Browsing by Subject "Primary care"

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  • Lehtovuori, Tuomo; Raina, Marko; Suominen, Lasse; Kauppila, Timo (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Objective To improve the recording of diagnoses in visits to general practitioners, an observational retrospective study based on a before-after design was performed by installing an electronic reminder in the computerized patient chart system, reinforced in feedback delivered in superior-subordinate or development discussions with the general practitioners. The monthly rate of recording diagnoses was observed before and after the intervention. The effect of this intervention on recording of diagnoses was compared with the effects of financial group bonuses on the same parameter in a neighbouring city. Results Before intervention, the level of recording diagnoses was about 45% in the primary care units. Nine months after this intervention there was not yet any statistically significant increase in recording of diagnoses but after 21 months it yielded a recording rate of 90% (P < 0.001). In three years, this percentage reached level over 95%. Group bonuses, a financial incentive serving as a control intervention, increased this parameter from 50 to 80% (P < 0.001) in nine months, and in 21 months the level of recording diagnoses was 90%. The both methods increased the level of recording diagnoses at the same level. Group bonuses acted faster but were also more expensive.
  • Presseau, Justin; Mackintosh, Joan; Hawthorne, Gillian; Francis, Jill J.; Johnston, Marie; Grimshaw, Jeremy M.; Steen, Nick; Coulthard, Tom; Brown, Heather; Kaner, Eileen; Elovainio, Marko; Sniehotta, Falko F. (2018)
    Background: National diabetes audits in the UK show room for improvement in the quality of care delivered to people with type 2 diabetes in primary care. Systematic reviews of quality improvement interventions show that such approaches can be effective but there is wide variability between trials and little understanding concerning what explains this variability. A national cohort study of primary care across 99 UK practices identified modifiable predictors of healthcare professionals' prescribing, advising and foot examination. Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of an implementation intervention to improve six guideline-recommended health professional behaviours in managing type 2 diabetes in primary care: prescribing for blood pressure and glycaemic control, providing physical activity and nutrition advice and providing updated diabetes education and foot examination. Methods: Two-armed cluster randomised trial involving 44 general practices. Primary outcomes (at 12 months follow-up): from electronic medical records, the proportion of patients receiving additional prescriptions for blood pressure and insulin initiation for glycaemic control and having a foot examination; and from a patient survey of a random sample of 100 patients per practice, reported receipt of updated diabetes education and physical activity and nutrition advice. Results: The implementation intervention did not lead to statistically significant improvement on any of the six clinical behaviours. 1,138,105 prescriptions were assessed. Intervention (29% to 37% patients) and control arms (31% to 35%) increased insulin initiation relative to baseline but were not statistically significantly different at follow-up (IRR 1.18, 95% CI 0.95-1.48). Intervention (45% to 53%) and control practices (45% to 50%) increased blood pressure prescription from baseline to follow-up but were not statistically significantly different at follow-up (IRR 1.05, 95% CI 0.96 to 1.16). Intervention (75 to 78%) and control practices (74 to 79%) increased foot examination relative to baseline; control practices increased statistically significantly more (OR 0.84, 95% CI 0.75-0.94). Fewer patients in intervention (33%) than control practices (40%) reported receiving updated diabetes education (OR = 0.74, 95% CI 0.57-0.97). No statistically significant differences were observed in patient reports of having had a discussion about nutrition (intervention = 73%; control = 72%; OR = 0.98, 95% CI 0.59-1.64) or physical activity (intervention = 57%; control = 62%; OR = 0.79, 95% CI 0. 56-1.11). Development and delivery of the intervention cost 1191 pound per practice. Conclusions: There was no measurable benefit to practices' participation in this intervention. Despite widespread use of outreach interventions worldwide, there is a need to better understand which techniques at which intensity are optimally suited to address the multiple clinical behaviours involved in improving care for type 2 diabetes.
