To describe the substantive and procedural criteria used for placing patients on the waiting list for liver transplantation and for allocating available livers to patients on the waiting list; to identify principal decision-makers and the main factors limiting liver transplantation in Canada; and to examine how closely cadaveric liver allocation resembles theoretic models of source allocation.
Medical directors of all seven Canadian adult liver transplantation centres, or their designates. Six of the questionnaires were completed.
Relative importance of substantive and procedural criteria used to place patients in the waiting list for liver transplantation and to allocate available livers. Identification of principal decision-makers and main limiting factors to adult liver transplantation.
Alcoholism, drug addiction, HIV positivity, primary liver cancer, noncompliance and hepatitis B were the most important criteria that had a negative influence on decisions to place patients on the waiting list for liver transplantation. Severity of disease and urgency were the most important criteria used for selecting patients on the waiting list for transplantation. Criteria that were inconsistent across the centres included social support (for deciding who is placed on the waiting list) and length of time on the waiting list (for deciding who is selected from the list). Although a variety of people were reported as being involved in these decisions, virtually all were reported to be health to be health care professionals. Thirty-seven patients died while waiting for liver transplantation in 1991; the scarcity of cadaveric livers was the main limiting factor.
Criteria for resource allocation decisions regarding liver transplantation are generally consistent among the centres across Canada, although some important inconsistencies remain. Because patients die while on the waiting list and because the primary limiting factor is organ supply, increased organ acquisition efforts are needed.
Flight nurses in the Norwegian National Air Ambulance Service are specialist nurse anesthetists or intensive care nursing specialists. For air ambulance bases far from hospitals, these nurses present otherwise unavailable competencies. This study reports a 6-year experience with flight nurse participation in local emergencies beyond the transportation phase.
The fixed-wing air ambulance base in Alta, Northern Norway (20,000 inhabitants), with 2 aircraft and 2 on-call teams is 150 km by road from the nearest hospital. We did a prospective registration of all emergency nonflight missions near the air ambulance base from January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2010.
The 217 completed missions corresponded to 3 missions per month, half during daytime. Twenty-three percent of patients were under age 18, injury rate was high (36%), 63% had potentially or manifest life-threatening conditions, and 11% died during treatment. One third of all missions (67/217) resulted in an air ambulance flight to the hospital.
Mission frequency did not significantly reduce flight availability, and precision in case selection for this special service was good. The use of flight nurses in the local community promotes equal access to advanced medical services for populations far from hospitals.
This study evaluates the use of in-person focus groups and online engagement within the context of a large public engagement initiative conducted in rural Newfoundland.
Participants were surveyed about their engagement experience and demographic information. Pre and post key informant interviews were also conducted with organizers of the initiative.
Of the 111 participants in the focus groups, 97 (87%) completed evaluation surveys; as did 23 (88%) out of 26 online engagement participants. Overall, focus group participants were positive about their involvement, with 87.4% reporting that they would participate in a similar initiative. Online participation was below expectations and these participants viewed their experience less positively than in-person participants. Organizers viewed the engagement initiative and the combined use of online and in-person engagement positively.
This study presents a real-world example of the use of two methods of engagement. It also highlights the importance of the successful execution of whatever engagement mechanism is selected.
The aim of this study was to assess the dimensionality of YFHS-Swe and identify possible unique factors in the evaluation of youth-friendliness. YFHS-Swe was answered by 1110 youths aged 16 to 25 years visiting youth clinics in Northern Sweden. Thirteen factors were identified by exploratory factor analysis and except for one factor they all proved to fit well and have good reliability when assessed by the confirmatory factor analysis. The YFHS-Swe proved to be credible and suitable for assessing youth-friendliness of differentiated health services in Sweden. With cultural and linguistic adaptations, it can be used in similar settings internationally.
Care of a secondary patient (an individual other than the primary patient for an outpatient visit) is common in family practice, but the content of care of this type of patient has not been described.
In a cross-sectional study, 170 volunteer primary care clinicians in 50 practices in the Ambulatory Sentinel Practice Network reported all occurrences of care of a secondary patient during 1 week of practice. These clinicians reported the characteristics of the primary patient and the secondary patient and the content of care provided to the secondary patient. Content of care was placed in 6 categories (advice, providing a prescription, assessment or explanation of symptoms, follow-up of a previous episode of care, making or authorizing a referral, and general discussion of a health condition).
Physicians reported providing care to secondary patients during 6% of their office visits. This care involved more than one category of service for the majority of visits involving care of a secondary patient. Advice was provided during more than half the visits. A prescription, assessment or explanation of symptoms, or a general discussion of condition were provided during approximately 30% of the secondary care visits. Secondary care was judged to have substituted for a separate visit 60% of the time, added an average of 5 minutes to the visit, and yielded no reimbursement for 95% of visits.
Care of a secondary patient reflects the provision of potentially intensive and complex services that require additional time and are largely not reimbursed or recognized by current measures of primary care. This provision of secondary care may facilitate access to care and represent an added value provided by family physicians.
To compare primary healthcare (PHC) provided by an independent not-for-profit organization (INPO) with that provided by two public municipal organizations (MO1 and MO2), in terms of clients' perceptions of performance, acceptance, and trust.
