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1.
BMJ Open ; 11(11): e047829, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1508363

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Despite available effective treatments for mental health disorders, few patients in need receive even the most basic care. Integrated telepsychiatry services may be a viable option to increase access to mental healthcare. The aim of this qualitative process evaluation embedded in a randomised controlled feasibility trial was to explore health providers' experiences with a mental healthcare model integrating mental health specialist video consultations (MHSVC) and primary care. METHODS: A qualitative process evaluation focusing on MHSVC in primary care was conducted. In 13 semistructured interviews, we assessed the experience of all mental health specialists, primary care physicians and medical assistants who participated in the trial. A thematic analysis, focusing on the implementation, mechanisms of impact and context, was applied to investigate the data. RESULTS: Considering (1) the implementation, participants evaluated the consultations as feasible, easy to use and time saving. Concerning (2) the mechanisms of impact, the consultations were regarded as effective for patients. Providers attributed the patients' improvements to two key aspects: the familiarity of the primary care practice and the fast access to specialist mental healthcare. Mental health specialists observed trustful therapeutic alliances emerging and described their experience as comparable to same-room care. However, compared with same-room care, specialists perceived the video consultations as more challenging and sometimes more exhausting due to the additional effort required for establishing therapeutic alliances. Regarding (3) the intervention's context, shorter travel distances for patients positively affected the implementation, while technical failures, that is, poor Internet connectivity, emerged as the main barrier. CONCLUSIONS: MHSVCs in primary care are feasible and successful in improving access to mental healthcare for patients. To optimise engagement and comfort of both patients and health providers, future work should focus on empirical determinants for establishing robust therapeutic alliances with patients receiving MHSVC (eg, leveraging non-verbal cues for therapeutic purposes). TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: DRKS00015812; Results.


Subject(s)
Psychiatry , Telemedicine , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Mental Health , Primary Health Care , Referral and Consultation
3.
Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes ; 165: 58-67, 2021 Oct.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454592

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the German health system has faced major challenges since spring 2020. In addition to restrictions in the inpatient health care sector, the maintenance of outpatient care by health care providers has also been affected by the pandemic-related restrictions. Both a decline in treatment frequencies and temporary practice closures have been observed. The aim of the study was to survey the work and care situation in outpatient physiotherapy practices during the first wave of the pandemic. METHODS: An anonymous online survey including quantitative and qualitative items was conducted among physiotherapists in the outpatient sector in Germany between June 1 and August 31, 2020. The survey is part of the mixed-methods study "ArTheCo", which was conducted throughout Germany including outpatient therapists and patients in physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy. RESULTS: In total, 577 physiotherapists from all over Germany took part in the survey. During the first wave of the pandemic, the occupancy rate fell below 50% at 45% of the facilities. 15% of the facilities had to close temporarily. Short-time work was announced at 58% of the respondents' practices. This and the implementation of hygiene measures restricted the provision of physiotherapy. This mainly affected patients with a higher risk of a severe clinical course of disease, such as nursing home patients. Due to complex changes in practice organisation and patient care, many of the interviewees felt that their economic existence was threatened and also described a large physical and psychological burden. Existing dissatisfaction seemed to have increased by the pandemic. DISCUSSION: To maintain continuous physical therapy, a reorganisation of the reimbursement system as well as easily accessible, consistent and feasible action plans for practices are needed. In combination with threats to existence due to the pandemic and increasing skill shortage, the outpatient physiotherapeutic care also appears to be threatened beyond the pandemic. CONCLUSION: The current pandemic has highlighted long-standing challenges causing dissatisfaction and making the profession increasingly unattractive for some of the respondents. Political action to support physiotherapists needs to be initiated. This study indicates potential starting points.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Germany , Humans , Outpatients , Physical Therapy Modalities , SARS-CoV-2
4.
BMC Fam Pract ; 22(1): 86, 2021 05 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216880