  • Presseau, Justin; Mackintosh, Joan; Hawthorne, Gillian; Francis, Jill J; Johnston, Marie; Grimshaw, Jeremy M; Steen, Nick; Coulthard, Tom; Brown, Heather; Kaner, Eileen; Elovainio, Marko; Sniehotta, Falko F (BioMed Central, 2018)
    Abstract Background National diabetes audits in the UK show room for improvement in the quality of care delivered to people with type 2 diabetes in primary care. Systematic reviews of quality improvement interventions show that such approaches can be effective but there is wide variability between trials and little understanding concerning what explains this variability. A national cohort study of primary care across 99 UK practices identified modifiable predictors of healthcare professionals’ prescribing, advising and foot examination. Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of an implementation intervention to improve six guideline-recommended health professional behaviours in managing type 2 diabetes in primary care: prescribing for blood pressure and glycaemic control, providing physical activity and nutrition advice and providing updated diabetes education and foot examination. Methods Two-armed cluster randomised trial involving 44 general practices. Primary outcomes (at 12 months follow-up): from electronic medical records, the proportion of patients receiving additional prescriptions for blood pressure and insulin initiation for glycaemic control and having a foot examination; and from a patient survey of a random sample of 100 patients per practice, reported receipt of updated diabetes education and physical activity and nutrition advice. Results The implementation intervention did not lead to statistically significant improvement on any of the six clinical behaviours. 1,138,105 prescriptions were assessed. Intervention (29% to 37% patients) and control arms (31% to 35%) increased insulin initiation relative to baseline but were not statistically significantly different at follow-up (IRR 1.18, 95%CI 0.95–1.48). Intervention (45% to 53%) and control practices (45% to 50%) increased blood pressure prescription from baseline to follow-up but were not statistically significantly different at follow-up (IRR 1.05, 95%CI 0.96 to 1.16). Intervention (75 to 78%) and control practices (74 to 79%) increased foot examination relative to baseline; control practices increased statistically significantly more (OR 0.84, 95%CI 0.75–0.94). Fewer patients in intervention (33%) than control practices (40%) reported receiving updated diabetes education (OR = 0.74, 95%CI 0.57–0.97). No statistically significant differences were observed in patient reports of having had a discussion about nutrition (intervention = 73%; control = 72%; OR = 0.98, 95%CI 0.59–1.64) or physical activity (intervention = 57%; control = 62%; OR = 0.79, 95%CI 0.56–1.11). Development and delivery of the intervention cost £1191 per practice. Conclusions There was no measurable benefit to practices’ participation in this intervention. Despite widespread use of outreach interventions worldwide, there is a need to better understand which techniques at which intensity are optimally suited to address the multiple clinical behaviours involved in improving care for type 2 diabetes. Trial registration ISRCTN, ISRCTN66498413 . Registered April 4, 2013
  • Rochfort, Andree; Beirne, Sinead; Doran, Gillian; Patton, Patricia; Gensichen, Jochen; Kunnamo, Ilkka; Smith, Susan; Eriksson, Tina; Collins, Claire (2018)
    Background: Patient self-management support is recognised as a key component of chronic care. Education and training for health professionals has been shown in the literature to be associated with better uptake, implementation and effectiveness of self-management programs, however, there is no clear evidence regarding whether this training results in improved health outcomes for patients with chronic conditions. Methods: A systematic review was undertaken using the PRISMA guidelines using the Cochrane Library, PubMEd, ERIC, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Web searches, Hand searches and Bibliographies. Articles published from inception to September 1st, 2013 were included. Systematic reviews, Meta-analysis, Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), Controlled clinical trials, Interrupted time series and Controlled before and after studies, which reported on primary care health professionals' continuing education or evidence-based medicine/education on patient self-management for any chronic condition, were included. A minimum of two reviewers participated independently at each stage of review. Results: From 7533 abstracts found, only two papers provided evidence on the effectiveness of self-management education for primary healthcare professionals in terms of measured outcomes in patients. These two articles show improvement in patient outcomes for chronic back pain and diabetes based on RCTs. The educational interventions with health professionals spanned a range of techniques and modalities but both RCTs included a motivational interviewing component. Conclusions: Before and up to 2 years after the incorporation of patient empowerment for self-management into the WONCA Europe definition of general practice, there was a scarcity of high quality evidence showing improved outcomes for patients as a result of educating health professionals in patient self-management of chronic conditions.
