model, long-term care, and nursing homes.
Results
The search identified 323 potentially relevant articles. Once duplicates were removed, 146 were screened for inclusion in this review; 21 were assessed for methodological quality, resulting in nine articles (seven studies) that met our inclusion criteria. There was only one randomized, controlled trial. The majority of studies were quasi-experimental pre-post test designs, with a control group (n = 4). The studies in this review incorporated a range of different outcome measures (ie, dependent variables) to evaluate the impact of person-centered interventions on aged-care residents and staff. One person-centered intervention, ie, the Eden Alternative, was associated with significant improvements in residents’ levels of boredom and helplessness. In contrast, facility-specific person-centered interventions were found to impact nurses’ sense of job satisfaction and their capacity to meet the individual needs of residents in a positive way. Two studies found that person-centered care was actually associated with an increased risk of falls. The findings from this review need to be interpreted cautiously due to limitations in study designs and the potential for confounding bias.
Conclusion
Typically, person-centered interventions are multifactorial, comprising: elements of environmental enhancement; opportunities for social stimulation and interaction; leadership and management changes; staffing models focused on staff empowerment; and assigning residents to the same care staff and an individualized philosophy of care. The complexity of the interventions and range of outcomes examined makes it difficult to form accurate conclusions about the impact of person-centered care interventions adopted and implemented in aged-care facilities. The few negative consequences of the introduction of person-centered care models suggest that the introduction of person-centered care is not always incorporated within a wider “hierarchy of needs” structure, where safety and physiological need are met before moving onto higher level needs. Further research is necessary to establish the effectiveness of these elements of person-centered care, either singly or in combination.
doi:10.2147/CIA.S38589
PMCID: PMC3540911  PMID: 23319855
individualized care; nursing homes; culture change in care homes; residential aged-care facilities
10.  Assessing the implementation process and outcomes of newly introduced assistant roles: a qualitative study to examine the utility of the Calderdale Framework as an appraisal tool 
Video abstract
Video
Internationally, the health workforce has undergone rapid transformation to help meet growing staffing demands and population requirements. Several tools have been developed to support workforce change processes. The Calderdale Framework (CF) is one such tool designed to facilitate competency-based training by engaging team members in a seven step process involving awareness raising, service and task analysis, competency identification, establishing support systems, training, and sustaining. This paper explores the utility of the CF as an appraisal tool to assess whether adherence to the tool influences outcomes. The CF was applied retrospectively to three complete evaluations of allied health assistant role introduction: a new podiatry assistant role (Australia), speech pathology assistant (Australia), and occupational therapy assistant practitioner role (UK). Adherence to the CF was associated with more effective and efficient use of the role, role flexibility and career development opportunities for assistants, and role sustainability. Services are less likely to succeed in their workforce change process if they fail to plan for and use a structured approach to change, assign targeted leadership, undertake staff engagement and consultation, and perform an initial service analysis. The CF provides a clear template for appraising the implementation of new roles and highlights the potential consequences of not adhering to particular steps in the implementation process.
doi:10.2147/JMDH.S35493
PMCID: PMC3526861  PMID: 23271913
workforce change; allied health; assistant practitioner; Calderdale Framework; evaluation; podiatry; occupational therapy; speech pathology
11.  The relationship between staff skill mix, costs and outcomes in intermediate care services 
Background
The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between skill mix, patient outcomes, length of stay and service costs in older peoples' intermediate care services in England.
Methods
We undertook multivariate analysis of data collected as part of the National Evaluation of Intermediate Care Services. Data were analysed on between 337 and 403 older people admitted to 14 different intermediate care teams. Independent variables were the numbers of different types of staff within a team and the ratio of support staff to professionally qualified staff within teams. Outcome measures include the Barthel index, EQ-5D, length of service provision and costs of care.
Results
Increased skill mix (raising the number of different types of staff by one) is associated with a 17% reduction in service costs (p = 0.011). There is weak evidence (p = 0.090) that a higher ratio of support staff to qualified staff leads to greater improvements in EQ-5D scores of patients.
Conclusions
This study provides limited evidence on the relationship between multidisciplinary skill mix and outcomes in intermediate care services.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-221
PMCID: PMC2921080  PMID: 20670428
12.  Non- medical prescribing in Australasia and the UK: the case of podiatry 
Background
The last decade has witnessed a rapid transformation in the role boundaries of the allied health professions, enabled through the creation of new roles and the expansion of existing, traditional roles. A strategy of health care 'modernisation' has encompassed calls for the redrawing of professional boundaries and identities, linked with demands for greater workforce flexibility. Several tasks and roles previously within the exclusive domain of medicine have been delegated to, or assumed by, allied health professionals, as the workforce is reshaped to meet the challenges posed by changing demographic, social and political contexts. The prescribing of medicines by non-medically qualified healthcare professionals, and in particular the podiatry profession, reflects these changes.
Methods
Using a range of key primary documentary sources derived from published material in the public domain and unpublished material in private possession, this paper traces the development of contemporary UK and Australasian podiatric prescribing, access, supply and administration of medicines. Documentary sources include material from legislative, health policy, regulatory and professional bodies (including both State and Federal sources in Australia).
Results
Tracing a chronological, comparative, socio-historical account of the emergence and development of 'prescribing' in podiatry in both Australasia and the UK enables an analysis of the impact of health policy reforms on the use of, and access to, medicines by podiatrists. The advent of neo-liberal healthcare policies, coupled with demands for workforce flexibility and role transfer within a climate of demographic, economic and social change has enabled allied health professionals to undertake an expanding number of tasks involving the sale, supply, administration and prescription of medicines.
