Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic undermined the health service delivery and utilization of essential health care services globally. The current study therefore aimed to explore the health-seeking behaviors and challenges faced by patients for the management of gastrointestinal diseases.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at the outpatient department of Gastroenterology, Liaquat National Hospital, Karachi from March 2020 to July 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown phase to explore patient experiences. Data was collected using a survey questionnaire. All patients of either gender were included after informed consent. Statistical analysis of the data was conducted using SPSS 21.0.
Results: A total of 184 patients were included who visited the hospital to seek medical services during the COVID-19 lockdown phase. The mean age of the population was 42.7 years (±16.13). Of these, n=94 (51.1%) were males All patients had gastrointestinal issues with different comorbid conditions. One forty-seven n=147 (79.9%) presented with active complaints whereas, n=37 (20.1%) patients visited the hospital for their follow-up checkup. Out of 184 patients, n=33 (17.9%) patients reported of having fear of visiting hospital due to COVID-19 outbreak. A statistically significant difference p<0.001 was noted between the history of comorbidities and patient delaying a visit to the healthcare due to the fear of COVID-19. Additionally, 61 (73.5%) patients with co-morbidity faced difficulty in finding public transport (p=0.01). Nevertheless, n=171 (93.0%) patients expressed satisfaction with the services provided by the hospital during the lockdown phase.
Conclusion: Patients with gastrointestinal conditions were largely affected by lockdown largely due to fear of contacting COVID-19 disease and inaccessibility to the public transportation. Widely available telemedicine service might overcome these shortcomings and ensure continuity of quality care.
How to cite this:Kalwar HA, Kamani L. Problems faced by patients and health service utilization experiences of gastrointestinal patients during lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic. Pak J Med Sci. 2022;38(3):---------. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.38.3.4799
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Physical examination is a core component of consultation. Little is known about the status quo of physical examinations performed by general practitioners in community health service institutions in China. The aim of this study was to investigate general practitioners’ performance of physical examinations in consultations.
An observational study was conducted in 5 community health service institutions in Beijing between November 2019 and January 2020. Eleven general practitioners were observed for one workday. Information of consecutive consultations was recorded including patient characteristics, reasons for encounter, physical examinations performed by general practitioners, length of consultation time and time spent on specific activities in consultations.
A total of 682 consultations of 11 general practitioners were recorded. Physical examinations were performed in 126 consultations (15.8%). Physical examination was more likely to be performed in patients visiting with symptoms (P < 0.001). Majority of the 126 physical examinations were distributed in “Head, face, and neck examination” (n = 54, 42.9%) and “Cardiovascular examination” (n = 55, 43.7%). No physical examination was performed on skin, male genitalia, female breasts and genitalia, and neurological systems. Total 2823 min of activities were observed and recorded. General practitioners only spent 3.1% of the recorded time on physical examination, which was less than the time spent on taking history (18.2%), test (4.9%), diagnosis (22.7%), therapy (38.4%), and health education (8.6%). The average time spent on physical examinations was 0.8±0.4 min per consultation.
Physical examination was insufficiently performed by general practitioners in community health service institutions in Beijing. More time and commitment should be advocated for improving the quality of physical examinations in primary care.
BackgroundEvidence regarding the efficacy or effectiveness of the disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) in the older multiple sclerosis (MS) population is scarce. This has contributed to a lack of evidence-based treatment recommendations for the ageing MS population in practice guidelines. We examined the relationship between age (<55 and ≥55 years), DMD exposure and health service use in the MS population.MethodsWe conducted a population-based observational study using linked administrative health data from British Columbia, Canada. We selected all persons with MS and followed from the most recent of their first MS or demyelinating event, 18th birthday or 01-January-1996 (index date) until the earliest of emigration, death or 31-December-2017 (study end). We assessed DMD exposure status over time, initially as any versus no DMD, then by generation (first or second) and finally by each individual DMD. Age-specific analyses were conducted with all-cause hospitalizations and number of physician visits assessed using proportional means model and negative binomial regression with generalized estimating equations.ResultsWe included 19,360 persons with MS (72% were women); 10,741/19,360 (56%) had ever reached their 55th birthday. Person-years of follow-up whilst aged <55 was 132,283, and 93,594 whilst aged ≥55. Any DMD, versus no DMD in the <55-year-olds was associated with a 23% lower hazard of hospitalization (adjusted hazard ratio, aHR0.77; 95%CI 0.72-0.82), but not in the ≥55-year-olds (aHR0.95; 95%CI 0.87-1.04). Similar patterns were observed for the first and second generation DMDs. Exposure to any (versus no) DMD was not associated with rates of physician visits in either age group (<55 years: adjusted rate ratio, aRR1.02; 95%CI 1.00-1.04 and ≥55 years: aRR1.00; 95%CI 0.96-1.03), but variation in aRR was observed across the individual DMDs.ConclusionOur study showed beneficial effects of the DMDs used to treat MS on hospitalizations for those aged <55 at the time of exposure. In contrast, for individuals ≥55 years of age exposed to a DMD, the hazard of hospitalization was not significantly lowered. Our study contributes to the broader understanding of the potential benefits and risks of DMD use in the ageing MS population.
