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An exploration of facilitators and challenges in the scale-up of a national, public sector community health worker cadre in Zambia: a qualitative study

Sáb, 24/06/2017 - 00:00
Abstract Background

In 2010 a public sector cadre of community health workers called Community Health Assistants (CHAs) was created in Zambia through the National Community Health Worker Strategy to expand access to health services. This cadre continues to be scaled up to meet the growing demands of Zambia’s rural population. We summarize factors that have facilitated the scale-up of the CHA program into a nationwide CHW cadre and the challenges of introducing and institutionalizing the cadre within the Zambian health system.

Methods

Semi-structured, individual interviews were held across 5 districts with 16 CHAs and 6 CHA supervisors, and 10 focus group discussions were held with 93 community members. Audio recordings of interviews and focus group discussions were transcribed and thematically coded using Dedoose web-based software.

Results

The study showed that the CHAs play a critical role in providing a wide range of services at the community level, as described by supervisors and community members. Some challenges still remain, that may inhibit the CHAs ability to provide health services effectively. In particular, the respondents highlighted infrequent supervision, lack of medical and non-medical supplies for outreach services, and challenges with the mobile data reporting system.

Conclusions

The study shows that in order to optimize the impact of CHAs or other community health workers, key health-system support structures need to be functioning effectively, such as supervision, community surveillance systems, supplies, and reporting. The Ministry of Health with support from partners are currently addressing these challenges through nationwide supervisor and community data trainings, as well as advocating for adding primary health care as a specific focus area in the new National Health Strategy Plan 2017–2021. This study contributes to the evidence base on the introduction of formalized community health worker cadres in developing countries.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Task shifting interpersonal counseling for depression: a pragmatic randomized controlled trial in primary care

Mié, 21/06/2017 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Task shifting approaches (rational redistribution of tasks among health workforce teams) to train lay professionals to assist with integrating mental health treatment in primary care has been recommended to close the mental health treatment gap for depression in low- and middle-income countries. This study aims to examine the a new model for depression care in a low-resource environment compared to enhanced treatment at usual (E-TAU).

Methods

We trained non-specialist community health workers (local lay employees of the public health system) to provide Interpersonal Counseling (IPC) to treat depressive symptoms in the Brazilian, São Paulo city, family health strategy (FHS). We conducted a randomized controlled trial involving 86 patients with a current major depressive disorder or dysthymia (based on DSM-IV) recruited from an FHS clinic. Participants were randomized to IPC intervention (n = 43) or E-TAU (n = 43). Participants allocated to IPC received 3–4 sessions provided by community health workers; research psychologists followed the E-TAU participants to facilitate their referral to specialized mental health care within the public system. Reduction of depressive symptoms was assessed using the Hamilton Rating Scale (HDRS-17) and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9); minor psychiatric symptomatology (including depression, anxiety and somatoform symptoms) were measured using the Self Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ); and functioning was measured by the Clinical Global Impression Scale over a 2-month period.

Results

Intention-to-treat analysis showed significant improvement on symptoms for both groups over 2 months, without significant differences between them. Per-protocol analysis showed significant better HDRS-17 outcomes for the IPC group.

Conclusions

Training non-specialist community health workers in low- and middle-income countries to provide IPC could be a successful strategy in reducing the burden of depression and also potentially a low-cost and effective alternative to specialist-led services that might not be possible in low income settings.

Trial registration

Brazilian Clinical Trials, number RBR-5qhmb5 (trial url: http://www.ensaiosclinicos.gov.br/rg/RBR-5qhmb5/), retrospectively registered after May 1, 2013.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Meeting the oral health needs of 12-year-olds in China: human resources for oral health

Mar, 20/06/2017 - 00:00
Abstract Background

An appropriate level of human resources for oral health [HROH] is required to meet the oral health needs of population, and enable maximum improvement in health outcomes. The aim of this study was to estimate the required HROH to meet the oral health needs of the World Health Organization [WHO] reference group of 12-year-olds in China and consider the implications for education, practice, policy and HROH nationally.

Methods

We estimated the need of HROH to meet the needs of 12-year-olds based on secondary analysis of the epidemiological and questionnaire data from the 3rd Chinese National Oral Health Survey, including caries experience and periodontal factors (calculus), dentally-related behaviour (frequency of toothbrushing and sugar intake), and social factors (parental education). Children’s risk for dental caries was classified in four levels from low (level 1) to high (level 4). We built maximum and minimum intervention models of dental care for each risk level, informed by contemporary evidence-based practice. The needs-led HROH model we used in the present study incorporated need for treatment and risk-based prevention using timings verified by experts in China. These findings were used to estimate HROH for the survey sample, extrapolated to 12-year-olds nationally and the total population, taking account of urban and rural coverage, based on different levels of clinical commitment (60-90%).

