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1.
Aust J Gen Pract ; 53(3): 152-156, 2024 03.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38437661

RESUMEN

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: In partnership with an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled health service, we explored the use of a machine learning tool to identify high-needs patients for whom services are harder to reach and, hence, who do not engage with primary care. METHOD: Using deidentified electronic health record data, two predictive risk models (PRMs) were developed to identify patients who were: (1) unlikely to have health checks as an indicator of not engaging with care; and (2) likely to rate their wellbeing as poor, as a measure of high needs. RESULTS: According to the standard metrics, the PRMs were good at predicting health checks but showed low reliability for detecting poor wellbeing. DISCUSSION: Results and feedback from clinicians were encouraging. With additional refinement, informed by clinic staff feedback, a deployable model should be feasible.


Asunto(s)
Aborigenas Australianos e Isleños del Estrecho de Torres , Servicios de Salud , Humanos , Reproducibilidad de los Resultados , Pacientes , Instituciones de Atención Ambulatoria
2.
BMJ Open ; 14(1): e074624, 2024 01 06.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38184309

RESUMEN

OBJECTIVE: Timely access to primary care and supporting specialist care relative to need is essential for health equity. However, use of services can vary according to an individual's socioeconomic circumstances or where they live. This study aimed to quantify individual socioeconomic variation in general practitioner (GP) and specialist use in New South Wales (NSW), accounting for area-level variation in use. DESIGN: Outcomes were GP use and quality-of-care and specialist use. Multilevel logistic regression was used to estimate: (1) median ORs (MORs) to quantify small area variation in outcomes, which gives the median increased risk of moving to an area of higher risk of an outcome, and (2) ORs to quantify associations between outcomes and individual education level, our main exposure variable. Analyses were adjusted for individual sociodemographic and health characteristics and performed separately by remoteness categories. SETTING: Baseline data (2006-2009) from the 45 and Up Study, NSW, Australia, linked to Medicare Benefits Schedule and death data (to December 2012). PARTICIPANTS: 267 153 adults aged 45 years and older. RESULTS: GP (MOR=1.32-1.35) and specialist use (1.16-1.18) varied between areas, accounting for individual characteristics. For a given level of need and accounting for area variation, low education-level individuals were more likely to be frequent users of GP services (no school certificate vs university, OR=1.63-1.91, depending on remoteness category) and have continuity of care (OR=1.14-1.24), but were less likely to see a specialist (OR=0.85-0.95). CONCLUSION: GP and specialist use varied across small areas in NSW, independent of individual characteristics. Use of GP care was equitable, but specialist care was not. Failure to address inequitable specialist use may undermine equity gains within the primary care system. Policies should also focus on local variation.


Asunto(s)
Médicos Generales , Web Semántica , Adulto , Anciano , Humanos , Análisis Multinivel , Programas Nacionales de Salud , Australia , Escolaridad
3.
BMJ Open ; 13(6): e071234, 2023 06 21.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37344121

RESUMEN

INTRODUCTION: Chronic disease remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. Regular structured, comprehensive health assessments are available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as annual health checks funded through the Medicare Benefits Schedule. This realist review aims to identify context-specific enablers and tensions and contribute to developing an evidence framework to guide the implementation of health checks in the prevention and early detection of chronic diseases for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The review will involve the following steps: (1) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement and research governance; (2) defining the scope of the review; (3) search strategy; (4) screening, study selection and appraisal; (5) data extraction and organisation of evidence; (6) data synthesis and drawing conclusions. This realist review will follow the Realist and MEta-narrative Evidence Syntheses: Evolving Standards guidance and will be reported as set up by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Protocols statement. The realist programme theory will be developed through a literature review using multiple database searches from 1 November 1999 to 31 June 2022, limited to the English language, and stakeholder consultation, which will be refined throughout the review process. The study findings will be reported by applying the context-mechanism-outcome configuration to gain a deeper understanding of context and underlying mechanisms that influence the implementation of health checks in the prevention and early detection of chronic diseases among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval is not required as this review will be using secondary data. Findings will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at scientific conferences. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: The review protocol has been registered on the international prospective register of systematic reviews: CRD42022326697.


