Browsing by Author "Burger, Ronelle"
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- ItemAvailability and acceptability of HIV counselling and testing services. a qualitative study comparing clients’ experiences of accessing HIV testing at public sector primary health care facilities or non-governmental mobile services in Cape Town, South Africa(BioMed Central, 2015) Meehan, Sue-Ann; Leon, Natalie; Naidoo, Pren; Jennings, Karen; Burger, Ronelle; Beyers, NuldaBackground: The South African government is striving for universal access to HIV counselling and testing (HCT), a fundamental component of HIV care and prevention. In the Cape Town district, Western Cape Province of South Africa, HCT is provided free of charge at publically funded primary health care (PHC) facilities and through non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This study investigated the availability and accessibility of HCT services; comparing health seeking behaviour and client experiences of HCT across public PHC facilities (fixed sites) and NGO mobile services. Methods: This qualitative study used semi-structured interviews. Systematic sampling was used to select 16 participants who accessed HCT in either a PHC facility (8) or a NGO mobile service (8). Interviews, conducted between March and June 2011, were digitally recorded, transcribed and where required, translated into English. Constant comparative and thematic analysis was used to identify common and divergent responses and themes in relation to the key questions (reasons for testing, choice of service provider and experience of HCT). Results: The sample consisted of 12 females and 4 males with an age range of 19–60 years (median age 28 years). Motivations for accessing health facilities and NGO services were similar; opportunity to test, being affected by HIV and a perceived personal risk for contracting HIV. Participants chose a particular service provider based on accessibility, familiarity with and acceptability of that service. Experiences of both services were largely positive, though instances of poor staff attitude and long waiting times were reported at PHC facilities. Those attending NGO services reported shorter waiting times and overall positive testing experiences. Concerns about lack of adequate privacy and associated stigma were expressed about both services. Conclusions: Realised access to HCT is dependent on availability and acceptability of HCT services. Those whoutilised either a NGO mobile service or a public PHC facility perceived both service types as available and acceptable. Mobile NGO services provided an accessible opportunity for those who would otherwise not have tested at that time. Policy makers should consider the perceptions and experiences of those accessing HCT services when increasing access to HCT.
- ItemCost analysis of two community-based HIV testing service modalities led by a Non-Governmental Organization in Cape Town, South Africa(BioMed Central, 2017-12-02) Meehan, Sue-Ann; Beyers, Nulda; Burger, RonelleBackground: In South Africa, the financing and sustainability of HIV services is a priority. Community-based HIV testing services (CB-HTS) play a vital role in diagnosis and linkage to HIV care for those least likely to utilise government health services. With insufficient estimates of the costs associated with CB-HTS provided by NGOs in South Africa, this cost analysis explored the cost to implement and provide services at two NGO-led CB-HTS modalities and calculated the costs associated with realizing key HIV outputs for each CB-HTS modality. Methods: The study took place in a peri-urban area where CB-HTS were provided from a stand-alone centre and mobile service. Using a service provider (NGO) perspective, all inputs were allocated by HTS modality with shared costs apportioned according to client volume or personnel time. We calculated the total cost of each HTS modality and the cost categories (personnel, capital and recurring goods/services) across each HTS modality. Costs were divided into seven pre-determined project components, used to examine cost drivers. HIV outputs were analysed for each HTS modality and the mean cost for each HIV output was calculated per HTS modality. Results: The annual cost of the stand-alone and mobile modalities was $96,616 and $77,764 respectively, with personnel costs accounting for 54% of the total costs at the stand-alone. For project components, overheads and service provision made up the majority of the costs. The mean cost per person tested at stand-alone ($51) was higher than at the mobile ($25). Linkage to care cost at the stand-alone ($1039) was lower than the mobile ($2102). Conclusions: This study provides insight into the cost of an NGO led CB-HTS project providing HIV testing and linkage to care through two CB-HIV testing modalities. The study highlights; (1) the importance of including all applicable costs (including overheads) to ensure an accurate cost estimate that is representative of the full service implementation cost, (2) the direct link between test uptake and mean cost per person tested, and (3) the need for effective linkage to care strategies to increase linkage and thereby reduce the mean cost per person linked to HIV care.
