46 results found
Basu S, Hone T, Villela D, et al., 2021, The contribution of primary care expansion to Sustainable Development Goal Three for health: A microsimulation of the fifteen largest cities in Brazil, BMJ Open, ISSN: 2044-6055
ObjectivesAs middle-income countries strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it remains unclear to what degree expanding primary care coverage can help achieve those goals and reduce within-country inequalities in mortality. Our objective was to estimate the potential impact of primary care expansion on cause-specific mortality in the 15 largest Brazilian cities.DesignMicrosimulation modelSetting15 largest cities by population size in BrazilParticipantsSimulated populationsInterventionsWe performed survival analysis to estimate hazard ratios of death by cause and by demographic group, from a national administrative database linked to the Estratégia de Saúde da Família (Family Health Strategy, FHS) electronic health and death records among 1.2 million residents of Rio de Janeiro (2010-2016). We incorporated the hazard ratios into a microsimulation to estimate the impact of changing primary care coverage in the 15 largest cities by population size in Brazil.Primary and secondary outcome measuresCrude and age-standardized mortality by cause, infant mortality, and under-5 mortality.ResultsIncreased FHS coverage would be expected to reduce inequalities in mortality among cities (from 2.8 to 2.4 deaths per 1,000 between the highest- and lowest-mortality city, given a 40-percentage point increase in coverage), between welfare recipients and non-recipients (from 1.3 to 1.0 deaths per 1,000), and among race/ethnic groups (between Black and White Brazilians from 1.0 to 0.8 deaths per 1,000). Even a 40-percentage point increase in coverage, however, would be insufficient to reach SDG targets alone, as it would be expected to reduce premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by 20% (versus the target of 33%), and communicable diseases by 15% (versus 100%).ConclusionsFHS primary care coverage may be critically beneficial to reducing within-country health inequalities, but reaching SDG targets will likely require coordination betwe
Seferidi P, Hone T, Duran AC, et al., 2021, Global inequalities in the double burden of malnutrition and associations with globalisation: a multilevel analysis of 55 low- and middle-income countries 1992-2018, The Lancet Global Health, ISSN: 2214-109X
BackgroundLow- and middle-income countries (LMIC) face a double burden of malnutrition (DBM), where overnutrition and undernutrition co-exist within the same individual, household, or population. This analysis investigates global inequalities in household-level DBM, expressed as a stunted child with an overweight mother, and its association with economic, social, and political globalisation across country income and household wealth.MethodsWe pooled anthropometric and demographic data for 1,131,069 children (<5 years) and their mothers (15-49 years), from 189 Demographic and Healthy Surveys in 55 LMICs between 1992-2018. These were combined with country-level data on economic, social, and political globalisation from KOF and gross national income (GNI) from the World Bank. Multi-variate associations between DBM and household wealth, GNI, and globalisation and their interactions were tested using multilevel logistic regression models with country and year fixed-effects and robust standard errors clustered by country.FindingsThe probability of DBM was higher among richer households in poorer LMICs and poorer households in richer LMICs. Economic globalisation was associated with higher odds of DBM among the poorest households (OR: 1.49; 95% CI: 1.20-1.86) compared with the richest. These associations attenuated as GNI increased. Social globalisation was associated with higher odds of DBM (OR: 1.39; 95% CI: 1.16-1.65), independently of household wealth or country income. No associations were identified between political globalisation and DBM.InterpretationIncreases in economic and social globalisation were associated with higher DBM, although the impacts of economic globalisation were mostly realised by the world’s poorest.
Mrejen M, Rocha R, Millett C, et al., 2021, The quality of alternative models of primary health care and morbidity and mortality in Brazil: a national longitudinal analysis, The Lancet Regional Health - Americas, Vol: 4, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 2667-193X
BackgroundEvidence is limited on health benefits from quality improvement of primary healthcare (PHC) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This study investigated whether increasing PHC quality in Brazil with highly-skilled health professionals and integrated community health workers (CHWs) was associated with reductions in hospitalizations and mortality beyond benefits derived from increasing access.MethodsAnnual municipal-level data for 5,411 municipalities between 2000 and 2014 were analysed using fixed effects panel regressions. PHC quality was measured as: i) the proportion of consultations provided by highly-skilled health professionals (doctors and nurses); and ii) the proportion of visits provided by CHWs from multidisciplinary PHC teams. Models assessed associations between PHC quality and hospitalization and mortality from diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), tuberculosis, leprosy, perinatal and maternal causes, and adjusted for PHC access, utilisation, presence of secondary care services, and socioeconomic factors.FindingsA one percentage point increase in the proportion of consultations provided by highly-skilled health professionals was associated with 0•019 fewer deaths from diabetes per 100,000 population (95%CI: -0•034, -0•003; p-value: 0.0167) and 0•029 fewer hospitalizations per 100,000 from leprosy (95%CI: -0•055, -0•002; p-value: 0.0321). A one percentage point increase in the proportion of care provided by CHWs from multidisciplinary PHC teams was associated with 0•025 fewer deaths from CVD per 100,000 (95%CI: -0•050, -0•001; p-value: 0.0442) and 0•148 fewer maternal hospital admissions per 100,000 (95%CI: -0•286, -0•010; p-value: 0.0356). No significant associations were found for the other twenty pairs of exposures and outcomes analysed.InterpretationInvesting in higher-quality PHC models with highly-skilled health professionals and integrated CHWs can deliver reductions in
Shimizu H, Pacheco Santos L, Sanchez M, et al., 2021, Challenges facing the more doctors program (Programa Mais Médicos) in vulnerable and peri-urban areas in Greater Brasilia, Brazil, Human Resources for Health, Vol: 19, Pages: 1-8, ISSN: 1478-4491
