Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 14

Primary Care Related Abstracts

14 Reliability and Construct Validity of the Early Dementia Questionnaire (EDQ)

Authors: A. Zurraini, Syed Alwi Sar, H. Helmy, H. Nazeefah


Early Dementia Questionnaire (EDQ) was developed as a screening tool to detect patients with early dementia in primary care. It was developed based on 20 symptoms of dementia. From a preliminary study, EDQ had been shown to be a promising alternative for screening of early dementia. This study was done to further test on EDQ’s reliability and validity. Using a systematic random sampling, 200 elderly patients attending primary health care centers in Kuching, Sarawak had consented to participate in the study and were administered the EDQ. Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) was used to exclude patients with depression. Those who scored >21 MMSE, were retested using the EDQ. Reliability was determined by Cronbach’s alpha for internal consistency and construct validity was assessed using confirmatory factor analysis (principle component with varimax rotation). The result showed that the overall Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was good which was 0.874. Confirmatory factor analysis on 4 factors indicated that the Cronbach’s alpha for each domain were acceptable with memory (0.741), concentration (0.764), emotional and physical symptoms (0.754) and lastly sleep and environment (0.720). Pearson correlation coefficient between the first EDQ score and the retest EDQ score among those with MMSE of >21 showed a very strong, positive correlation between the two variables, r = 0.992, N=160, P <0.001. The results of the validation study showed that Early Dementia Questionnaire (EDQ) is a valid and reliable tool to be used as a screening tool to detect early dementia in primary care.

Keywords: Primary Care, Screening, Early Dementia Questionnaire (EDQ), construct validity

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13 A Study on the Relation among Primary Care Professionals Serving Disadvantaged Community, Socioeconomic Status, and Adverse Health Outcome

Authors: Chau-Kuang Chen, Juanita Buford, Colette Davis, Raisha Allen, John Hughes, James Tyus, Dexter Samuels


During the post-Civil War era, the city of Nashville, Tennessee, had the highest mortality rate in the country. The elevated death and disease among ex-slaves were attributable to the unavailability of healthcare. To address the paucity of healthcare services, the College, an institution with the mission of educating minority professionals and serving the under served population, was established in 1876. This study was designed to assess if the College has accomplished its mission of serving under served communities and contributed to the elimination of health disparities in the United States. The study objective was to quantify the impact of socioeconomic status and adverse health outcomes on primary care professionals serving disadvantaged communities, which, in turn, was significantly associated with a health professional shortage score partly designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Various statistical methods were used to analyze the alumni data in years 1975 – 2013. K-means cluster analysis was utilized to identify individual medical and dental graduates into the cluster groups of the practice communities (Disadvantaged or Non-disadvantaged Communities). Discriminant analysis was implemented to verify the classification accuracy of cluster analysis. The independent t test was performed to detect the significant mean differences for clustering and criterion variables between Disadvantaged and Non-disadvantaged Communities, which confirms the “content” validity of cluster analysis model. Chi-square test was used to assess if the proportion of cluster groups (Disadvantaged vs Non-disadvantaged Communities) were consistent with that of practicing specialties (primary care vs. non-primary care). Finally, the partial least squares (PLS) path model was constructed to explore the “construct” validity of analytics model by providing the magnitude effects of socioeconomic status and adverse health outcome on primary care professionals serving disadvantaged community. The social ecological theory along with statistical models mentioned was used to establish the relationship between medical and dental graduates (primary care professionals serving disadvantaged communities) and their social environments (socioeconomic status, adverse health outcome, health professional shortage score). Based on social ecological framework, it was hypothesized that the impact of socioeconomic status and adverse health outcomes on primary care professionals serving disadvantaged communities could be quantified. Also, primary care professionals serving disadvantaged communities related to a health professional shortage score can be measured. Adverse health outcome (adult obesity rate, age-adjusted premature mortality rate, and percent of people diagnosed with diabetes) could be affected by the latent variable, namely socioeconomic status (unemployment rate, poverty rate, percent of children who were in free lunch programs, and percent of uninsured adults). The study results indicated that approximately 83% (3,192/3,864) of the College’s medical and dental graduates from 1975 to 2013 were practicing in disadvantaged communities. In addition, the PLS path modeling demonstrated that primary care professionals serving disadvantaged community was significantly associated with socioeconomic status and adverse health outcome (p < .001). In summary, the majority of medical and dental graduates from the College provide primary care services to disadvantaged communities with low socioeconomic status and high adverse health outcomes, which demonstrate that the College has fulfilled its mission.

