• Access and utilisation of primary health care services comparing urban and rural areas of Riyadh Providence, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

      Alfaqeeh, Ghadah Ahmad; Cook, Erica Jane; Randhawa, Gurch; Ali, Nasreen (BioMed Central, 2017-02-02)
      The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has seen an increase in chronic diseases. International evidence suggests that early intervention is the best approach to reduce the burden of chronic disease. However, the limited research available suggests that health care access remains unequal, with rural populations having the poorest access to and utilisation of primary health care centres and, consequently, the poorest health outcomes. This study aimed to examine the factors influencing the access to and utilisation of primary health care centres in urban and rural areas of Riyadh province of the KSA.
    • Exploring the factors that influence the decision to adopt and engage with an integrated assistive telehealth and telecare service in Cambridgeshire, UK: a nested qualitative study of patient ‘users’ and ‘non-users’

      Cook, Erica Jane; Randhawa, Gurch; Sharp, Chloe; Ali, Nasreen; Guppy, Andy; Barton, Garry; Bateman, Andrew; Crawford-White, Jane; University of Bedfordshire (BioMed Central, 2016-04-19)
      Background: There is a political drive in the UK to use assistive technologies such as telehealth and telecare as an innovative and efficient approach to healthcare delivery. However, the success of implementation of such services remains dependent on the ability to engage the wider population to adopt these services. It has been widely acknowledged that low acceptance of technology, forms a key barrier to adoption although findings been mixed. Further, it remains unclear what, if any barriers exist between patients and how these compare to those who have declined or withdrawn from using these technologies. This research aims to address this gap focusing on the UK based Cambridgeshire Community Services Assistive Telehealth and Telecare service, an integrated model of telehealth and telecare. Methods: Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted between 1st February 2014 and 1st December 2014, to explore the views and experiences of ‘users’ and ‘non-users’ using this service. ‘Users’ were defined as patients who used the service (N = 28) with ‘non-users’ defined as either referred patients who had declined the service before allocation (N = 3) or had withdrawn after using the ATT service (N = 9). Data were analysed using the Framework Method. Results: This study revealed that there are a range of barriers and facilitators that impact on the decision to adopt and continue to engage with this type of service. Having a positive attitude and a perceived need that could be met by the ATT equipment were influential factors in the decision to adopt and engage in using the service. Engagement of the service centred on ‘usability’, ‘usefulness of equipment’, and ‘threat to identity and independence’. Conclusions: The paper described the influential role of referrers in decision-making and the need to engage with such agencies on a strategic level. The findings also revealed that reassurance from the onset was paramount to continued engagement, particularly in older patients who appeared to have more negative feelings towards technology. In addition, there is a clear need for continued product development and innovation to not only increase usability and functionality of equipment but also to motivate other sections of the population who could benefit from such services. Uncovering these factors has important policy implications in how services can improve access and patient support through the application of assistive technology which could in turn reduce unnecessary cost and burden on overstretched health services.
    • Facilitators and barriers of implementing and delivering social prescribing services: a systematic review

      Pescheny, Julia Vera; Pappas, Yannis; Randhawa, Gurch; University of Bedfordshire (BioMed Central, 2018-02-07)
      BACKGROUND: Social Prescribing is a service in primary care that involves the referral of patients with non-clinical needs to local services and activities provided by the third sector (community, voluntary, and social enterprise sector). Social Prescribing aims to promote partnership working between the health and the social sector to address the wider determinants of health. To date, there is a weak evidence base for Social Prescribing services. The objective of the review was to identify factors that facilitate and hinder the implementation and delivery of SP services based in general practice involving a navigator. METHODS: We searched eleven databases, the grey literature, and the reference lists of relevant studies to identify the barriers and facilitators to the implementation and delivery of Social Prescribing services in June and July 2016. Searches were limited to literature written in English. No date restrictions were applied. Findings were synthesised narratively, employing thematic analysis. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool Version 2011 was used to evaluate the methodological quality of included studies. RESULTS: Eight studies were included in the review. The synthesis identified a range of factors that facilitate and hinder the implementation and delivery of SP services. Facilitators and barriers were related to: the implementation approach, legal agreements, leadership, management and organisation, staff turnover, staff engagement, relationships and communication between partners and stakeholders, characteristics of general practices, and the local infrastructure. The quality of most included studies was poor and the review identified a lack of published literature on factors that facilitate and hinder the implementation and delivery of Social Prescribing services. CONCLUSION: The review identified a range of factors that facilitate and hinder the implementation and delivery of Social Prescribing services. Findings of this review provide an insight for commissioners, managers, and providers to guide the implementation and delivery of future Social Prescribing services. More high quality research and transparent reporting of findings is needed in this field
    • The impact of telehealth remote patient monitoring on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials

