ResearchPad - debate https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Revisiting the management of term breech presentation: a proposal for overcoming some of the controversies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12795 The debate surrounding the management of term breech presentation has excessively focused on the mode of delivery. Indeed, a steady decline in the rate of vaginal breech delivery has been observed over the last three decades, and the soundness of the vaginal route was seriously challenged at the beginning of the 2000s. However, associations between adverse perinatal outcomes and antenatal risk factors have been observed in foetuses that remain in the breech presentation in late gestation, confirming older data and raising the question of the role of these antenatal risk factors in adverse perinatal outcomes. Thus, aspects beyond the mode of delivery must be considered regarding the awareness and adequate management of such situations in term breech pregnancies.Main bodyIn the context of the most recent meta-analysis and with the publication of large-scale epidemiologic studies from medical birth registries in countries that have not abruptly altered their criteria for individual decision-making regarding the breech delivery mode, the currently available data provide essential clues to understanding the underlying maternal-foetal conditions beyond the delivery mode that play a role in perinatal outcomes, such as foetal growth restriction and gestational diabetes mellitus. In view of such data, an accurate evaluation of these underlying conditions is necessary in cases of persistent term breech presentation. Timely breech detection, estimated foetal weight/growth curves and foetal/maternal well-being should be considered along with these possible antenatal risk factors; a thorough analysis of foetal presentation and an evaluation of the possible benefit of external cephalic version and pelvic adequacy in each specific situation of persistent breech presentation should be performed.ConclusionThe adequate management of term breech pregnancies requires screening and the efficient identification of breech presentation at 36 weeks of gestation, followed by thorough evaluations of foetal weight, growth and mobility, while obstetric history, antenatal gestational disorders and pelvis size/conformation are considered. The management plan, including external cephalic version and follow-up based on the maternal/foetal condition and potentially associated disorders, should be organized on a case-by-case basis by a skilled team after the woman is informed and helped to make a reasoned decision regarding delivery route. ]]> <![CDATA[What passive euthanasia is]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8913 Euthanasia can be thought of as being either active or passive; but the precise definition of “passive euthanasia” is not always clear. Though all passive euthanasia involves the withholding of life-sustaining treatment, there would appear to be some disagreement about whether all such withholding should be seen as passive euthanasia.Main textAt the core of the disagreement is the question of the importance of an intention to bring about death: must one intend to bring about the death of the patient in order for withholding treatment to count as passive euthanasia, as some sources would indicate, or does withholding in which death is merely foreseen belong to that category? We may expect that this unclarity would be important in medical practice, in law, and in policy. The idea that withholding life-sustaining treatment is passive euthanasia is traced to James Rachels’s arguments, which lend themselves to the claim that passive euthanasia does not require intention to end life. Yet the argument here is that Rachels’s arguments are flawed, and we have good reasons to think that intention is important in understanding the moral nature of actions. As such, we should reject any understanding of passive euthanasia that does not pay attention to intent.Short conclusionJames Rachels’s work on active and passive euthanasia has been immensely influential; but this is an influence that we ought to resist. ]]> <![CDATA[Too much safety? Safeguards and equal access in the context of voluntary assisted dying legislation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8491 In June 2019, the Australian state of Victoria joined the growing number of jurisdictions around the world to have legalised some form of voluntary assisted dying. A discourse of safety was prominent during the implementation of the Victorian legislation.Main textIn this paper, we analyse the ethical relationship between legislative “safeguards” and equal access. Drawing primarily on Ruger’s model of equal access to health care services, we analyse the Victorian approach to voluntary assisted dying in terms of four dimensions: horizontal equity, patient agency, high quality care, and supportive social norms. We argue that some provisions framed as safeguards in the legislation create significant barriers to equal access for eligible patients.ConclusionsWhile safety is undoubtedly ethically important, we caution against an overemphasis on safeguarding in voluntary assisted dying legislation given the implications for equal access. ]]> <![CDATA[What might the future bring? COVID-19 planning considerations for faculty and universities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8041 This paper applies a scenario planning approach, to outline some current uncertainties related to COVID-19 and what they might mean for plausible futures for which we should prepare, and to identify factors that we as individual faculty members and university institutions should be considering now, when planning for the future under COVID-19. Although the contextual focus of this paper is Canada, the content is likely applicable to other places where the COVID-19 epidemic curve is in its initial rising stage, and where universities are predominantly publicly funded institutions.