  • Rochfort, Andree; Beirne, Sinead; Doran, Gillian; Patton, Patricia; Gensichen, Jochen; Kunnamo, Ilkka; Smith, Susan; Eriksson, Tina; Collins, Claire (BioMed Central, 2018)
    Abstract Background Patient self-management support is recognised as a key component of chronic care. Education and training for health professionals has been shown in the literature to be associated with better uptake, implementation and effectiveness of self-management programs, however, there is no clear evidence regarding whether this training results in improved health outcomes for patients with chronic conditions. Methods A systematic review was undertaken using the PRISMA guidelines using the Cochrane Library, PubMEd, ERIC, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Web searches, Hand searches and Bibliographies. Articles published from inception to September 1st, 2013 were included. Systematic reviews, Meta-analysis, Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), Controlled clinical trials, Interrupted time series and Controlled before and after studies, which reported on primary care health professionals’ continuing education or evidence-based medicine/education on patient self-management for any chronic condition, were included. A minimum of two reviewers participated independently at each stage of review. Results From 7533 abstracts found, only two papers provided evidence on the effectiveness of self-management education for primary healthcare professionals in terms of measured outcomes in patients. These two articles show improvement in patient outcomes for chronic back pain and diabetes based on RCTs. The educational interventions with health professionals spanned a range of techniques and modalities but both RCTs included a motivational interviewing component. Conclusions Before and up to 2 years after the incorporation of patient empowerment for self-management into the WONCA Europe definition of general practice, there was a scarcity of high quality evidence showing improved outcomes for patients as a result of educating health professionals in patient self-management of chronic conditions.
  • Riihimaki, K.; Sintonen, H.; Vuorilehto, M.; Jylhä, P.; Saarni, S.; Isometsa, E. (2016)
    Background: Depressive disorders are known to impair health-related quality of life (HRQoL) both in the short and long term. However, the determinants of long-term HRQoL outcomes in primary care patients with depressive disorders remain unclear. Methods: In a primary care cohort study of patients with depressive disorders, 82% of 137 patients were prospectively followed up for five years. Psychiatric disorders were diagnosed with SCID-I/P and SCID-II interviews; clinical, psychosocial and socio-economic factors were investigated by rating scales and questionnaires plus medical and psychiatric records. HRQoL was measured with the generic 15D instrument at baseline and five years, and compared with an age-standardized general population sample (n = 3707) at five years. Results: Depression affected the 15D total score and almost all dimensions at both time points. At the end of follow-up, HRQoL of patients in major depressive episode (MDE) was particularly low, and the association between severity of depression (Beck Depression Inventory [BDI]) and HRQoL was very strong (r = -0.804). The most significant predictors for change in HRQoL were changes in BDI and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) scores. The mean 15D score of depressive primary care patients at five years was much worse than in the age-standardized general population, reaching normal range only among patients who were in clinical remission and had virtually no symptoms. Conclusions: Among depressive primary care patients, presence of current depressive symptoms markedly reduces HRQoL, with symptoms of concurrent anxiety also having a marked impact. For HRQoL to normalize, current depressive and anxiety symptoms must be virtually absent. (C) 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
  • Kuusio, Hannamaria; Lamsa, Riikka; Aalto, Anna-Mari; Manderbacka, Kristiina; Keskimaki, Ilmo; Elovainio, Marko (2014)
  • Rintamäki, Reeta; Rautio, Nina; Peltonen, Markku; Jokelainen, Jari; Keinänen-Kiukaanniemi, Sirkka; Oksa, Heikki; Saaristo, Timo; Puolijoki, Hannu; Saltevo, Juha; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Uusitupa, Matti; Moilanen, Leena (2021)
    Aims: The Finnish National Diabetes Prevention Program (FIN-D2D) was the first large-scale diabetes prevention program in a primary health care setting in the world. The risk reduction of type 2 diabetes was 69% after one-year intervention in high-risk individuals who were able to lose 5% of their weight. We investigated long-term effects of one-year weight change on the incidence of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular events, and all-cause mortality. Methods: A total of 10,149 high-risk individuals for type 2 diabetes were identified in primary health care centers and they were offered lifestyle intervention to prevent diabetes. Of these individuals who participated in the baseline screening, 8353 had an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Complete followup data during one-year intervention were available for 2730 individuals and those were