BackgroundA shortage of physicians, especially in vulnerable and peri-urban areas, is a global phenomenon that has serious implications for health systems, demanding policies to assure the provision and retention of health workers. The aim of this study was to analyze the strategies employed by the More Doctors Program (Programa Mais Médicos) to provide primary care physicians in vulnerable and peri-urban parts of Greater Brasilia.MethodsThe study used a qualitative approach based on the precepts of social constructivism. Forty-nine semi-structured interviews were conducted: 24 with physicians employed as part of the More Doctors program, five with program medical supervisors, seven with secondary care physicians, twelve with primary care coordinators, and one federal administrator. The interviews occurred between March and September 2019. The transcripts of the interviews were submitted to thematic content analysis.ResultsThe partnership between the Ministry of Health and local authorities was essential for the provision of doctors—especially foreign doctors, most from Cuba, to assist vulnerable population groups previously without access to the health system. There was a notable presence of doctors with experience working with socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, which was important for gaining a better understanding of the effects of the endemic urban violence in the region. The incentives and other institutional support, such as enhanced salaries, training, and housing, transportation, and food allowances, were factors that helped provide a satisfactory working environment. However, the poor state of the infrastructure at some of the primary care units and limitations of the health service as a whole were factors that hampered the provision of comprehensive care, constituting a cause of dissatisfaction.ConclusionsMore Doctors introduced a range of novel strategies that helped ensure a supply of primary care doctors in vulnerable and peri-urb
Pitcairn C, Laverty A, Chan J, et al., 2021, Inequalities in the prevalence of major depressive disorder in Brazilian slum populations: a cross-sectional analysis, Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, Vol: 30, ISSN: 2045-7979
Aims:The mental health of slum residents is under-researched globally, and depression is a significant source of worldwide morbidity. Brazil's large slum-dwelling population is often considered part of a general urban-poor demographic. This study aims to identify the prevalence and distribution of depression in Brazil and compare mental health inequalities between slum and non-slum populations.Methods:Data were obtained from Brazil's 2019 National Health Survey. Slum residence was defined based on the UN-Habitat definition for slums and estimated from survey responses. Doctor-diagnosed depression, Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)-screened depression and presence of undiagnosed depression (PHQ-9-screened depression in the absence of a doctor's diagnosis) were analysed as primary outcomes, alongside depressive symptom severity as a secondary outcome. Prevalence estimates for all outcomes were calculated. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to investigate the association of socioeconomic characteristics, including slum residence, with primary outcomes. Depressive symptom severity was analysed using generalised ordinal logistic regression.Results:Nationally, the prevalence of doctor diagnosed, PHQ-9 screened and undiagnosed depression were 9.9% (95% confidence interval (CI): 9.5–10.3), 10.8% (95% CI: 10.4–11.2) and 6.9% (95% CI: 6.6–7.2), respectively. Slum residents exhibited lower levels of doctor-diagnosed depression than non-slum urban residents (8.6%; 95% CI: 7.9–9.3 v. 10.7%; 95% CI: 10.2–11.2), while reporting similar levels of PHQ-9-screened depression (11.3%; 95% CI: 10.4–12.1 v. 11.3%; 95% CI: 10.8–11.8). In adjusted regression models, slum residence was associated with a lower likelihood of doctor diagnosed (adjusted odds ratio (adjusted OR): 0.87; 95% CI: 0.77–0.97) and PHQ-9-screened depression (adjusted OR: 0.87; 95% CI: 0.78–0.97). Slum residents showed a greater likelihood of report
Jawad M, Hone T, Vamos EP, et al., 2021, Implications of armed conflict for maternal and child health: A regression analysis of data from 181 countries for 2000-2019, PLoS Medicine, Vol: 18, ISSN: 1549-1277
BACKGROUND: Armed conflicts have major indirect health impacts in addition to the direct harms from violence. They create enduring political instability, destabilise health systems, and foster negative socioeconomic and environmental conditions-all of which constrain efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality. The detrimental impacts of conflict on global maternal and child health are not robustly quantified. This study assesses the association between conflict and maternal and child health globally. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Data for 181 countries (2000-2019) from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program and World Bank were analysed using panel regression models. Primary outcomes were maternal, under-5, infant, and neonatal mortality rates. Secondary outcomes were delivery by a skilled birth attendant and diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (DPT) and measles vaccination coverage. Models were adjusted for 10 confounders, country and year fixed effects, and conflict lagged by 1 year. Further lagged associations up to 10 years post-conflict were tested. The number of excess deaths due to conflict was estimated. Out of 3,718 country-year observations, 522 (14.0%) had minor conflicts and 148 (4.0%) had wars. In adjusted models, conflicts classified as wars were associated with an increase in maternal mortality of 36.9 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births (95% CI 1.9-72.0; 0.3 million excess deaths [95% CI 0.2 million-0.4 million] over the study period), an increase in infant mortality of 2.8 per 1,000 live births (95% CI 0.1-5.5; 2.0 million excess deaths [95% CI 1.6 million-2.5 million]), a decrease in DPT vaccination coverage of 4.9% (95% CI 1.5%-8.3%), and a decrease in measles vaccination coverage of 7.3% (95% CI 2.7%-11.8%). The long-term impacts of war were demonstrated by associated increases in maternal mortality observed for up to 7 years, in under-5 mortality for 3-5 years, in infant mortality for up to 8 years, in DPT vaccination coverage for up to 3 years, and in