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<![CDATA[Gastrointestinal cancer surgery and enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) during COVID-19 outbreak]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N76f330ca-3fc2-43f0-9904-8b4a6ad05663 <![CDATA[Just regionalisation: rehabilitating care for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9efab0ee8fa60b6dd39

Background

Regionalised models of health care delivery have important implications for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses yet the ethical issues surrounding disability and regionalisation have not yet been explored. Although there is ethics-related research into disability and chronic illness, studies of regionalisation experiences, and research directed at improving health systems for these patient populations, to our knowledge these streams of research have not been brought together. Using the Canadian province of Ontario as a case study, we address this gap by examining the ethics of regionalisation and the implications for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses. The critical success factors we provide have broad applicability for guiding and/or evaluating new and existing regionalised health care strategies.

Discussion

Ontario is in the process of implementing fourteen Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). The implementation of the LHINs provides a rare opportunity to address systematically the unmet diverse care needs of people with disabilities and chronic illnesses. The core of this paper provides a series of composite case vignettes illustrating integration opportunities relevant to these populations, namely: (i) rehabilitation and services for people with disabilities; (ii) chronic illness and cancer care; (iii) senior's health; (iv) community support services; (v) children's health; (vi) health promotion; and (vii) mental health and addiction services. For each vignette, we interpret the governing principles developed by the LHINs – equitable access based on patient need, preserving patient choice, responsiveness to local population health needs, shared accountability and patient-centred care – and describe how they apply. We then offer critical success factors to guide the LHINs in upholding these principles in response to the needs of people with disabilities and chronic illnesses.

Summary

This paper aims to bridge an important gap in the literature by examining the ethics of a new regionalisation strategy with a focus on the implications for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses across multiple sites of care. While Ontario is used as a case study to contextualize our discussion, the issues we identify, the ethical principles we apply, and the critical success factors we provide have broader applicability for guiding and evaluating the development of – or revisions to – a regionalised health care strategy.

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<![CDATA[Implementation support practitioners – a proposal for consolidating a diverse evidence base]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N073e823b-5b66-4091-85cd-92d4d0ce7757

Background

Workforce development for implementation practice has been identified as a grand challenge in health services. This is due to the embryonic nature of the existing research in this area, few available training programs and a general shortage of frontline service staff trained and prepared for practicing implementation in the field. The interest in the role of “implementation support” as a way to effectively build the implementation capacities of the human service sector has therefore increased. However, while frequently used, little is known about the skills and competencies required to effectively provide such support.

Main body

To progress the debate and the research agenda on implementation support competencies, we propose the role of the “implementation support practitioner” as a concept unifying the multiple streams of research focused on e.g. consultation, facilitation, or knowledge brokering. Implementation support practitioners are professionals supporting others in implementing evidence-informed practices, policies and programs, and in sustaining and scaling evidence for population impact. They are not involved in direct service delivery or management and work closely with the leadership and staff needed to effectively deliver direct clinical, therapeutic or educational services to individuals, families and communities. They may be specialists or generalists and be located within and/or outside the delivery system they serve. To effectively support the implementation practice of others, implementation support practitioners require an ability to activate implementation-relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes, and to operationalize and apply these in the context of their support activities. In doing so, they aim to trigger both relational and behavioral outcomes. This thinking is reflected in an overarching logic outlined in this article.

Conclusion

The development of implementation support practitioners as a profession necessitates improved conceptual thinking about their role and work and how they enable the uptake and integration of evidence in real world settings. This article introduces a preliminary logic conceptualizing the role of implementation support practitioners informing research in progress aimed at increasing our knowledge about implementation support and the competencies needed to provide this support.