Keywords: Primary Care, disadvantaged community, K-means cluster analysis, PLS path modeling

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12 Assessment of the Impact of Family Care Team in the District Health System of Regional Health, Thailand

Authors: Nithra Kitreerawutiwong, Sunsanee Mekrungrongwong, Artitaya Wongwonsin, Chakkraphan Phetphoom, Buaploy Phromjang


Background: Thailand has implemented a district health system based on the concept of primary health care. Since 2014, Family Care Team (FCT) was launched to improve the quality of care through a multidisciplinary team include not only the health sector but also social sector work together. FCT classified into 3 levels: district, sub-district, and community. This system now consists of 66,353 teams, including 3,890 teams at district level, 12,237 teams at the sub-district level, and 50,326 teams at the community level. There is a report regarding assessment the situation and perception on FCT, however, relatively few examined the operationality of this policy. This study aimed to explore the perception of district manager on the process of the implementation of FCT policy and the factors associating to implement FCT in the district health system. Methods/Results: Forty in-depth interviews were performed: 5 of primary care manager at the provincial medical health office, 5 of community hospital director, 5 of district administrative health office, 10 of sub-district health promoting hospital, and 10 of local organization. Semi-structure interview guidelines were used in the discussions. The data was analyzed by thematic analysis. This policy was formulated based on the demographic change and epidemiology transition to serve a long term care for elderly. Facilitator factors are social capital in district health systems such as family health leader and multidisciplinary team. Barrier factors are communication to the frontline provider and local organization. The output of this policy in relation to the structure of FCT is well-defined. Unanticipated effects include training of FCT in community level. Conclusion: Early feedback from healthcare manager is valuable information for the improvement of FCT to function optimally. Moreover, in the long term, health outcome need to be evaluated.

Keywords: Primary Care, qualitative study, family care team, district health system

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11 Rural-To-Urban Migrants' Experiences with Primary Care in Four Types of Medical Institutions in Guangzhou, China