Bexson C, Millett C, Pacheco Santos LM, et al., 2021, Brazil’s more doctors programme and infant health outcomes: a longitudinal analysis, Human Resources for Health, Vol: 19, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 1478-4491
BackgroundProviding sufficient numbers of human resources for health is essential for effective and accessible health services. Between 2013 and 2018, the Brazilian Ministry of Health implemented the Programa Mais Médicos (PMM) (More Doctors Programme) to increase the supply of primary care doctors in underserved areas of the country. This study investigated the association between PMM and infant health outcomes and assessed if heterogeneity in the impact of PMM varied by municipal socioeconomic factors and health indicators.MethodsAn ecological longitudinal (panel) study design was employed to analyse data from 5,565 Brazilian municipalities over a 12-year period between 2007 and 2018. A differences-in-differences approach was implemented using longitudinal fixed effect regression models to compare infant health outcomes in municipalities receiving a PMM doctor with those that did not receive a PMM doctor. The impact of PMM was assessed on aggregate and in municipality subgroups. ResultsOn aggregate, the PMM was not significantly associated with changes in infant or neonatal mortality, but the PMM was associated with reductions in IMR (of -0.21; 95% CI: -0.38,-0.03) in municipalities with highest IMR prior to the programme’s implementation (where IMR >25.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births). The PMM was also associated with an increase in the proportion of expectant mothers receiving seven or more prenatal care visits but only in municipalities with a lower IMR at baseline and high density of non-PMM doctors and community health workers before the PMM.ConclusionsThe PMM was associated with reduced infant mortality in municipalities with the highest infant mortality rate prior to the programme. This suggests effectiveness of the PMM was limited only to the areas of greatest need. New programmes to improve the equitable provision of human resources for health should employ comprehensive targeting approaches balancing health needs and socioeconomic
Gaspar RS, Rossi L, Hone T, et al., 2021, Income inequality and non-communicable disease mortality and morbidity in Brazil States: a longitudinal analysis 2002-2017, The Lancet Regional Health - Americas, Pages: 100042-100042, ISSN: 2667-193X
Hone T, Stokes J, Trajman A, et al., 2021, Racial and socioeconomic disparities in multimorbidity and associated healthcare utilisation and outcomes in Brazil: a cross-sectional analysis of three million individuals, BMC Public Health, Vol: 21, ISSN: 1471-2458
Background:Evidence is limited on racial/ethnic group disparities in multimorbidity and associated health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries hampering effective policies and clinical interventions to address health inequalities.Methods:This study assessed race/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in the prevalence of multimorbidity and associated healthcare utilisation, costs and death in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A cross-sectional analysis was carried out of 3,027,335 individuals registered with primary healthcare (PHC) services. Records included linked data to hospitalisation, mortality, and welfare-claimant (Bolsa Família) records between 1 Jan 2012 and 31 Dec 2016. Logistic and Poisson regression models were carried out to assess the likelihood of multimorbidity (two or more diagnoses out of 53 chronic conditions), PHC use, hospital admissions and mortality from any cause. Interactions were used to assess disparities.Results:In total 13,509,633 healthcare visits were analysed identifying 389,829 multimorbid individuals (13%). In adjusted regression models, multimorbidity was associated with lower education (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR): 1.26; 95%CI: 1.23,1.29; compared to higher education), Bolsa Família receipt (AOR: 1.14; 95%CI: 1.13,1.15; compared to non-recipients); and black race/ethnicity (AOR: 1.05; 95%CI: 1.03,1.06; compared to white). Multimorbidity was associated with more hospitalisations (Adjusted Rate Ratio (ARR): 2.75; 95%CI: 2.69,2.81), more PHC visits (ARR: 3.46; 95%CI: 3.44,3.47), and higher likelihood of death (AOR: 1.33; 95%CI: 1.29,1.36). These associations were greater for multimorbid individuals with lower educational attainment (five year probability of death 1.67% (95%CI: 1.61,1.74%) compared to 1.13% (95%CI: 1.02,1.23%) for higher education), individuals of black race/ethnicity (1.48% (95%CI: 1.41,1.55%) compared to 1.35% (95%CI: 1.31,1.40%) for white) and individuals in receipt of welfare (1.89% (95%CI: 1.77,2.00%) co
Alves LC, Sanchez MN, Hone T, et al., 2021, The association between a conditional cash transfer programme and malaria incidence: a longitudinal ecological study in the Brazilian Amazon between 2004 and 2015, BMC Public Health, Vol: 21, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 1471-2458
BackgroundMalaria causes 400 thousand deaths worldwide annually. In 2018, 25% (187,693) of the total malaria cases in the Americas were in Brazil, with nearly all (99%) Brazilian cases in the Amazon region. The Bolsa Família Programme (BFP) is a conditional cash transfer (CCT) programme launched in 2003 to reduce poverty and has led to improvements in health outcomes. CCT programmes may reduce the burden of malaria by alleviating poverty and by promoting access to healthcare, however this relationship is underexplored. This study investigated the association between BFP coverage and malaria incidence in Brazil.MethodsA longitudinal panel study was conducted of 807 municipalities in the Brazilian Amazon between 2004 and 2015. Negative binomial regression models adjusted for demographic and socioeconomic covariates and time trends were employed with fixed effects specifications.ResultsA one percentage point increase in municipal BFP coverage was associated with a 0.3% decrease in the incidence of malaria (RR = 0.997; 95% CI = 0.994–0.998). The average municipal BFP coverage increased 24 percentage points over the period 2004–2015 corresponding to be a reduction of 7.2% in the malaria incidence.ConclusionsHigher coverage of the BFP was associated with a reduction in the incidence of malaria. CCT programmes should be encouraged in endemic regions for malaria in order to mitigate the impact of disease and poverty itself in these settings.