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<![CDATA[Change without Transformation: Social Policy Reforms in the Philippines under Duterte]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na6b4b4a9-b30c-4e14-983a-d13012b365ae

ABSTRACT

This article explores social policy reforms championed by the Philippines’ strongman president Rodrigo Duterte during his first three years in office (2016–19), as a case for examining the transformative potential of social policy expansion under rising new right‐wing and authoritarian leaders. By showing how political economy and historico‐institutional conditions foreclose the transformative possibilities of the social policy changes effected by Duterte, the author offers a critique of current tendencies in global development discourses to treat all forms of social policy expansion as progressive. In the Philippines case, there is no progressive ideology guiding the reforms, nor are there political movements overseeing the expansion of social rights now inscribed in law. Rather, the reforms institutionally entrench a minimalist approach to universalism and strengthen the foothold of poverty targeting as an organizing principle of social provisioning. Social policy expansion under Duterte manifests aspects of the ‘dark side’ of social policy reforms during the current global political moment, including the use of such policy reforms to legitimize a conservative and authoritarian political order, and the functionality, across the political spectrum, of ‘narrow universalism’ — the type championed by international development agencies — which serves to deepen segmentation in social provisioning.

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<![CDATA[Contamination in complex healthcare trials: the falls in care homes (FinCH) study experience]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8dbeeb7a-7e3c-4262-87dc-abfdca08b8bb

Background

Trials are at risk of contamination bias which can occur when participants in the control group are inadvertently exposed to the intervention. This is a particular risk in rehabilitation studies where it is easy for trial interventions to be either intentionally or inadvertently adopted in control settings. The Falls in Care Homes (FinCH) trial is used in this paper as an example of a large randomised controlled trial of a complex intervention to explore the potential risks of contamination bias. We outline the FinCH trial design, present the potential risks from contamination bias, and the strategies used in the design of the trial to minimise or mitigate against this. The FinCH trial was a multi-centre randomised controlled trial, with embedded process evaluation, which evaluated whether systematic training in the use of the Guide to Action Tool for Care Homes reduced falls in care home residents.

Data were collected from a number of sources to explore contamination in the FinCH trial. Where specific procedures were adopted to reduce risk of, or mitigate against, contamination, this was recorded. Data were collected from study e-mails, meetings with clinicians, research assistant and clinician network communications, and an embedded process evaluation in six intervention care homes.

During the FinCH trial, there were six new falls prevention initiatives implemented outside the study which could have contaminated our intervention and findings. Methods used to minimise contamination were: cluster randomisation at the level of care home; engagement with the clinical community to highlight the risks of early adoption; establishing local collaborators in each site familiar with the local context; signing agreements with NHS falls specialists that they would maintain confidentiality regarding details of the intervention; opening additional research sites; and by raising awareness about the importance of contamination in research among participants.

Conclusion

Complex rehabilitation trials are at risk of contamination bias. The potential for contamination bias in studies can be minimized by strengthening collaboration and dialogue with the clinical community. Researchers should recognise that clinicians may contaminate a study through lack of research expertise.

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<![CDATA[Data Access Committees]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N150186b9-86a4-4a64-af26-cc16d7aa706e

Background

Sharing de-identified individual-level health research data is widely promoted and has many potential benefits. However there are also some potential harms, such as misuse of data and breach of participant confidentiality. One way to promote the benefits of sharing while ameliorating its potential harms is through the adoption of a managed access approach where data requests are channeled through a Data Access Committee (DAC), rather than making data openly available without restrictions. A DAC, whether a formal or informal group of individuals, has the responsibility of reviewing and assessing data access requests. Many individual groups, consortiums, institutional and independent DACs have been established but there is currently no widely accepted framework for their organization and function.

Main text

We propose that DACs, should have the role of both promotion of data sharing and protection of data subjects, their communities, data producers, their institutions and the scientific enterprise. We suggest that data access should be granted by DACs as long as the data reuse has potential social value and provided there is low risk of foreseeable harms. To promote data sharing and to motivate data producers, DACs should encourage secondary uses that are consistent with the interests of data producers and their own institutions. Given the suggested roles of DACs, there should be transparent, simple and clear application procedures for data access. The approach to review of applications should be proportionate to the potential risks involved. DACs should be established within institutional and legal frameworks with clear lines of accountability, terms of reference and membership. We suggest that DACs should not be modelled after research ethics committees (RECs) because their functions and goals of review are different from those of RECs. DAC reviews should be guided by the principles of public health ethics instead of research ethics.

Conclusions

In this paper we have suggested a framework under which DACs should operate, how they should be organised, and how to constitute them.