Results

We found that between 40,139 and 51,906 dental professionals were required to deliver care for 12-year-olds nationally based on 80% clinical commitment. We demonstrated that the majority of need for HROH was in the rural population (72.5%). Over 93% of HROH time was dedicated to prevention within the model. Extrapolating the results to the total population, the estimate for HROH nationally was 3.16–4.09 million to achieve national coverage; however, current HROH are only able to serve an estimated 5% of the population with minimum intervention based on a HROH spending 90% of their time in providing clinical care.

Conclusions

The findings highlight the gap between dental workforce needs and workforce capacity in China. Significant implications for health policy and human resources for oral health in this country with a developing health system are discussed including the need for public health action.

Categorías: Investigaciones

A continuous quality improvement intervention to improve the effectiveness of community health workers providing care to mothers and children: a cluster randomised controlled trial in South Africa

Mar, 13/06/2017 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Community health workers (CHWs) play key roles in delivering health programmes in many countries worldwide. CHW programmes can improve coverage of maternal and child health services for the most disadvantaged and remote communities, leading to substantial benefits for mothers and children. However, there is limited evidence of effective mentoring and supervision approaches for CHWs.

Methods

This is a cluster randomised controlled trial to investigate the effectiveness of a continuous quality improvement (CQI) intervention amongst CHWs providing home-based education and support to pregnant women and mothers. Thirty CHW supervisors were randomly allocated to intervention (n = 15) and control (n = 15) arms. Four CHWs were randomly selected from those routinely supported by each supervisor (n = 60 per arm). In the intervention arm, these four CHWs and their supervisor formed a quality improvement team. Intervention CHWs received a 2-week training in WHO Community Case Management followed by CQI mentoring for 12 months (preceded by 3 months lead-in to establish QI processes). Baseline and follow-up surveys were conducted with mothers of infants <12 months old living in households served by participating CHWs.

Results

Interviews were conducted with 736 and 606 mothers at baseline and follow-up respectively; socio-demographic characteristics were similar in both study arms and at each time point.

At follow-up, compared to mothers served by control CHWs, mothers served by intervention CHWs were more likely to have received a CHW visit during pregnancy (75.7 vs 29.0%, p < 0.0001) and the postnatal period (72.6 vs 30.3%, p < 0.0001). Intervention mothers had higher maternal and child health knowledge scores (49 vs 43%, p = 0.02) and reported higher exclusive breastfeeding rates to 6 weeks (76.7 vs 65.1%, p = 0.02). HIV-positive mothers served by intervention CHWs were more likely to have disclosed their HIV status to the CHW (78.7 vs 50.0%, p = 0.007). Uptake of facility-based interventions were not significantly different.

Conclusions

Improved training and CQI-based mentoring of CHWs can improve quantity and quality of CHW-mother interactions at household level, leading to improvements in mothers’ knowledge and infant feeding practices.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.Gov NCT01774136

Categorías: Investigaciones

Maternal predictors of neonatal outcomes after emergency cesarean section: a retrospective study in three rural district hospitals in Rwanda

Mar, 13/06/2017 - 00:00
Abstract Background

In sub-Saharan Africa, neonatal mortality post-cesarean delivery is higher than the global average. In this region, most emergency cesarean sections are performed at district hospitals. This study assesses maternal predictors for poor neonatal outcomes post-emergency cesarean delivery in three rural district hospitals in Rwanda.

Methods

This retrospective study includes a random sample of 441 neonates from Butaro, Kirehe and Rwinkwavu District Hospitals, born between 01 January and 31 December 2015. We described the demographic and clinical characteristics of the mothers of these neonates using frequencies and proportions. We assessed the association between maternal characteristics with poor neonatal outcomes, defined as death within 24 h or APGAR < 7 at 5 min after birth, using Fisher’s exact test. Factors significant at α = 0.20 significance level were considered for the multivariate logistic regression model, built using a backwards stepwise process. We stopped when all the factors were significant at the α = 0.05 level.