Asunto(s)
Aborigenas Australianos e Isleños del Estrecho de Torres , Enfermedad Crónica , Servicios de Salud del Indígena , Examen Físico , Humanos , Australia/epidemiología , Enfermedad Crónica/prevención & control , Programas Nacionales de Salud , Revisiones Sistemáticas como Asunto , Tamizaje Masivo
4.
Br J Gen Pract ; 73(730): e364-e373, 2023 05.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37105730

RESUMEN

BACKGROUND: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, general practice in Australia underwent a rapid transition, including the roll-out of population-wide telehealth, with uncertain impacts on GP use and costs. AIM: To describe how use and costs of GP services changed in 2020 - following the COVID-19 pandemic and introduction of telehealth - compared with 2019, and how this varied across population subgroups. DESIGN AND SETTING: Linked-data analysis of whole-population data for Australia. METHOD: Multi-Agency Data Integration Project data for ∼19 million individuals from the 2016 census were linked to Medicare data for 2019-2020. Regression models were used to compare age- and sex-adjusted GP use and out-of-pocket costs over time, overall, and by sociodemographic characteristics. RESULTS: Of the population, 85.5% visited a GP in Q2-Q4 2020, compared with 89.5% in the same period of 2019. The mean number of face-to-face GP services per quarter declined, while telehealth services increased; overall use of GP services in Q4 2020 was similar to, or higher than, that of Q4 2019 for most groups. The proportion of total GP services by telehealth stabilised at 23.5% in Q4 2020. However, individuals aged 3-14 years, ≥70 years, and those with limited English proficiency used fewer GP services in 2020 compared with 2019, with a lower proportion by telehealth, compared with the rest of the population. Mean out-of-pocket costs per service were lower across all subgroups in 2020 compared with 2019. CONCLUSION: The introduction of widespread telehealth maintained the use of GP services during the COVID-19 pandemic and minimised out-of-pocket costs, but not for all population subgroups.


Asunto(s)
COVID-19 , Medicina General , Telemedicina , Humanos , Australia/epidemiología , COVID-19/epidemiología , Programas Nacionales de Salud , Pandemias
6.
J Eval Clin Pract ; 29(6): 984-997, 2023 09.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36894510

RESUMEN

RATIONALE, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: Ensuring equitable access to primary care (PC) contributes to reducing differences in health related to people's socioeconomic circumstances. However, there is limited data on system-level factors associated with equitable access to high-quality PC. We examine whether individual-level socioeconomic variation in general practitioner (GP) quality-of-care varies by area-level organisation of PC services. METHODS: Baseline data (2006-2009) from the Sax Institute's 45 and Up Study, involving 267,153 adults in New South Wales, Australia, were linked to Medicare Benefits Schedule claims and death data (to December 2012). Small area-level measures of PC service organisation were GPs per capita, bulk-billing (i.e., no copayment) rates, out-of-pocket costs (OPCs), rates of after-hours and chronic disease care planning/coordination services. Using multilevel logistic regression with cross-level interaction terms we quantified the relationship between area-level PC service characteristics and individual-level socioeconomic variation in need-adjusted quality-of-care (continuity-of-care, long-consultations, and care planning), separately by remoteness. RESULTS: In major cities, more bulk-billing and chronic disease services and fewer OPCs within areas were associated with an increased odds of continuity-of-care-more so among people of high- than low education (e.g., bulk-billing interaction with university vs. no school certificate 1.006 [1.000, 1.011]). While more bulk-billing, after-hours services and fewer OPCs were associated with long consultations and care planning across all education levels, in regional locations alone, more after-hours services were associated with larger increases in the odds of long consultations among people with low- than high education (0.970 [0.951, 0.989]). Area GP availability was not associated with outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: In major cities, PC initiatives at the local level, such as bulk-billing and after-hours access, were not associated with a relative benefit for low- compared with high-education individuals. In regional locations, policies supporting after-hours access may improve access to long consultations, more so for people with low- compared with high-education.


