Good health care: patient and professional perspectives.
Many health needs assessment exercises are professionally led, employing complex epidemiological methods. An alternative method that gives valuable information about patient preferences is a forced-choice questionnaire, which this study used in five practices in the West of Scotland. In each practice, patient-centred care was the most highly valued attribute of service provision. (+info)
The use of targets to improve the performance of health care providers: a discussion of government policy.
The aim of this discussion paper is to examine the advantages and drawbacks of employing targets, or performance indicators, to improve the performance of those delivering health care services. The paper is based on an examination of two target-setting policies initiated by Government: the 1992 Health of the Nation strategy and the 1990 General Practitioners' Contract. It is argued that the introduction of both the General Practitioners' Contract and the Health of the Nation have indeed been accompanied by improvements in performance, however, there are a number of problems with targets. They tend to focus on those things that are most easily measured, and they may foster complacency on the part of providers who have already achieved upper target limits, and defensiveness on the part of those performing badly. National targets may skew local priorities; they may also be unrealistic and unattainable for particular, less privileged population groups. They may serve to widen inequalities in health, and can exacerbate the 'inverse care law' by encouraging providers to direct their efforts at the more advantaged sections of society, where such efforts are more likely to pay off in terms of overall improvements in the target level achieved. Finally, the achievement of some targets will not necessarily result in better health outcomes. The paper concludes that a target-setting approach to improving the quality of care must be based on the use of appropriate indicators, and must take account of differences between more and less advantaged sections of society. (+info)
Rider injury rates and emergency medical services at equestrian events.
BACKGROUND: Horse riding is a hazardous pastime, with a number of studies documenting high rates of injury and death among horse riders in general. This study focuses on the injury experience of cross country event riders, a high risk subset of horse riders. METHOD: Injury data were collected at a series of 35 equestrian events in South Australia from 1990 to 1998. RESULTS: Injury rates were found to be especially high among event riders, with frequent falls, injuries, and even deaths. The highest injury rates were among the riders competing at the highest levels. CONCLUSION: There is a need for skilled emergency medical services at equestrian events. (+info)
Patterns of care and survival for adolescents and young adults with acute leukaemia--a population-based study.
We report a population-based study of patterns of care and survival for people with acute leukaemia diagnosed at age 15-29 years during 1984-94 in regions of England and Wales covered by specialist leukaemia registries. There were 879 patients: 417 with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and 462 with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). For ALL, actuarial survival rates were 43% at 5 years after diagnosis and 37% at 10 years. Survival improved significantly between 1984-88 and 1989-94 for those aged 15-19 at diagnosis. Patients entered in national clinical trials and those not entered had similar survival rates. Survival rates were similar at teaching and non-teaching hospitals and at hospitals treating different numbers of study patients per year. For AML, survival rates were 42% at 5 years after diagnosis and 39% at 10 years. Survival improved significantly between 1984-88 and 1989-94. Patients entered in the Medical Research Council AML10 trial had a higher survival rate than those who were in the earlier AML9 trial. Survival did not vary with category of hospital. We conclude that survival has improved for adolescents and young adults with acute leukaemia but that there is at present no evidence that centralized treatment results in a survival benefit for patients in this age group. (+info)
Where do people go for treatment of sexually transmitted diseases?
CONTEXT: Major public health resources are devoted to the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) through public STD clinics. However, little is known about where people actually receive treatment for STDs. METHODS: As part of the National Health and Social Life Survey, household interviews were performed from February to September 1992 with 3,432 persons aged 18-59. Weighted population estimates and multinomial response methods were used to describe the prevalence of self-reported STDs and patterns of treatment utilization by persons who ever had a bacterial or viral STD. RESULTS: An estimated two million STDs were self-reported in the previous year, and 22 million 18-59-year-olds self-reported lifetime STDs. Bacterial STDs (gonorrhea, chlamydia, nongonococcal urethritis, pelvic inflammatory disease and syphilis) were more common than viral STDs (genital herpes, genital warts, hepatitis and HIV). Genital warts were the most commonly reported STD in the past year, while gonorrhea was the most common ever-reported STD. Almost half of all respondents who had ever had an STD had gone to a private practice for treatment (49%); in comparison, only 5% of respondents had sought treatment at an STD clinic. Respondents with a bacterial STD were seven times more likely to report going to an STD clinic than were respondents with a viral STD--except for chlamydia, which was more likely to be treated at family planning clinics. Men were significantly more likely than women to go to an STD clinic. Young, poor or black respondents were all more likely to use a family planning clinic for STD treatment than older, relatively wealthy or white respondents. Age, sexual history and geographic location did not predict particular types of treatment-seeking. CONCLUSIONS: The health care utilization patterns for STD treatment in the United States are complex. Specific disease diagnosis, gender, race and income status all affect where people will seek treatment. These factors need to be taken into account when STD prevention strategies are being developed. (+info)
The just provision of health care: a reply to Elizabeth Telfer.
Dr Hillel Steiner in this reply to Elizabeth Telfer takes each of her arguments for different arrangements of a health service and examines them--'four positions which can be located on a linear ideological spectrum'--and adds a fifth which could have the effect of 'turning the alleged linear spectrum into a circle'. Underlying both Elizabeth Telfer's article and Dr Steiner's reply, the base is inescapably a 'political' one, but cannot be abandoned in favour of purely philosophical concepts. Whatever the attitude of mind of the reader of these two papers to the provision of a health service, the stimulus to more careful assessments of our own National Health Service and its problems can only be good. (+info)
The present state and future prospects of occupational health in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is a relatively young and developing country. At the present time, like in most developing countries, a clear demarcation between occupational health care and general medical care is difficult to be recognized in Bangladesh. Occupational health is a fairly new field, as the country is undergoing industrialization and occupational health activities are operated by several ministries, such as Labour, Health, Industry and Transport. Legal foundations of the occupational health-care system based on British India and Pakistani era, were adopted and amended by the Government of Bangladesh after the liberation of the country in 1971. Most of the Labour laws have been rectified by the Government of Bangladesh according to the ILO Conventions. Reconsideration of the occupational health service system avoiding duplication for the 'occupational health' component in several ministries might be helpful to achieve the successful provision of an occupational health service in the developing Bangladesh. (+info)
Canada's "disasters-R-us" medical platoon a hit in Honduras.
The Canadian Forces Disaster Assistance Response Team did not take long to adapt to the medical needs of 90,000 survivors of Hurricane Mitch last November. (+info)