- ItemDifferences in health-related quality of life between HIV-positive and HIV-negative people in Zambia and South Africa : a cross-sectional baseline survey of the HPTN 071 (PopART) trial(Elsevier, 2017) Thomas, Ranjeeta; Burger, Ronelle; Harper, Abigail; Kanema, Sarah; Mwenge, Lawrence; Vanqa, Nosivuyile; Bell-Mandla, Nomtha; Smith, Peter C.; Floyd, Sian; Bock, Peter; Ayles, Helen; Beyers, Nulda; Donnell, Deborah; Fidler, Sarah; Hayes, Richard; Hauck, KatharinaBackground: The life expectancy of HIV-positive individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) is approaching that of HIV-negative people. However, little is known about how these populations compare in terms of health-related quality of life (HRQoL). We aimed to compare HRQoL between HIV-positive and HIV-negative people in Zambia and South Africa. Methods: As part of the HPTN 071 (PopART) study, data from adults aged 18–44 years were gathered between Nov 28, 2013, and March 31, 2015, in large cross-sectional surveys of random samples of the general population in 21 communities in Zambia and South Africa. HRQoL data were collected with a standardised generic measure of health across five domains. We used β-distributed multivariable models to analyse differences in HRQoL scores between HIV-negative and HIV-positive individuals who were unaware of their status; aware, but not in HIV care; in HIV care, but who had not initiated ART; on ART for less than 5 years; and on ART for 5 years or more. We included controls for sociodemographic variables, herpes simplex virus type-2 status, and recreational drug use. Findings: We obtained data for 19 750 respondents in Zambia and 18 941 respondents in South Africa. Laboratoryconfirmed HIV status was available for 19 330 respondents in Zambia and 18 004 respondents in South Africa; 4128 (21%) of these 19 330 respondents in Zambia and 4012 (22%) of 18 004 respondents in South Africa had laboratory-confirmed HIV. We obtained complete HRQoL information for 19 637 respondents in Zambia and 18 429 respondents in South Africa. HRQoL scores did not differ significantly between individuals who had initiated ART more than 5 years previously and HIV-negative individuals, neither in Zambia (change in mean score –0·002, 95% CI –0·01 to 0·001; p=0·219) nor in South Africa (0·000, –0·002 to 0·003; p=0·939). However, scores did differ between HIV-positive individuals who had initiated ART less than 5 years previously and HIV-negative individuals in Zambia (–0·006, 95% CI –0·008 to –0·003; p<0·0001). A large proportion of people with clinically confirmed HIV were unaware of being HIV-positive (1768 [43%] of 4128 people in Zambia and 2026 [50%] of 4012 people in South Africa) and reported good HRQoL, with no significant differences from that of HIV-negative people (change in mean HRQoL score –0·001, 95% CI –0·003 to 0·001, p=0·216; and 0·001, –0·001 to 0·001, p=0·997, respectively). In South Africa, HRQoL scores were lower in HIV-positive individuals who were aware of their status but not enrolled in HIV care (change in mean HRQoL –0·004, 95% CI –0·01 to –0·001; p=0·010) and those in HIV care but not on ART (–0·008, –0·01 to –0·004; p=0·001) than in HIV-negative people, but the magnitudes of difference were small. Interpretation: ART is successful in helping to reduce inequalities in HRQoL between HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals in this general population sample. These findings highlight the importance of improving awareness of HIV status and expanding ART to prevent losses in HRQoL that occur with untreated HIV progression. The gains in HRQoL after individuals initiate ART could be substantial when scaled up to the population level.