included in the follow-up analysis. The long-term outcome events were collected from national health registers after the median follow-up of 7.4 years. Results: Among individuals who lost weight 2.5 & minus;4.9% and 5% or more during the first year, the hazard ratio for the incidence of drug-treated diabetes was 0.63 (95% CI 0.49 & minus;0.81, p = 0.0001), and 0.71 (95% CI 0.56 & minus;0.90, p = 0.004), respectively, compared with those with stable weight. There were no significant differences in cardiovascular events or all-cause mortality among study participants according to oneyear weight changes. Conclusions: High-risk individuals for type 2 diabetes who achieved a moderate weight loss by one-year lifestyle counseling in primary health care had a long-term reduction in the incidence of drug-treated type 2 diabetes. The observed moderate weight loss was not associated with a reduction in cardiovascular events. (c) 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Primary Care Diabetes Europe. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/bync-nd/4.0/).
  • Riihimäki, K.; Vuorilehto, M.; Isometsa, E. (2017)
    Background: Most practice guidelines recommend maintenance antidepressant treatment for recurrent major depressive disorder. However, the degree to which such guidance is actually followed in primary health care has remained obscure. We investigated the provision of maintenance antidepressant treatment within a representative primary care five-year cohort study. Methods: In the Vantaa Primary Care Depression Study, a stratified random sample of 1119 adult patients was screened for depression using the Prime-MD. Depressive and comorbid psychiatric disorders were diagnosed using SCID-I/P and SCID-II interviews. Of the 137 patients with depressive disorders, 82% completed the prospective five-year follow-up. A graphic life chart enabling evaluation of the longitudinal course of episodes plus duration of pharmacotherapies was used. In accordance with national guidelines, an indication for maintenance treatment was defined to exist after three or more lifetime major depressive episodes (MDEs); maintenance treatment was to commence four months after onset of full remission. Results: Of the cohort patients, 34% (46/137) had three or more lifetime MDEs, thus indicating the requirement for maintenance pharmacotherapy. Of these, half (54%, 25/46) received maintenance treatment, for only 29% (489/1670) of the months indicated. Conclusions: In this cohort of depressed primary care patients, half of patients with indications for maintenance treatment actually received it, and only for a fraction of the time indicated. Antidepressant maintenance treatment for the prevention of recurrences is unlikely to be subject to large-scale actualization as recommended, which may significantly undermine the potential public health benefits of treatment. (C) 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
  • Simonsen, Nina; Koponen, Anne M.; Suominen, Sakari (2018)
    Background: To meet the challenges of the rising prevalence of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, new approaches to healthcare delivery have been initiated; among these the influential Chronic Care Model (CCM). Valid instruments are needed to evaluate the public health impact of these frameworks in different countries. The Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care (PACIC) is a 20-item quality of care measure that, from the perspective of the patient, measures the extent to which care is congruent with the CCM. The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Finnish translation of the PACIC questionnaire, in terms of validity and reliability, in a large register-based sample of patients with type 2 diabetes. Method: The PACIC items were translated into Finnish in a standardized forward-backward procedure, followed by a cross-sectional survey among patients with type 2 diabetes (response rate 56%; n = 2866). We assessed the Finnish version of the PACIC scale for the following psychometric properties: content validity, internal consistency reliability, convergent and construct validity. We also present descriptive data on total scale as well as predetermined subscale levels. Results: The item-response on the PACIC scale was high with only small numbers of missing data (0.5-1.1%). Ceiling effects were low (0.3-5.3%) whereas floor effects were over 20% for two of the predetermined subscales (problem solving and follow-up/coordination). The total PACIC scale showed a reasonable distribution and excellent internal consistency (alpha 0.94) while the internal consistency of the subscales were at least acceptable (0.74-0.86). The principal component analysis identified a two-or three-factor solution instead of the proposed five-dimensional. In other respects, the PACIC scale showed the hypothesized relationships with quality of care and outcome measures, thus demonstrating convergent and construct validity. Conclusion: A Finnish version of the PACIC scale is now validated in the primary care setting among patients with type 2 diabetes. The findings suggest comparable psychometric properties of the Finnish scale as of the original English instrument and earlier translations, and reasonable levels of validity and reliability.
