Browsing by Author "Mash, Robert"
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- ItemThe ability of health promoters to deliver group diabetes education in South African primary care(AOSIS Publishing, 2013-04) Botes, Anna S.; Majikela-Dlangamandla, Buyelwa; Mash, RobertENGLISH SUMMARY : Background: Diabetes makes a significant contribution to the burden of disease in South Africa. This study assesses a group diabetes education programme using motivational interviewing in public sector health centres serving low socio-economic communities in Cape Town. The programme was delivered by mid-level health promotion officers (HPOs). Objectives: The aim of the study was to explore the experience of the HPOs and to observe their fidelity to the educational programme. Methods: Three focus group interviews were held with the 14 HPOs who delivered the educational programme in 17 health centres. Thirty-three sessions were observed directly and the audio tapes were analysed using the motivational interviewing (MI) integrity code. Results: The HPOs felt confident in their ability to deliver group education after receiving the training. They reported a significant shift in their communication style and skills. They felt the new approach was feasible and better than before. The resource material was found to be relevant, understandable and useful. The HPOs struggled with poor patient attendance and a lack of suitable space at the facilities. They delivered the majority of the content and achieved beginning-level proficiency in the MI guiding style of communication and the use of open questions. The HPOs did not demonstrate proficiency in active listening and continued to offer some unsolicited advice. Conclusion: The HPOs demonstrated their potential to deliver group diabetes education despite issues that should be addressed in future training and the district health services. The findings will help with the interpretation of results from a randomised controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of the education.
- ItemAfrican leaders views on critical human resource issues for the implementation of family medicine in Africa(BioMed Central, 2014-01) Moosa, Shabir; Downing, Raymond; Essuman, Akye; Pentz, Stephen; Reid, Stephen; Mash, RobertENGLISH ABSTRACT: Background: The World Health Organisation has advocated for comprehensive primary care teams, which include family physicians. However, despite (or because of) severe doctor shortages in Africa, there is insufficient clarity on the role of the family physician in the primary health care team. Instead there is a trend towards task shifting without thought for teamwork, which runs the risk of dangerous oversimplification. It is not clear how African leaders understand the challenges of implementing family medicine, especially in human resource terms. This study, therefore, sought to explore the views of academic and government leaders on critical human resource issues for implementation of family medicine in Africa. Method: In this qualitative study, key academic and government leaders were purposively selected from sixteen African countries. In-depth interviews were conducted using an interview guide. All interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed. Results: There were 27 interviews conducted with 16 government and 11 academic leaders in nine Sub-Saharan African countries: Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda. Respondents spoke about: educating doctors in family medicine suited to Africa, including procedural skills and holistic care, to address the difficulty of recruiting and retaining doctors in rural and underserved areas; planning for primary health care teams, including family physicians; new supervisory models in primary health care; and general human resource management issues. Conclusions: Important milestones in African health care fail to specifically address the human resource issues of integrated primary health care teamwork that includes family physicians. Leaders interviewed in this study, however, proposed organising the district health system with a strong embrace of family medicine in Africa, especially with regard to providing clinical leadership in team-based primary health care. Whilst these leaders focussed positively on entry and workforce issues, in terms of the 2006 World Health Report on human resources for health, they did not substantially address retention of family physicians. Family physicians need to respond to the challenge by respondents to articulate human resource policies appropriate to Africa, including the organisational development of the primary health care team with more sophisticated skills and teamwork.
- ItemAfrican primary care research : current situation, priorities and capacity building(AOSIS Publishing, 2014-12) Mash, Robert; Essuman, Akye; Ratansi, Riaz; Goodyear-Smith, Felicity; Von Pressentin, Klaus; Malan, Zelra; Van Lancker, Marianne; De Maeseneer, JanIntroduction: The Sixth PRIMAFAMED (Primary Health Care/Family Medicine Education Network) workshop on ‘Capacity Building and Priorities in Primary Care Research’ was held in Pretoria, South Africa (SA), from 22 to 24 June 2014. Delegates from the following countries attended the workshop: Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, SA, Zambia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Mozambique, Swaziland, Belgium, and Denmark (Figure 1). Delegates were from established or emerging departments of family medicine and primary care in these countries. The central theme of the workshop was primary care research – the current situation, the priorities for research and the need for capacity building. This report gives a summary of the consensus on these matters that emerged from the workshop. The motivation for the conference was derived in part from the involvement of Professor Bob Mash (SA) and Professor Olayinka Ayankogbe (Nigeria) in the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) Global Working Party on Primary Care Research, which has a goal of promoting primary care research.