- ItemExamining the impact of WHO’s Focused Antenatal Care policy on early access, underutilisation and quality of antenatal care services in Malawi : a retrospective study(BMC (part of Springer Nature), 2019-05-08) Mchenga, Martina; Burger, Ronelle; Von Fintel, DieterBackground: A variety of antenatal care models have been implemented in low and middle-income countries over the past decades, as proposed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). One such model is the 2001 Focused Antenatal Care (FANC) programme. FANC recommended a minimum of four visits for women with uncomplicated pregnancies and emphasised quality of care to improve both maternal and neonatal outcomes. Malawi adopted FANC in 2003, however, up to now no study has been done to analyse the model’s performance with regards to antenatal care service quality and utilisation patterns. Methods: The paper is based on data pooled from three comparable nationally representative Malawi Demographic and Health Survey (MDHS) datasets (2000, 2004 and 2010). The DHS collects data on demographics, socio-economic indicators, antenatal care, and the fertility history of reproductive women aged between 15 and 49. We pooled a sample of 8545 women who had a live birth in the last 5 years prior to each survey. We measure the impact of FANC on early access to care, underutilisation of care and quality of care with interrupted time series analysis. This method enables us to track changes in both levels and the trends of our outcome variables. Results: We find that FANC is associated with earlier access to care. However, it has also been associated with unintended increases in underutilisation. We see no change in the quality of ANC services. Conclusion: In light of the WHO 2016 ANC guidelines, which recommend an increase of visits to eight, these results are important. Given that we find underutilisation when the benchmark is set at four visits, eight visits are unlikely to be feasible in low-resource settings.
- ItemFactors associated with linkage to HIV care and TB treatment at community-based HIV testing services in Cape Town, South Africa(Public Library of Science, 2018-04-02) Meehan, Sue-Ann; Sloot, Rosa; Draper, Heather R.; Naidoo, Pren; Burger, Ronelle; Beyers, NuldaBackground Diagnosing HIV and/or TB is not sufficient; linkage to care and treatment is conditional to reduce the burden of disease. This study aimed to determine factors associated with linkage to HIV care and TB treatment at community-based services in Cape Town, South Africa. Methods This retrospective cohort study utilized routinely collected data from clients who utilized stand-alone (fixed site not attached to a health facility) and mobile HIV testing services in eight communities in the City of Cape Town Metropolitan district, between January 2008 and June 2012. Clients were included in the analysis if they were ≥12 years and had a known HIV status. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) logistic regression models were used to assess the association between determinants (sex, age, HIV testing service and co-infection status) and self-reported linkage to HIV care and/or TB treatment. Results Linkage to HIV care was 3 738/5 929 (63.1%). Linkage to HIV care was associated with the type of HIV testing service. Clients diagnosed with HIV at mobile services had a significantly reduced odds of linking to HIV care (aOR 0.7 (CI 95%: 0.6–0.8), p<0.001. Linkage to TB treatment was 210/275 (76.4%). Linkage to TB treatment was not associated with sex and service type, but was associated with age. Clients in older age groups were less likely to link to TB treatment compared to clients in the age group 12–24 years (all, p-value<0.05). Conclusion A large proportion of clients diagnosed with HIV at mobile services did not link to care. Almost a quarter of clients diagnosed with TB did not link to treatment. Integrated community-based HIV and TB testing services are efficient in diagnosing HIV and TB, but strategies to improve linkage to care are required to control these epidemics.
- ItemMeasuring quality gaps in TB screening in South Africa using standardised patient analysis(MDPI, 2018) Christian, Carmen S.; Gerdtham, Ulf-G.; Hompashe, Dumisani; Smith, Anja; Burger, RonelleThis is the first multi-district Standardised Patient (SP) study in South Africa. It measures the quality of TB screening at primary healthcare (PHC) facilities. We hypothesise that TB screening protocols and best practices are poorly adhered to at the PHC level. The SP method allows researchers to observe how healthcare providers identify, test and advise presumptive TB patients, and whether this aligns with clinical protocols and best practice. The study was conducted at PHC facilities in two provinces and 143 interactions at 39 facilities were analysed. Only 43% of interactions resulted in SPs receiving a TB sputum test and being offered an HIV test. TB sputum tests were conducted routinely (84%) while HIV tests were offered less frequently (47%). Nurses frequently neglected to ask SPs whether their household contacts had confirmed TB (54%). Antibiotics were prescribed without taking temperatures in 8% of cases. The importance of returning to the facility to receive TB test results was only explained in 28%. The SP method has highlighted gaps in clinical practice, signalling missed opportunities. Early detection of sub-optimal TB care is instrumental in decreasing TB-related morbidity and mortality. The findings provide the rationale for further quality improvement work in TB management.
