Given the cutbacks which have been carried out in the Swedish welfare state despite the unchanged official policy of allocation of home help services according to needs, it is essential to evaluate the factors which guide the allocation of home help today. Whereas numerous studies have identified factors which predict entry into the home help system, the present paper concentrates on predictors of the amount of home help amongst those allocated assistance. Data were obtained from the population-based care and services section of the 2002 Swedish National Study of Aging and Care-Kungsholmen (SNAC-K). All home help recipients (> or = 65 years of age) living in an inner city district of Stockholm (Kungsholmen) were analysed with ordinary least squares regressions to identify predictors of the number of hours of home help (n = 943). Need indicators, i.e. dependency in activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental ADLs (IADLs), and cognitive impairment (Berger scale) were the strongest predictors of more hours of home help. The addition of sociodemographic (i.e. age, gender and income), environmental (i.e. informal care, housing adaptations and housing accessibility) and structural (i.e. variations in allocation decisions between one care manager and another) factors contributed only marginally to the explained variance. Hours of help entitlement increased slightly with greater age. Co-residing individuals were allocated significantly fewer home help hours than those living alone. Income and regular access to informal care were not significant predictors. The fact that services are provided according to need criteria does not necessarily mean that the provided services are adequate to meet needs. On the macro level, social policy decisions and available economic and manpower resources determine the allotment of municipal home help. However, this study in an urban sample suggests that, within the available resources, the amount of home help allocated is guided mainly by need indicators amongst those given assistance.
Over the past decade, the need for healthcare delivery systems to identify and address patient safety issues has been propelled to the forefront. A Canadian survey, for example, demonstrated patient safety to be a major concern of frontline nurses (Nicklin & McVeety 2002). Three crucial patient safety elements, current knowledge, resources, and context of care have been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO 2009). To develop strategies to respond to the scope and mandate of the WHO report within the Canadian context, a pan-Canadian academic-policy partnership has been established.
This newly formed Pan-Canadian Partnership, the Queen's Joanna Briggs Collaboration for Patient Safety (referred throughout as "QJBC" or "the Partnership"), includes the Queen's University School of Nursing, Accreditation Canada, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and is supported by an active and committed advisory council representing over 10 national organizations representing all sectors of the health continuum, including patients/families advocacy groups, professional associations, and other bodies. This unique partnership is designed to provide timely, focused support from academia to the front line of patient safety. QJBC has adopted an "integrated knowledge translation" approach to identify and respond to patient safety priorities and to ensure active engagement with stakeholders in producing and using available knowledge. Synthesis of evidence and guideline adaptation methodologies are employed to access quantitative and qualitative evidence relevant to pertinent patient safety questions and subsequently, to respond to issues of feasibility, meaningfulness, appropriateness/acceptability, and effectiveness.
This paper describes the conceptual grounding of the Partnership, its proposed methods, and its plan for action. It is hoped that our journey may provide some guidance to others as they develop patient safety models within their own arenas.
To determine the adherence to the national guidelines for start of highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) in HIV infected patients.
We used a Danish nationwide cohort of HIV infected patients to calculate the fraction of patients who in the period 1997-2006 started HAART according to the guidelines from The Danish Society of Infectious Diseases. We used Kaplan-Meier tables to estimate time from fulfilling the criteria for start of HAART to initiation of the treatment. Cox regression and logistic regression was used to identify risk factors for delayed initiation of treatment and chance of being included in clinical trials.
The study included 3223 patients, 74% of whom initiated HAART in the study period. Ninety-four% fulfilled the criteria for start of HAART, with minor differences over calendar periods. Ninety-four% initiated a recommended regimen or were included in a clinical trial. Intravenous drug use predicted initiation of a non-recommended regimen and delay in start of HAART, while non-Caucasians were less likely to be included in clinical trials.
In a Western world setting, the adherence to national guidelines for start of HAART can be high. We suggest that simplicity of the guidelines, centralization of treatment and involvement of local clinicians in the development of guidelines are of major importance for high adherence to treatment guidelines.