Authors: Jiazhi Zeng, Leiyu Shi, Xia Zou, Wen Chen, Li Ling


Background: China is facing the unprecedented challenge of rapidly increasing rural-to-urban migration. Due to the household registration system, migrants are in a vulnerable state when they attempt to access to primary care services. A strong primary care system can reduce health inequities and mitigate socioeconomic disparities in healthcare utilization. Literature indicated that migrants were more reliant on the primary care system than local residents. Although the Chinese government has attached great importance to creating an efficient health system, primary care services are still underutilized. The referral system between primary care institutions and hospitals has not yet been completely established in China. The general populations often go directly to hospitals instead of primary care institutions for their primary care. Primary care institutions generally consist of community health centers (CHCs) and community health stations (CHSs) in urban areas, and township health centers (THCs) and rural health stations (THSs) in rural areas. In addition, primary care services are also provided by the outpatient department of municipal hospitals and tertiary hospitals. A better understanding of migrants’ experiences with primary care in the above-mentioned medical institutions is critical for improving the performance of primary care institutions and providing indications of the attributes that require further attention. The purpose of this pioneering study is to explore rural-to-urban migrants’ experiences in primary care, compare their primary care experiences in four types of medical institutions in Guangzhou, China, and suggest implications for targeted interventions to improve primary care for the migrants. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted with 736 rural-to-urban migrants in Guangzhou, China, in 2014. A multistage sampling method was employed. A validated Chinese version of Primary Care Assessment Tool - Adult Short Version (PCAT-AS) was used to collect information on migrants’ primary care experiences. The PCAT-AS consists of 10 domains. Analysis of covariance was conducted for comparison on PCAT domain scores and total scores among migrants accessing four types of medical institutions. Multiple linear regression models were used to explore factors associated with PCAT total scores. Results: After controlling for socio-demographic characteristics, migrant characteristics, health status and health insurance status, migrants accessing primary care in tertiary hospitals had the highest PCAT total scores when compared with those accessing primary care THCs/ RHSs (25.49 vs. 24.18, P=0.007) and CHCs/ CHSs(25.49 vs. 24.24, P=0.006). There was no statistical significant difference for PCAT total scores between migrants accessing primary care in CHCs/CHSs and those in municipal hospitals (24.24 vs. 25.02, P=0.436). Factors positively associated with higher PCAT total scores also included insurance covering parts of healthcare payment (P < 0.001). Conclusions: This study highlights the need for improvement in primary care provided by primary care institutions for rural-to-urban migrants. Migrants receiving primary care from THCs, RHSs, CHSs and CHSs reported worse primary care experiences than those receiving primary care from tertiary hospitals. Relevant policies related to medical insurance should be implemented for providing affordable healthcare services for migrants accessing primary care. Further research exploring the specific reasons for poorer PCAT scores of primary care institutions users will be needed.

Keywords: Primary Care, China, PCAT, rural-to-urban migrants

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10 Patients' Satisfaction about Private Sector Primary Care Nurses in Sri Lanka

Authors: N. R. N. Mendis, S. N. Silva


Introduction: Patient satisfaction of services provided by primary care health services depends on many factors. One key factor in this depends on is the nursing services received in primary care. Since majority of the primary care in Sri Lanka is provided by the private sector, it is important to assess patient satisfaction on this. Objective: To assess the satisfaction among the public on nurses working in dispensaries in Sri Lanka. Methods: A descriptive study was done on 200 individual selected using convenient sampling among dispensaries in Gampaha district, Sri Lanka. Results: 59.3% of the sample had long term illnesses or disabilities and all of them preferred speaking to a nurse. 70.9% of the sample used to make appointments with nurses while 57.8% out of them were comfortable in discussing their health concerns. 98.9 % agreed that they get individual attention by the nurses. Majority of the sample that is 34.2% spends around 20 minutes with the nurse without even making any pay. Significantly, the whole sample believes that the nurses are professional and admits that the care given is of high quality. All 100% of the sample said that the nurses could understand their concerns while 93.5% admitted that it was very useful in their recovery. Conclusions: Majority of the public were very much satisfied with the nurses and their practice at the dispensaries.

Keywords: Health Education, Primary Care, patient satisfaction, nurses practices

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9 Culture and Health Equity: Unpacking the Sociocultural Determinants of Eye Health for Indigenous Australian Diabetics

Authors: Aryati Yashadhana, Ted Fields Jnr., Wendy Fernando, Kelvin Brown, Godfrey Blitner, Francis Hayes, Ruby Stanley, Brian Donnelly, Bridgette Jerrard, Anthea Burnett, Anthony B. Zwi


