To address concerns about disruptions in the continuity of health care delivered to residents in three remote aboriginal communities in northern Ontario, Canada, the local health authority initiated a study in collaboration with the department of Health Canada responsible for ensuring that aboriginal reserves receive mandatory health services, and an inter-disciplinary team of researchers from two universities. The study focussed on the delivery of oncology, diabetes and mental health care, specifically, as well as systems issues such as recruitment and retention of health human resources and financial costs. The paper discusses the procedures involved, the benefits derived and the challenges encountered in doing this as a community driven participatory action research project. It also summarizes the findings that led to community formulated policy and program recommendations.
Hip fracture treatment and rehabilitation are often considered as separate issues and generally performed in different locations. The rapidly increasing proportion of patients that is old and very old now calls for a new approach. This is a prospective study of 909 consecutive hip fracture patients, over 64 years old, admitted to hospital from an independent living situation. In a specialized hip fracture unit, 256 patients were given an early and intense rehabilitation program. It focused on continuity, feedback, reorientation and continuous monitoring of cognitive function and activities of daily living (ADL). Eighty-five percent of the patients could return directly to their own home after the initial treatment period. The mean total utilization of health care resources during the first 4 months after the injury was lower (28 institutional days) than in 286 historical controls given conventional rehabilitation (39 days, p
Dementia has become a major public health issue worldwide due to its rapidly increasing prevalence and an increasing number of dementia-related deaths in long-term care facilities. The aim of this study was to examine health professionals' experiences of potential barriers and facilitators in providing palliative care for people with severe dementia in long-term care facilities.
This was a qualitative descriptive study. The data were collected from four focus groups and 20 individual in-depth interviews with healthcare professionals from four Norwegian nursing homes. The data were analysed by thematic text analysis, as described by Braun and Clarke.
The major findings indicate that healthcare professionals experience a lack of continuity as the main barrier to facilitating palliative care. Time pressure and increased efficiency requirements especially affect the weakest and bedridden residents with dementia. The healthcare professionals feel conflicted between wanting to spend more time caring for each individual resident and feeling pressure to help everyone. Although resources are scarce, dying residents are always given priority by healthcare professionals, either by the hiring of extra personnel or the reorganization of tasks in a way that facilitates someone staying with the terminal resident. Advanced care planning was highlighted as a facilitator in providing palliative care, but the extensive use of temporary staff among nurses and doctors and the relocation between the sheltered and long-term wards threaten the continuity in planning and providing palliative care.
The findings indicate that healthcare professionals experienced several structural barriers that prevented the provision of palliative care to people with severe dementia in long-term care facilities. Increasing demands for economic rationality lead to a lack of continuity of care. Organizational changes, such as measures to increase the competence and the proportion of permanent employees and the prevention of burdensome end-of-life transitions, should be implemented to improve continuity and quality of care.