Results

For all 441 neonates included in this study, 40 (9.0%) had poor outcomes. In the final model, three factors were significantly associated with poor neonatal outcomes. Neonates born to mothers who had four or more prior pregnancies were more likely to have poor outcomes (OR = 3.01, 95%CI:1.23,7.35, p = 0.015). Neonates whose mothers came from health centers with ambulance travel times of more than 30 min to the district hospital had greater odds of having poor outcomes (for 30–60 min: OR = 3.80, 95%CI:1.07,13.40, p = 0.012; for 60+ minutes: OR = 5.82, 95%CI:1.47,23.05, p = 0.012). Neonates whose mothers presented with very severe indications for cesarean section had twice odds of having a poor outcome (95% CI: 1.11,4.52, p = 0.023).

Conclusions

Longer travel time to the district hospital was a leading predictor of poor neonatal outcomes post cesarean delivery. Improving referral systems, ambulance availability, number of equipped hospitals per district, and road networks may lessen travel delays for women in labor. Boosting the diagnostic capacity of labor conditions at the health center level through facilities and staff training can improve early identification of very severe indications for cesarean delivery for early referral and intervention.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Surgical Human Resources According to Types of Health Care Facility: An Assessment in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Lun, 12/06/2017 - 00:00
Abstract Background

A robust health care system providing safe surgical care to a population can only be achieved in conjunction with access to competent surgical personnel. It has been reported that 5 billion people do not have access to safe, affordable surgical and anaesthesia care when needed. This study aims to fill the existing gap in evidence by quantifying shortfalls in trained personnel delivering safe surgical and anaesthetic care in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) according to the type of health care facility.

Methods

We conducted secondary analysis of 1323 health facilities, in 35 low- and middle-income countries using facility-based cross-sectional data from the World Health Organization Situational Analysis Tool to Assess Emergency and Essential Surgical Care.

Results

The majority of surgical and anaesthetic care in LMICs was provided by general doctors (range 13.8–41.1%; mean 27.1%). Non-physicians made up a significant proportion of the surgical workforce in LMICs. 26.76% of the surgical and anaesthetic workforce was provided by clinical medical officers and nurses. Private/NGO/mission hospitals, large, well-resourced institutions had the highest proportion of surgeons compared to any other type of health care facility at 27.92%. This compares to figures of 18.2 and 19.96% of surgeons at health centres and subdistrict/community hospitals, respectively, representing the lowest level of health facility.

Conclusions

We highlight the significant proportion of non-physicians delivering surgical and anaesthetic care in LMICs and illustrate wide variations according to the type of health care facility.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Occupational therapy and physiotherapy education and workforce in Anglophone sub-Saharan Africa countries

Lun, 12/06/2017 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries are faced with the challenge of educating a critical mass of occupational therapists (OTs) and physiotherapists (PTs) to meet the growing demand for health and rehabilitation services. The World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT) and World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCPT) have argued for the need of graduate-level training for OTs and PTs for decades. However, very few studies have been conducted to determine the availability of OT and PT training programs and practitioners in SSA countries.

Methods

Initial data were collected and compiled from an extensive literature search conducted using MEDLINE and PubMed to examine the availability of OT and PT education and training programs in SSA countries. Additional data were collected, compiled, and collated from academic institutions, ministries of health, health professions associations, and licensing authorities in SSA countries. Secondary data were also collected from the websites of organizations such as the World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO), WFOT, and WCPT.

Results

This investigation revealed that there are limited number of OT and PT training programs and that these training programs in Anglophone SSA countries are offered at or below the bachelor’s level. More than half of the countries do not have OT or PT training programs. The number of qualified OTs and PTs appears to be insufficient to meet the demand for rehabilitation services. Nigeria and South Africa are the only countries offering post-entry-level masters and doctoral-level training programs in physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

Conclusions

Higher learning institutions in SSA countries need to collaborate and partner with other regional and foreign universities to elevate the educational training and increase the supply of PTs and OTs in the region.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Credentialing and retention of visa trainees in post-graduate medical education programs in Canada

Lun, 12/06/2017 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Visa trainees are international medical graduates (IMG) who come to Canada to train in a post-graduate medical education (PGME) program under a student or employment visa and are expected to return to their country of origin after training. We examined the credentialing and retention of visa trainees who entered PGME programs between 2005 and 2011.

Methods

Using the Canadian Post-MD Education Registry’s National IMG Database linked to Scott’s Medical Database, we examined four outcomes: (1) passing the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part 2 (MCCQE2), (2) obtaining a specialty designation (CCFP, FRCPC/SC), and (3) working in Canada after training and (4) in 2015. The National IMG Database is the most comprehensive source of information on IMG in Canada; data were provided by physician training and credentialing organizations. Scott’s Medical Database provides data on physician locations in Canada.