- ItemThe nurse did not even greet me : how informed versus non-informed patients evaluate health systems responsiveness in South Africa(BMJ Publishing Group, 2021) Hompashe, Dumisani MacDonald; Gerdtham, Ulf G.; Christian, Carmen S.; Smith, Anja; Burger, RonelleIntroduction: Universal Health Coverage is not only about access to health services but also about access to high-quality care, since poor experiences may deter patients from accessing care. Evidence shows that quality of care drives health outcomes, yet little is known about non-clinical dimensions of care, and patients’ experience thereof relative to satisfaction with visits. This paper investigates the role of non-clinical dimensions of care in patient satisfaction. Methods: Our study describes the interactions of informed and non-informed patients with primary healthcare workers at 39 public healthcare facilities in two metropolitan centres in two South African provinces. Our analysis included 1357 interactions using standardised patients (for informed patients) and patients’ exit interviews (for non-informed patients). The data were combined for three types of visits: contraception, hypertension and tuberculosis. We describe how satisfaction with care was related to patients’ experiences of non-clinical dimensions. Results: We show that when real patients (RPs) reported being satisfied (vs dissatisfied) with a visit, it was associated with a 30% increase in the probability that a patient is greeted at the facilities. Likewise, when the RPs reported being satisfied (vs dissatisfied) with the visit, it was correlated with a 15% increase in the prospect that patients are pleased with healthcare workers’ explanations of health conditions. Conclusion: Informed patients are better equipped to assess health-systems responsiveness in healthcare provision. Insights into responsiveness could guide broader efforts aimed at targeted education and empowerment of primary healthcare users to strengthen health systems and shape expectations for appropriate care and conduct.
- ItemPatient predictors of health-seeking behaviour for persons coughing for more than two weeks in high-burden tuberculosis communities : the case of the Western Cape, South Africa(BMC (part of Springer Nature), 2019) Christian, Carmen; Burger, Cobus; Claassens, Mareli; Bond, Virginia; Burger, RonelleBackground: This study aimed to analyse the patient predictors of health-seeking behaviour for persons coughing for more than 2 weeks to better understand this vulnerable and important population. Methods: The study analysed data from a cohort study (SOCS - Secondary Outcome Cohort Study) embedded in a community randomised trial ZAMSTAR (Zambia and South Africa TB and AIDS Reduction Study) in eight high-burden TB communities in the Western Cape, South Africa. These datasets are unique as they contain TB-related data as well as data on health, health-seeking behaviour, lifestyle choices, employment, socio-economic status, education and stigma. We use uni- and multivariate logistic regressions to estimate the odds ratios of consulting for a cough (of more than 2 weeks duration) for a range of relevant patient predictors. Results: Three hundred and forty persons consulted someone about their cough and this represents 37% of the 922 participants who reported coughing for more than 2 weeks. In the multivariate analysis, respondents of black ethnic origin (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.28–3.12, P < 0.01), those with higher levels of education (OR 1.05 per year of education, 95% CI 1.00–1.10, P = 0.05), and older respondents (OR 1.02 per year, 95% CI 1.01–1.04, P < 0.01) had a higher likelihood of consulting for their chronic cough. Individuals who smoked (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.45–0.88, P < 0.01) and those with higher levels of socio-economic status (OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.71–0.92, P < 0.01) were less likely to consult. We find no evidence of stigma playing a role in health-seeking decisions, but caution that this may be due to the difficulty of accurately and reliably capturing stigma due to, amongst other factors, social desirability bias. Conclusions: The low levels of consultation for a cough of more than 2 weeks suggest that there are opportunities to improve case-finding. These findings on health-seeking behaviour can assist policymakers in designing TB screening and active case-finding interventions that are targeted to the characteristics of those with a chronic cough who do not seek care.
