Protocol for a mixed methods realist evaluation of regional District Health Board groupings in New Zealand.
ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION:Achieving effective integration of healthcare across primary, secondary and tertiary care is a key goal of the New Zealand (NZ) Health Strategy. NZ's regional District Health Board (DHB) groupings are fundamental to delivering integration, bringing the country's 20 DHBs together into four groups to collaboratively plan, fund and deliver health services within their defined geographical regions. This research aims to examine how, for whom and in what circumstances the regional DHB groupings work to improve health service integration, healthcare quality, health outcomes and health equity, particularly for M?ori and Pacific peoples. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:This research uses a mixed methods realist evaluation design. It comprises three linked studies: (1) formulating initial programme theory (IPT) through developing programme logic models to describe regional DHB working; (2) empirically testing IPT through both a qualitative process evaluation of regional DHB working using a case study design; and (3) a quantitative analysis of the impact that DHB regional groupings may have on service integration, health outcomes, health equity and costs. The findings of these three studies will allow refinement of the IPT and should lead to a programme theory which will explain how, for whom and in what circumstances regional DHB groupings improve service integration, health outcomes and health equity in NZ. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:The University of Otago Human Ethics Committee has approved this study. The embedding of a clinician researcher within a participating regional DHB grouping has facilitated research coproduction, the research has been jointly conceived and designed and will be jointly evaluated and disseminated by researchers and practitioners. Uptake of the research findings by other key groups including policymakers, M?ori providers and communities and Pacific providers and communities will be supported through key strategic relationships and dissemination activities. Academic dissemination will occur through publication and conference presentations.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:There are large inequities in the lung cancer burden for the Indigenous M?ori population of New Zealand. We model the potential lifetime health gains, equity impacts and cost-effectiveness of a national low-dose CT (LDCT) screening programme for lung cancer in smokers aged 55-74?years with a 30 pack-year history, and for formers smokers who have quit within the last 15 years. DESIGN:A Markov macrosimulation model estimated: health benefits (health-adjusted life-years (HALYs)), costs and cost-effectiveness of biennial LDCT screening. Input parameters came from literature and NZ-linked health datasets. SETTING:New Zealand. PARTICIPANTS:Population aged 55-74 years in 2011. INTERVENTIONS:Biennial LDCT screening for lung cancer compared with usual care. OUTCOME MEASURES:Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were calculated using the average difference in costs and HALYs between the screened and the unscreened populations. Equity analyses included substituting non-M?ori values for M?ori values of background morbidity, mortality and stage-specific survival. Changes in inequities in lung cancer survival and 'health-adjusted life expectancy' (HALE) were measured. RESULTS:LDCT screening in NZ is likely to be cost-effective for the total population: NZ$34?400 per HALY gained (95% uncertainty interval NZ$27?500 to NZ$42?900) and for M?ori separately (using a threshold of gross domestic product per capita NZ$45?000). Health gains per capita for M?ori females were twice that for non-M?ori females and 25% greater for M?ori males compared with non-M?ori males. LDCT screening will narrow absolute inequities in HALE and lung cancer mortality for M?ori, but will slightly increase relative inequities in mortality from lung cancer (compared with non-M?ori) due to differential stage-specific survival. CONCLUSION:A national biennial LDCT lung cancer screening programme in New Zealand is likely to be cost-effective, will improve total population health and reduce health inequities for M?ori. Attention must be paid to addressing ethnic inequities in stage-specific lung cancer survival.
Project description:Knee osteoarthritis is a leading global cause of health-related quality of life loss. The aim of this project was to quantify health losses arising from knee osteoarthritis in New Zealand (NZ) in terms of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) lost.The Osteoarthritis Policy Model (OAPol), a validated Monte Carlo computer simulation model, was used to estimate QALYs lost due to knee osteoarthritis in the NZ adult population aged 40-84 over their lifetimes from the base year of 2006 until death. Data were from the NZ Health Survey, NZ Burden of Diseases, NZ Census, and relevant literature. QALYs were derived from NZ EQ-5D value set 2. Sensitivity to health state valuation, disease and pain prevalence were assessed in secondary analyses.Based on NZ EQ-5D health state valuations, mean health losses due to knee osteoarthritis over people's lifetimes in NZ are 3.44 QALYs per person, corresponding to 467,240 QALYs across the adult population. Average estimated per person QALY losses are higher for non-M?ori females (3.55) than M?ori females (3.38), and higher for non-M?ori males (3.34) than M?ori males (2.60). The proportion of QALYs lost out of the total quality-adjusted life expectancy for those without knee osteoarthritis is similar across all subgroups, ranging from 20 to 23 percent.At both the individual and population levels, knee osteoarthritis is responsible for large lifetime QALY losses. QALY losses are higher for females than males due to greater prevalence of knee osteoarthritis and higher life expectancy, and lower for M?ori than non-M?ori due to lower life expectancy. Large health gains are potentially realisable from public health and policy measures aimed at decreasing incidence, progression, pain, and disability of osteoarthritis.