Indigenous Australians experience some of the worst health outcomes globally, with life expectancy being significantly poorer than those of non-Indigenous Australians. This is largely attributed to preventable diseases such as diabetes (prevalence 39% in Indigenous Australian adults > 55 years), which is attributed to a raised risk of diabetic visual impairment and cataract among Indigenous adults. Our study aims to explore the interface between structural and sociocultural determinants and human agency, in order to understand how they impact (1) accessibility of eye health and chronic disease services and (2) the potential for Indigenous patients to achieve positive clinical eye health outcomes. We used Participatory Action Research methods, and aimed to privilege the voices of Indigenous people through community collaboration. Semi-structured interviews (n=82) and patient focus groups (n=8) were conducted by Indigenous Community-Based Researchers (CBRs) with diabetic Indigenous adults (> 40 years) in four remote communities in Australia. Interviews (n=25) and focus groups (n=4) with primary health care clinicians in each community were also conducted. Data were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed thematically using grounded theory, comparative analysis and Nvivo 10. Preliminary analysis occurred in tandem with data collection to determine theoretical saturation. The principal investigator (AY) led analysis sessions with CBRs, fostering cultural and contextual appropriateness to interpreting responses, knowledge exchange and capacity building. Identified themes were conceptualised into three spheres of influence: structural (health services, government), sociocultural (Indigenous cultural values, distrust of the health system, ongoing effects of colonialism and dispossession) and individual (health beliefs/perceptions, patient phenomenology). Permeating these spheres of influence were three core determinants: economic disadvantage, health literacy/education, and cultural marginalisation. These core determinants affected accessibility of services, and the potential for patients to achieve positive clinical outcomes at every level of care (primary, secondary, tertiary). Our findings highlight the clinical realities of institutionalised and structural inequities, illustrated through the lived experiences of Indigenous patients and primary care clinicians in the four sampled communities. The complex determinants surrounding inequity in health for Indigenous Australians, are entrenched through a longstanding experience of cultural discrimination and ostracism. Secure and long term funding of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services will be valuable, but are insufficient to address issues of inequity. Rather, working collaboratively with communities to build trust, and identify needs and solutions at the grassroots level, while leveraging community voices to drive change at the systemic/policy level are recommended.

Keywords: Sociology, Anthropology, Diabetes, Culture, Public Health, Primary Care, Indigenous, Health Equity, Australia, Social determinants of health, eye health, aboriginal and Torres strait islander

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8 Development, Evaluation and Scale-Up of a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) in Nepal

Authors: Nagendra P. Luitel, Mark J. D. Jordans


Globally, there is a significant gap between the number of individuals in need of mental health care and those who actually receive treatment. The evidence is accumulating that mental health services can be delivered effectively by primary health care workers through community-based programs and task-sharing approaches. Changing the role of specialist mental health workers from service delivery to building clinical capacity of the primary health care (PHC) workers could help in reducing treatment gap in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). We developed a comprehensive mental health care plan in 2012 and evaluated its feasibility and effectiveness over the past three years. Initially, a mixed method formative study was conducted for the development of mental health care plan (MHCP). Routine monitoring and evaluation data, including client flow and reports of satisfaction, were obtained from beneficiaries (n=135) during the pilot-testing phase. Repeated community survey (N=2040); facility detection survey (N=4704) and the cohort study (N=576) were conducted for evaluation of the MHCP. The resulting MHCP consists of twelve packages divided over the community, health facility, and healthcare organization platforms. Detection of mental health problems increased significantly after introducing MHCP. Service implementation data support the real-life applicability of the MHCP, with reasonable treatment uptake. Currently, MHCP has been implemented in the entire Chitwan district where over 1400 people (438 people with depression, 406 people with psychosis, 181 people with epilepsy, 360 people with alcohol use disorder and 51 others) have received mental health services from trained health workers. Key barriers were identified and addressed, namely dissatisfaction with privacy, perceived burden among health workers, high drop-out rates and continue the supply of medicines. The results indicated that involvement of PHC workers in detection and management of mental health problems is an effective strategy to minimize treatment gap on mental health care in Nepal.