Coeli CM, Saraceni V, Mota Medeiros Jr P, et al., 2021, Record linkage under suboptimal conditions for data-intensive evaluation of primary care in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, Vol: 21, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 1472-6947
BackgroundLinking Brazilian databases demands the development of algorithms and processes to deal with various challenges including the large size of the databases, the low number and poor quality of personal identifiers available to be compared (national security number not mandatory), and some characteristics of Brazilian names that make the linkage process prone to errors. This study aims to describe and evaluate the quality of the processes used to create an individual-linked database for data-intensive research on the impacts on health indicators of the expansion of primary care in Rio de Janeiro City, Brazil.MethodsWe created an individual-level dataset linking social benefits recipients, primary health care, hospital admission and mortality data. The databases were pre-processed, and we adopted a multiple approach strategy combining deterministic and probabilistic record linkage techniques, and an extensive clerical review of the potential matches. Relying on manual review as the gold standard, we estimated the false match (false-positive) proportion of each approach (deterministic, probabilistic, clerical review) and the missed match proportion (false-negative) of the clerical review approach. To assess the sensitivity (recall) to identifying social benefits recipients’ deaths, we used their vital status registered on the primary care database as the gold standard.ResultsIn all linkage processes, the deterministic approach identified most of the matches. However, the proportion of matches identified in each approach varied. The false match proportion was around 1% or less in almost all approaches. The missed match proportion in the clerical review approach of all linkage processes were under 3%. We estimated a recall of 93.6% (95% CI 92.8–94.3) for the linkage between social benefits recipients and mortality data.ConclusionThe adoption of a linkage strategy combining pre-processing routines, deterministic, and probabilistic strategies, as well as
Siqueira M, Coube M, Millett C, et al., 2021, The impacts of health systems financing fragmentation in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review protocol, Systematic Reviews, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2046-4053
BackgroundHealth systems are often fragmented in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This can increase inefficiencies and restrict progress towards universal health coverage. The objective of the systematic review described in this protocol will be to evaluate and synthesize the evidence concerning the impacts of health systems financing fragmentation in LMICs.MethodsLiterature searches will be conducted in multiple electronic databases, from their inception onwards, including MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS, CINAHL, Scopus, ScienceDirect, Scielo, Cochrane Library, EconLit, and JSTOR. Gray literature will be also targeted through searching OpenSIGLE, Google Scholar, and institutional websites (e.g., HMIC, The World Bank, WHO, PAHO, OECD). The search strings will include keywords related to LMICs, health system financing fragmentation, and health system goals. Experimental, quasi-experimental, and observational studies conducted in LMICs and examining health financing fragmentation across any relevant metric (e.g., the presence of different health funders/insurers, risk pooling mechanisms, eligibility categories, benefits packages, premiums) will be included. Studies will be eligible if they compare financing fragmentation in alternative settings or at least two-time points. The primary outcomes will be health system-related goals such as health outcomes (e.g., mortality, morbidity, patient-reported outcome measures) and indicators of access, services utilization, equity, and financial risk protection. Additional outcomes will include intermediate health system objectives (e.g., indicators of efficiency and quality). Two reviewers will independently screen all citations, abstract data, and full-text articles. Potential conflicts will be resolved through discussion and, when necessary, resolved by a third reviewer. The methodological quality (or risk of bias) of selected studies will be appraised using established checklists. Data extraction categories will include the
Laverty AA, Hone T, Goodman A, et al., 2021, Associations of active travel with adiposity among children and socioeconomic differentials: a longitudinal study, BMJ Open, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 2044-6055
