Since kidney transplantation (KTX) is the preferred means of treating kidney failure, ensuring that all patients who may benefit from KTX have equal access to this scarce resource is an important objective. Studies focusing on this issue will become increasingly important as the gap between the demand and supply of organs continues to increase, and changes to the United Network of Organ Sharing organ allocation policy are actively debated. However, it is clear that current methods used to study access to KTX have serious limitations. This review highlights the shortcomings of the methods currently used to assess access to KTX, and the limitations of registry data and national wait-list data as information sources to study patient access to KTX. The review also provides suggestions for research and analytical approaches that might be utilized to improve our future understanding of patient access to KTX. The information provided will aid the reader to critically assess issues related to patient access to KTX.
In medical practices that do not have rosters, only the number of patients who come to the practice can be enumerated: the number who might have visited if they had had a reason to do so remains unknown. The Quadratic Odds Estimator is a technique for estimating the total number of patients cared for by a primary care medical practice, including the non-visitors. A revised version of the model is shown to have an error of less than 1% in predicting the number of patients at risk of visiting a primary care medical practice. Aggregate and sex-specific estimates of total practice size are shown to be comparable to within 2%. The model estimates the prevalence of hypertension among the patients of two family practice resdencies as 18 and 11%. The rationale for employing unconventional regression weights and dual regressions is explained.
Recent years have seen an increase in the number of new vaccines available on the Canadian market, and increasing divergence in provincial and territorial immunization programs as jurisdictions must choose among available health interventions with limited funding. We present an analytical framework, which we have developed to assist in the analysis and comparison of potential immunization programs. The framework includes 58 criteria classified into 13 categories, including the burden of disease, vaccine characteristics and immunization strategy, cost-effectiveness, acceptability, feasibility, and evaluability of program, research questions, equity, ethical, legal and political considerations. To date this framework has been utilized in a variety of different contexts, such as to structure expert presentations and reports and to examine the degree of consensus and divergence among experts, and to establish priorities. It can be transformed for a variety of other uses such as educating health professionals and the general public about immunization.
Development of novel methodologies to efficiently create large genetic epidemiology cohorts is needed. Here we describe a rapid, precise and cost-efficient method for collection of DNA from cases previously experiencing an osteoporotic fracture by identifying cases using and administrative health-care databases. Over the course of 14 months we collected DNA from 1,130 women experiencing an osteoporotic fracture, at a cost of $54 per sample. This cohort is among the larger DNA osteoporotic fracture collections in the world. The novel method described addresses a major unmet health care research need and is widely applicable to any disease that can be identified accurately through administrative data.
Cites: Bull World Health Organ. 2003;81(9):646-5614710506
The concept of social welfare functions has been discussed in health economic literature, as it provides a way of examining the extent to which society is prepared to accept a trade-off between efficiency and equity. In this paper requirements for meaningful empirical estimates of the willingness to accept lower per capita health status in order to achieve greater equity are examined. Results from a pilot study aimed at testing the proposed measurement procedure are reported. They show that at least two thirds of the politicians who participated are prepared to accept a lower growth in per capita health in exchange for increased equity. Accordingly, we found a weak empirical support for the common health economic assumption that only total health benefit should guide the use of resources.
Data in health research are frequently structured hierarchically. For example, data may consist of patients nested within physicians, who in turn may be nested in hospitals or geographic regions. Fitting regression models that ignore the hierarchical structure of the data can lead to false inferences being drawn from the data. Implementing a statistical analysis that takes into account the hierarchical structure of the data requires special methodologies. In this paper, we introduce the concept of hierarchically structured data, and present an introduction to hierarchical regression models. We then compare the performance of a traditional regression model with that of a hierarchical regression model on a dataset relating test utilization at the annual health exam with patient and physician characteristics. In comparing the resultant models, we see that false inferences can be drawn by ignoring the structure of the data.
Trials of complex health interventions often pose difficult methodologic challenges. The objective of this paper is to assess the extent to which the various development steps of a cluster randomized trial to optimize antibiotic use in nursing homes are represented in a recently published framework for the design and evaluation of complex health interventions. In so doing, the utility of the framework for health services researchers is evaluated.
Using the five phases of the framework (theoretical, identification of components of the intervention, definition of trial and intervention design, methodological issues for main trial, promoting effective implementation), corresponding stages in the development of the cluster randomized trial using diagnostic and treatment algorithms to optimize the use of antibiotics in nursing homes are identified and described.
Synthesis of evidence needed to construct the algorithms, survey and qualitative research used to define components of the algorithms, a pilot study to assess the feasibility of delivering the algorithms, methodological issues in the main trial including choice of design, allocation concealment, outcomes, sample size calculation, and analysis are adequately represented using the stages of the framework.
The framework is a useful resource for researchers planning a randomized clinical trial of a complex intervention.
With the recognized need for health systems' improvements in the circumpolar and indigenous context, there has been a call to expand the research agenda across all sectors influencing wellness and to recognize academic and indigenous knowledge through the research process. Despite being recognized as a distinct body of knowledge in international forums and across indigenous groups, examples of methods and theories based on indigenous knowledge are not well documented in academic texts or peer-reviewed literature on health systems. This paper describes the use of a consensus-based, mixed method with indigenous knowledge by an experienced group of researchers and indigenous knowledge holders who collaborated on a study that explored indigenous values underlying health systems stewardship. The method is built on the principles of Etuaptmumk or two-eyed seeing, which aim to respond to and resolve the inherent conflicts between indigenous ways of knowing and the scientific inquiry that informs the evidence base in health care. Mixed methods' frameworks appear to provide a framing suitable for research questions that require data from indigenous knowledge sources and western knowledge. The nominal consensus method, as a western paradigm, was found to be responsive to embedding of indigenous knowledge and allowed space to express multiple perspectives and reach consensus on the question at hand. Further utilization and critical evaluation of this mixed methodology with indigenous knowledge are required.