Keywords: Primary Care, Mental Health, Nepal, treatment gap

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7 Perspectives and Outcomes of a Long and Shorter Community Mental Health Program

Authors: Danielle Klassen, Reiko Yeap, Margo Schmitt-Boshnick, Scott Oddie


The development of the 7-week Alberta Happiness Basics program was initiated in 2010 in response to the need for community mental health programming. This provincial wide program aims to increase overall happiness and reduce negative thoughts and feelings through a positive psychology intervention. While the 7-week program has proven effective, a shortened 4-week program has additionally been developed to address client needs. In this study, participants were interviewed to determine if the 4- and 7-week programs had similar success of producing lasting behavior change at 3, 6, and 9 months post-program. A health quality of life (HQOL) measure was also used to compare the two programs and examine patient outcomes. Quantitative and qualitative analysis showed significant improvements in HQOL and sustainable behavior change for both programs. Findings indicate that the shorter, patient-centered program was effective in increasing happiness and reducing negative thoughts and feelings.

Keywords: Primary Care, Mental Health, Depression, short duration

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6 Outputs from the Implementation of 'PHILOS' Programme: Emergency Health Response to Refugee Crisis, Greece, 2017

Authors: K. Mellou, G. Anastopoulos, T. Zakinthinos, C. Botsi, A. Terzidis


‘PHILOS – Emergency health response to refugee crisis’ is a programme of the Greek Ministry of Health, implemented by the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (HCDCP). The programme is funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) of EU’s DG Migration and Home Affairs. With the EU Member States accepting, the last period, accelerating migration flows, Greece inevitably occupies a prominent position in the migratory map due to this geographical location. The main objectives of the programme are a) reinforcement of the capacity of the public health system and enhancement of the epidemiological surveillance in order to cover refugees/migrant population, b) provision of on-site primary health care and psychological support services, and c) strengthening of national health care system task-force. The basic methods for achieving the aforementioned goals are: a) implementation of syndromic surveillance system at camps and enhancement of public health response with the use of mobile medical units (Sub-action A), b) enhancement of health care services inside the camps via increasing human resources and implementing standard operating procedures (Sub-action B), and c) reinforcement of the national health care system (primary healthcare units, hospitals, and emergency care spots) of affected regions with personnel (Sub-action C). As a result, 58 health professionals were recruited under sub-action 2 and 10 mobile unit teams (one or two at each health region) were formed. The main actions taken so far by the mobile units are the evaluation, of syndromic surveillance, of living conditions at camps and medical services. Also, vaccination coverage of children population was assessed, and more than 600 catch-up vaccinations were performed by the end of June 2017. Mobile units supported transportation of refugees/migrants from camps to medical services reducing the load of the National Center for Emergency Care (more than 350 transportations performed). The total number of health professionals (MD, nurses, etc.) placed at camps was 104. Common practices were implemented in the recording and collection of psychological and medical history forms at the camps. Protocols regarding maternity care, gender based violence and handling of violent incidents were produced and distributed at personnel working at camps. Finally, 290 health care professionals were placed at primary healthcare units, public hospitals and the National Center for Emergency Care at affected regions. The program has, also, supported training activities inside the camps and resulted to better coordination of offered services on site.

Keywords: Public Health, Primary Care, Refugees, migrants, syndromic surveillance, national health care system, emergency health response

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5 Developing Primary Care Datasets for a National Asthma Audit

Authors: Rachael Andrews, Viktoria McMillan, Shuaib Nasser, Christopher M. Roberts