  • Simonsen, Nina; Koponen, Anne M; Suominen, Sakari (BioMed Central, 2018)
    Abstract Background To meet the challenges of the rising prevalence of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, new approaches to healthcare delivery have been initiated; among these the influential Chronic Care Model (CCM). Valid instruments are needed to evaluate the public health impact of these frameworks in different countries. The Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care (PACIC) is a 20-item quality of care measure that, from the perspective of the patient, measures the extent to which care is congruent with the CCM. The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Finnish translation of the PACIC questionnaire, in terms of validity and reliability, in a large register-based sample of patients with type 2 diabetes. Method The PACIC items were translated into Finnish in a standardized forward-backward procedure, followed by a cross-sectional survey among patients with type 2 diabetes (response rate 56%; n = 2866). We assessed the Finnish version of the PACIC scale for the following psychometric properties: content validity, internal consistency reliability, convergent and construct validity. We also present descriptive data on total scale as well as predetermined subscale levels. Results The item-response on the PACIC scale was high with only small numbers of missing data (0.5–1.1%). Ceiling effects were low (0.3–5.3%) whereas floor effects were over 20% for two of the predetermined subscales (problem solving and follow-up/coordination). The total PACIC scale showed a reasonable distribution and excellent internal consistency (alpha 0.94) while the internal consistency of the subscales were at least acceptable (0.74–0.86). The principal component analysis identified a two- or three-factor solution instead of the proposed five-dimensional. In other respects, the PACIC scale showed the hypothesized relationships with quality of care and outcome measures, thus demonstrating convergent and construct validity. Conclusion A Finnish version of the PACIC scale is now validated in the primary care setting among patients with type 2 diabetes. The findings suggest comparable psychometric properties of the Finnish scale as of the original English instrument and earlier translations, and reasonable levels of validity and reliability.
  • Vuorilehto, Maria S.; Melartin, Tarja K.; Riihimaki, Kirsi; Isometsa, Erkki T. (2016)
    Background: Primary health care bears the main responsibility for treating depression in most countries. However, few studies have comprehensively investigated provision of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments, their continuity, or patient attitudes and adherence to treatment in primary care. Methods: In the Vantaa Primary Care Depression Study, 1111 consecutive primary care patients in the City of Vantaa, Finland, were screened for depression with Prime-MD, and 137 were diagnosed with DSM-IV depressive disorders via SCID-I/P and SCID-Il interviews. The 100 patients with current major depressive disorder (MDD) or partly remitted MDD at baseline were prospectively followed up to 18 months, and their treatment contacts and the treatments provided were longitudinally followed. Results: The median number of patients' visits to a general practitioner during the follow-up was five; of those due to depression two. Antidepressant treatment was offered to 82% of patients, but only 50% commenced treatment and adhered to it adequately. Psychosocial support was offered to 49%, but only 29% adhered to the highly variable interventions. Attributed reasons for poor adherence varied, including negative attitude, side effects, practical obstacles, or no perceived need. About one-quarter (23%) of patients were referred to specialized care at some time-point. Limitations: Moderate sample size. Data collected in 2002-2004. Conclusions: The majority of depressive patients in primary health care had been offered pharmacotherapy, psychotherapeutic support, or both. However, effectiveness of these efforts may have been limited by lack of systematic follow-up and poor adherence to both pharmacotherapy and psychosocial treatment. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Rabiei, Sepideh; Mohebbi, Simin Z.; Patja, Kristiina; Virtanen, Jorma I. (2012)
  • Potthoff, Sebastian; Presseau, Justin; Sniehotta, Falko F.; Johnston, Marie; Elovainio, Marko; Avery, Leah (2017)
    Background: Gaps in the quality of care provided to people with type 2 diabetes are regularly identified. Healthcare professionals often have a strong intention to follow practice guidelines during consultations with people with type 2 diabetes; however, this intention does not always translate into action. Action planning (planning when, where and how to act) and coping planning (planning how to overcome pre-identified barriers) have been hypothesised to help with the enactment of intentions by creating mental cue-response links that promote habit formation. This study aimed to investigate whether habit helps to better understand how action and coping planning relate to clinical behaviour in the context of type 2 diabetes care. Methods: The study utilised a prospective correlational design with six nested sub-studies. General practitioners and practice nurses (n = 427 from 99 UK primary care practices) completed measures of action planning, coping planning and habit at baseline and then self-reported their enactment of guideline-recommended