Results

There were 233 visa trainees in the study; 39.5% passed the MCCQE2, 45.9% obtained a specialty designation, 24.0% worked in Canada after their training, and 53.6% worked in Canada in 2015. Family medicine trainees (OR = 8.33; 95% CI = 1.69–33.33) and residents (OR = 3.45; 95% CI = 1.96–6.25) were more likely than other specialist and fellow trainees, respectively, to pass the MCCQE2. Residents (OR = 7.69; 95% CI = 4.35–14.29) were more likely to obtain a specialty credential than fellows. Visa trainees eligible for a full license were more likely than those not eligible for a full license to work in Canada following training (OR = 3.41; 95% CI = 1.80–6.43) and in 2015 (OR = 3.34; 95% CI = 1.78–6.27).

Conclusions

Visa training programs represent another route for IMG to qualify for and enter the physician workforce in Canada. The growth in the number of visa trainees and the high retention of these physicians warrant further consideration of the oversight and coordination of visa trainee programs in provincial and in pan-Canadian physician workforce planning.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Evaluation of obstetricians’ surgical decision making in the management of uterine rupture

Jue, 08/06/2017 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Uterine rupture is an obstetric calamity with surgery as its management mainstay. Uterine repair without tubal ligation leaves a uterus that is more prone to repeat rupture while uterine repair with bilateral tubal ligation (BTL) or (sub)total hysterectomy predispose survivors to psychosocial problems like marital disharmony.

This study aims to evaluate obstetricians’ perspectives on surgical decision making in managing uterine rupture.

Methods

A questionnaire-based cross-sectional study of obstetricians at the 46th annual scientific conference of Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria in 2012. Data was analysed by descriptive and inferential statistics.

Results

Seventy-nine out of 110 obstetricians (71.8%) responded to the survey, of which 42 (53.2%) were consultants, 60 (75.9%) practised in government hospitals and 67 (84.8%) in urban hospitals, and all respondents managed women with uterine rupture. Previous cesarean scars and injudicious use of oxytocic are the commonest predisposing causes, and uterine rupture carries very high incidences of maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. Uterine repair only was commonly performed by 38 (48.1%) and uterine repair with BTL or (sub) total hysterectomy by 41 (51.9%) respondents. Surgical management is guided mainly by patients’ conditions and obstetricians’ surgical skills.

Conclusion

Obstetricians’ distribution in Nigeria leaves rural settings starved of specialist for obstetric emergencies. Caesarean scars are now a rising cause of ruptures. The surgical management of uterine rupture and obstetricians’ surgical preferences vary and are case scenario-dependent. Equitable redistribution of obstetricians and deployment of medical doctors to secondary hospitals in rural settings will make obstetric care more readily available and may reduce the prevalence and improve the outcome of uterine rupture. Obstetrician’s surgical decision-making should be guided by the prevailing case scenario and the ultimate aim should be to avert fatality and reduce morbidity.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Health expenditure and economic growth - a review of the literature and an analysis between the economic community for central African states (CEMAC) and selected African countries

Mié, 07/06/2017 - 01:00
Abstract

African leaders accepted in the year 2001 through the Abuja Declaration to allocate 15% of their government expenditure on health but by 2013 only five (5) African countries achieved this target. In this paper, a comparative analysis on the impact of health expenditure between countries in the CEMAC sub-region and five other African countries that achieved the Abuja declaration is provided. Data for this study was extracted from the World Development Indicators (2016) database, panel ordinary least square (OLS), fully modified ordinary least square (FMOLS) and dynamic ordinary least square (DOLS) were used as econometric technic of analysis. Results showed that health expenditure has a positive and significant effect on economic growth in both samples. A unit change in health expenditure can potentially increase GDP per capita by 0.38 and 0.3 units for the five other African countries that achieve the Abuja target and for CEMAC countries respectively, a significant difference of 0.08 units among the two samples. In addition, a long-run relationship also exist between health expenditure and economic growth for both groups of countries. Thus African Economies are strongly advised to achieve the Abuja target especially when other socio-economic and political factors are efficient.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Access barriers to obstetric care at health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa—a systematic review

Mar, 06/06/2017 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Since 2000, the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, which included a goal to improve maternal health by the end of 2015, has facilitated significant reductions in maternal morbidity and mortality worldwide. However, despite more focused efforts made especially by low- and middle-income countries, targets were largely unmet in sub-Saharan Africa, where women are plagued by many challenges in seeking obstetric care. The aim of this review was to synthesise literature on barriers to obstetric care at health institutions in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods

This review was guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) checklist. PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and Scopus databases were electronically searched to identify studies on barriers to health facility-based obstetric care in sub-Saharan Africa, in English, and dated between 2000 and 2015. Combinations of search terms ‘obstetric care’, ‘access’, ‘barriers’, ‘developing countries’ and ‘sub-Saharan Africa’ were used to locate articles. Quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods studies were considered. A narrative synthesis approach was employed to synthesise the evidence and explore relationships between included studies.