Project description:Aotearoa/New Zealand (Aotearoa/NZ) and the United States (U.S.) suffer inequities in health outcomes by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. This paper compares both countries' approaches to health equity to inform policy efforts. We developed a conceptual model that highlights how government and private policies influence health equity by impacting the healthcare system (access to care, structure and quality of care, payment of care), and integration of healthcare system with social services. These policies are shaped by each country's culture, history, and values. Aotearoa/NZ and U.S. share strong aspirational goals for health equity in their national health strategy documents. Unfortunately, implemented policies are frequently not explicit in how they address health inequities, and often do not align with evidence-based approaches known to improve equity. To authentically commit to achieving health equity, nations should: 1) Explicitly design quality of care and payment policies to achieve equity, holding the healthcare system accountable through public monitoring and evaluation, and supporting with adequate resources; 2) Address all determinants of health for individuals and communities with coordinated approaches, integrated funding streams, and shared accountability metrics across health and social sectors; 3) Share power authentically with racial/ethnic minorities and promote indigenous peoples' self-determination; 4) Have free, frank, and fearless discussions about impacts of structural racism, colonialism, and white privilege, ensuring that policies and programs explicitly address root causes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Potentially inappropriate prescribing (PIP) is associated with negative health outcomes, including hospitalisation and mortality. Life and Living in Advanced Age: a Cohort Study in New Zealand (LiLACS NZ) is a longitudinal study of M?ori (the indigenous population of New Zealand) and non-M?ori octogenarians. Health disparities between indigenous and non-indigenous populations are prevalent internationally and engagement of indigenous populations in health research is necessary to understand and address these disparities. Using LiLACS NZ data, this study reports the association of PIP with hospitalisations and mortality prospectively over 36-months follow-up. METHODS:PIP, from pharmacist applied criteria, was reported as potentially inappropriate medicines (PIMs) and potential prescribing omissions (PPOs). The association between PIP and hospitalisations (all-cause, cardiovascular disease-specific and ambulatory-sensitive) and mortality was determined throughout a series of 12-month follow-ups using binary logistic (hospitalisations) and Cox (mortality) regression analysis, reported as odds ratios (ORs) and hazard ratios (HRs), respectively, and the corresponding confidence intervals (CIs). RESULTS:Full demographic data were obtained for 267 M?ori and 404 non-M?ori at baseline, 178 M?ori and 332 non-M?ori at 12-months, and 122 M?ori and 281 non-M?ori at 24-months. The prevalence of any PIP (i.e. ?1 PIM and/or PPO) was 66, 75 and 72% for M?ori at baseline, 12-months and 24-months, respectively. In non-M?ori, the prevalence of any PIP was 62, 71 and 73% at baseline, 12-months and 24-months, respectively. At each time-point, there were more PPOs than PIMs; at baseline M?ori were exposed to a significantly greater proportion of PPOs compared to non-M?ori (p =?0.02). In M?ori: PPOs were associated with a 1.5-fold increase in hospitalisations and mortality. In non-M?ori, PIMs were associated with a double risk of mortality. CONCLUSIONS:PIP was associated with an increased risk of hospitalisation and mortality in this cohort. Omissions appear more important for M?ori in predicting hospitalisations, and PIMs were more important in non-M?ori in predicting mortality. These results suggest understanding prescribing outcomes across and between population groups is needed and emphasises prescribing quality assessment is useful.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:The lack of understanding of how complex integrated care programmes achieve their outcomes due to the lack of acceptable methods leads to difficulties in the development, implementation, adaptation and scaling up of similar interventions. In this study, we evaluate an integrated care network, the National University Health System (NUHS) Regional Health System (RHS), consisting of acute hospitals, step down care, primary care providers, social services and community partners using a theory-driven realist evaluation approach. This study aims to examine how and for whom the NUHS-RHS works to improve healthcare utilisations, outcomes, care experiences and reduce healthcare costs. By using a realist approach that balances the needs of context-specific evaluation with international comparability, this study carries the potential to address current research gaps. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:This evaluation will be conducted in three research phases: (1) development of initial programme theory (IPT) underlying the NUHS-RHS; (2) testing of programme theory using empirical data; and (3) refinement of IPT. IPT was elicited and developed through reviews of programme documents, informal discussions and in-depth interviews with relevant stakeholders. Then, a convergent parallel mixed method study will be conducted to assess context (C), mechanisms (M) and outcomes (O) to test the IPT. Findings will then be analysed according to the realist evaluation formula of CMO in which findings on the context, mechanisms will be used to explain the outcomes. Finally, based on findings gathered, IPT will be refined to highlight how to improve the NUHS-RHS by detailing what works (outcome), as well as how (mechanisms) and under what conditions (context). ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:The National Healthcare Group, Singapore, Domain Specific Review Board reviewed and approved this study protocol. Study results will be published in international peer-reviewed journals and presented at conferences and internally to NUHS-RHS and Ministry of Health, Singapore.