- ItemAfrican primary care research : qualitative interviewing in primary care(AOSIS Publishing, 2014-06) Reid, Steve; Mash, RobertThis article is part of a series on African Primary Care Research and focuses on the topic of qualitative interviewing in primary care. In particular it looks at issues of study design, sample size, sampling and interviewing in relation to individual and focus group interviews. There is a particular focus on helping postgraduate students at a Masters level to write their research proposals.
- ItemAlternative mechanisms for delivery of medication in South Africa : a scoping review(AOSIS, 2021-08) Mash, Robert; Christian, Carmen; Chigwanda, Ruvimbo V.Background: The number of people in South Africa with chronic conditions is a challenge to the health system. In response to the coronavirus infection, health services in Cape Town introduced home delivery of medication by community health workers. In planning for the future, they requested a scoping review of alternative mechanisms for delivery of medication to patients in primary health care in South Africa. Methods: Databases were systematically searched using a comprehensive search strategy to identify studies from the last 10 years. A methodological guideline for conducting scoping reviews was followed. A standardised template was used to extract data and compare study characteristics and findings. Data was analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Results: A total of 4253 publications were identified and 26 included. Most publications were from the last 5 years (n = 21), research (n = 24), Western Cape (n = 15) and focused on adherence clubs (n = 17), alternative pick-up-points (n = 14), home delivery (n = 5) and HIV (n = 17). The majority of alternative mechanisms were supported by a centralised dispensing and packaging system. New technology such as smart lockers and automated pharmacy dispensing units have been piloted. Patients benefited from these alternatives and had improved adherence. Available evidence suggests alternative mechanisms were cheaper and more beneficial than attending the facility to collect medication. Conclusion: A mix of options tailored to the local context and patient choice that can be adequately managed by the system would be ideal. More economic evaluations are required of the alternatives, particularly before going to scale and for newer technology.
- ItemThe anthropocene – the biggest threat to health on the African continent(AOSIS, 2019) Mash, RobertNo abstract available.
- ItemThe Astana Declaration and future African primary health care(AOSIS, 2018-11) Mash, RobertAt the recent Global Symposium on Health Systems, one of the participants commented that there are three trains currently running the global health agenda – the sustainable development goals, universal health coverage and primary health care. As I write this editorial, the intergovernmental meeting in Astana will be meeting to re-commit the world to primary health care as the essential and fundamental basis of cost-effective and equitable health systems. This meeting comes 40 years after the landmark Declaration of Alma Ata which rallied the world around the call of ‘health for all’ and primary health care. However, 40 years on and despite the 2008 World Health Report also declaring primary health care is needed ‘now more than ever’, the world has yet to fully realise the vision and potential of primary health care.
- ItemCauses of mortality and associated modifiable health care factors for children (< 5-years) admitted at Onandjokwe Hospital, Namibia(AOSIS Publishing, 2015-06) Mdala, Johnface F.; Mash, RobertIntroduction: Many countries, especially those from sub-Saharan Africa, are unlikely to reach the Millennium Development Goal for under-5 mortality reduction by 2015. This study aimed to identify the causes of mortality and associated modifiable health care factors for under-5year-old children admitted to Onandjokwe Hospital, Namibia. Method: A descriptive retrospective review of the medical records of all children under fiveyears who died in the hospital for the period of 12 months during 2013, using two differentstructured questionnaires targeting perinatal deaths and post-perinatal deaths respectively. Results: The top five causes of 125 perinatal deaths were prematurity 22 (17.6%), birth asphyxia 19 (15.2%), congenital anomalies 16 (12.8%), unknown 13 (10.4%) and abruptio placenta 11 (8.8%). The top five causes of 60 post-perinatal deaths were bacterial pneumonia 21 (35%), gastroenteritis 12 (20%), severe malnutrition 6 (10%), septicaemia 6 (10%), and tuberculosis 4 (6.7%). Sixty-nine (55%) perinatal deaths and 42 (70%) post-perinatal deaths were potentially avoidable. The modifiable factors were: late presentation to a health care facility, antenatal clinics not screening for danger signs, long distance referral, district hospitals not providing emergency obstetric care, poor monitoring of labour and admitted children in the wards, lack of screening for malnutrition, failure to repeat an HIV test in pregnant women in the third trimesteror during breastfeeding, and a lack of review of the urgent results of critically ill children. Conclusion: A significant number of deaths in children under 5-years of age could be avoided by paying attention to the modifiable factors identified in this study.