A survey using a pre-tested questionnaire to all clients visiting a health centre (HC) doctor or nurse during one week in 2000 (n = 511, 51% response rate) and 2002 (n = 275, 47%). The data were analysed by descriptive statistics and cumulative logistic regression analysis.
The INPO differed from both publicly provided services in accessibility, consistency of service, and outcomes. Clients reported lower trust in HC provided by public organizations compared with the INPO. Trust was higher if clients also reported experiencing "very good" or "moderate" organizational access--or if general satisfaction was "very high" or "moderate" or if they experienced outcomes as "very good" or "moderate" compared with the "very poor or low" situation. Women reported lower trust in HC than men. When the family doctor was included in the same logistic regression model with the service provider, only the family doctor was a significant explanatory variable. Reported acceptance of private alternative service providers among clients was similar between the study organizations.
Clients of the INPO generally rated the service more positively than clients of publicly provided services. The results indicate that trust in HC depends more on a family doctor system than a service provider.
The introduction of highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) has produced dramatic reductions in HIV associated morbidity and mortality. However, this success has not been replicated amongst injection drug users (IDUs) and other marginalised groups largely due to reduced uptake and lower rates of access and adherence to anti-retrovirals (ARVs). Multi-disciplinary programmes have been developed to help support ARV treatment and HIV care amongst IDUs. We retrospectively analysed the rates of adherence and plasma viral load suppression amongst participants in two clinic-based programmes that began enrollment in 1998. Of the 297 clients, the mean age was 40.5 years, 73% were males, 44% were of Aboriginal ethnicity, and 85% were Hepatitis C co-infected. One hundred and forty-two (47%) started therapy with a CD4 count below 200 mm(-3), and baseline plasma viral load was over 100,000 copies/ml in 73 (25%). Treatment interruptions of greater than 2 weeks occurred in 41% of the participants during follow-up. The overall rate of adherence to treatment was 84.5% during periods when known interruptions were not considered. Plasma viral load suppression was attained by 29% during the first ARV regimen, although 83% had at least one fully suppressed plasma viral load recorded during follow-up. All cause mortality was 21% during the period of observation. The programmes initiated in Vancouver demonstrate the positive impact that a comprehensive DOT programme can have on ARV adherence, as well as highlight the challenges that remain.
Team-based practice in primary care has been advocated for improved access, quality, effectiveness, and cost-efficiency of primary health care services, but there is limited empirical evidence supporting it.
To examine the impact of team-based practice on patients' perception of several process and outcome indicators from patients' perspective.
Micro data from the 2007-08 Canadian Survey of Experiences with Primary Health Care conducted by Statistics Canada were utilized. Regression techniques and propensity score matching method were used to examine the impact of team-based primary care on several process and outcome indicators of primary care.
The estimated average treatment effect of team-based care was positively significant and robust for access to after-hours care, quality of care, confidence in the system, overall coordination of care, and patient centeredness. Although the estimated average treatment effects for the two dimensions of follow-up coordination, continuity of care, health promotion and disease prevention initiatives, and utilization of physician and nurse services were statistically significant, sensitivity test results showed that these results were unreliable.
Team-based primary care improves patients' perception of process and outcome indicators in the area of access to after-hours care, quality of care, confidence in the system, overall coordination and patient centeredness. Future research needs to establish the causal link between team-based primary care and health outcomes of patients.
Lack of patient motivation and dropout are common problems in the treatment of eating disorders. The present study explored patient experiences with open access to specialist eating disorder services through a drop-in program aiming to enable early identification of eating disorders, address motivational problems, and strengthen the therapeutic alliance. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were used to explore the experiences of 11 individuals attending the program. Results suggest that drop-in access may strengthen the therapeutic alliance, motivate engagement in treatment, and reduce dropout. Strengths and weaknesses of the program are discussed and the need for more systematic research is elaborated.
: Health care transformations often involve the development of networks to ensure smooth and safe patient flows throughout the care continuum. However, more empirical information is needed on the workings of health networks and on how their structures, processes, and systems influence access to high-quality patient care.
: Using Miller's concept of configuration, we describe the workings of a health network specialized in the provision of neonatal-perinatal care, a specialty where accessibility issues are quite problematic. We aimed to generate evidence that will assist policy makers, network managers, and clinicians in facilitating access to high-quality neonatal-perinatal care.
: From late 2007 to early 2008, we conducted a case study of all (N = 7) neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in the province of Quebec (Canada). We performed field work into two purposefully selected NICUs. This involved 450 hours of nonparticipant observation and 56 semistructured interviews with various actors. Data from these sources were triangulated with data collected during informal interviews with key actors from the other five NICUs in the province and from administrative databases.
: We found that the elements of this health network are pulled together by a core orchestrating theme: "Forcing the system." Indeed, in attempting to fulfill the network mission of providing access to high-quality neonatal-perinatal care, clinicians and managers must implement various strategies to compensate for the misfit of the configuration. Although these strategies are successful in providing access to neonatal-perinatal care, they, however, have adverse effects that are paradoxically in contradiction with the network's core mission.
: This configuration analysis enabled us to identify a set of modifiable elements that contribute to the misfit of the configuration and its suboptimal functioning. The comprehensiveness of the configuration approach was proven useful for the analysis of such a complex organizational form.