advising, prescribing and examining behaviours 12 months later. Bootstrapped mediation analyses were used to test the indirect effect of action and coping planning on healthcare professionals' clinical behaviour via their relationship with habit. Results: Healthcare professionals who reported higher degrees of action or coping planning for performing six guideline recommended behaviours in the context of type 2 diabetes care were more likely to report performing these behaviours in clinical practice. All 12 bootstrapped mediation analyses showed that the positive relationship between planning (action and coping planning) and healthcare professionals' clinical behaviour operated indirectly through habit. Conclusions: These findings suggest that habit mediates the relationship between planning (action and coping planning) and healthcare professional behaviour. Promoting careful action and coping planning may support routinised uptake of guideline-recommended care by healthcare professionals in the primary care setting. Given the competing demands on healthcare professionals, exploring the behavioural processes involved in promoting more routinisation of behaviours where possible and appropriate could free up cognitive capacity for clinical behaviours that rely on more deliberation.
  • Riihimaki, K.; Vuorilehto, M.; Jylhä, P.; Isometsa, E. (2016)
    Background: Response styles theory of depression postulates that rumination is a central factor in occurrence, severity and maintaining of depression. High neuroticism has been associated with tendency to ruminate. We investigated associations of response styles and neuroticism with severity and chronicity of depression in a primary care cohort study. Methods: In the Vantaa Primary Care Depression Study, a stratified random sample of 1119 adult patients was screened for depression using the Prime-MD. Depressive and comorbid psychiatric disorders were diagnosed using SCID-I/P and SCID-II interviews. Of the 137 patients with depressive disorders, 82% completed the prospective five-year follow-up with a graphic life chart enabling evaluation of the longitudinal course of episodes. Neuroticism was measured with the Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI-Q). Response styles were investigated at five years using the Response Styles Questionnaire (RSQ-43). Results: At five years, rumination correlated significantly with scores of Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (r = 0.54), Beck Depression Inventory (r = 0.61), Beck Anxiety Inventory (r = 0.50), Beck Hopelessness Scale (r = 0.51) and Neuroticism (r = 0.58). Rumination correlated also with proportion of follow-up time spent depressed (r = 0.38). In multivariate regression, high rumination was significantly predicted by current depressive symptoms and neuroticism, but not by anxiety symptoms or preceding duration of depressive episodes. Conclusions: Among primary care patients with depression, rumination correlated with current severity of depressive symptoms, but the association with preceding episode duration remained uncertain. The association between neuroticism and rumination was strong. The findings are consistent with rumination as a state-related phenomenon, which is also strongly intertwined with traits predisposing to depression. (C) 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
  • Mustonen, Katri; Kantonen, Jarmo; Kauppila, Timo (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background It has not been studied what happens to patient flow to EDs and other parts of local health care system if distances to ED services are manipulated as a part of health policy in urban areas. Methods The present work was an observational and quasi-experimental study with a control and it was based on before-after comparisons. The impact of terminating a geographically distant suburban primary care ED on patient flow to doctors in local public primary care EDs, office-hour primary care, secondary care EDs and in private primary care was studied. The effect of this intervention was compared with a primary care system where no similar intervention was performed. The number of monthly visits to doctors in different departments of health care was scored as the main measure of the study in each department studied (e.g. in primary care EDs, secondary care ED, office-hour public primary care and private primary care). Monthly mortality rates were also recorded. Results Increasing the distance to ED services by terminating a peripheral ED did not cause an increase in the use of local office-hour services in those areas whose local ED was terminated, although use of ED services decreased by 25% in these areas (P < 0.001). The total use of primary care doctor services rather decreased - if anything - after this intervention while use of doctor services in secondary care ED remained unaffected. Doctor visits to the complementary private primary care increased but this was probably not associated with the intervention because a simultaneous increase in this parameter was observed in the control. There was no increased mortality in any age groups. Conclusion Manipulating distances to ED services can be used to direct patient flows to different parts of the health care system. The correlation between distance to ED and the tendency to use ED by inhabitants is negative. If secondary care ED was available there were no life-threatening side-effects at the level of general public health when a minor ED was closed in a primary care ED system.