      Lee, Puikwan; Greenfield, Geva; Pappas, Yannis; Imperial College London; University of Bedfordshire (BioMed Central Ltd., 2018-06-26)
      Background There is a growing body of evidence to support the use of telehealth in monitoring HbA1c levels in people living with type 2 diabetes. However, the overall magnitude of effect is yet unclear due to variable results reported in existing systematic reviews. The objective of this study is to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials to create an evidence-base for the effectiveness of telehealth interventions on glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes. Methods Electronic databases including The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, HMIC, and PsychINFO were searched to identify relevant systematic reviews published between 1990 and April 2016, supplemented by references search from the relevant reviews. Two independent reviewers selected and reviewed the eligible studies. Of the 3279 references retrieved, 4 systematic reviews reporting in total 29 unique studies relevant to our review were included. Both conventional pairwise meta-analyses and network meta-analyses were performed. Results Evidence from pooling four systematic reviews found that telehealth interventions produced a small but significant improvement in HbA1c levels compared with usual care (MD: -0.55, 95% CI: -0.73 to − 0.36). The greatest effect was seen in telephone-delivered interventions, followed by Internet blood glucose monitoring system interventions and lastly interventions involving automatic transmission of SMBG using a mobile phone or a telehealth unit. Conclusion Current evidence suggests that telehealth is effective in controlling HbA1c levels in people living with type 2 diabetes. However there is need for better quality primary studies as well as systematic reviews of RCTs in order to confidently conclude on the impact of telehealth on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes.
    • Patients' perception of using telehealth for type 2 diabetes management: a phenomenological study

      Lee, Puikwan; Greenfield, Geva; Pappas, Yannis (BioMed Central Ltd., 2018-07-13)
      BACKGROUND: There is a growing body of evidence that supports the uses of telehealth to monitor and manage people with diabetes at a distance. Despite this, the uptake of telehealth has been low. The objective of this study is to explore patients' perceptions of using telehealth for type 2 diabetes management. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 10 patients from the NHS Newham area in London, UK. Data were collected using recorded semi-structured interviews. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and the analysis was guided by the phenomenological analysis approach. RESULTS: We identified three main themes for facilitating positive patient experience or acceptance of telehealth and these included: technology consideration, service perceptions and empowerment. All patients asserted that they were pleased with the technology and many also proclaimed that they could not see themselves being without it. Moreover, very few negative views were reported with respect to the use of telehealth. CONCLUSION: The patients' perceived telehealth as a potential to enhance their quality of life, allow them to live independently at home as well as help them take and be in more control over their own health state. The findings of this study therefore supports the use of telehealth for the routine care of people with type 2 diabetes. However, one must interpret the results with caution due to limitations identified in the sample.
    • Understanding healthcare self-referral in Nigeria from the service users' perspective: a qualitative study of Niger state

      Koce, Francis George; Randhawa, Gurch; Ochieng, Bertha; University of Bedfordshire; De Montfort University (Biomed Central, 2019-04-02)
      Background The by-pass of the primary level of care to the referral facilities has continued to raise concerns for the healthcare delivery system. About 60–90% of patients in Nigeria are reported to self-refer to a referral level of care. Thus, this study sought to identify the factors that influence service-users’ decision to self-refer to the secondary healthcare facilities in Nigeria by exploring the perceptions and experiences of the service-users. Methods Twenty-four self-referred service-users were interviewed from three selected secondary healthcare facilities (general hospitals) in Niger state, Nigeria. The interviews were tape-recorded, each lasting 20 min on average. This was subsequently transcribed and framework analysis was employed for the analysis. Results Various reasons were identified to have resulted in the bypass of the primary healthcare facilities in favour of the secondary level of care. The identified themes were organised based on the predisposing, enabling and need component of Andersen’s model. These themes included: patients understanding of the healthcare delivery system; perceptions about the healthcare providers; perceptions about healthcare equipment/ facilities; advice from relatives and friends; service-users’ expectations; access to healthcare facilities; regulations/ policies; medical symptoms; perceptions of severity of medical symptoms. Conclusions The findings from this study call for an evaluation of the current healthcare referral system, particularly in developing settings like Nigeria and consequently the need for developing a contextual model as applicable to individual settings. Therefore, a multifaceted approach is needed to address the current concerns to ensure patients utilise the appropriate level of care. This will ensure the primary healthcare facilities are not undermined and allow the referral levels of care to live up to their mandate.