Background and objective: The National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD) found that asthma management and care was inadequate in 26% of cases reviewed. Major shortfalls identified were adherence to national guidelines and standards and, particularly, the organisation of care, including supervision and monitoring in primary care, with 70% of cases reviewed having at least one avoidable factor in this area. 5.4 million people in the UK are diagnosed with and actively treated for asthma, and approximately 60,000 are admitted to hospital with acute exacerbations each year. The majority of people with asthma receive management and treatment solely in primary care. This has therefore created concern that many people within the UK are receiving sub-optimal asthma care resulting in unnecessary morbidity and risk of adverse outcome. NRAD concluded that a national asthma audit programme should be established to measure and improve processes, organisation, and outcomes of asthma care. Objective: To develop a primary care dataset enabling extraction of information from GP practices in Wales and providing robust data by which results and lessons could be drawn and drive service development and improvement. Methods: A multidisciplinary group of experts, including general practitioners, primary care organisation representatives, and asthma patients was formed and used as a source of governance and guidance. A review of asthma literature, guidance, and standards took place and was used to identify areas of asthma care which, if improved, would lead to better patient outcomes. Modified Delphi methodology was used to gain consensus from the expert group on which of the areas identified were to be prioritised, and an asthma patient and carer focus group held to seek views and feedback on areas of asthma care that were important to them. Areas of asthma care identified by both groups were mapped to asthma guidelines and standards to inform and develop primary and secondary care datasets covering both adult and pediatric care. Dataset development consisted of expert review and a targeted consultation process in order to seek broad stakeholder views and feedback. Results: Areas of asthma care identified as requiring prioritisation by the National Asthma Audit were: (i) Prescribing, (ii) Asthma diagnosis (iii) Asthma Reviews (iv) Personalised Asthma Action Plans (PAAPs) (v) Primary care follow-up after discharge from hospital (vi) Methodologies and primary care queries were developed to cover each of the areas of poor and variable asthma care identified and the queries designed to extract information directly from electronic patients’ records. Conclusion: This paper describes the methodological approach followed to develop primary care datasets for a National Asthma Audit. It sets out the principles behind the establishment of a National Asthma Audit programme in response to a national asthma mortality review and describes the development activities undertaken. Key process elements included: (i) mapping identified areas of poor and variable asthma care to national guidelines and standards, (ii) early engagement of experts, including clinicians and patients in the process, and (iii) targeted consultation of the queries to provide further insight into measures that were collectable, reproducible and relevant.

Keywords: Asthma, Primary Care, General Practice, dataset development

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4 Introduction of Acute Paediatric Services in Primary Care: Evaluating the Impact on GP Education

Authors: Salman Imran, Chris Healey


Traditionally, medical care of children in England and Wales starts from primary care with a referral to secondary care paediatricians who may not investigate further. Many primary care doctors do not undergo a paediatric rotation/exposure in training. As a result, there are many who have not acquired the necessary skills to manage children hence increasing hospital referral. With the current demand on hospitals in the National Health Service managing more problems in the community is needed. One way of handling this is to set up clinics, meetings and huddles in GP surgeries where professionals involved (general practitioner, paediatrician, health visitor, community nurse, dietician, school nurse) come together and share information which can help improve communication and care. The increased awareness and education that paediatricians can impart in this way will help boost confidence for primary care professionals to be able to be more self-sufficient. This has been tried successfully in other regions e.g., St. Mary’s Hospital in London but is crucial for a more rural setting like ours. The primary aim of this project would be to educate specifically GP’s and generally all other health professionals involved. Additional benefits would be providing care nearer home, increasing patient’s confidence in their local surgery, improving communication and reducing unnecessary patient flow to already stretched hospital resources. Methods: This was done as a plan do study act cycle (PDSA). Three clinics were delivered in different practices over six months where feedback from staff and patients was collected. Designated time for teaching/discussion was used which involved some cases from the actual clinics. Both new and follow up patients were included. Two clinics were conducted by a paediatrician and nurse whilst the 3rd involved paediatrician and local doctor. The distance from hospital to clinics varied from two miles to 22 miles approximately. All equipment used was provided by primary care. Results: A total of 30 patients were seen. All patients found the location convenient as it was nearer than the hospital. 70-90% clearly understood the reason for a change in venue. 95% agreed to the importance of their local doctor being involved in their care. 20% needed to be seen in the hospital for further investigations. Patients felt this to be a more personalised, in-depth, friendly and polite experience. Local physicians felt this to be a more relaxed, familiar and local experience for their patients and they managed to get immediate feedback regarding their own clinical management. 90% felt they gained important learning from the discussion time and the paediatrician also learned about their understanding and gaps in knowledge/focus areas. 80% felt this time was valuable for targeted learning. Equipment, information technology, and office space could be improved for the smooth running of any future clinics. Conclusion: The acute paediatric outpatient clinic can be successfully established in primary care facilities. Careful patient selection and adequate facilities are important. We have demonstrated a further step in the reduction of patient flow to hospitals and upskilling primary care health professionals. This service is expected to become more efficient with experience.