Asunto(s)
Programas Nacionales de Salud , Web Semántica , Anciano , Adulto , Humanos , Análisis Multinivel , Factores Socioeconómicos , Atención Primaria de Salud
7.
J Comp Neurol ; 531(5): 618-638, 2023 04.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36594894

RESUMEN

Neurodegenerative diseases are among the main causes of death in the United States, leading to irreversible disintegration of neurons. Despite intense international research efforts, cellular mechanisms that initiate neurodegeneration remain elusive, thus inhibiting the development of effective preventative and early onset medical treatment. To identify underlying cellular mechanisms that initiate neuron degeneration, it is critical to identify histological and cellular hallmarks that can be linked to underlying biochemical processes. Due to the poor tissue preservation of degenerating mammalian brain tissue, our knowledge regarding histopathological hallmarks of early to late degenerative stages is only fragmentary. Here, we introduce a novel model organism to study histological hallmarks of neurodegeneration, the spider Cupiennius salei. We utilized toluidine blue-stained 0.9-µm serial semithin and 50-nm ultrathin sections of young and old spider nervous tissue. Our findings suggest that the initial stages of neurodegeneration in spiders may be triggered by (1) dissociation of neuron- and glia-derived microtubules, and (2) the weakening of microtubule-associated desmosomal junctions that lead to the unraveling of neuron-insulating macroglia, compromising the structural integrity of affected neurons. The involvement of macroglia in the disposal of neuronal debris described here-although different in the proposed transport mechanisms-shows resemblance to the mammalian glymphatic system. We propose that this model system is highly suitable to investigate invertebrate neurodegenerative processes from early onset to scar formation and that this knowledge may be useful for the study of neurodegeneration in mammalian tissue.


Asunto(s)
Neuronas , Arañas , Animales , Adhesión Celular , Neuronas/metabolismo , Encéfalo , Microtúbulos , Invertebrados , Mamíferos
8.
Aust N Z J Public Health ; 46(4): 533-539, 2022 Aug.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35678999

RESUMEN

OBJECTIVE: To inform national evidence gaps on cardiovascular disease (CVD) preventive medication use and factors relating to under-treatment - including primary healthcare engagement - among CVD survivors in Australia. METHODS: Data from 884 participants with self-reported CVD from the 2014-15 National Health Survey were linked to primary care and pharmaceutical dispensing data for 2016 through the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project. Logistic regression quantified the relation of combined blood pressure- and lipid-lowering medication use to participant characteristics. RESULTS: Overall, 94.8% had visited a general practitioner (GP) and 40.0% were on both blood pressure- and lipid-lowering medications. Medication use was least likely in: women versus men (OR=0.49[95%CI:0.37-0.65]), younger participants (e.g. 45-64y versus 65-85y: OR=0.58[0.42-0.79])and current versus never-smokers (OR=0.73[0.44-1.20]). Treatment was more likely in those with ≥9 versus ≤4 conditions (OR=2.15[1.39-3.31]), with ≥11 versus 0-2 GP visits/year (OR=2.62[1.53-4.48]) and with individual CVD risk factors (e.g. high blood pressure OR=3.13 [2.34-4.19]) versus without); the latter even accounting for GP service-use frequency. CONCLUSIONS: Younger people, smokers, those with infrequent GP visits or without CVD risk factors were the least likely to be on medication. IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: Substantial under-treatment, even among those using GP services, indicates opportunities to prevent further CVD events in primary care.