- ItemSMS nudges as a tool to reduce tuberculosis treatment delay and pretreatment loss to follow-up. A randomized controlled trial(Public Library of Science, 2019) Wagstaff, Adam; Van Doorslaer, Eddy; Burger, RonelleBackground: TB persists despite being relatively easy to detect and cure because the journey from the onset of symptoms to cure involves a series of steps, with patients being lost to follow-up at each stage and delays occurring among patients not lost to follow-up. One cause of drop-off and delay occurs when patients delay or avoid returning to clinic to get their test results and start treatment. Methods: We fielded two SMS interventions in three Cape Town clinics to see their effects on whether people returned to clinic, and how quickly. One was a simple reminder; the other aimed to overcome “optimism bias” by reminding people TB is curable and many millions die unnecessarily from it. Recruits were randomly assigned at the clinic level to a control group or one of the two SMS groups (1:2:2). In addition to estimating effects on the full sample, we also estimated effects on HIV-positive patients. Results: SMS recipients were more likely to return to clinic in the requested two days than the control group. The effect was smaller in the intent-to-treat analysis (52/101 or 51.5% vs. 251/405 or 62.0%, p = 0.05) than in the per-protocol analysis (50/97 or 51.5% vs. 204/318 or 64.2%, p = 0.03). The effect was larger among HIV-positives (10/35 or 28.6% vs. 97/149 or 65.1%, p<0.01). The effects of SMS messages diminished as the interval increased: significant effects at the 5% level were found at five and 10 days only among HIV-positives. The second SMS message had larger effects, albeit not significantly larger, likely due in part to lack of statistical power. Conclusions: At 2 U.S. cents per message, SMS reminders are an inexpensive option to encourage TB testers to return to clinic, especially when worded to counter optimism bias.
- ItemSouth Africa’s hospital sector : old divisions and new developments(Health Systems Trust, 2017) Ranchod, Shivani; Adams, Cheryl; Burger, Ronelle; Carvounes, Angeliki; Dreyer, Kathryn; Smith, Anja; Stewart, Jacqui; Van Biljon, ChloeThe hospital sector in South Africa mirrors deep inequalities in the country as a whole. The private, for-profit hospital sector is well resourced and caters to a population that tends to be wealthier, urban and more likely to be formally employed. The public-hospital sector, catering to the majority of South Africans, faces lower human-resourcing ratios, financial constraints and ageing infrastructure. This chapter contextualises the development of the two sectors, describes the current divide, and considers the implications in terms of equity, access and quality of care. A unique dataset of quality-accreditation-survey scores was used, which allowed for analysis of the two sectors according to a common yardstick. These data reflect a wide array of structure- and process-related quality indicators; in addition, the patient perspective reflected in data from the General Household Survey was used to illustrate the quality differential. The research provides evidence of the polarisation between public and private facilities: private facilities consistently scored above public facilities across a range of accreditation categories, and there was far greater variability in the scores achieved by public facilities. The same polarised relationship was found to hold across key sub-components of the scores, such as management and leadership of hospitals in the two sectors. We conclude that there is a need for the measurement of health outcomes across the system. Policy attention is required in terms of accountability and quality improvement. A focus on improving value in the system will, by necessity, have to engage with the discrepancies between the sectors.
- ItemWhat we have learnt from post-1994 innovations in pro-poor service delivery in South Africa : a case study-based analysis(Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2005-08) Burger, RonelleService delivery is vital for alleviating poverty in South Africa. This paper contributes to the dialogue on how to maximise the impact of pro-poor service delivery by considering evidence from a wide selection of case studies to distinguish the successes and failures of post-1994 pro-poor service delivery. Case evidence brings to light four important points: that decentralisation and participation can reinforce historical distributions of privilege; that community ownership is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for effective service delivery to individuals in rural communities; that when managed well private outsourcing can benefit the poor; and that the abolition of user fees is often not the best way to ensure access to basic services. The paper cautions against overly ambitious and idealistic policy making. When a policy fails because of its lack of flexibility or its disregard for the constraints of the implementation context, this failure should be attributed to short-sighted policy making and not to implementation failure. © 2005 Development Bank of Southern Africa.