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common chronic disease with significant morbidity and mortality, particularly for M?ori, which places a large burden on the New Zealand (NZ) health system. We undertook a qualitative study as part of a mixed-methods implementation research project which aimed to determine the barriers and enablers to the provision of accessible high-quality COPD care. SETTING:Southern Health Region of NZ (Otago and Southland). PARTICIPANTS:Thirteen health professional stakeholders and 23 patients with severe COPD (including one M?ori and one Pasifika participant). METHODS:Semistructured interviews were undertaken. A thematic analysis using the Levesque conceptual framework for access to healthcare was conducted. RESULTS:Health professional stakeholders identified barriers to providing access to health services, in particular: availability (inadequate staffing and resourcing of specialist services and limited geographical availability of pulmonary rehabilitation), affordability (both of regular medication, medication needed for an exacerbation of COPD and the copayment charge for seeing a general practitioner) and appropriateness (a shared model of care across primary and secondary care was needed to facilitate better delivery of key interventions such as pulmonary rehabilitation and advance care planning (ACP). M?ori stakeholders highlighted the importance of communication and relationships and the role of wh?nau (extended family) for support. Patients' accounts showed variable ability to access services through having a limited understanding of what COPD is, a limited knowledge of services they could access, being unable to attend pulmonary rehabilitation (due to comorbidities) and direct (medication and copayment charges) and indirect (transport) costs. CONCLUSIONS:People with severe COPD experience multilevel barriers to accessing healthcare in the NZ health system along the pathway of care from diagnosis to ACP. These need to be addressed by local health services if this group of patients are to receive high-quality care.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Given the high importance of dietary sodium (salt) as a global disease risk factor, our objective was to compare the impact of eight sodium reduction interventions, including feasible and more theoretical ones, to assist prioritisation.<h4>Methods</h4>Epidemiological modelling and cost-utility analysis were performed using a Markov macro-simulation model. The setting was New Zealand (NZ) (2.3 million citizens, aged 35+ years) which has detailed individual-level administrative cost data.<h4>Results</h4>Of the most feasible interventions, the largest health gains were from (in descending order): (i) mandatory 25% reduction in sodium levels in all processed foods; (ii) the package of interventions performed in the United Kingdom (UK); (iii) mandatory 25% reduction in sodium levels in bread, processed meats and sauces; (iv) media campaign (as per a previous UK one); (v) voluntary food labelling as currently used in NZ; (vi) dietary counselling as currently used in NZ. Even larger health gains came from the more theoretical options of a "sinking lid" on the amount of food salt released to the national market to achieve an average adult intake of 2300 mg sodium/day (211,000 QALYs gained, 95% uncertainty interval: 170,000-255,000), and from a salt tax. All the interventions produced net cost savings (except counseling--albeit still cost-effective). Cost savings were especially large with the sinking lid (NZ$ 1.1 billion, US$ 0.7 billion). Also the salt tax would raise revenue (up to NZ$ 452 million/year). Health gain per person was greater for M?ori (indigenous population) men and women compared to non-M?ori.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This study substantially expands on the range of previously modelled salt reduction interventions and suggests that some of these might achieve major health gains and major cost savings (particularly the regulatory interventions). They could also reduce ethnic inequalities in health.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>We aimed to estimate how many children were attending a universal preschool health screen and to identify characteristics associated with non-participation.<h4>Design</h4>Analysis of population-level linked administrative data.<h4>Participants</h4>Children were considered eligible for a B4 School Check for a given year if:(1) they were ever resident in New Zealand (NZ),(2) lived in NZ for at least 6 months during the reference year, (3) were alive at the end of the reference year, (4) either appeared in any hospital (including emergency) admissions, community pharmaceutical dispensing or general practitioner enrolment datasets during the reference year or (5) had a registered birth in NZ. We analysed 252?273 records over 4 years, from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2015.<h4>Results</h4>We found that participation rates varied for each component of the B4 School Check (in 2014/2015 91.8% for vision and hearing tests (VHTs), 87.2% for nurse checks (including height, weight, oral health, Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire [SDQ] and parental evaluation of development status) and 62.1% for SDQ - Teacher [SDQ-T]), but participation rates for all components increased over time. M?ori and Pacific children were less likely to complete the checks than non-M?ori and non-Pacific children (for VHTs: M?ori: OR=0.60[95% CI 0.61 to 0.58], Pacific: OR=0.58[95% CI 0.60 to 0.56], for nurse checks: M?ori: OR=0.63[95% CI 0.64 to 0.61], Pacific: OR=0.67[95% CI 0.69 to0.65] and for SDQ-T: M?ori: OR=0.76[95% CI 0.78 to 0.75], Pacific: OR=0.37[95% CI 0.38 to 0.36]). Children from socioeconomically deprived areas, with younger mothers, from rented homes, residing in larger households, with worse health status and with higher rates of residential mobility were less likely to participate in the B4 School Check than other children.<h4>Conclusion</h4>The patterns of non-participation suggest a reinforcing of existing disparities, whereby the children most in need are not getting the services they potentially require. There needs to be an increased effort by public health organisations, community and wh?nau/family to ensure that all children are tested and screened.