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<![CDATA[Why do you need a biostatistician?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N84dff7f7-8f89-4a10-95f8-db61f53afcf5

The quality of medical research importantly depends, among other aspects, on a valid statistical planning of the study, analysis of the data, and reporting of the results, which is usually guaranteed by a biostatistician. However, there are several related professions next to the biostatistician, for example epidemiologists, medical informaticians and bioinformaticians. For medical experts, it is often not clear what the differences between these professions are and how the specific role of a biostatistician can be described. For physicians involved in medical research, this is problematic because false expectations often lead to frustration on both sides. Therefore, the aim of this article is to outline the tasks and responsibilities of biostatisticians in clinical trials as well as in other fields of application in medical research.

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<![CDATA[Treating medically unexplained symptoms via improving access to psychological therapy (IAPT): major limitations identified]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N664d778e-ad4e-4de4-ac76-a1ff25ceb15a

Background

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies is a UK Government funded initiative to widen access to psychological treatment for a range of common mental health complaints, such as depression and anxiety. More recently, the service has begun to treat patients with medically unexplained symptoms. This paper reports on a review of treatment protocols and early treatment data for medically unexplained symptoms, specifically the illness myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.

Main text

A series of seven core problems and failings are identified, including an unproven treatment rationale, a weak and contested evidence-base, biases in treatment promotion, exaggeration of recovery claims, under-reporting of drop-out rates, and a significant risk of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment.

Conclusions

There is a pressing need for independent oversight of this service, specifically evaluation of service performance and methods used to collect and report treatment outcomes. This service offers uniform psycho-behavioural therapy that may not meet the needs of many patients with medically unexplained health complaints. Psychotherapy should not become a default when patients’ physical symptoms remain unexplained, and patients should be fully informed of the rationale behind psychotherapy, before agreeing to take part. Patients who reject psychotherapy or do not meet selection criteria should be offered appropriate medical and psychological support.

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<![CDATA[Why genomics researchers are sometimes morally required to hunt for secondary findings]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N02672d7c-3240-42ba-a0ed-f9ae835cfe83

Background

Genomic research can reveal ‘unsolicited’ or ‘incidental’ findings that are of potential health or reproductive significance to participants. It is widely thought that researchers have a moral obligation, grounded in the duty of easy rescue, to return certain kinds of unsolicited findings to research participants. It is less widely thought that researchers have a moral obligation to actively look for health-related findings (for example, by conducting additional analyses to search for findings outside the scope of the research question).

Main text

This paper examines whether there is a moral obligation, grounded in the duty of easy rescue, to actively hunt for genomic secondary findings. We begin by showing how the duty to disclose individual research findings can be grounded in the duty of easy rescue. Next, we describe a parallel moral duty, also grounded in the duty of easy rescue, to actively hunt for such information. We then consider six possible objections to our argument, each of which we find unsuccessful. Some of these objections provide reason to limit the scope of the duty to look for secondary findings, but none provide reason to reject this duty outright.

Conclusions

We argue that under a certain range of circumstances, researchers are morally required to hunt for these kinds of secondary findings. Although these circumstances may not currently obtain, genomic researchers will likely acquire an obligation to hunt for secondary findings as the field of genomics continues to evolve.

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<![CDATA[We need to think about data governance for dementia research in a digital era]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N14b21d83-8ca2-4060-867d-9bedf9c7ce80

Background

Research into Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias increasingly involves large-scale data-sharing initiatives. The development of novel digital tools and assessments is likely to increase the need for these. This presents ethics and governance challenges to ensure the use of these data is able to maximise the benefit to patients and the public.

Discussion

We consider the challenges associated with informed consent and governance in the context of dementia research. We set out the potential of novel data governance approaches for the future of data sharing for dementia.

Summary

The data trust model proposed in discussions of data governance may have potentially valuable application for dementia research. Such inclusive approaches to trustworthy data governance should be considered as data-sharing initiatives are established and develop.