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic various ambulatory health care models (SARS-CoV-2 contact points: Subspecialised Primary Care Practices, Fever Clinics, and Special Places for Corona-Testing) were organised in a short period in Baden-Wuerttemberg, a region in Southern Germany. The aim of these SARS-CoV-2 contact points was to ensure medical treatment for patients with (suspected) and without SARS-CoV-2 infection. The present study aimed to assess the beliefs and practices of primary care physicians who either led a Subspecialised Primary Care Practice or a Primary Care Practice providing care as usual in Baden-Wuerttemberg during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: This cross-sectional study was based on a paper-based questionnaire in primary care physicians during the first wave of the pandemic. Participants were identified via the web page of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians Baden-Wuerttemberg. The questionnaire was distributed in June and July 2020. It measured knowledge, practices, self-efficacy and fears towards SARS-CoV-2, using newly developed questions. Data was descriptively analysed. RESULTS: One hundred fifty-five participants (92 leads of SARS-CoV-2 contact points/ 63 leads of primary care practices) completed the questionnaire. Out of 92 leads of SARS-CoV-2 contact points 74 stated to lead n Subspecialised Primary Care Practices. About half participants of both groups did not fear an own infection with the novel virus (between 50.8% and 62.2%), however about 75% feared financial loss. Knowledge was gained using various sources; main sources were the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (between 82.5% and 83.8%) and the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology (RKI) (between 88.9% and 95.9%). Leads of Subspecialised Primary Care Practice felt more confident to perform anamnestic/diagnostic procedures (p < 0.001). The same was found for the confidence level regarding decision-making concerning the further treatment (p < 0.001). Several prevention measures to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 were adopted. Subspecialised Primary Care Practice had treated on average more patients with (suspected) COVID-19 (mean 408.12) than primary care practices (mean 83.8) (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest that the Subspecialised Primary Care Practice that were implemented during the first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic contributed containment of the pandemic. Leads of Subspecialised Primary Care Practice indicated that physical separation of patients with potential SARS-CoV-2 infection was easier compared to those who continued working in their own practice. Additionally, leads of Subspecialised Primary Care Practice felt more confident in dealing with patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study has been prospectively registered at the German Clinical Trial Register (DRKS00022224).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Physicians, Primary Care/psychology , Adult , Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19/therapy , Cross-Sectional Studies , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Medicine/organization & administration , Middle Aged , Physicians, Primary Care/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires
5.
Gesundheitswesen ; 83(4): 250-257, 2021 Apr.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142493

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to give an early snapshot of primary care strategies that were implemented to cope with the early period of the COVID-19 pandemic in Baden-Wuerttemberg (Germany). METHODS: In June 2020, all 271 outpatient SARS-CoV-2 contact points, established by the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (16 centers for testing, 204 specialized family practices, 51 Outpatients Corona Centers), and a randomly generated sample of 400 primary care practices of Baden-Wuerttemberg were invited to take part in a paper-based questionnaire. The data were gathered anonymously and analysed descriptively. RESULTS: Out of those invited, n=63 (15.8%) primary care practices and n=92 (33.9%) SARS-CoV-2 contact points participated; 78.7% of the primary care practices cooperated with SARS-CoV-2 contact points (n=48). In all, 92.1% had implemented a compulsory registration by phone for patients with (suspected) COVID-19 (n=58) and 81% offered consultation exclusively by phone or video in case of a mild courses (n=51). The new outpatient SARS-CoV-2 contact points were established in collaboration with several stakeholders, mainly led by primary care physicians (n=76, 82.6%) and almost 50% of these were established in March 2020 (n=42, 48.3%). The most commonly reported method of registration was regulated mainly by primary care practices (n=88, 95.7%) and public health departments (n=74, 80.4%). In 92.4% (n=85) of cases, it was possible to register by phone. The consultation response was most commonly given in the form of oral information to the patient (n=65, 77.4%). Less then 50% of the SARS-CoV-2 contact points used standardized sheets for registration, documentation and consultation. The assessment of future primary care structures for (suspected) COVID-19 patients were heterogeneous. CONCLUSIONS: Effort, improvisation and collaboration were required for a successful and rapid implementation of measures for primary care during the initial period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Impulses for ongoing development of primary care strategies during a pandemic can be derived out of these results.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Implement Sci ; 15(1): 42, 2020 06 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-574777

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2/Covid-19 affects all of us and is associated with rapid and massive changes in healthcare and societies. As a response, a range of interventions for patients and populations have been implemented in health and preventive settings, or need to be implemented in the short and long term. Implementation science offers a multidisciplinary perspective and systematic approach for the design, evaluation and analysis of programmes and policies to enhance implementation. The emergence of Covid-19 provides an urgent need to develop new perspectives and approaches in implementation science, such as the addition of innovative and rigorous approaches to the collection, use and analysis of 'real-world' data. Above all, we hope that implementation scientists will focus on what they can contribute to manage Covid-19 and its consequences for people, healthcare and society.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Implementation Science , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Data Collection , Data Interpretation, Statistical , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/organization & administration
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