Cites: Stud Health Technol Inform. 2008;136:339-4418487754
OBJECTIVE: We sought to study the concentrations of certain persistent organic pollutants with endocrine-disrupting properties in cases with prostate cancer and controls with benign prostate hyperplasia. METHODS: Adipose tissue was obtained from 58 cases and 20 controls. RESULTS: The median concentration among controls was used as cut-off in the statistical analysis. In the total material, a greater-than median concentration of PCB congener 153 yielded an odds ratio (OR) of 3.15 and 95% confidence interval (CI) of 1.04-9.54 and one chlordane type, trans-chlordane, yielded OR 3.49 (95% CI = 1.08-11.2). In the group of case subjects with PSA levels greater than the median level of 16.5 ng/mL, PCB 153 was OR 30.3 (95% CI = 3.24-284), hexachlorobenzene OR = 9.84 (95% CI = 1.99-48.5), trans-chlordane OR = 11.0 (95% CI = 1.87-64.9), and the chlordane-type MC6 OR = 7.58 (95% CI = 1.65-34.9). The grouping of PCBs according to structural and biological activity was found to produce significantly increased risks for enzyme and phenobarbital-inducing PCBs and lower chlorinated PCBs in the case group with PSA levels greater than 16.5 ng/mL. CONCLUSIONS: These chemicals might be of etiologic significance but need to be further investigated. The biological relevance of the arbitrary cut-off point of PSA is unclear.
In recent years, the notion of individual responsibility for one's health has been introduced into Swedish medico-political debate. Formerly expressed as a recommendation, it has now taken on the form of expectations. In a Swedish context, this shift from collective to individual responsibility is novel because it implies a break with well-established welfare state practice of comprehensive care for their citizens. Using a systems-theoretical approach, we interpret this shift of expectations as a political solution to the problem of legitimate allocation of scarce resources. A more inclusive medical conception of illness has facilitated the introduction of many new diagnoses that, in turn, have lead to a strong increase in claims for medical treatment and for compensation. This semantic change in medicine aggravates the budgetary situation of the welfare state. The political solution lies in a reorientation of the expectations the medical system can have on citizens as well as a shift of the expectations regarding the rights and obligations citizens can have on the medical system. Individuals are increasingly expected to live healthy lifestyles and to avoid hazardous habits. If they do not live up to these expectations, they have to face low prioritisation or denial of treatment.
Until 2002, counties were responsible for providing both somatic and psychiatric specialized health care services in Norway. The financing arrangement of the counties consisted of fixed local taxes, a general block grant and different types of earmarked grants from the national government. Since 1997, earmarked conditional grants related to DRG-activity have been used for somatic services, whereas earmarked unconditional grants have been used for mental health care services from approximately the same time. This paper analyse the price and revenue effects of grants on the allocation of labour, with special attention to the two types of earmarked grants: conditional and unconditional. Theoretically, labour (as an index of production output) is assumed to be allocated to somatic and psychiatric services dependent upon revenues (taxes, block grants and earmarked unconditional grants), price per labour-year (that among other things are affected by earmarked conditional grants) and the preferences of the local government (which relate to the age structure and population density of the county). We assume that a conditional grant reduces the net price of labour and thereby increases the (relative) demand, whereas an unconditional grant adds to the other revenues of the county and do not affect the relative allocation of labour. Data from a panel of 18 counties for the period 1992-2001 is analysed using OLS with fixed effects. The results show revenue effects and direct price effects as expected. However, the assumption that unconditional grants do not affect relative allocation of labours is not supported. We find a positive effect of the unconditional grant to psychiatric care on the demand for labour in this sector. We interpret this as an effect of hierarchical governance such as supervision and monitoring that were remedies that were used together with the unconditional grant.
The diffusion and adoption of information technology innovations (e.g. mobile information technology) in healthcare organizations involves a dynamic process of change with multiple stakeholders with competing interests, varying commitments, and conflicting values. Nevertheless, the extant literature on mobile information technology diffusion and adoption has predominantly focused on organizations and individuals as the unit of analysis, with little emphasis on the environment in which healthcare organizations are embedded. We propose the social worlds approach as a promising theoretical lens for dealing with this limitation together with reports from a case study of a mobile information technology innovation in elderly home care in Denmark including both the sociopolitical and organizational levels in the analysis. Using the notions of social worlds, trajectories, and boundary objects enables us to show how mobile information technology innovation in Danish home care can facilitate negotiation and collaboration across different social worlds in one setting while becoming a source of tension and conflicts in others. The trajectory of mobile information technology adoption was shaped by influential stakeholders in the Danish home care sector. Boundary objects across multiple social worlds legitimized the adoption, but the use arrangement afforded by the new technology interfered with important aspects of home care practices, creating resistance among the healthcare personnel.