Results

One hundred and sixty articles met the inclusion criteria. Currently, obstetric care access is hindered by several demand- and supply-side barriers. The principal demand-side barriers identified were limited household resources/income, non-availability of means of transportation, indirect transport costs, a lack of information on health care services/providers, issues related to stigma and women’s self-esteem/assertiveness, a lack of birth preparation, cultural beliefs/practices and ignorance about required obstetric health services. On the supply-side, the most significant barriers were cost of services, physical distance between health facilities and service users’ residence, long waiting times at health facilities, poor staff knowledge and skills, poor referral practices and poor staff interpersonal relationships.

Conclusion

Despite similarities in obstetric care barriers across sub-Saharan Africa, country-specific strategies are required to tackle the challenges mentioned. Governments need to develop strategies to improve healthcare systems and overall socioeconomic status of women, in order to tackle supply- and demand-side access barriers to obstetric care. It is also important that strategies adopted are supported by research evidence appropriate for local conditions. Finally, more research is needed, particularly, with regard to supply-side interventions that may improve the obstetric care experience of pregnant women.

Systematic review registration

PROSPERO 2014 CRD42014015549

Categorías: Investigaciones

Challenges and opportunities of optimal breastfeeding in the context of HIV option B+ guidelines

Vie, 02/06/2017 - 00:00
Abstract Background

In 2013, the World Health Organization released a new set of guidelines widely known as Option B+. Prior to that there were guidelines released in 2010. Option B+ recommends lifelong antiretroviral treatment for all pregnant and breastfeeding women living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The study aimed at investigating challenges and opportunities in implementing Infant and Young Child Feeding in the context of Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT) guidelines among HIV positive mothers of children aged 0–24 months. The study also examined implications presented by implementing the 2013 PMTCT consolidated guidelines in the transition phase from the 2010 approach in Zambia.

Methods

A mixed methods approach was employed in the descriptive cross sectional study utilizing semi structured questionnaires and Focused Group Discussions. Further, data was captured from the Health Information Management System.

Results

During the PMTCT transition, associated needs and challenges in institutionalizing the enhanced guidelines from option A and B to option B+ were observed. Nonetheless, there was a decline in Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT) of HIV rates with an average of 4%. Mothers faced challenges in complying with optimal breastfeeding practices owing to lack of community support systems and breast infections due to poor breast feeding occasioned by infants’ oral health challenges. Moreover, some mothers were hesitant of lifelong ARVs. Health workers faced programmatic and operational challenges such as compromised counseling services.

Conclusion

Despite the ambitious timelines for PMTCT transition, the need to inculcate new knowledge and vary known practice among mothers and the shift in counseling content for health workers, the consolidated guidelines for PMTCT proved effective. Some mothers were hesitant of lifelong ARVs, rationalizing the debated paradigm that prolonged chemotherapy/polypharmacy may be a future challenge in the success of ART in PMTCT. Conflicting breast feeding practices was a common observation across mothers thus underpinning the need to strongly invigorate Infant and Young Child Feeding information sharing across the continuum of heath care from facility level to community and up to the family; for cultural norms, practices and attitudes enshrined within communities play a vital role in child care.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Research dissemination workshops: observations and implications based on an experience in Burkina Faso

Vie, 02/06/2017 - 00:00
Abstract Background

In Burkina Faso, malaria remains the primary cause of healthcare use, morbidity and child mortality. Therefore, efforts are needed to support the knowledge transfer and application of the results of numerous studies to better formulate and implement programs in the fight against the malaria pandemic. To this end, a 2-day dissemination workshop was held to share the most recent results produced by a multidisciplinary research team. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the workshop and the policy briefs distributed there, the effects these produced on research results use and the processes that facilitated, or not, the application of the knowledge transmitted.

Methods

A mixed-methods design was used. The data were drawn from a quantitative evaluation questionnaire completed after the workshop (n = 25/31) and qualitative interviews conducted with the researchers and various actors who attended the workshop (n = 11) and with participants in working groups (n = 40) that later analysed the policy briefs distributed at the workshop.

