Applying systems thinking to identify enablers and challenges to scale-up interventions for hypertension and diabetes in low-income and middle-income countries: protocol for a longitudinal mixed-methods study
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:There is an urgent need to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), particularly in low-and middle-income countries, where the greatest burden lies. Yet, there is little research concerning the specific issues involved in scaling up NCD interventions targeting low-resource settings. We propose to examine this gap in up to 27 collaborative projects, which were funded by the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) 2019 Scale Up Call, reflecting a total funding investment of approximately US$50 million. These projects represent diverse countries, contexts and adopt varied approaches and study designs to scale-up complex, evidence-based interventions to improve hypertension and diabetes outcomes. A systematic inquiry of these projects will provide necessary scientific insights into the enablers and challenges in the scale up of complex NCD interventions. METHODS AND ANALYSIS/METHODS:data using inductive thematic coding. The data extraction tool and interview guides were developed based on a literature review of scale-up frameworks. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION/BACKGROUND:The current protocol was approved by the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC number 23482). Informed consent will be obtained from all participants. The study findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications and more broadly through the GACD network.
How health systems can adapt to a population ageing with HIV and comorbid disease
As people age with HIV, their needs increase beyond solely managing HIV care. Ageing people with HIV, defined as people with HIV who are 50 years or older, face increased risk of both age-regulated comorbidities and ageing-related issues. Globally, health-care systems have struggled to meet these changing needs of ageing people with HIV. We argue that health systems need to rethink care strategies to meet the growing needs of this population and propose models of care that meet these needs using the WHO health system building blocks. We focus on care provision for ageing people with HIV in the three different funding mechanisms: President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and Global Fund funded nations, the USA, and single-payer government health-care systems. Although our categorisation is necessarily incomplete, our efforts provide a valuable contribution to the debate on health systems strengthening as the need for integrated, people-centred, health services increase.
Network characteristics of a referral system for patients with hypertension in Western Kenya: results from the Strengthening Referral Networks for Management of Hypertension Across the Health System (STRENGTHS) study
BACKGROUND:Health system approaches to improve hypertension control require an effective referral network. A national referral strategy exists in Kenya; however, a number of barriers to referral completion persist. This paper is a baseline assessment of a hypertension referral network for a cluster-randomized trial to improve hypertension control and reduce cardiovascular disease risk. METHODS:We used sociometric network analysis to understand the relationships between providers within a network of nine geographic clusters in western Kenya, including primary, secondary, and tertiary care facilities. We conducted a survey which asked providers to nominate individuals and facilities to which they refer patients with controlled and uncontrolled hypertension. Degree centrality measures were used to identify providers in prominent positions, while mixed-effect regression models were used to determine provider characteristics related to the likelihood of receiving referrals. We calculated core-periphery correlation scores (CP) for each cluster (ideal CP scoreâ€‰=â€‰1.0). RESULTS:We surveyed 152 providers (physicians, nurses, medical officers, and clinical officers), range 10-36 per cluster. Median number of hypertensive patients seen per month was 40 (range 1-600). While 97% of providers reported referring patients up to a more specialized health facility, only 55% reported referring down to lower level facilities. Individuals were more likely to receive a referral if they had higher level of training, worked at a higher level facility, were male, or had more job experience. CP scores for provider networks range from 0.335 to 0.693, while the CP scores for the facility networks range from 0.707 to 0.949. CONCLUSIONS:This analysis highlights several points of weakness in this referral network including cluster variability, poor provider linkages, and the lack of down referrals. Facility networks were stronger than provider networks. These shortcomings represent opportunities to focus interventions to improve referral networks for hypertension. TRIAL REGISTRATION/BACKGROUND:Trial Registered on ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03543787 , June 1, 2018.