Asunto(s)
Enfermedades Cardiovasculares , Australia/epidemiología , Enfermedades Cardiovasculares/epidemiología , Enfermedades Cardiovasculares/prevención & control , Análisis de Datos , Femenino , Encuestas Epidemiológicas , Factores de Riesgo de Enfermedad Cardiaca , Humanos , Lípidos , Masculino , Atención Primaria de Salud , Factores de Riesgo
9.
Public Health Res Pract ; 32(1)2022 Mar 10.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35290999

RESUMEN

OBJECTIVE: To quantify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health check claims in Australian adults in relation to sociodemographic and health characteristics, including prior cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CVD risk factors. METHODS: The study involved analysis of baseline data (2006-2009) from the Sax Institute's 45 and Up Study, involving 1753 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults in New South Wales, Australia, linked to Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) hospital and death data (to December 2015). The outcome was a claim for receiving a Medicare-funded Health Assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People (MBS item 715) in the 2 years before December 2015. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) for receiving a health check in relation to sociodemographic and health characteristics. RESULTS: One-third (32%) of participants received at least one Medicare-funded health check in the 2-year period. The probability of receiving a health check was higher for women than men (adjusted OR 1.47; 95% CI 1.18, 1.84), for those with lowest education than for those with highest education (OR 1.58; CI 1.11, 2.24), for those in a regional area (OR 1.56; CI 1.22, 2.01) or remote area (OR 2.38; CI 1.8, 3.16) than for those in major cities, for those with prior CVD than for those without (OR 1.80; CI 1.42, 2.27), for those with CVD risk factors than for those without (adjusted OR between 1.28 and 2.28, depending on risk factor), for those with poor self-rated health than for those with excellent self-rated health (OR 3.15; CI 1.76, 6.65) and for those with more than 10 visits to a general practitioner (GP) per year than for those with 0-2 visits (OR 33.62; CI 13.45, 84.02). Additional adjustment for number of GP visits or self-rated health substantially attenuated ORs for prior CVD and most CVD risk factors. When mutually adjusted, use of GP services and poorer self-rated health remained strongly associated with receiving a health check. CONCLUSIONS: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the greatest healthcare need and at highest risk of CVD were more likely to receive a health check; however, a significant proportion of those who were eligible had not received this preventive care intervention. Findings indicate that there is greater potential for the use of health checks (MBS item 715) in improving identification and management of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at high risk of CVD, potentially preventing future CVD events.


Asunto(s)
Enfermedades Cardiovasculares , Adulto , Anciano , Australia/epidemiología , Enfermedades Cardiovasculares/epidemiología , Enfermedades Cardiovasculares/prevención & control , Femenino , Factores de Riesgo de Enfermedad Cardiaca , Humanos , Masculino , Programas Nacionales de Salud , Nativos de Hawái y Otras Islas del Pacífico , Factores de Riesgo
10.
Soc Sci Med ; 94: 9-16, 2013 Oct.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23931940

RESUMEN

Recent Australian policy initiatives regarding primary health care focus on planning services around community needs and delivering these at the local area. As in many other countries, there has also been a growing concern over social inequities in health outcomes. The aims of the analysis presented here were firstly to describe small area variations in hospital admissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSC) among children aged 0-4 years between 2003 and 2009 in the state of Victoria, Australia, and secondly to explore the relationship of ACSC hospitalisations with socio-economic disadvantage using a comparative analysis of the Child Social Exclusion (CSE) index and the Composite Score of Deprivation (CSD). This is a cross sectional secondary data analysis, with data sourced from 2003 to 2009 ACSC data from the Victorian State Government Department of Health; the Australian Standard Geographical Classification of remoteness; the Australian 2006 Census of Population and Housing; and AMPCo General Practitioner data from 2010. The relationship between the indexes and child health outcomes was examined through bivariate analysis and visually through a series of maps. The results show there is significant variation in the geographical distribution of the relationship between ACSCs and socio-economic disadvantage, with both indexes capturing important social gradients in child health conditions. However, measures of access, such as geographical accessibility and workforce supply, detect additional small area variation in child health outcomes. This research has important implications for future primary health care policy and planning of services, as these findings confirm that not all areas are the same in terms of health outcomes, and there may be benefit in tailoring mechanisms for identifying areas of need depending on the outcome intended to be affected.