Results

The participants recognised the quality of the research results presented, but felt that more needed to be done to adapt the researchers’ language and improve the functioning of the workshop. The potential effects of the workshop were rather limited. Effects were mainly at two levels: individual (e.g. acquisition of new knowledge, personal awareness raising) and local (e.g. change of practice in a local non-governmental organisation). Most participants perceived the utility of the research results, but several reported that their narrow decisional power limited their ability to apply this knowledge.

Conclusions

This study showed the importance of workshops to inform key actors of research results and the need to undertake several different activities to increase the chances that the knowledge will be applied. Several recommendations are proposed to improve knowledge translation approaches in the West African context, including organising working and discussion groups, developing an action plan at the end of the workshop and offering support to participants after the workshop, among others.

Categorías: Investigaciones

A health partnership to reduce neonatal mortality in four hospitals in Rwanda

Jue, 01/06/2017 - 00:00
Abstract Background

A health partnership to improve hospital based neonatal care in Rwanda to reduce neonatal mortality was requested by the Rwandan Ministry of Health. Although many health system improvements have been made, there is a severe shortage of health professionals with neonatal training.

Methods

Following a needs assessment, a health partnership grant for 2 years was obtained. A team of volunteer neonatologists and paediatricians, neonatal nurses, lactation consultants and technicians with experience in Rwanda or low-income countries was assembled.

A neonatal training program was provided in four hospitals (the 2 University hospitals and 2 district hospitals), which focused on nutrition, provision of basic respiratory support with nasal CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), enhanced record keeping, thermoregulation, vital signs monitoring and infection control. To identify if care delivery improved, audits of nutritional support, CPAP use and its complications, and documentation in newly developed neonatal medical records were conducted. Mortality data of neonatal admissions was obtained.

Results

Intensive neonatal training was provided on 27 short-term visits by 10 specialist health professionals. In addition, a paediatric doctor spent 3 months and two spent 6 months each providing training. A total of 472 training days was conducted in the neonatal units.

For nutritional support, significant improvements were demonstrated in reduction in time to initiation of enteral feeds and to achieve full milk feeds, in reduction in maximum postnatal weight loss, but not in days for regaining birth weight. Respiratory support with bubble CPAP was applied to 365 infants in the first 18 months. There were no significant technical problems, but tissue damage, usually transient, to the nose and face was recorded in 13%. New medical records improved documentation by doctors, but nursing staff were reluctant to use them. Mortality for University teaching hospital admissions was reduced from 23.6% in the 18 months before the project to 21.7%. For the two district hospitals, mortality reduced from 10% to 8.1%. A major barrier to training and improved care was low number of nurses working on neonatal units and staff turnover.

Conclusion

This health partnership delivered an intensive program of capacity building by volunteer specialists. Improved care and documentation were demonstrated. CPAP was successfully introduced. Mortality was reduced. This format can be adapted for further training and improvement programs to improve the quality of facility-based care.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Health professionals’ job satisfaction and associated factors at public health centers in West Ethiopia

Mar, 30/05/2017 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Human resources are vital for delivering health services, and health systems cannot function effectively without sufficient numbers of skilled, motivated, and well-supported health workers. Job satisfaction of health workers is important for motivation and efficiency, as higher job satisfaction improves both employee performance and patient satisfaction. Even though several studies have addressed job satisfaction among healthcare professionals in different part of the world, there are relatively few studies on healthcare professionals’ job satisfaction in Ethiopia.

Methods

A facility-based cross-sectional study was conducted among health professionals working in health centers in April 2015 using self-administered structured questionnaires. All 322 health professionals working in 23 randomly selected public health centers were included. Factor scores were computed for the identified items by varimax rotation to represent satisfaction. Multivariate linear regression analysis was performed, and the effect of independent variables on the regression factor score quantified.

Results

Three hundred eight respondents participated with a response rate of 95.56%. The overall level of job satisfaction was 41.46%. Compensation (benefits) (beta 0.448 [95% CI 0.341 to 0.554]), recognition by management (beta 0.132 [95% CI 0.035 to 0.228]), and opportunity for development (beta 0.123 [95% CI 0.020 to 0.226]) were associated with job satisfaction. A unit increase in salary and incentives and recognition by management scores resulted in 0.459 (95% CI 0.356 to 0.561) and 0.156 (95% CI 0.065 to 0.247) unit increases in job satisfaction scores, respectively.