Development of a core outcome set for multimorbidity trials in low/middle-income countries (COSMOS): study protocol
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:'Multimorbidity' describes the presence of two or more long-term conditions, which can include communicable, non-communicable diseases, and mental disorders. The rising global burden from multimorbidity is well documented, but trial evidence for effective interventions in low-/middle-income countries (LMICs) is limited. Selection of appropriate outcomes is fundamental to trial design to ensure cross-study comparability, but there is currently no agreement on a core outcome set (COS) to include in trials investigating multimorbidity specifically in LMICs. Our aim is to develop international consensus on two COSs for trials of interventions to prevent and treat multimorbidity in LMIC settings. METHODS AND ANALYSIS/UNASSIGNED:Following methods recommended by the Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials initiative, the development of these two COSs will occur in parallel in three stages: (1) generation of a long list of potential outcomes for inclusion; (2) two-round online Delphi surveys and (3) consensus meetings. First, to generate an initial list of outcomes, we will conduct a systematic review of multimorbidity intervention and prevention trials and interviews with people living with multimorbidity and their caregivers in LMICs. Outcomes will be classified using an outcome taxonomy. Two-round Delphi surveys will be used to elicit importance scores for these outcomes from people living with multimorbidity, caregivers, healthcare professionals, policy makers and researchers in LMICs. Finally, consensus meetings including all of these stakeholders will be held to agree outcomes for inclusion in the two COSs. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION/UNASSIGNED:The study has been approved by the Research Governance Committee of the Department of Health Sciences, University of York, UK (HSRGC/2020/409/D:COSMOS). Each participating country/research group will obtain local ethics board approval. Informed consent will be obtained from all participants. We will disseminate findings through peer-reviewed open access publications, and presentations at global conferences selected to reach a wide range of LMIC stakeholders. PROSPERO REGISTATION NUMBER/UNASSIGNED:CRD42020197293.
Home-Based Remedies to Prevent COVID-19-Associated Risk of Infection, Admission, Severe Disease, and Death: A Nested Case-Control Study
Objective/UNASSIGNED:This study aimed at determining the various types of home-based remedies, mode of administration, prevalence of use, and their relevance in reducing the risk of infection, hospital admission, severe disease, and death. Methods/UNASSIGNED:The study design is an open cohort of all participants who presented for testing for COVID-19 at the Infectious Disease Treatment Centre (Tamale) and were followed up for a period of six weeks. A nested case-control study was designed. Numerical data were analysed using STATA version 14, and qualitative data were thematically analysed. Results/UNASSIGNED:â€‰=â€‰2)). Participants who practiced any form of home-based therapy were protected from SARS-CoV-2 infection (ORâ€‰=â€‰0.28 (0.20-0.39)), severe/critical COVID-19 (ORâ€‰=â€‰0.15 (0.05-0.48)), hospital admission (ORâ€‰=â€‰0.15 (0.06-0.38)), and death (ORâ€‰=â€‰0.31 (0.07-1.38)). Analysis of the various subgroups of the home-based therapies, however, demonstrated that not all the home-based remedies were effective. Steam inhalation and herbal baths were associated with 26.6 (95% CIâ€‰=â€‰6.10-116.24) and 2.7 (95% CIâ€‰=â€‰0.49-14.78) times increased risk of infection, respectively. However, change in diet (AORâ€‰=â€‰0.01 (0.00-0.13)) and physical exercise (AORâ€‰=â€‰0.02 (0.00-0.26)) remained significantly associated with a reduced risk of infection. We described results of thematic content analysis regarding the common ingredients in the drinks, diets, and other home-based methods administered. Conclusion/UNASSIGNED:Almost a third of persons presenting for COVID-19 test were involved in some form of home-based remedy to prevent COVID-19. Steam inhalation and herbal baths increased risk of COVID-19 infection, while physical exercise and dietary changes were protective against COVID-19 infection and hospital admission. Future protocols might consider inclusion of physical activity and dietary changes based on demonstrated health gains.
Spatial environmental factors predict cardiovascular and all-cause mortality: Results of the SPACE study
BACKGROUND:Environmental exposures account for a growing proportion of global mortality. Large cohort studies are needed to characterize the independent impact of environmental exposures on mortality in low-income settings. METHODS:We collected data on individual and environmental risk factors for a multiethnic cohort of 50,045 individuals in a low-income region in Iran. Environmental risk factors included: ambient fine particular matter air pollution; household fuel use and ventilation; proximity to traffic; distance to percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) center; socioeconomic environment; population density; local land use; and nighttime light exposure. We developed a spatial survival model to estimate the independent associations between these environmental exposures and all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. FINDINGS:Several environmental factors demonstrated associations with mortality after adjusting for individual risk factors. Ambient fine particulate matter air pollution predicted all-cause mortality (per Î¼g/m3, HR 1.20, 95% CI 1.07, 1.36) and cardiovascular mortality (HR 1.17, 95% CI 0.98, 1.39). Biomass fuel use without chimney predicted all-cause mortality (reference = gas, HR 1.23, 95% CI 0.99, 1.53) and cardiovascular mortality (HR 1.36, 95% CI 0.99, 1.87). Kerosene fuel use without chimney predicted all-cause mortality (reference = gas, HR 1.09, 95% CI 0.97, 1.23) and cardiovascular mortality (HR 1.19, 95% CI 1.01, 1.41). Distance to PCI center predicted all-cause mortality (per 10km, HR 1.01, 95% CI 1.004, 1.022) and cardiovascular mortality (HR 1.02, 95% CI 1.004, 1.031). Additionally, proximity to traffic predicted all-cause mortality (HR 1.13, 95% CI 1.01, 1.27). In a separate validation cohort, the multivariable model effectively predicted both all-cause mortality (AUC 0.76) and cardiovascular mortality (AUC 0.81). Population attributable fractions demonstrated a high mortality burden attributable to environmental exposures. INTERPRETATION:Several environmental factors predicted cardiovascular and all-cause mortality, independent of each other and of individual risk factors. Mortality attributable to environmental factors represents a critical opportunity for targeted policies and programs.
