According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey carried out in Russia in 2009, the country had one of the highest smoking prevalence rates in Europe. In response to this health and economic burden, Russia implemented a comprehensive Tobacco Control Law (TCL) in 2013, which has been associated with a 21.5% relative decline in adult smoking prevalence in 2016 compared with 2009. This study tests the impact of the TCL on cardiovascular disease (CVD) related health outcomes, including morbidity and mortality.
The study evaluated the TCL as an intervention in a natural experiment during the period 2003-2015. A synthetic control was created as a comparator, using data from countries that did not have a comparable comprehensive tobacco control intervention. Changes in trends in CVD outcomes - hospital discharge rates (HDRs) and standardized death rates (SDRs) - were then compared to test for an impact associated with the TCL.
Pre-intervention trends in CVD-related HDRs were similar between Russia and the synthetic control, but became divergent after the TCL with greater benefit observed in Russia. This implies a beneficial impact of the TCL on CVD related morbidity in the Russian population. Whilst SDRs continued to reduce in both Russia and the control, the impact of TCL is less clear.
This study provides further evidence to support comprehensive tobacco control in line with the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). Alongside a reduction in tobacco consumption, smoking-related CVD morbidity appears to benefit quite soon after implementation, whilst smoking-related deaths might need a longer post-intervention period to be detectable.
In order to meet the future challenges posed by ageing populations, new technology, telemedicine and a more personalized healthcare system are needed. Earlier research has shown mobile radiography services to be highly beneficial for nursing home residents in addition to being cost-effective. Despite the benefits, mobile radiography services are uncommon in Europe and Norway. The purpose of this study was to explore success criteria and barriers in the process of implementing mobile radiography services, from the point of view of the hospital and municipal managers.
Eleven semi-structured interviews were conducted with managers from five hospitals and six municipalities in Norway where mobile radiography services had been implemented. Core issues in the interview guide were barriers and facilitators in the different phases of implementation. The framework method for thematic analysis was used for analysing the data inductively in a research team.
Five main categories were developed through the success criteria and barriers experienced by the participants: national health policy, regional and municipal policy and conditions, inter-organizational implementation projects, experienced outcome, and professional skills and personal characteristics. The categories were allocated into three higher-order classifications: macro, meso and micro levels. The main barriers experienced by the managers were financial, procedural and structural. In particular, the reimbursement system, lack of management across healthcare levels and the lack of compatible information systems acted as barriers. The main facilitators were external funding, enthusiastic individuals in the organizations and good collaboration between hospitals and municipalities.
The managers experienced financial, structural and procedural barriers. The main success criteria in the process were external funding, and the support and engagement from the individuals in the organizations. This commitment was mainly facilitated by the intuitive appeal of mobile radiography. Changes in healthcare management and in the financial system might facilitate services across healthcare levels. In addition, compatible information systems across healthcare levels are needed in order to facilitate the use of new technology and mobile services.
Health care provision in rural and urban areas faces different challenges. In Sweden, health care provision has been predominantly public and equitable access to care has been pursued mainly through public planning and coordination. This is to ensure that health needs are met in the same manner in all parts of the country, including rural or less affluent areas. However, a marketization of the health care system has taken place during recent decades and the publicly planned system has been partially replaced by a new market logic, where private providers guided by financial concerns can decide independently where to establish their practices. In this paper, we explore the effects of marketization policies on rural health care provision by asking how policy makers in rural counties have managed to combine two seemingly contradictory health policy goals: to create conditions for market competition among health care providers and to ensure equal access to health care for all patients, including those living in rural and remote areas.
A qualitative case study within three counties in the northern part of Sweden, characterized by vast rural areas, was carried out. Legal documents, the "accreditation documents" regulating the health care quasi-markets in the three counties were analyzed. In addition, interviews with policy makers in the three county councils, representing the political majority, the opposition, and the political administration were conducted in April and May 2013.
The findings demonstrate the difficulties involved in introducing market dynamics in health care provision in rural areas, as these reforms not only undermined existing resource allocation systems based on health needs but also undercut attempts by local policy makers to arrange for care provision in remote locations through planning and coordination.
Provision of health care in rural areas is not well suited for market reforms introducing competition, as this may undermine the goal of equity in access to health care, even in a publicly financed health care system.
Health policy papers disseminate recommendations and guidelines for the development and implementation of health promotion interventions. Such documents have rarely been investigated with regard to their assumed mechanisms of action for changing behaviour. The Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) and Behaviour Change Techniques (BCT) Taxonomy have been used to code behaviour change intervention descriptions, but to our knowledge such "retrofitting" of policy papers has not previously been reported. This study aims first to identify targets, mediators, and change strategies for physical activity (PA) and nutrition behaviour change in Finnish policy papers on workplace health promotion, and second to assess the suitability of the Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW) approach for this purpose.
We searched all national-level health policy papers effectual in Finland in August 2016 focusing on the promotion of PA and/or healthy nutrition in the workplace context (n = 6). Policy recommendations targeting employees' nutrition and PA including sedentary behaviour (SB) were coded using BCW, TDF, and BCT Taxonomy.
A total of 125 recommendations were coded in the six policy papers, and in two additional documents referenced by them. Psychological capability, physical opportunity, and social opportunity were frequently identified (22%, 31%, and 24%, respectively), whereas physical capability was almost completely absent (1%). Three TDF domains (knowledge, skills, and social influence) were observed in all papers. Multiple intervention functions and BCTs were identified in all papers but several recommendations were too vague to be coded reliably. Influencing individuals (46%) and changing the physical environment (44%) were recommended more frequently than influencing the social environment (10%).
The BCW approach appeared to be useful for analysing the content of health policy papers. Paying more attention to underlying assumptions regarding behavioural change processes may help to identify neglected aspects in current policy, and to develop interventions based on recommendations, thus helping to increase the impact of policy papers.
ErratumIn: BMC Public Health. 2017 Sep 22;17 (1):736 PMID 28938882
Cites: Health Res Policy Syst. 2014 Sep 23;12:55 PMID 25248956
Cites: Eur J Public Health. 2012 Oct;22(5):677-83 PMID 21785115
Involving patients and the public in healthcare decision-making is on the policy agenda in several countries. The aim of our study was to describe and analyse the development of patient and public involvement from a policy perspective. We argue that the language of health policies can influence both the aims and the development of involvement methods. In this study health policy documents, which have guided the development of patient and public involvement in Finland have been analysed using methods of Membership Categorisation Analysis. This has enabled us to explore how health policy documents categorise patients and the wider public in relation to involvement and orientate the involvement activities in which people are able to participate. Different set of abilities, expectations, responsibilities and opportunities is attached to the categories of patient, risk group, service user, customer and expert. Health policy documents often equate involvement with choice making by service users and customers; or as involvement in service development by experts. In both of these cases, involvement is depicted as an individual activity that requires personal responsibility and specialist knowledge. Although involvement opportunities have overall increased, they are primarily available to people that are "participation ready" and able to adopt roles promoted in policies. Health policy documents produce one interpretation of involvement, nevertheless it is important that diverse groups of patients, the public and health professionals participate in the discussion and express their views, which may differ from those of policy makers.