Conclusions

The overall level of job satisfaction in health professionals was low. Salary and incentives, recognition by management, developmental opportunities, and patient appreciation were strong predictors of job satisfaction.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Medical students’ career choices, preference for placement, and attitudes towards the role of medical instruction in Ethiopia

Mar, 30/05/2017 - 00:00
Abstract Background

In Ethiopia, the health care delivery and the system of medical education have been expanding rapidly. However, in spite of the expansion, no studies have been carried out among medical students to identify their career choices and attitudes towards the medical instruction. Therefore, this study aimed to fill the gap in evidence in these specific areas.

Methods

Pretested questionnaire was self-administered among fifth and sixth year medical students in six government owned medical schools in Ethiopia. A total of 959 students were involved in the study with a response rate of 82.2%. Career choices, intention where to work just after graduation, and attitudes towards medical instruction were descriptively presented. Binary logistic regression model was fitted to identify factors associated with the intention of medical students to work in rural and remote areas.

Results

Majority, (70.1%) of the medical students wanted to practice in clinical care settings. However, only a small proportion of them showed interest to work in rural and remote areas (21% in zonal and 8.7% in district/small towns). For most, internal medicine was the first specialty of choice followed by surgery. However, students showed little interest in obstetrics and gynecology, as well as in pediatrics and child health as their first specialty of choice.

Medical students’ attitudes towards their school in preparing them to work in rural and remote areas, to pursue their career within the country and to specialize in medical disciplines in which there are shortages in the country were low. The binary logistic regression model revealed that a significantly increased odds of preference to work in rural and remote areas was observed among males, those who were born in rural areas, the medical students of Addis Ababa University and those who had the desire to serve within the country.

Conclusion

This study showed that Ethiopian medical schools are training medical workforce with preferences not to work in rural and remote places, and not to specialize in disciplines where there are shortages in the country. Thus, attention should be given to influence medical students’ attitude to work in rural and remote locations and to specialize in diverse clinical specialties.

Categorías: Investigaciones

The potential of task-shifting in scaling up services for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV: a time and motion study in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Vie, 26/05/2017 - 00:00
Abstract Background

In many African countries, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services are predominantly delivered by nurses. Although task-shifting is not yet well established, community health workers (CHWs) are often informally used as part of PMTCT delivery. According to the 2008 World Health Organization (WHO) Task-shifting Guidelines, many PMTCT tasks can be shifted from nurses to CHWs.

Methods

The aim of this time and motion study in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, was to estimate the potential of task-shifting in PMTCT service delivery to reduce nurses’ workload and health system costs. The time used by nurses to accomplish PMTCT activities during antenatal care (ANC) and postnatal care (PNC) visits was measured. These data were then used to estimate the costs that could be saved by shifting tasks from nurses to CHWs in the Tanzanian public-sector health system.

Results

A total of 1121 PMTCT-related tasks carried out by nurses involving 179 patients at ANC and PNC visits were observed at 26 health facilities. The average time of the first ANC visit was the longest, 54 (95% confidence interval (CI) 42–65) min, followed by the first PNC visit which took 29 (95% CI 26–32) minutes on average. ANC and PNC follow-up visits were substantially shorter, 15 (95% CI 14–17) and 13 (95% CI 11–16) minutes, respectively. During both the first and the follow-up ANC visits, 94% of nurses’ time could be shifted to CHWs, while 84% spent on the first PNC visit and 100% of the time spent on the follow-up PNC visit could be task-shifted. Depending on CHW salary estimates, the cost savings due to task-shifting in PMTCT ranged from US$ 1.3 to 2.0 (first ANC visit), US$ 0.4 to 0.6 (ANC follow-up visit), US$ 0.7 to 1.0 (first PNC visit), and US$ 0.4 to 0.5 (PNC follow-up visit).

Conclusions

Nurses working in PMTCT spend large proportions of their time on tasks that could be shifted to CHWs. Such task-shifting could allow nurses to spend more time on specialized PMTCT tasks and can substantially reduce the average cost per PMTCT patient.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Nurses who work in rural and remote communities in Canada: a national survey

Mar, 23/05/2017 - 00:00
Abstract Background

In Canada, as in other parts of the world, there is geographic maldistribution of the nursing workforce, and insufficient attention is paid to the strengths and needs of those providing care in rural and remote settings. In order to inform workforce planning, a national study, Nursing Practice in Rural and Remote Canada II, was conducted with the rural and remote regulated nursing workforce (registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed or registered practical nurses, and registered psychiatric nurses) with the intent of informing policy and planning about improving nursing services and access to care. In this article, the study methods are described along with an examination of the characteristics of the rural and remote nursing workforce with a focus on important variations among nurse types and regions.