Keywords: Education, Primary Care, Clinics, paediatricians

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3 Improving the Detection of Depression in Sri Lanka: Cross-Sectional Study Evaluating the Efficacy of a 2-Question Screen for Depression

Authors: Prasad Urvashi, Wynn Yezarni, Williams Shehan, Ravindran Arun


Introduction: Primary health services are often the first point of contact that patients with mental illness have with the healthcare system. A number of tools have been developed to increase detection of depression in the context of primary care. However, one challenge amongst many includes utilizing these tools within the limited primary care consultation timeframe. Therefore, short questionnaires that screen for depression that are just as effective as more comprehensive diagnostic tools may be beneficial in improving detection rates of patients visiting a primary care setting. Objective: To develop and determine the sensitivity and specificity of a 2-Question Questionnaire (2-QQ) to screen for depression in in a suburban primary care clinic in Ragama, Sri Lanka. The purpose is to develop a short screening tool for depression that is culturally adapted in order to increase the detection of depression in the Sri Lankan patient population. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study involving two steps. Step one: verbal administration of 2-QQ to patients by their primary care physician. Step two: completion of the Peradeniya Depression Scale, a validated diagnostic tool for depression, the patient after their consultation with the primary care physician. The results from the PDS were then correlated to the results from the 2-QQ for each patient to determine sensitivity and specificity of the 2-QQ. Results: A score of 1/+ on the 2-QQ was most sensitive but least specific. Thus, setting the threshold at this level is effective for correctly identifying depressed patients, but also inaccurately captures patients who are not depressed. A score of 6 on the 2-QQ was most specific but least sensitive. Setting the threshold at this level is effective for correctly identifying patients without depression, but not very effective at capturing patients with depression. Discussion: In the context of primary care, it may be worthwhile setting the 2-QQ screen at a lower threshold for positivity (such as a score of 1 or above). This would generate a high test sensitivity and thus capture the majority of patients that have depression. On the other hand, by setting a low threshold for positivity, patients who do not have depression but score higher than 1 on the 2-QQ will also be falsely identified as testing positive for depression. However, the benefits of identifying patients who present with depression may outweigh the harms of falsely identifying a non-depressed patient. It is our hope that the 2-QQ will serve as a quick primary screen for depression in the primary care setting and serve as a catalyst to identify and treat individuals with depression.

Keywords: Primary Care, Depression, Sri Lanka, screening tool

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2 Impact Analysis of a School-Based Oral Health Program in Brazil

Authors: Fabio L. Vieira, Micaelle F. C. Lemos, Luciano C. Lemos, Rafaela S. Oliveira, Ian A. Cunha