Objectives Examine longitudinal associations between modes of travel to school and adiposity.Setting The UK.Participants 8432 children surveyed at ages 7, 11 and 14 years from the UK Millennium Cohort Study.Primary and secondary outcomes Objective percentage body fat and body mass index (BMI). Transport mode was categorised as private motorised transport, public transport and active transport (walking or cycling). Socioeconomic position (SEP) was measured by household income group and occupational social class. We adjusted analyses for changes in the country of UK, frequency of eating breakfast, self-reported growth spurts, hours of screen time and days per week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Longitudinal (panel) regression models adjusting for individual fixed effects examined associations in changes in mode of travel to school and adiposity, controlling for both time-varying and time-invariant potential confounders. Interaction tests and stratified analyses investigated differences by markers of SEP.Results At age 14 years, 26.1% of children (2198) reported using private motorised transport, 35.3% (2979) used public transport and 38.6% (3255) used active transport to get to school. 36.6% (3083) of children changed mode two times between the three waves and 50.7% (4279) changed once. Compared with continuing to use private transport, switching to active transport was associated with a lower BMI (−0.21 kg/m2, 95% CI −0.31 to −0.10) and body fat (−0.55%, 95% CI −0.80% to −0.31%). Switching to public transport was associated with lower percentage body fat (−0.43%, 95% CI −0.75% to −0.12%), but associations with BMI did not reach statistical significance (−0.13 kg/m2, 95% CI −0.26 to 0.01). Interaction tests showed a trend for these effects to be stronger in more deprived groups, but these interactions did not reach statistical significance.Conclusion This longitudinal study during a key life
Paes-Sousa R, Millett C, Rocha R, et al., 2020, Science misuse and polarised political narratives in the COVID-19 response, The Lancet, Vol: 396, Pages: 1635-1636, ISSN: 0140-6736
Hone T, Saraceni V, Coeli CM, et al., 2020, Primary health care expansion and mortality in Brazil’s urban poor: a cohort analysis of 1.2 million adults, PLoS Medicine, Vol: 17, Pages: 1-20, ISSN: 1549-1277
BackgroundExpanding delivery of primary health care to urban poor populations is a priority in many low-and middle-income countries. This remains a key challenge in Brazil despite expansion of the country’s internationally recognised Family Health Strategy (FHS) over the past two decades. This study evaluates the impact of an ambitious program to rapidly expand FHS coverage in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil since 2008. Methods and FindingsA cohort of 1,241,351 million low-income adults (observed January 2010-December 2016; total person-years 6,498,607) with linked FHS utilisation and mortality records was analysed using flexible parametric survival models. Time-to-death from all-causes and selected causes were estimated for FHS users and non-users. Models employed inverse probability treatment weighting and regression adjustment (IPTW-RA).The cohort was 61% female (751,895) and had a mean age of 36 years (standard deviation 16.4). Only 18,721 individuals (1.5%) had higher education whilst 102,899 (8%) had no formal education. Two-thirds of individuals (827250; 67%) were in receipt of conditional cash transfers (Bolsa Família). A total of 34,091 deaths were analysed of which 8,765 (26%) were due to cardiovascular disease, 5,777 (17%) due to neoplasms, 5,683 (17%) due to external causes, 3,152 (9%) due to respiratory diseases, and 3,115 (9%) due to infectious and parasitic diseases. One third of the cohort (467,155; 37.6%) used FHS services. In IPTW-RA survival analysis, an average FHS user had a 44% lower hazard of all-cause mortality (HR: 0.56, 95%CI: 0.54 to 0.59, p<0.001) and a five-year risk reduction of 8.3 per 1000 (95%CI: 7.8 to 8.9, p<0.001) compared to a non-FHS user. There were greater reductions in the risk of death for FHS users who: were black (HR:0.50 (95%CI: 0.46 to 0.54, p<0.001)) or pardo (HR:0.57 (95%CI: 0.54 to 0.60, p<0.001) compared to white (HR:0.59 (95%CI: 0.56 to 0.63, p<0.001); had lower educational attainment
Hone T, Powell-Jackon T, Santos LMP, et al., 2020, Impact of the Programa Mais médicos (more doctors Programme) on primary care doctor supply and amenable mortality: quasi-experimental study of 5565 Brazilian municipalities, BMC Health Services Research, Vol: 20, ISSN: 1472-6963
BackgroundInvesting in human resources for health (HRH) is vital for achieving universal health care and the Sustainable Development Goals. The Programa Mais Médicos (PMM) (More Doctors Programme) provided 17,000 doctors, predominantly from Cuba, to work in Brazilian primary care. This study assesses whether PMM doctor allocation to municipalities was consistent with programme criteria and associated impacts on amenable mortality.MethodsDifference-in-differences regression analysis, exploiting variation in PMM introduction across 5565 municipalities over the period 2008–2017, was employed to examine programme impacts on doctor density and mortality amenable to healthcare. Heterogeneity in effects was explored with respect to doctor allocation criteria and municipal doctor density prior to PMM introduction.ResultsAfter starting in 2013, PMM was associated with an increase in PMM-contracted primary care doctors of 15.1 per 100,000 population. However, largescale substitution of existing primary care doctors resulting in a net increase of only 5.7 per 100,000. Increases in both PMM and total primary care doctors were lower in priority municipalities due to lower allocation of PMM doctors and greater substitution effects. The PMM led to amenable mortality reductions of − 1.06 per 100,000 (95%CI: − 1.78 to − 0.34) annually – with greater benefits in municipalities prioritised for doctor allocation and where doctor density was low before programme implementation.ConclusionsPMM potential health benefits were undermined due to widespread allocation of doctors to non-priority areas and local substitution effects. Policies seeking to strengthen HRH should develop and implement needs-based criteria for resource allocation.