Aim: The aim of this study is to explore pharmacist perspectives of the implementation of a community pharmacy-based ear health service in rural communities. Method: A community pharmacy-based health service model was designed and developed to provide an accessible ear care service (LISTEN UP—Locally Integrated Screening and Testing Ear aNd aUral Program) and pharmacist’s perspectives of the implementation of LISTEN UP were explored. Thematic analysis was conducted and data coded according to the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. Results: A total of 20 interviews were conducted with 10 pharmacists, averaging 30 min. Visualistion of the ear canal was reported as the greatest advantage of the service, whilst the time required for documentation reported as a complexity. The number of pharmacists working at one time and the availability of a private consultation room were identified as the two limiting factors for execution. On reflection, the need for government funding for service viability and sustainability was highlighted. Discussion/Conclusion: Expanded pharmacy practice is emerging for the Australian pharmacy profession. Rural community pharmacists are recognised as integral members of healthcare teams, providing accessible medication supply and health advice to seven million people in Australia who call rural and remote regions home. However, there are no structured models supporting them to provide expanded services to improve health outcomes in their communities. This study provides lessons learnt to guide future design and development of expanded models of pharmacy practice.
Although a body of research suggests that interprofessional collaboration is hindered by the presence of professional boundaries, more recent work has demonstrated that removing these boundaries also has negative consequences for collaboration. To address these paradoxical findings, we examine two different team-level initiatives that aimed at softening and breaking down professional boundaries, drawing on data gathered from 78 in-depth interviews and two years of observations of four cross-occupational teams in the English National Health Service. Our inductive analysis of this data shows that professionals use boundaries and their manifestations —which become apparent through materialization, articulation, and embodiment— to identify and retrieve professional categories. The conspicuous presence of boundaries allows professionals to anticipate other team members’ expertise and roles, as well as different aspects of team tasks. We theorize our findings by showing how professional boundaries can be positively interlaced with interprofessional collaboration by making visible and grounding naturalized systems of classification.
The purpose of this study was to examine the determinants of health service utilization in a population at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus in India. Using Andersen’s behavioral model of healthcare utilization, multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed on baseline data of the Kerala Diabetes Prevention Program. We examined the association between predisposing, enabling, and need factors with outpatient health service use in the past four weeks and inpatient health service use in the past 12 months. More than a quarter (27.9%) and 12.9% of 1007 participants used outpatient services and inpatient services, respectively. Men were less likely to use outpatient services (odds ratio [OR] = 0.56; 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.39, 0.82]). Outpatient service utilization was positively associated with low social support (OR = 1.69; 95% CI [1.09, 2.62]), low general health status (OR = 5.71; 95% CI [2.42, 13.47]), and time off from work due to illness (OR = 8.01; 95% CI [5.32, 12.07]). Higher educational status (OR = 0.63; 95% CI [0.41, 0.95]), low general health status (OR = 3.59; 95% CI [1.54, 8.34]), and time off from work due to illness (OR = 1.21; 95% CI [0.76,1.93]) were associated with increased utilization of inpatient services. Although gender, educational status, and social support had important roles, health service utilization in this study population was largely dependent on general health status and presence of illness.
Schwartz Centre Rounds (SCRs) provide a structured forum for staff from all disciplines to meet and discuss the difficult emotional and social challenges that arise in caring for patients. Research into the implementation of SCRs has shown that staff who attend report increased insight into the emotional and social aspects of care; greater understanding of the roles of their colleagues; improved teamworking and decreased feelings of isolation and stress. However, little research has explored the implementation of SCRs within forensic settings, and no research has focused solely on the experiences of panel members. Three focus groups were facilitated with participants who had participated in a SCR panel within a forensic mental health service. Semi-structured interviews were carried out, audio-recorded and subsequently transcribed. Interpretive phenomenological analysis was utilised to analyse the transcripts, and four key themes were identified. These themes were: feeling vulnerable, the importance of validation, exposure to intense emotional experiences and improved understanding and connection. We conclude that SCRs can be an emotionally challenging but rewarding experience, with the potential to enhance teamworking and general well-being. Limitations and recommendations for future research are also discussed.