- ItemCervical cancer screening : safety, acceptability, and feasibility of a single-visit approach in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe(AOSIS Publishing, 2015-05) Fallala, Muriel S.; Mash, RobertBackground: Cervical cancer is the commonest cancer amongst African women, and yet preventative services are often inadequate. Aim: The purpose of the study was to assess the safety, acceptability and feasibility of visual inspection with acetic acid and cervicography (VIAC) followed by cryotherapy or a loop electrical excision procedure (LEEP) at a single visit for prevention of cancer of the cervix.Setting:The United Bulawayo Hospital, Zimbabwe. Methods: The study was descriptive, using retrospective data extracted from electronic medical records of women attending the VIAC clinic. Over 24 months 4641 women visited the clinic and were screened for cervical cancer using VIAC. Cryotherapy or LEEP was offered immediately to those that screened positive. Treated women were followed up at three months and one year. Results: The rate of positive results on VIAC testing was 10.8%. Of those who were eligible, 17.0% received immediate cryotherapy, 44.1% received immediate LEEP, 1.9% delayed treatment, and 37.0% were referred to a gynaecologist. No major complications were recorded after cryotherapy or LEEP. Amongst those treated 99.5% expressed satisfaction with their experience. Only 3.2% of those treated at the clinic had a positive result on VIAC one year later. The service was shown to be feasible to sustain over time with the necessary consumables. There were no service-related treatment postponements and the clinic staff and facility were able to meet the demand for the service. Conclusion: A single-visit approach using VIAC, followed by cryotherapy or LEEP, proved to be safe, acceptable and feasible in an urban African setting in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Outcomes a year later suggested that treatment had been effective.
- ItemThe contribution of family medicine to African health systems(AOSIS Publishing, 2016) Mash, RobertENGLISH SUMMARY : No abstract available.
- ItemCorrigendum: Community-based screening and testing for Coronavirus in Cape Town, South Africa: Short report(AOSIS, 2021-11-15) David, Neal; Mash, RobertIn the version of the article initially published, David N, Mash R. Community-based screening and testing for Coronavirus in Cape Town, South Africa: Short report. Afr J Prm Health Care Fam Med. 2020;12(1), a2499. https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v12i1.2499, one affiliation for the first author, Neal David, was omitted in the ‘Authors’ and ‘Affiliations’ sections. The following affiliation should be added as his second affiliation: Division of Family Medicine, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa. This correction does not alter the study’s findings of significance or overall interpretation of the study’s results. The authors apologise for any inconvenience caused.
- ItemDevelopment of a family physician impact assessment tool in the district health system of the Western Cape Province, South Africa(BioMed Central, 2014-12) Pasio, Kevin S.; Mash, Robert; Naledi, TraceyBackground: Policy makers in Africa are ambivalent about the need for family physicians to strengthen district health services. Evidence on the impact of family physicians is therefore needed. The aim was to develop a tool to evaluate the impact of family physicians on district health services according to the six expected roles that have been defined nationally. Methods Mixed methods were used to develop, validate, pilot and test the reliability of the tool in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. An expert panel validated the content and construction of the tool. The tool was piloted by 94 respondents who evaluated eight family physicians. Cronbach alpha scores were calculated to test the reliability of the tool. The impact of these family physicians in the pilot study was also analysed. Results A draft tool was successfully developed, validated, and proved reliable (Cronbach alpha >0.8). The overall scores (scale of 1–4) were: Care provider = 3.5, Consultant = 3.4, Leader and champion of clinical governance = 3.4, Capacity builder = 3.3, Clinical trainer and supervisor = 3.2 and Champion of community-orientated primary care (COPC) = 3.1. The impact on COPC was significantly less than the impact of other roles (p < 0.05). Conclusion The Family Physician Impact Evaluation Tool can be used to measure the impact of family physicians in South Africa. The pilot study shows that the family physicians are having most impact in terms of clinical care and clinical governance, and a lesser impact in terms of clinical training, capacity-building and especially COPC.