Jawad M, Hone T, Vamos E, et al., 2020, Estimating indirect mortality impacts of armed conflict in civilian populations: panel regression analyses of 193 countries, 1990-2017, BMC Medicine, Vol: 266, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 1741-7015
BackgroundArmed conflict can indirectly affect population health through detrimental impacts on political and social institutions and destruction of infrastructure. This study aimed to quantify indirect mortality impacts of armed conflict in civilian populations globally, and explore differential effects by armed conflict characteristics and population groups.Methods We included 193 countries between 1990 and 2017 and constructed fixed effects panel regression models using data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program and Global Burden of Disease study. Mortality rates were corrected to exclude battle-related deaths. We assessed separately four different armed conflict variables (capturing binary, continuous, categorical and quintile exposures) and ran models by cause-specific mortality stratified by age groups and sex. Post-estimation analyses calculated the number of civilian deaths. ResultsWe identified 1,118 unique armed conflicts. Armed conflict was associated with increases in civilian mortality - driven by conflicts categorised as wars. Wars were associated with an increase in age-standardised all-cause mortality of 81.5 per 100.000 population (β 81.5, 95% CI 14.3-148.8) in adjusted models contributing 29.4 million civilian deaths (95% CI 22.1-36.6) globally over the study period. Mortality rates from communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases (β 51.3, 95% CI 2.6-99.9), non-communicable diseases (β 22.7, 95% CI 0.2-45.2) and injuries (β 7.6, 95% CI 3.4-11.7) associated with war increased, contributing 21.0 million (95% CI 16.3-25.6), 6.0 million (95% CI 4.1-8.0), and 2.4 million deaths (95% CI 1.7-3.1) respectively. War-associated increases in all-cause and cause-specific mortality were found across all age groups and both genders, but children aged 0-5 years had the largest relative increases in mortality. Conclusions Armed conflict, particularly war, is associated with a substantial indirect mortality impact among civilians
Laverty A, Hone T, Vamos EP, et al., 2020, Impact of banning smoking in cars with children on exposure to second-hand smoke: a natural experiment in England and Scotland, Thorax, Vol: 75, Pages: 345-347, ISSN: 0040-6376
England banned smoking in cars carrying children in 2015 and Scotland in 2016. With survey data from three years for both countries (NEngland=3,483-6,920,NScotland=232-319), we used this natural experiment to assess impacts of the English ban using logistic regression within a difference-in-differences framework. Among children aged 13-15 years, self-reported levels of regular exposure to smoke in cars were 3.4% in 2012, 2.2% in 2014 and 1.3% in 2016 for Scotland and 6.3%, 5.9% and 1.6% in England. The ban in England was associated with a -4.1% (95%CI -4.9%;-3.3%) absolute reduction (72% relative reduction) in exposure to tobacco smoke among children.
Shimizu HE, Santos LMP, Sanchez MN, et al., 2020, Percepções acerca do Programa Mais Médicos e do Processo de Supervisão Acadêmica, Revista Brasileira de Educação Médica, Vol: 44, ISSN: 0100-5502
<jats:p>Abstract: Introduction: This study aims to analyze the perceptions of the involved actors about the “Mais Médicos” Program (PMM) and the academic supervision process, its strengths and weaknesses aiming to improve Primary Heath Care practices. Method: Qualitative study carried out through 05 in-depth interviews with PMM supervising doctors, and 24 interviews with unit managers, 12 Primary Heath Care coordinators, and 07 Secondary Health Care doctors. Results: Three thematic axes emerged from de analysis: benefits of the program for the municipalities and for the population; the challenges of the supervisory process and the difficulties of the fragmented health system. Conclusions: The actors’ perception of the “Mais Médicos” Program are positive, especially because it brought doctors to municipalities with vulnerable areas, where doctors did not go to and where they did not stay. Supervision is an important support for continuing in-service training; however, it requires a better articulation with the different levels of the health system management. The precariousness of the service network limits the performance of both doctors and supervisors, demonstrating that it is necessary to invest in a solid and effective care network. Moreover, it was once again evident that the population will face a shortage of doctors due to changes in health policies. It is necessary to build more comprehensive policies, that will not only result in sporadic provision of medical care. There is a need for continuous actions, better integrated to the healthcare networks, aiming at an efficient and effective healthcare system.</jats:p>
Shimizu HE, Leonor Maria PS, Mauro Niskier S, et al., 2020, Perceptions about the “Mais Médicos” Program and the Academic Supervision Process, Revista Brasileira de Educação Médica, ISSN: 0100-5502
Hone T, Mirelman AJ, Rasella D, et al., 2019, Effect of economic recession and impact of health and social protection expenditures on adult mortality: a longitudinal analysis of 5565 Brazilian municipalities, The Lancet Global Health, Vol: 7, Pages: E1575-E1583, ISSN: 2214-109X
BackgroundEconomic recession might worsen health in low-income and middle-income countries with precarious job markets and weak social protection systems. Between 2014–16, a major economic crisis occurred in Brazil. We aimed to assess the association between economic recession and adult mortality in Brazil and to ascertain whether health and social welfare programmes in the country had a protective effect against the negative impact of this recession.MethodsIn this longitudinal analysis, we obtained data from the Brazilian Ministry of Health, the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics, the Ministry of Social Development and Fight Against Hunger, and the Information System for the Public Budget in Health to assess changes in state unemployment level and mortality among adults (aged ≥15 years) in Brazil between 2012 and 2017. Outcomes were municipal all-cause and cause-specific mortality rates for all adults and across population subgroups stratified by age, sex, and race. We used fixed-effect panel regression models with quarterly timepoints to assess the association between recession and changes in mortality. Mortality and unemployment rates were detrended using Hodrick–Prescott filters to assess cyclical variation and control for underlying trends. We tested interactions between unemployment and terciles of municipal social protection and health-care expenditure to assess whether the relationship between unemployment and mortality varied.FindingsBetween 2012 and 2017, 7 069 242 deaths were recorded among adults (aged ≥15 years) in 5565 municipalities in Brazil. During this time period, the mean crude municipal adult mortality rate increased by 8·0% from 143·1 deaths per 100 000 in 2012 to 154·5 deaths per 100 000 in 2017. An increase in unemployment rate of 1 percentage-point was associated with a 0·50 increase per 100 000 population per rter (95% CI 0·09–0·91) in all-cause mortality, mainl
Souza LEPFD, Barros RDD, Barreto ML, et al., 2019, The potential impact of austerity on attainment of the sustainable development goals in Brazil, BMJ Global Health, Vol: 4, ISSN: 2059-7908
In the recent decades, Brazil has outperformed comparable countries in its progress toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals. Many of these improvements have been driven by investments in health and social policies. In this article, we aim to identify potential impacts of austerity policies in Brazil on the chances of achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and its consequences for population health. Austerity’s anticipated impacts are assessed by analysing the change in federal spending on different budget programmes from 2014 to 2017. We collected budget data made publicly available by the Senate. Among the selected 19 programmes, only 4 had their committed budgets increased, in real terms, between 2014 and 2017. The total amount of extra money committed to these four programmes in 2017, above that committed in 2014, was small (BR$9.7 billion). Of the 15 programmes that had budget cuts in the period from 2014 to 2017, the total decrease amounted to BR$60.2 billion (US$15.3 billion). In addition to the overall large budget reduction, it is noteworthy that the largest proportional reductions were in programmes targeted at more vulnerable populations. In conclusion, it seems clear that the current austerity policies in Brazil will probably damage the population’s health and increase inequities, and that the possibility of meeting SDG targets is lower in 2018 than it was in 2015.