Project description:World Health Organization advocates for integration of HIV-tuberculosis (TB) services and recommends intensive case finding (ICF), isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT), and infection control ("Three I's") for TB prevention and control among persons living with HIV.To assess the implementation of the "Three I's" of TB-control at HIV treatment sites in lower income countries.Survey conducted between March-July, 2012 at 47 sites in 26 countries: 6 (13%) Asia Pacific, 7 (15%), Caribbean, Central and South America, 5 (10%) Central Africa, 8 (17%) East Africa, 14 (30%) Southern Africa, and 7 (15%) West Africa.ICF using symptom-based screening was performed at 38% of sites; 45% of sites used symptom-screening plus additional diagnostics. IPT at enrollment or ART initiation was implemented in only 17% of sites, with 9% of sites providing IPT to tuberculin-skin-test positive patients. Infection control measures varied: 62% of sites separated smear-positive patients, and healthcare workers used masks at 57% of sites. Only 12 (26%) sites integrated HIV-TB services. Integration was not associated with implementation of TB prevention measures except for IPT provision at enrollment (42% integrated vs. 9% non-integrated; p = 0.03).Implementation of TB screening, IPT provision, and infection control measures was low and variable across regional HIV treatment sites, regardless of integration status.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS:Cytisine, a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonist (like varenicline) found in some plants, is a low-cost, effective smoking cessation medication that may appeal to M?ori [the indigenous people of New Zealand (NZ)]. The RAUORA trial aims to determine the effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of cytisine (Tabex® ) versus varenicline (Champix® ) for smoking cessation in M?ori and the wh?nau (extended family) of M?ori. DESIGN:Pragmatic, community-based, open-label randomized non-inferiority trial. SETTING:Lakes District Health Board region, NZ. PARTICIPANTS:Daily smokers (n = 2140) who self-identify as M?ori or wh?nau of M?ori, and are: aged ? 18 years, motivated to quit smoking in the next 2 weeks, eligible for subsidized varenicline, able to provide verbal consent and have daily access to a mobile phone/internet. Recruitment uses multi-media advertising. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR:Participants are randomized (1 : 1 ratio) to receive a prescription for 12 weeks of cytisine tablets [following the manufacturer's dosing regimen for 25 days, then one 1.5-mg tablet every 6 hours (two per day) until 12 weeks] or varenicline tablets (following the manufacturer's dosing regimen). Both groups receive brief stop-smoking advice from the prescribing doctor and withdrawal-orientated behavioural support via community-based stop-smoking counselling services (frequency, duration and mode of delivery tailored for participants) or a research assistant (six weekly 10-15-minute calls). Participants are advised to reduce their smoking over the first 4 days of treatment, with day 5 as their designated quit-date. MEASUREMENTS:The primary outcome is carbon monoxide-verified continuous abstinence at 6 months post-quit date. Secondary outcomes at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months post-quit date include: self-reported continuous abstinence, 7-day point prevalence abstinence, cigarettes per day, time to (re)lapse, adverse events, treatment adherence/compliance, treatment acceptability, nicotine withdrawal/urge to smoke and health-care utilization/health-related quality of life. COMMENTS:This trial compares cytisine and varenicline when used by the indigenous people of NZ and their extended family for smoking cessation.