  • Liimatta, Heini A; Lampela, Pekka; Kautiainen, Hannu; Laitinen-Parkkonen, Pirjo; Pitkälä, Kaisu H. (2020)
    Background: We use data from a randomized controlled trial on preventive home visits exploring effectiveness on health-related quality of life. In this article, we examine the intervention's cost-effectiveness and effects on quality-adjusted life years in older home-dwelling adults. Methods: There were 422 independently home-dwelling participants in the randomized, controlled trial, all aged more than 75 years, with equal numbers in the control and intervention groups. The intervention took place in a municipality in Finland and consisted of multiprofessional preventive home visits. We gathered the data on health care and social services use from central registers and medical records during 1 year before the intervention and 2 years after the intervention. We analyzed the total health care and social services use and costs per person-years and the difference in change in health-related quality of life as measured using the 15D measure. We calculated quality-adjusted life years and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. Results: There was no significant difference in baseline use of services or in the total use and costs of health care and social services during the 2-year follow-up between the two groups. In the intervention group, health-related quality of life declined significantly more slowly compared with the control group (-0.015), but there was no significant difference in quality-adjusted life years gained between the groups. The cost-effectiveness plane showed 60% of incremental cost-effectiveness ratios lying in the dominant quadrant, representing additional effects with lower costs. Conclusions: This multiprofessional preventive home visit intervention appears to have positive effects on health-related quality of life without accruing additional costs.
  • Metsärinne, Kaj; Pietilä, Mikko; Kantola, Ilkka; Stenman, Lotta K.; Hätinen, Olli Pekka; Vesikansa, Aino; Poussa, Tuija; Niskanen, Leo (2022)
    Aims: To characterize clinical profiles, prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD), and treatment patterns in type 2 diabetes (T2D) and heart failure (HF) patients in Finnish primary care. Methods: A total of 1385 patients (1196 with T2D, 50 with HF, and 139 with T2D and HF) in 60 Finnish primary care centers were recruited to this cross-sectional study. Data on demographic and clinical characteristics, laboratory measurements, and medications were collected retrospectively from medical records. T2D patients were classified according to their risk of cardiovascular (CV) events as very high-risk (62%) and other patients (38%). Results: Of the T2D patients, 10% (139/1335) had a diagnosis of HF and 42% (457/1090) had stage 3–5 CKD and/or albuminuria based on laboratory measurement. Of the HF patients, 74% (139/189) had T2D and 78% (114/146) had stage 3–5 CKD and/or albuminuria. Metformin was the most frequently used medication in both very high-risk patients (74%) and other patients (86%). SGLT2 inhibitors and/or GLP-1 analogues were used by 37% of very high-risk patients compared to 42% in other patients. Conclusions: The majority of T2D patients in Finnish primary care are at very high risk of cardiovascular events. However, the implementation of treatments with proven cardioprotective effects in very high-risk patients is currently suboptimal.