Methods

A cross-sectional survey used a mailed questionnaire with persistent follow-up to achieve a stratified systematic sample of 3822 regulated nurses from all provinces and territories, living outside of the commuting zones of large urban centers and in the north of Canada.

Results

Rural workforce characteristics reported here suggest the persistence of key characteristics noted in a previous Canada-wide survey of rural registered nurses (2001-2002), namely the aging of the rural nursing workforce, the growth in baccalaureate education for registered nurses, and increasing casualization. Two thirds of the nurses grew up in a community of under 10 000 people. While nurses’ levels of satisfaction with their nursing practice and community are generally high, significant variations were noted by nurse type. Nurses reported coming to rural communities to work for reasons of location, interest in the practice setting, and income, and staying for similar reasons. Important variations were noted by nurse type and region.

Conclusions

The proportion of the rural nursing workforce in Canada is continuing to decline in relation to the proportion of the Canadian population in rural and remote settings. Survey results about the characteristics and practice of the various types of nurses can support workforce planning to improve nursing services and access to care.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Extending access to essential services against constraints: the three-tier health service delivery system in rural China (1949–1980)

Mar, 23/05/2017 - 00:00
Abstract Background

China has made remarkable progress in scaling up essential services during the last six decades, making health care increasingly available in rural areas. This was partly achieved through the building of a three-tier health system in the 1950s, established as a linked network with health service facilities at county, township and village level, to extend services to the whole population.

Methods

We developed a Theory of Change to chart the policy context, contents and mechanisms that may have facilitated the establishment of the three-tier health service delivery system in rural China. We systematically synthesized the best available evidence on how China achieved universal access to essential services in resource-scarce rural settings, with a particular emphasis on the experiences learned before the 1980s, when the country suffered a particularly acute lack of resources.

Results

The search identified only three peered-reviewed articles that fit our criteria for scientific rigor. We therefore drew extensively on government policy documents, and triangulated them with other publications and key informant interviews. We found that China’s three-tier health service delivery system was established in response to acute health challenges, including high fertility and mortality rates. Health system resources were extremely low in view of the needs and insufficient to extend access to even basic care. With strong political commitment to rural health and a “health-for-all” policy vision underlying implementation, a three-tier health service delivery model connecting villages, townships and counties was quickly established. We identified several factors that contributed to the success of the three-tier system in China: a realistic health human resource development strategy, use of mass campaigns as a vehicle to increase demand, an innovative financing mechanisms, public-private partnership models in the early stages of scale up, and an integrated approach to service delivery. An implementation process involving gradual adaptation and incorporation of the lessons learnt was also essential.

Conclusions

China’s 60 year experience in establishing a de-professionalized, community-based, health service delivery model that is economically feasible, institutionally and culturally appropriate mechanism can be useful to other low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) seeking to extend essential services. Lessons can be drawn from both reform content and from its implementation pathway, identifying the political, institutional and contextual factors shaping the three-tier delivery model over time.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Measuring health workers’ motivation composition: validation of a scale based on Self-Determination Theory in Burkina Faso

Lun, 22/05/2017 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Although motivation of health workers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) has become a topic of increasing interest by policy makers and researchers in recent years, many aspects are not well understood to date. This is partly due to a lack of appropriate measurement instruments. This article presents evidence on the construct validity of a psychometric scale developed to measure motivation composition, i.e., the extent to which motivation of different origin within and outside of a person contributes to their overall work motivation. It is theoretically grounded in Self-Determination Theory (SDT).

Methods

We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 1142 nurses in 522 government health facilities in 24 districts of Burkina Faso. We assessed the scale’s validity in a confirmatory factor analysis framework, investigating whether the scale measures what it was intended to measure (content, structural, and convergent/discriminant validity) and whether it does so equally well across health worker subgroups (measurement invariance).

Results

Our results show that the scale measures a slightly modified version of the SDT continuum of motivation well. Measurements were overall comparable between subgroups, but results indicate that caution is warranted if a comparison of motivation scores between groups is the focus of analysis.

Conclusions

The scale is a valuable addition to the repository of measurement tools for health worker motivation in LMICs. We expect it to prove useful in the quest for a more comprehensive understanding of motivation as well as of the effects and potential side effects of interventions intended to enhance motivation.

Categorías: Investigaciones

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