Hone T, Gómez-Dantés O, 2019, Broadening universal health coverage for children in Mexico, The Lancet Global Health, Vol: 7, Pages: e1308-e1309, ISSN: 2214-109X
Castro M, Massuda A, Almeida G, et al., 2019, Brazil's unified health system: the first 30 years and prospects for the future, Lancet, Vol: 394, Pages: 345-356, ISSN: 0140-6736
In 1988, Brazilian Constitution definedhealth as a universal right and stateresponsibility. Progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) has been achievedthrough a Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde, SUS)which was created in 1990. Withsuccesses and setbacksin the implementation of health programmes and organization of its health system, Brazil has achieved nearly-universal access to health servicesfor her citizens. Thetrajectory of the development and expansion of the SUS offers valuable lessons on how to scale UHC in a health system in a highly-unequal country and relatively low resources. Theanalysis of the 30 years since the inception of SUS shows that innovations in the Brazilian health system extendbeyond the development of new models of care and highlightsthe importance of establishing political, legal, organizational and management-related structures, and the role of the federal and local governmentsin the governance, planning, financing, and provision of health services. Theexpansion of SUS has allowed Brazilto rapidly address the changing health needs, withdramatic scaling up health service coverage in justthree decades. However, despite its successes, analysis of future scenarios suggests the urgent need to address lingering geographic inequalities, insufficient funding, and the suboptimal private-public collaboration. Recent fiscal policies that ushered austerity measures, environmental, educational and health policies of the new administraion introduced in Brazilcould reverse the hard-earned achievements of the SUS and threaten itssustainability and its ability to fulfilits constitutional mandate of providing‘health for all’.
Hone T, Szklo AS, Filippidis F, et al., 2019, Smoke-free legislation and neonatal and infant mortality in Brazil: a longitudinal quasi-experimental study, Tobacco Control, Vol: 29, Pages: 312-319, ISSN: 0964-4563
Objective To examine the associations of partial and comprehensive smoke-free legislation with neonatal and infant mortality in Brazil using a quasi-experimental study design.Design Monthly longitudinal (panel) ecological study from January 2000 to December 2016.Setting All Brazilian municipalities (n=5565).Participants Infant populations.Intervention Smoke-free legislation in effect in each municipality and month. Legislation was encoded as basic (allowing smoking areas), partial (segregated smoking rooms) or comprehensive (no smoking in public buildings). Associations were quantified by immediate step and longer term slope/trend changes in outcomes.Statistical analyses Municipal-level linear fixed-effects regression models.Main outcomes measures Infant and neonatal mortality.Results Implementation of partial smoke-free legislation was associated with a −3.3 % (95% CI −6.2% to −0.4%) step reduction in the municipal infant mortality rate, but no step change in neonatal mortality. Comprehensive smoke-free legislation implementation was associated with −5.2 % (95% CI −8.3% to −2.1%) and −3.4 % (95% CI −6.7% to −0.1%) step reductions in infant and neonatal mortality, respectively, and a −0.36 (95% CI −0.66 to−0.06) annual decline in the infant mortality rate. We estimated that had all smoke-free legislation introduced since 2004 been comprehensive, an additional 10 091 infant deaths (95% CI 1196 to 21 761) could have been averted.Conclusions Strengthening smoke-free legislation in Brazil is associated with improvements in infant health outcomes—particularly under comprehensive legislation. Governments should accelerate implementation of comprehensive smoke-free legislation to protect infant health and achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal three.