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<![CDATA[Addressing the health advocate role in medical education]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nce488375-c84e-4f34-b6e4-1fe09660b3e4

The health advocate role is an essential and underappreciated component of the CanMEDs competency framework. It is tied to the concept of social accountability and its application to medical schools for preparing future physicians who will work to ensure an equitable healthcare system. Student involvement in health advocacy throughout medical school can inspire a long-term commitment to address health disparities. The Social Medicine Network (SMN) provides an online platform for medical trainees to seek opportunities to address health disparities, with the goal of bridging the gap between the social determinants of health and clinical medicine. This online platform provides a list of health advocacy related opportunities for addressing issues that impede health equity, whether through research, community engagement, or clinical care.

First implemented at the University of British Columbia, the SMN has since expanded to other medical schools across Canada. At the University of Ottawa, the SMN is being used to augment didactic teachings of health advocacy and social accountability. This article reports on the development and application of the SMN as a resource for medical trainees seeking meaningful and actionable opportunities to enact their role as health advocates.

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<![CDATA[Prevention strategies to identify LASA errors: building and sustaining a culture of patient safety]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N67fe1475-c933-4c46-9d0a-0281fa83971c

Background

Potential look-alike, sound-alike (LASA) errors in outpatient and inpatient prescriptions have been widely described worldwide. However, most strategies of reducing drug name confusion have been only focused on the processes of prescribing and dispensing, often following local rules.

Main text

An illustrative recent example about this topic is given: the antidepressant Brintellix® (vortioxetine) (Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.) and the antiplatelet medication Brilinta® (ticagrelor) (AstraZeneca LP). Revision of the initiatives that are currently applied to prevent potential LASA errors in different countries around the world and debate about the emerging strategies that could be implemented in short and mid-term. At present, a common policy worldwide on the authorization of unique names for innovative medicines does not exist. The implication of authorities in topdown strategies and the importance of developing an international health policy on the authorization of unique names for innovative medicines are highlighted in the following piece of opinion.

Conclusions

Building and sustaining a culture of patient safety should be considered as a global top-down strategy which involved all the elements in the system (regulatory bodies, manufacturers and suppliers). The precedent established by the FDA in prevention strategies to identify and avoid LASA errors has been extremely important and should lead to international discussion. Coordinated international efforts are urgently needed in this area for the sake of patients’ safety.

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<![CDATA[Using mobile phones to improve community health workers performance in low-and-middle-income countries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N9bdfde8b-d1c5-4cbb-9f94-438ed9c1b9c0

Background

In low-and-middle-income countries community health workers are the core component of the PHC system as they act as a liaison between the communities and the healthcare facilities. Evidence suggests that the services offered by these workers have helped in the decline of maternal and child morbidity and mortality rates and the burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases. However, the coverage and the overall progress towards achieving the SDG targets is very sluggish. The recent consensus concerning this current pace of progress, is that it relates to financial and human resources constraints. CHWs are overburdened as they are expected to accomplish more although they may not obtain the required support to perform their duties. The health systems of LMICs, have given very little attention to the work environment of CHWs; which has negatively affected CHWs productivity, and quality of services. This debate is intended to explore the potential of mobile phone technology in LMICs for improving CHWs performance and effectiveness.

Discussion

To improve CHWs productivity, some studies involved the use of mobile phones for data collection and reporting, while other studies used mobile technology for patient to provider communication, patient education, CHWs supervision, and monitoring and evaluation. A wide range of benefits exists for using mobile phones including reduction in CHWs workload, improvement in data collection, reporting and monitoring, provision of quality healthcare services, supportive supervision, better organization of CHWs tasks and improvement in community health outcomes. However, a number of studies suggests that CHWs encounter unique challenges when adopting and using mobile health solutions for health service delivery such as, lack of CHWs training on new mHealth solutions, weak technical support, issues of internet connectivity and other administrative challenges. Future research efforts should be directed to explore health system readiness for adopting sustainable mHealth solutions to improve CHWs workflows in LMICs.

Conclusion

Future research efforts and policy dialogue should be directed to explore health system readiness for adopting sustainable mHealth solutions to improve CHWs workflows in LMICs.

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<![CDATA[A woman’s worth: an access framework for integrating emergency medicine with maternal health to reduce the burden of maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd8e11e45-923d-4090-9608-7427f1510707

Background

Within each of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified key emergency care (EC) interventions that, if implemented effectively, could ensure that the SDG targets are met. The proposed EC intervention for reaching the maternal mortality benchmark calls for “timely access to emergency obstetric care.” This intervention, the WHO estimates, can avert up to 98% of maternal deaths across the African region.