Asunto(s)
Atención Ambulatoria/estadística & datos numéricos , Protección a la Infancia/estadística & datos numéricos , Disparidades en Atención de Salud , Hospitalización/estadística & datos numéricos , Marginación Social , Poblaciones Vulnerables/estadística & datos numéricos , Preescolar , Estudios Transversales , Humanos , Lactante , Análisis de Área Pequeña , Factores Socioeconómicos , Análisis Espacial , Victoria
11.
Health Serv Res ; 48(2 Pt 1): 539-59, 2013 Apr.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22816561

RESUMEN

OBJECTIVE: To develop a measure of social deprivation that is associated with health care access and health outcomes at a novel geographic level, primary care service area. DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: Secondary analysis of data from the Dartmouth Atlas, AMA Masterfile, National Provider Identifier data, Small Area Health Insurance Estimates, American Community Survey, Area Resource File, and Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System. Data were aggregated to primary care service areas (PCSAs). STUDY DESIGN: Social deprivation variables were selected from literature review and international examples. Factor analysis was used. Correlation and multivariate analyses were conducted between index, health outcomes, and measures of health care access. The derived index was compared with poverty as a predictor of health outcomes. DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHODS: Variables not available at the PCSA level were estimated at block level, then aggregated to PCSA level. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our social deprivation index is positively associated with poor access and poor health outcomes. This pattern holds in multivariate analyses controlling for other measures of access. A multidimensional measure of deprivation is more strongly associated with health outcomes than a measure of poverty alone. CONCLUSIONS: This geographic index has utility for identifying areas in need of assistance and is timely for revision of 35-year-old provider shortage and geographic underservice designation criteria used to allocate federal resources.


Asunto(s)
Accesibilidad a los Servicios de Salud/estadística & datos numéricos , Evaluación de Necesidades/estadística & datos numéricos , Atención Primaria de Salud/estadística & datos numéricos , Poblaciones Vulnerables/estadística & datos numéricos , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiología , Humanos , Mortalidad Infantil , Recién Nacido de Bajo Peso , Recién Nacido , Mortalidad , Factores Socioeconómicos
12.
Aust J Rural Health ; 18(5): 199-204, 2010 Oct.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21040081

RESUMEN

OBJECTIVE: To examine whether measures of remoteness areas adequately reveal high need populations, measured against socioeconomic disadvantage and physician to population ratios. DESIGN: Exploratory spatial analysis of relationships between remoteness areas, medical workforce supply and the index of relative socioeconomic disadvantage (IRSD). Bivariate analyses examined associations between remoteness areas and IRSD. From this analysis, a composite score of deprivation was constructed combining measures of remoteness areas, physician to population ratios and IRSD, and validated against health outcome measures. These measures included avoidable mortality per 100,000, risk behaviour rate per 1000, diabetes rate per 1000. All analyses were conducted at the statistical local area level and weighted to be population representative. RESULTS: The percentage of small areas and populations within the most socioeconomically disadvantaged quintile rose with increasing remoteness. However, 12.8% of small areas within major cities and 40.7% of outer regional areas were also within the lowest socioeconomic quintile. There was a strong relationship between our composite score of deprivation and avoidable mortality, risk rate, diabetes rate and per cent Indigenous. Regression analysis examined the relationship between each element of the composite score and health outcomes. This revealed that the association between avoidable mortality and remoteness was lost after controlling for per cent Indigenous. CONCLUSIONS: Using remoteness areas alone to prioritize workforce incentive programs and training requirements has significant limitations. Including measures of socioeconomic disadvantage and workforce supply would better target health inequities and improve resource allocation in Australia.


Asunto(s)
Accesibilidad a los Servicios de Salud/economía , Disparidades en Atención de Salud/economía , Área sin Atención Médica , Atención Primaria de Salud , Australia , Indicadores de Salud , Humanos , Evaluación de Necesidades , Pobreza , Atención Primaria de Salud/economía , Atención Primaria de Salud/normas , Recursos Humanos
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