  • Satokangas, Markku; Lumme, Sonja; Arffman, Martti; Keskimaki, Ilmo (2019)
    Background Due to stagnating resources and an increase in staff workload, the quality of Finnish primary health care (PHC) is claimed to have deteriorated slowly. With a decentralised PHC organisation and lack of national stewardship, it is likely that municipalities have adopted different coping strategies, predisposing them to geographic disparities. To assess whether these disparities emerge, we analysed health centre area trajectories in hospitalisations due to ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSCs). Methods ACSCs, a proxy for PHC quality, comprises conditions in which hospitalisation could be avoided by timely care. We obtained ACSCs of the total Finnish population aged >= 20 for the years 1996-2013 from the Finnish Hospital Discharge Register, and divided them into subgroups of acute, chronic and vaccine-preventable causes, and calculated annual age-standardised ACSC rates by gender in health centre areas. Using these rates, we conducted trajectory analyses for identifying health centre area clusters using group-based trajectory modelling. Further, we applied area-level factors to describe the distribution of health centre areas on these trajectories. Results Three trajectories - and thus separate clusters of health centre areas - emerged with different levels and trends of ACSC rates. During the study period, chronic ACSC rates decreased (40-63%) within each of the clusters, acute ACSC rates remained stable and vaccine-preventable ACSC rates increased (1-41%). While disparities in rate differences in chronic ACSC rates between trajectories narrowed, in the two other ACSC subgroups they increased. Disparities in standardised rate ratios increased in vaccine-preventable and acute ACSC rates between northern cluster and the two other clusters. Compared to the south-western cluster, 13-16% of health centre areas, in rural northern cluster, had 47-92% higher ACSC rates - but also the highest level of morbidity, most limitations on activities of daily living and highest PHC inpatient ward usage as well as the lowest education levels and private health and dental care usage. Conclusions We identified three differing trajectories of time trends for ACSC rates, suggesting that the quality of care, particularly in northern Finland health centre areas, may have lagged behind the general improvements. This calls for further investments to strengthen rural area PHC.
  • Satokangas, Markku; Lumme, Sonja; Arffman, Martti; Keskimäki, Ilmo (BioMed Central, 2019)
    Abstract Background Due to stagnating resources and an increase in staff workload, the quality of Finnish primary health care (PHC) is claimed to have deteriorated slowly. With a decentralised PHC organisation and lack of national stewardship, it is likely that municipalities have adopted different coping strategies, predisposing them to geographic disparities. To assess whether these disparities emerge, we analysed health centre area trajectories in hospitalisations due to ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSCs). Methods ACSCs, a proxy for PHC quality, comprises conditions in which hospitalisation could be avoided by timely care. We obtained ACSCs of the total Finnish population aged ≥20 for the years 1996–2013 from the Finnish Hospital Discharge Register, and divided them into subgroups of acute, chronic and vaccine-preventable causes, and calculated annual age-standardised ACSC rates by gender in health centre areas. Using these rates, we conducted trajectory analyses for identifying health centre area clusters using group-based trajectory modelling. Further, we applied area-level factors to describe the distribution of health centre areas on these trajectories. Results Three trajectories – and thus separate clusters of health centre areas – emerged with different levels and trends of ACSC rates. During the study period, chronic ACSC rates decreased (40–63%) within each of the clusters, acute ACSC rates remained stable and vaccine-preventable ACSC rates increased (1–41%). While disparities in rate differences in chronic ACSC rates between trajectories narrowed, in the two other ACSC subgroups they increased. Disparities in standardised rate ratios increased in vaccine-preventable and acute ACSC rates between northern cluster and the two other clusters. Compared to the south-western cluster, 13–16% of health centre areas, in rural northern cluster, had 47–92% higher ACSC rates – but also the highest level of morbidity, most limitations on activities of daily living and highest PHC inpatient ward usage as well as the lowest education levels and private health and dental care usage. Conclusions We identified three differing trajectories of time trends for ACSC rates, suggesting that the quality of care, particularly in northern Finland health centre areas, may have lagged behind the general improvements. This calls for further investments to strengthen rural area PHC.