Factors Influencing the Implementation of Remote Delivery Strategies for Non-Communicable Disease Care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Narrative Review
Implementation Outcome Scales for Digital Mental Health (iOSDMH): Scale Development and Cross-sectional Study
BACKGROUND:Digital mental health interventions are being used more than ever for the prevention and treatment of psychological problems. Optimizing the implementation aspects of digital mental health is essential to deliver the program to populations in need, but there is a lack of validated implementation outcome measures for digital mental health interventions. OBJECTIVE:The primary aim of this study is to develop implementation outcome scales of digital mental health for different levels of stakeholders involved in the implementation process: users, providers, and managers or policy makers. The secondary aim is to validate the developed scale for users. METHODS:We developed English and Japanese versions of the implementation outcome scales for digital mental health (iOSDMH) based on the literature review and panel discussions with experts in implementation research and web-based psychotherapy. The study developed acceptability, appropriateness, feasibility, satisfaction, and harm as the outcome measures for users, providers, and managers or policy makers. We conducted evidence-based interventions via the internet using UTSMeD, a website for mental health information (N=200). Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted to assess the structural validity of the iOSDMH for users. Satisfaction, which consisted of a single item, was not included in the EFA. RESULTS:The iOSDMH was developed for users, providers, and managers or policy makers. The iOSDMH contains 19 items for users, 11 items for providers, and 14 items for managers or policy makers. Cronbach Î± coefficients indicated intermediate internal consistency for acceptability (Î±=.665) but high consistency for appropriateness (Î±=.776), feasibility (Î±=.832), and harm (Î±=.777) of the iOSDMH for users. EFA revealed 3-factor structures, indicating acceptability and appropriateness as close concepts. Despite the similarity between these 2 concepts, we inferred that acceptability and appropriateness should be used as different factors, following previous studies. CONCLUSIONS:We developed iOSDMH for users, providers, and managers. Psychometric assessment of the scales for users demonstrated acceptable reliability and validity. Evaluating the components of digital mental health implementation is a major step forward in implementation science.
Delayed QT Prolongation: Derivation of a Novel Risk Factor for Adverse Cardiovascular Events from Acute Drug Overdose
INTRODUCTION:In ED patients with acute drug overdose involving prescription medication and/or substances of abuse, severe QTc prolongation (>â€‰500Â ms) is predictive of adverse cardiovascular events (ACVE), defined as myocardial injury, ventricular dysrhythmia, shock, or cardiac arrest. However, it is unclear whether delayed severe QTc prolongation (dsQTp) is a risk factor for ACVE and if specific clinical factors are associated with occurrence of dsQTp. METHODS:A secondary analysis of a prospective cohort of consecutive adult ED patients with acute drug overdose was performed on patients with initial QTcâ€‰<â€‰500Â ms. The predictor variable, dsQTp, was defined as initial QTcâ€‰<â€‰500Â ms followed by repeat QTcâ€‰â‰¥â€‰500Â ms. The primary outcome was occurrence of ACVE. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to test whether dsQTp was an independent predictor of ACVE and to derive clinical factors associated with dsQTp. RESULTS:Of 2311 patients screened, 1648 patients were included. The dsQTp group (Nâ€‰=â€‰27) was older than the control group (Nâ€‰=â€‰1621) (51.6 vs 40.2, pâ€‰<â€‰0.001) and had a higher number of drug exposures (2.92 vs 2.16, pâ€‰=â€‰0.003). Following adjustment for age, sex, race/ethnicity, number of exposures, serum potassium, and opioid exposure, dsQTp remained an independent predictor of ACVE (aOR: 12.44, pâ€‰<â€‰0.0001). Clinical factors associated with dsQTp were ageâ€‰>â€‰45Â years and polydrug (â‰¥â€‰3) overdoses. CONCLUSION:In this large secondary analysis of ED patients with acute drug overdose, dsQTp was an independent risk factor for in-hospital occurrence of ACVE.