Rasella D, Hone T, de Souza LE, et al., 2019, Mortality associated with alternative primary health care policies: a nationwide microsimulation modelling study in Brazil, BMC Medicine, Vol: 17, ISSN: 1741-7015
BackgroundBrazil’s Estratégia Saúde da Família (ESF) is one of the largest and most robustly evaluated primary healthcare programmes of the world, but it could be affected by fiscal austerity measures and by the possible end of the Mais Médicos programme (MMP)—a major intervention to increase primary care doctors in underserved areas. We forecast the impact of alternative scenarios of ESF coverage changes on under-70 mortality from ambulatory care-sensitive conditions (ACSCs) until 2030, the date for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).MethodA synthetic cohort of 5507 Brazilian municipalities was created for the period 2017–2030. A municipal-level microsimulation model was developed and validated using longitudinal data and estimates from a previous retrospective study evaluating the effects of municipal ESF coverage on mortality rates. Reductions in ESF coverage, and its effects on ACSC mortality, were forecast based on two probable austerity scenarios, compared with the maintenance of the current coverage or the expansion to 100%. Fixed effects longitudinal regression models were employed to account for secular trends, demographic and socioeconomic changes, healthcare-related variables, and programme duration effects.ResultsUnder austerity scenarios of decreasing ESF coverage with and without the MMP termination, mean ACSC mortality rates would be 8.60% (95% CI 7.03–10.21%; 48,546 excess premature/under-70 deaths along 2017–2030) and 5.80% (95% CI 4.23–7.35%; 27,685 excess premature deaths) higher respectively in 2030 compared to maintaining the current ESF coverage.Comparing decreasing ESF coverage and MMP termination with achieving 100% ESF coverage (Universal Health Coverage scenario) in 2030, mortality rates would be 11.12% higher (95% CI 9.47–12.76%; 83,937 premature deaths). Reductions in ESF coverage would have stronger effects on mortality from infectious diseases and
Patterson R, Webb E, Hone T, et al., 2019, Associations of public transportation use with cardiometabolic health: a systematic review and meta-analysis, American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol: 188, Pages: 785-795, ISSN: 1476-6256
Public transport provides an opportunity to incorporate physical activity into journeys, but potential health impacts have not been systematically examined. Literature searches were carried out up to December 2017 using Medline, Embase, Transport Database, Scopus, Cochrane Library, opengrey.eu and Google. We identified longitudinal studies which examined associations between public transport and cardio-metabolic health including: adiposity, type II diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. We assessed study quality using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale for cohort studies and performed meta-analyses where possible. Ten studies were identified, seven investigating use of public transport and three examining proximity to public transport. Seven studies used individual level data on changes in BMI with objective outcomes measured in six studies. Study follow-up ranged from one to ten years with three studies adjusting for non-transport physical activity. We found a consistent association between public transport use and lower BMI. Meta-analysis of data from five comparable studies found that switching from car to public transport was associated with lower BMI: −0.30 kg/m2 (−0.47, −0.14). Few studies have investigated associations between public transport use and non-adiposity outcomes. These findings suggest that sustainable urban design which promotes public transport use may produce modest reductions in population BMI.
Qin V, Hone T, Millett C, et al., 2019, The impact of user charges on health outcomes in low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic review, BMJ Global Health, Vol: 3, ISSN: 2059-7908
Background User charges are widely used health financing mechanisms in many health systems in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) due to insufficient public health spending on health. This study systematically reviews the evidence on the relationship between user charges and health outcomes in LMICs, and explores underlying mechanisms of this relationship.Methods Published studies were identified via electronic medical, public health, health services and economics databases from 1990 to September 2017. We included studies that evaluated the impact of user charges on health in LMICs using randomised control trial (RCT) or quasi-experimental (QE) study designs. Study quality was assessed using Cochrane Risk of Bias and Risk of Bias in Non-Randomized Studies—of Intervention for RCT and QE studies, respectively.Results We identified 17 studies from 12 countries (five upper-middle income countries, five lower-middle income countries and two low-income countries) that met our selection criteria. The findings suggested a modest relationship between reduction in user charges and improvements in health outcomes, but this depended on health outcomes measured, the populations studied, study quality and policy settings. The relationship between reduced user charges and improved health outcomes was more evident in studies focusing on children and lower-income populations. Studies examining infectious disease–related outcomes, chronic disease management and nutritional outcomes were too few to draw meaningful conclusions. Improved access to healthcare as a result of reduction in out-of-pocket expenditure was identified as the possible causal pathway for improved health.Conclusions Reduced user charges were associated with improved health outcomes, particularly for lower-income groups and children in LMICs. Accelerating progress towards universal health coverage through prepayment mechanisms such as taxation and insurance can lead to improved health outcomes
Pacheco Santos LM, Millett C, Rasella D, et al., 2018, The end of Brazil's More Doctors programme? Those in greatest need will be hit hardest, BMJ, Vol: 363, ISSN: 0959-8138
Hone TV, Macinko J, Millett C, 2018, Revisiting Alma-Ata: what is the role of primary health care in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals?, Lancet, Vol: 392, Pages: 1461-1472, ISSN: 0140-6736
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are now steering the global health and development agendas. Notably, the SDGs contain no mention of Primary Health Care (PHC) – reflecting disappointing implementation of Alma-Alta over the past four decades. The recently-published draft Astana declaration (Alma-Ata 2.0) restates the key principles of PHC and renews these as driving forces for achieving the SDGs, emphasizing Universal Health Coverage (UHC). We use accumulating evidence to demonstrate that countries that reorientate their health systems towards primary care are better placed to achieve the SDGs than those with hospital-focused systems or limited investments in health. We then argue that an even bolder approach which fully embraces the Alma-Ata vision of PHC could deliver substantially greater SDG progress – by addressing the wider determinants of health, promoting equity and social justice throughout society, empowering communities, and as a catalyst for advancing and amplifying UHC and synergies among SDGs.
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