Conclusion
As a challenge to medical dominance, these changes, although driven by wider healthcare policy, have met with resistance. As anticipated in the theory of medical dominance, inter-professional jurisdictional disputes centred on the right to access, administer, supply and prescribe medicines act as obstacles to workforce change. Nevertheless, the broader policy agenda continues to ensure workforce redesign in which podiatry has assumed wider roles and responsibilities in prescribing.
doi:10.1186/1757-1146-3-1
PMCID: PMC2821370  PMID: 20051138
13.  Achieving professional status: Australian podiatrists' perceptions 
Background
This paper explores the notion of professional status from the perspective of a sample of Australian podiatrists; how it is experienced, what factors are felt to affect it, and how these are considered to influence professional standing within an evolving healthcare system. Underpinning sociological theory is deployed in order to inform and contextualise the study.
Methods
Data were drawn from a series of in-depth semi-structured interviews (n = 21) and focus groups (n = 9) with podiatrists from across four of Australia's eastern states (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Australian Capital Territory), resulting in a total of 76 participants. Semi-structured interview schedules sought to explore podiatrist perspectives on a range of features related to professional status within podiatry in Australia.
Results
Central to the retention and enhancement of status was felt to be the development of specialist roles and the maintenance of control over key task domains. Key distinctions in private and public sector environments, and in rural and urban settings, were noted and found to reflect differing contexts for status development. Marketing was considered important to image enhancement, as was the cache attached to the status of the universities providing graduate education.
Conclusion
Perceived determinants of professional status broadly matched those identified in the wider sociological literature, most notably credentialism, client status, content and context of work (such as specialisation) and an ideological basis for persuading audiences to acknowledge professional status. In an environment of demographic and workforce change, and the resultant policy demands for healthcare service re-design, enhanced opportunities for specialisation appear evident. Under the current model of professionalism, both role flexibility and uniqueness may prove important.
doi:10.1186/1757-1146-2-4
PMCID: PMC2649064  PMID: 19216783
14.  An evaluation of the 'Designated Research Team' approach to building research capacity in primary care 
BMC Family Practice  2008;9:37.
Background
This paper describes an evaluation of an initiative to increase the research capability of clinical groups in primary and community care settings in a region of the United Kingdom. The 'designated research team' (DRT) approach was evaluated using indicators derived from a framework of six principles for research capacity building (RCB) which include: building skills and confidence, relevance to practice, dissemination, linkages and collaborations, sustainability and infrastructure development.
Methods
Information was collated on the context, activities, experiences, outputs and impacts of six clinical research teams supported by Trent Research Development Support Unit (RDSU) as DRTs. Process and outcome data from each of the teams was used to evaluate the extent to which the DRT approach was effective in building research capacity in each of the six principles (as evidenced by twenty possible indicators of research capacity development).
Results
The DRT approach was found to be well aligned to the principles of RCB and generally effective in developing research capabilities. It proved particularly effective in developing linkages, collaborations and skills. Where research capacity was slow to develop, this was reflected in poor alignment between the principles of RCB and the characteristics of the team, their activities or environment. One team was unable to develop a research project and the funding was withdrawn at an early stage. For at least one individual in each of the remaining five teams, research activity was sustained beyond the funding period through research partnerships and funding successes. An enabling infrastructure, including being freed from clinical duties to undertake research, and support from senior management were found to be important determinants of successful DRT development. Research questions of DRTs were derived from practice issues and several projects generated outputs with potential to change daily practice, including the use of research evidence in practice and in planning service changes.
Conclusion
The DRT approach was effective at RCB in teams situated in a supportive organisation and in particular, where team members could be freed from clinical duties and management backing was strong. The developmental stage of the team and the research experience of constituent members also appeared to influence success. The six principles of RCB were shown to be useful as a framework for both developing and evaluating RCB initiatives.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-9-37
PMCID: PMC2478657  PMID: 18588685
15.  "There's no place like home" A pilot study of perspectives of international health and social care professionals working in the UK 
Background
Many countries are reporting health workforce shortages across a range of professions at a time of relatively high workforce mobility. Utilising the global market to supply shortage health skills is now a common recruitment strategy in many developed countries. At the same time a number of countries report a 'brain drain' resulting from professional people leaving home to work overseas. Many health and social care professionals make their way to the UK from other countries. This pilot study utilises a novel 'e-survey' approach to explore the motives, experiences and perspectives of non-UK health and social care professionals who were working or had worked in the UK. The study aims to understand the contributions of international health and social care workers to the UK and their 'home' countries. The purpose of the pilot study is also in part to test the appropriateness of this methodology for undertaking a wider study.
Results
A 24-item questionnaire with open-ended and multiple choice questions was circulated via email to 10 contacts who were from a country outside the UK, had trained outside the UK and had email access. These contacts were requested to forward the email to other contacts who met these criteria (and so on). The email was circulated over a one month pilot period to 34 contacts. Responses were from physiotherapists (n = 11), speech therapists (n = 4), social workers (n = 10), an occupational therapist (n = 1), podiatrists (n = 5), and others (n = 3). Participants were from Australia (n = 20), South Africa (n = 10), New Zealand (n = 3) and the Republic of Ireland (n = 1). Motives for relocating to the UK included travel, money and career opportunities. Participants identified a number of advantages and disadvantages of working in the UK compared to working in their home country health system. Respondents generally reported that by working in the UK, they had accumulated skills and knowledge that would allow them to contribute more to their profession and health system on their return home.
Conclusion
This pilot study highlights a range of issues and future research questions for international learning and comparison for the health and social care professions as a result of international workforce mobility. The study also highlights the usefulness of an e-survey technique for capturing information from a geographically diverse and mobile group of professionals.
doi:10.1186/1743-8462-2-25
PMCID: PMC1283969  PMID: 16253132

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