Access, however, is a complicated notion and is part of a larger framework of care delivery that constitutes the approachability of the proposed service, its acceptability by the target user, the perceived availability and accommodating nature of the service, its affordability, and its overall appropriateness.

Without contextualizing each of these aspects of access to healthcare services within communities, utilization and sustainability of any EC intervention-be it ambulances or simple toll-free numbers to dial and activate EMS-will be futile.

Main text

In this article, we propose an access framework that integrates the Three Delays Model in maternal health, with emergency care interventions. Within each of the three critical time points, we provide reasons why intended interventions should be contextualized to the needs of the community. We also propose measurable benchmarks in each of the phases, to evaluate the successes and failures of the proposed EC interventions within the framework. At the center of the framework is the pregnant woman, whose life hangs in a delicate balance in the hands of personal and health system factors that may or may not be within her control.

Conclusions

The targeted SDGs for reducing maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa are unlikely to be met without a tailored integration of maternal health service delivery with emergency medicine. Our proposed framework integrates the fields of maternal health with emergency medicine by juxtaposing the three critical phases of emergency obstetric care with various aspects of healthcare access. The framework should be adopted in its entirety, with measureable benchmarks set to track the successes and failures of the various EC intervention programs being developed across the African continent.

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<![CDATA[Standardizing the categorizations of models of aftercare for survivors of childhood cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6ec7354b-f107-4cbe-80b5-02f4251f45a2

Background

With significant improvements in the survival rates for most childhood cancers, there is increased pressure to determine how follow-up or aftercare for survivors is best structured.

Main body

Previous work in this area has not been consistent in how it categorizes models of aftercare, which risks confusion between studies and evaluations of different models. The adoption of a standardized method for classifying and describing different models of aftercare is necessary in order to maximize the applicability of the available evidence. We identify some of the different ways models of aftercare have been classified in previous research. We then propose a revised taxonomy which allows for a more consistent classification and description of these models. The proposed model bases the classification of models of aftercare on who is the lead provider, and then collects data on five other key features: which other providers are involved in providing aftercare, where care is provided, how are survivors engaged, which services are provided, and who receives aftercare.

Conclusion

There is a good deal of interest in the effectiveness of different models of aftercare. Future research in this area would be assisted by the adoption of a shared taxonomy that will allow programs to be identified by their structural type.

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<![CDATA[Value based maternal and newborn care requires alignment of adequate resources with high value activities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ndb304ae3-13a8-4843-8e7a-7bb94e22542e

Background

Evidence based practice has been associated with better quality of care in many situations, but it has not been able to address increasing need and demand in healthcare globally and stagnant or decreasing healthcare resources. Implementation of value-based healthcare could address many important challenges in health care systems worldwide. Scaling up exemplary high value care practices offers the potential to ensure values-driven maternal and newborn care for all women and babies.

Discussion

Increased use of healthcare interventions over the last century have been associated with reductions in maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity. However, over an optimum threshold, these are associated with increases in adverse effects and inappropriate use of scarce resources. The Quality Maternal and Newborn Care framework provides an example of what value based maternity care might look like. To deliver value based maternal and newborn care, a system-level shift is needed, ‘from fragmented care focused on identification and treatment of pathology for the minority to skilled care for all’.

Ideally, resources would be allocated at population and individual level to ensure care is woman-centred instead of institution/ profession centred but oftentimes, the drivers for spending resources are ‘the demands and beliefs of the acute sector’. We argue that decisions to allocate resources to high value activities, such as continuity of carer, need to be made at the macro level in the knowledge that these investments will relieve pressure on acute services while also ensuring the delivery of appropriate and high value care in the long run. To ensure that high value preventive and supportive care can be delivered, it is important that separate staff and money are allocated to, for example, models of continuity of carer to prevent shortages of resources due to rising demands of the acute services.

Summary

To achieve value based maternal and newborn care, mechanisms are needed to ensure adequate resource allocation to high value maternity care activities that should be separate from the resource demands of acute maternity services. Funding arrangements should support, where wanted and needed, seamless movement of women and neonates between systems of care.

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