A National Asthma Programme was undertaken in Finland from 1994 to 2004 to improve asthma care and prevent an increase in costs. The main goal was to lessen the burden of asthma to individuals and society.
The action programme focused on implementation of new knowledge, especially for primary care. The main premise underpinning the campaign was that asthma is an inflammatory disease and requires anti-inflammatory treatment from the outset. The key for implementation was an effective network of asthma-responsible professionals and development of a post hoc evaluation strategy. In 1997 Finnish pharmacies were included in the Pharmacy Programme and in 2002 a Childhood Asthma mini-Programme was launched.
The incidence of asthma is still increasing, but the burden of asthma has decreased considerably. The number of hospital days has fallen by 54% from 110 000 in 1993 to 51 000 in 2003, 69% in relation to the number of asthmatics (n = 135 363 and 207 757, respectively), with the trend still downwards. In 1993, 7212 patients of working age (9% of 80 133 asthmatics) received a disability pension from the Social Insurance Institution compared with 1741 in 2003 (1.5% of 116 067 asthmatics). The absolute decrease was 76%, and 83% in relation to the number of asthmatics. The increase in the cost of asthma (compensation for disability, drugs, hospital care, and outpatient doctor visits) ended: in 1993 the costs were 218 million euro which had fallen to 213.5 million euro in 2003. Costs per patient per year have decreased 36% (from 1611 euro to 1031 euro).
It is possible to reduce the morbidity of asthma and its impact on individuals as well as on society. Improvements would have taken place without the programme, but not of this magnitude.
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It has become clear that nursing is a high-risk occupation with regards to stress-related diseases. In this study, we were interested in nurses' experiences of stress and the emotions arising from stress at work. Results showed that nurses experienced negative stress which was apparently related to the social environment in which they worked. Four nurses were interviewed. The method used was grounded theory. Analysis of the interviews singled out absence of response as the core category. Recurring stressful situations obviously caused problems for the nurses in their daily work. Not only did they lack responses from their supervisors, they also experienced emotions of frustration, powerlessness, hopelessness and inadequacy, which increased the general stress experienced at work. Our conclusion is that the experience of absence of response leads to negative stress in nurses.
The scientific study of the sexual dynamics that come into play during residency training seems to both fascinate and repel trainees and their supervisors. One of the more provocative and shameful dimensions of this area of inquiry, the abuse of residents, causes a good deal of distress. How do we respond to findings of significant psychological abuse, discrimination on the basis of sex or sexual orientation and sexual harassment in medical settings? How can we ignore over a decade of research? How can we not heed the experience of so many young physicians? Given the uncertain times in Canadian medicine and the insecurity in our professional and personal lives, we must work together to improve the culture of our teaching institutions and implement measures nationally and locally to close this dark chapter.
Interprofessional education is an approach to educating and training students and practitioners from different health professions to work in a collaborative manner in providing client and/or patient-centred care. The introduction and successful implementation of this educational approach is dependent on a variety of factors, including the attitudes of students, faculty, senior academic administrators (e.g., deans and directors) and practitioners. The purpose of this study was to examine attitudes towards interprofessional teamwork and interprofessional education amongst academic administrators of post-secondary health professional education programs in Canada. A web-based questionnaire in English and French was distributed via e-mail messaging during January 2004 to academic administrators in Canada representing medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work, occupational therapy and physiotherapy post-secondary educational programs. Responses were sought on attitudes towards interprofessional teamwork and interprofessional education, as well as opinions regarding barriers to interprofessional education and subject areas that lend themselves to interprofessional education. In general, academic administrators responding to the survey hold overall positive attitudes towards interprofessional teamwork and interprofessional education practices, and the results indicate there were no significant differences between professions in relation to these attitudinal perspectives. The main barriers to interprofessional education were problems with scheduling/calendar, rigid curriculum, turf battles and lack of perceived value. The main pre-clinical subject areas which respondents believed would lend themselves to interprofessional education included community health/prevention, ethics, communications, critical appraisal, and epidemiology. The results of this study suggest that a favourable perception of both interprofessional teamwork and interprofessional education exists amongst academic administrators of Canadian health professional education programs. If this is the case, the post-secondary system in Canada is primed for the introduction of interprofessional education initiatives which support the development of client and patient-centred collaborative practice competencies.