Brazil has some challenges ahead related to population oral health, most of them associated with the need of expanding into the local level its promotion and prevention activities, offer equal access to services and promote changes in the lifestyle of the population. The program implemented an oral health initiative in public schools in the city of Salvador, Bahia. The mission was to improve oral health among students on primary and secondary education, from 2 to 15 years old, using the school as a pathway to increase access to healthcare. The main actions consisted of a team's visit to the schools with educational sessions for dental cavity prevention and individual assessment. The program incorporated a clinical surveillance component through a dental evaluation of every student searching for dental disease and caries, standardization of the dentists’ team to reach uniform classification on the assessments, and the use of an online platform to register data directly from the schools. Sequentially, the students with caries were referred for free clinical treatment on the program’s Health Centre. The primary purpose of this study was to analyze the effects and outcomes of this school-based oral health program. The study sample was composed by data of a period of 3 years - 2015 to 2017 - from 13 public schools on the suburb of the city of Salvador with a total number of assessments of 9,278 on this period. From the data collected the prevalence of children with decay on permanent teeth was chosen as the most reliable indicator. The prevalence was calculated for each one of the 13 schools using the number of children with 1 or more dental caries on permanent teeth divided by the total number of students assessed for school each year. Then the percentage change per year was calculated for each school. Some schools presented a higher variation on the total number of assessments in one of the three years, so for these, the percentage change calculation was done using the two years with less variation. The results show that 10 of the 13 schools presented significative improvements for the indicator of caries in permanent teeth. The mean for the number of students with caries percentage reduction on the 13 schools was 26.8%, and the median was 32.2% caries in permanent teeth institution. The highest percentage of improvement reached a decrease of 65.6% on the indicator. Three schools presented a rise in caries prevalence (8.9, 18.9 and 37.2% increase) that, on an initial analysis, seems to be explained with the students’ cohort rotation among other schools, as well as absenteeism on the treatment. In conclusion, the program shows a relevant impact on the reduction of caries in permanent teeth among students and the need for the continuity and expansion of this integrated healthcare approach. It has also been evident the significative of the articulation between health and educational systems representing a fundamental approach to improve healthcare access for children especially in scenarios such as presented in Brazil.

Keywords: Data Management, Public Health, Primary Care, Oral health, school-based oral health

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1 An Audit of the Diagnosis of Asthma in Children in Primary Care and the Emergency Department

Authors: Abhishek Oswal


Background: Inconsistencies between the guidelines for childhood asthma can pose a diagnostic challenge to clinicians. NICE guidelines are the most commonly followed guidelines in primary care in the UK; they state that to be diagnosed with asthma, a child must be more than 5 years old and must have objective evidence of the disease. When diagnoses are coded in general practice (GP), these guidelines may be superseded by communications from secondary care. Hence it is imperative that diagnoses are correct, as per up to date guidelines and evidence, as this affects follow up and management both in primary and secondary care. Methods: A snapshot audit at a general practice surgery was undertaken of children (less than 16 years old) with a coded diagnosis of 'asthma', to review the age at diagnosis and whether any objective evidence of asthma was documented at diagnosis. 50 cases of asthma in children presenting to the emergency department (ED) were then audited to review the age at presentation, whether there was evidence of previous asthma diagnosis and whether the patient was discharged from ED. A repeat audit is planned in ED this winter. Results: In a GP surgery, there were 83 coded cases of asthma in children. 51 children (61%) were diagnosed under 5, with 9 children (11%) who had objective evidence of asthma documented at diagnosis. In ED, 50 cases were collected, of which 4 were excluded as they were referred to the other services, or for incorrect coding. Of the 46 remaining, 27 diagnoses confirmed to NICE guidelines (59%). 33 children (72%) were discharged from ED. Discussion: The most likely reason for the apparent low rate of a correct diagnosis is the significant challenge of obtaining objective evidence of asthma in children. There were a number of patients who were diagnosed from secondary care services and then coded as 'asthma' in GP, without having objective documented evidence. The electronic patient record (EPR) system used in our emergency department (ED) did not allow coding of 'suspected diagnosis' or of 'viral induced wheeze'. This may have led to incorrect diagnoses coded in primary care, of children who had no confirmed diagnosis of asthma. We look forward to the re-audit, as the EPR system has been updated to allow suspected diagnoses. In contrast to the NICE guidelines used here, British Thoracic Society (BTS) guidelines allow for a trial of treatment and subsequent confirmation of diagnosis without objective evidence. It is possible that some of the cases which have been classified as incorrect in this audit may still meet other guidelines. Conclusion: The diagnosis of asthma in children is challenging. Incorrect diagnoses may be related to clinical pressures and the provision of services to allow compliance with NICE guidelines. Consensus statements between the various groups would also aid the decision-making process and diagnostic dilemmas that clinicians face, to allow more consistent care of the patient.

Keywords: Diagnosis, Asthma, Primary Care, Audit, Emergency Department, guidelines

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