'Should a mammographic screening programme carry the warning: screening can damage your health!'?
The balanced presentation afforded by convening a Citizens' Jury when considering a major question such as the introduction of a breast screening programme is advocated. This method would enable account to be taken of all the costs, both human and financial, to all those affected, both participating and organizing, as well as the benefits. Provision of such a democratic opportunity enables consideration to be given to a broad range of factors, by selection of an appropriate range of witnesses, with the advantage of involving the lay public in this decision-making process. Attendance by health correspondents, medical journalists and other media representatives enables publicization of a democracy in action whilst helping to inform the wider debate. Such an exercise could inform whether the NHS BSP should continue in its current form. (+info)
Diarrhoea prevention in Bolivia through point-of-use water treatment and safe storage: a promising new strategy.
A novel water quality intervention that consists of point-of-use water disinfection, safe storage and community education was field tested in Bolivia. A total of 127 households in two periurban communities were randomized into intervention and control groups, surveyed and the intervention was distributed. Monthly water quality testing and weekly diarrhoea surveillance were conducted. Over a 5-month period, intervention households had 44% fewer diarrhoea episodes than control households (P = 0.002). Infants < 1 year old (P = 0.05) and children 5-14 years old (P = 0.01) in intervention households had significantly less diarrhoea than control children. Campylobacter was less commonly isolated from intervention than control patients (P = 0.02). Stored water in intervention households was less contaminated with Escherichia coli than stored water in control households (P < 0.0001). Intervention households exhibited less E. coli contamination of stored water and less diarrhoea than control households. This promising new strategy may have broad applicability for waterborne disease prevention. (+info)
Effect of discussion and deliberation on the public's views of priority setting in health care: focus group study.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the extent to which people change their views about priority setting in health care as a result of discussion and deliberation. DESIGN: A random sample of patients from two urban general practices was invited to attend two focus group meetings, a fortnight apart. SETTING: North Yorkshire Health Authority. SUBJECTS: 60 randomly chosen patients meeting in 10 groups of five to seven people. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Differences between people's views at the start of the first meeting and at the end of the second meeting, after they have had an opportunity for discussion and deliberation, measured by questionnaires at the start of the first meeting and the end of the second meeting. RESULTS: Respondents became more reticent about the role that their views should play in determining priorities and more sympathetic to the role that healthcare managers play. About a half of respondents initially wanted to give lower priority to smokers, heavy drinkers, and illegal drug users, but after discussion many no longer wished to discriminate against these people. CONCLUSION: The public's views about setting priorities in health care are systematically different when they have been given an opportunity to discuss the issues. If the considered opinions of the general public are required, surveys that do not allow respondents time or opportunity for reflection may be of doubtful value. (+info)
The dangers of managerial perversion: quality assurance in primary health care.
The promotion of primary health care (PHC) at the Alma Ata conference has been followed by a variety of managerial initiatives in support of the development of PHC. One of the more promising vehicles has been the implementation of quality assurance mechanisms. This paper reviews recent examples of this genre and argues that the thrust of both primary health care and quality assurance are in danger of being distorted by a rather antiquated approach to management. (+info)
Primary health care, community participation and community-financing: experiences of two middle hill villages in Nepal.
Although community involvement in health related activities is generally acknowledged by international and national health planners to be the key to the successful organization of primary health care, comparatively little is known about its potential and limitations. Drawing on the experiences of two middle hill villages in Nepal, this paper reports on research undertaken to compare and contrast the scope and extent of community participation in the delivery of primary health care in a community run and financed health post and a state run and financed health post. Unlike many other health posts in Nepal these facilities do provide effective curative services, and neither of them suffer from chronic shortage of drugs. However, community-financing did not appear to widen the scope and the extent of participation. Villagers in both communities relied on the health post for the treatment of less than one-third of symptoms, and despite the planners' intentions, community involvement outside participation in benefits was found to be very limited. (+info)
Reducing the burden of coronary heart disease: health promotion, its effectiveness and cost.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is one of five key areas identified in the Health of the Nation white paper produced by the Department of Health in 1992. The main CHD targets are to reduce death rates from CHD by at least 40% in people below 65 and 30% in those between 65 and 74 by the year 2000, respectively. Improvements in treatment and rehabilitation are expected to contribute to reducing the burden of CHD; however, in the long term, prevention is believed to hold the greatest potential. CHD health promotion therefore has a big role to play in securing the Health of the Nation targets. In contrast to treatment interventions, however, little is known about the effectiveness or cost-effectiveness of health promotion. The purpose of this article is two-fold. Its main aim is to illustrate the potential of health promotion in reducing the health burden of CHD to the turn of the century and beyond for a representative health purchaser. This is achieved with the use of an epidemiological model, Prevent, developed in the Netherlands to simulate the health outcomes associated with health promotion and prevention. A subsidiary aim is to present tentative information about the relative costs associated with different health promotion options. (+info)
Exploring self-care and wellness: a model for pharmacist compensation by managed care organizations.
Self-care and wellness are rapidly becoming mainstays of practice for many pharmacists. Consumer confidence and trust in pharmacists provides continuing opportunities for pharmacists to create products and services to satisfy consumer demands related to disease prevention and healthcare delivery. We outline two pharmacy wellness programs designed to meet consumer needs, and offer them as models for pharmacists. Issues related to the program and extent of involvement by pharmacists are raised, including the role of the pharmacists in behavior modification efforts; selecting areas of focus (e.g., smoking cessation); working with physicians for referrals; enlightening community business leaders and managed care organizations to the economic benefits of the program; and developing strategies for fair purchase of services to achieve program goals and provide adequate compensation in return. (+info)
Do local inhabitants want to participate in community injury prevention?: a focus on the significance of local identities for community participation.
During the 1980s the community became the object of new interest and enthusiasm among many health promotion practitioners and researchers, and the principle of community participation was put on the research agenda. However, recent evaluations of major community health promotion programs have questioned the value of community interventions. This paper argues that the community level need not be of less importance in future health promotion initiatives. It is discussed whether the cultural dimension and the significance of local identities, neglected in most community health promotion programs, should receive more attention when local inhabitants are invited to participate in health promotion or disease prevention activities. Results from a study of injury prevention projects in small Norwegian municipalities indicate that the inhabitants' identification with local spatial subarenas might play an important role when they decide to become involved in injury prevention. Contemporary sociological approaches to the community, focusing on developments of local identities in processes of globalization, have formed a theoretical frame of reference in this study. (+info)