In contrast to previous decades, the 1990s have witnessed an increase of new agents with significant activity in breast cancer, including chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and, more recently, biologic modifiers. All information appears to confirm that such a trend will persist and even accelerate in the coming decades. Unless clear strategies of development for new drugs are strictly followed, it will become difficult to adequately assess the many new agents with potentially important activity against breast cancer, and patient access may become a limiting key factor. The academic, global virtual concept is calling for the definition of a new relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and clinical researchers. The main aspect is related to the creation of partnerships with an academically controlled global strategy of development for promising new agents, in which the quality and independence of processes (adjuvant setting, for example) are critical. The means are based on the globalization of patient access (worldwide network) and the virtuality of the approach (modern means of communication as well as access to subgroups of patients). The Breast Cancer International Research Group is the first academic global virtual cooperative group in breast cancer and is making contributions in the development of new drugs, such as taxanes, new antiestrogens, and new cytokines.
This study piloted a knowledge translation (KT) intervention promoting evidence-based home care through social interaction. A total of 33 providers organized into 5 heterogeneous, geographically defined action groups participated in 5 researcher-facilitated meetings based on the participatory action model. The KT evidence reflects an empowering partnership approach to service delivery. Exploratory investigation included quantitative pre-post measurement of outcomes and qualitative description of data, presented herein. The critical reflections of the groups reveal macro-, meso-, and micro-level barriers to and facilitators of KT as well as recommendations for achieving KT. Insights gleaned from the findings have informed the evolution of the KT intervention to engage all 3 levels in addressing barriers and facilitators, with a conscious effort to transcend "push" and "pull" tendencies and enact transformative leadership. The findings suggest the merit of a more prolonged longitudinal investigation with expanded participation.
An intercultural birthing house was established in the Highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, as an intervention to reduce maternal mortality among indigenous women. This birth center, known locally as the Casa Materna, is a place where women can come to give birth with their traditional birth attendant. However, three months after opening, no woman had used the birthing house.
This study reports on the knowledge, attitudes and practices related to childbirth and use of the Casa Materna from the perspective of the health workers, traditional birth attendants and the program's target population. Structured interviews, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with participants from each of these groups. Data was searched for emerging themes and coded.
Findings show that the potential success of this program is jeopardized by lack of transport and a strong cultural preference for home births. The paper highlights the importance of community participation in planning and implementing such an intervention and of establishing trust and mutual respect among key actors. Recommendations are provided for moving forward the maternal health agenda of indigenous women in Chiapas.
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Currently, researchers have to apply separately to individual biobanks if they want to carry out studies that use samples and data from multiple biobanks. This article analyzes the access governance arrangements of the original five biobank members of the Biobank Standardisation and Harmonisation for Research Excellence in the European Union (BioSHaRE-EU) project in Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom to identify similarities and differences in policies and procedures, and consider the potential for internal policy "harmonization." Our analysis found differences in the range of researchers and organizations eligible to access biobanks; application processes; requirements for Research Ethics Committee approval; and terms of Material Transfer Agreements relating to ownership and commercialization. However, the main elements of access are the same across biobanks; access will be granted to bona fide researchers conducting research in the public interest, and all biobanks will consider the scientific merit of the proposed use and it's compatibility with the biobank's objectives. These findings suggest potential areas for harmonization across biobanks. This could be achieved through a single centralized application to a number of biobanks or a system of mutual recognition that places a presumption in favor of access to one biobank if already approved by another member of the same consortium. Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure-European Research Infrastructure Consortia (BBMRI-ERIC), a European consortium of biobanks and bioresources with its own ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) common service, could provide a platform by developing guidelines for harmonized internal processes.