- ItemDevelopment of family medicine training in Botswana : views of key stakeholders in Ngamiland(AOSIS Publishing, 2015-08-31) Ogundipe, Radiance M.; Mash, RobertENGLISH SUMMARY : Background: Family Medicine training commenced in Botswana in 2011, and Maun was one of the two sites chosen as a training complex. If it is to be successful there has to be investment in the training programme by all stakeholders in healthcare delivery in the district. Aim: The aim of the study was to explore the attitudes of stakeholders to initiation of Family Medicine training and their perspectives on the future roles of family physicians in Ngami district, Botswana. Setting: Maun and the surrounding Ngami subdistrict of Botswana. Methods: Thirteen in-depth interviews were conducted with purposively selected key stakeholders in the district health services. Data were recorded, transcribed and analysed using the framework method. Results: Participants welcomed the development of Family Medicine training in Maun and expect that this will result in improved quality of primary care. Participants expect the registrars and family physicians to provide holistic health care that is of higher quality and expertise than currently experienced, relevant research into the health needs of the community, and reduced need for referrals. Inadequate personal welfare facilities, erratic ancillary support services and an inadequate complement of mentors and supervisors for the programme were some of the gaps and challenges highlighted by participants. Conclusion: Family Medicine training is welcomed by stakeholders in Ngamiland. With proper planning introduction of the family physician in the district is expected to result in improvement of primary care.
- ItemEvaluating the effect of the practical approach to Care Kit on teaching medical students primary care : quasi-experimental study(AOSIS publishing, 2017-12) Mash, Robert; Pather, Michael; Rhode, Hilary; Fairall, LaraBackground: South Africa is committed to health reforms that strengthen primary health care. Preparing future doctors to work in primary care teams with other professionals is a priority, and medical schools have shifted towards community-based and decentralised training of medical students. Aim: To evaluate the effect on student performance of the Practical Approach to Care Kit (PACK) (an integrated decision-making tool for adult primary care) during the final phase of medical student training at Stellenbosch University. Setting: Clinical rotations in family medicine at clinics in the Western Cape. Methods: Mixed methods involving a quasi-experimental study and focus group interviews. Student examination performance was compared between groups with and without exposure to the PACK during their clinical training. Student groups exposed to PACK were interviewed at the end of their rotations. Results: Student performance in examinations was significantly better in those exposed to the PACK. Students varied from using the PACK overtly or covertly during the consultation to checking up on decisions made after the consultation. Some felt that the PACK was more suitable for nurses or more junior students. Although tutors openly endorsed PACK, very few modelled the use of PACK in their clinical practice. Conclusion: The use of PACK in the final phase of undergraduate medical education improved their performance in primary care. Students might be more accepting and find the tool more useful in the earlier clinical rotations. Supervisors should be trained further in how to incorporate the use of the PACK in their practice and educational conversations.
- ItemEvaluation of household assessment data collected by community health workers in Cape Town, South Africa(AOSIS, 2020) Mash, Robert; Du Pisanie, Louiso; Swart, Carla; Van der Merwe, EllaBackground: South Africa has implemented ward-based outreach teams as part of re-engineering primary health care with teams of community health workers (CHWs). In Cape Town, such a community-orientated primary care (COPC) approach was developed at four learning sites. Community health workers registered and assessed the households they were responsible for, but a year later the data were not analysed or converted into useful information. The aim was to analyse the household data and evaluate its contribution to a community diagnosis, its quality and any implications for the performance of CHWs. Methods: This article used descriptive secondary analysis of household data collected by CHWs at three COPC learning sites in Cape Town (Nomzamo, Eastridge and Mamre). Results: Data were analysed for 16 852 people from Eastridge, 1338 people from Mamre and 1008 people from Nomzamo. Data were compared in terms of household composition and demographics, type of dwelling, identification of people on treatment for chronic conditions, identification of health risks (e.g. tuberculosis symptoms, tobacco smoking, missed immunisations, missed vitamin A prophylaxis, need for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing or family planning, pregnant or postnatal, and wound care) and for referrals. Conclusion: Household assessment visits have great potential. Data collected is currently of poor quality, inconsistent or not captured, infrequently analysed and not comprehensive. There is a need to introduce an electronic m-health solution to assist the health information system, to revise the contents of the household assessment form and to ensure that CHWs are competent to identify risks and respond appropriately.
- ItemExamining the effects of a mindfulness-based distance learning professional training module on personal and professional functioning : a qualitative study(BioMed Central, 2016-11-09) Whitesman, Simon; Mash, RobertENGLISH SUMMARY : Background: Training people to deliver mindfulness-based interventions (MBI) is becoming an important activity as mindfulness has been shown to have clinical benefits across a variety of conditions. Training courses must not only address the principles, skills and theory of mindfulness, but the trainers themselves must be able to embody the practice. There is limited research on the ability of teachers-in-training to embody the practice as a result of teacher training programmes. This study explored the extent to which a short course enabled future teachers to embody mindfulness practice. This first module was part of a larger course of four modules to prepare future teachers of MBIs. Methods: Qualitative data was obtained from 10 out of 35 end of course written assignments that asked respondents to reflect on their experience of mindfulness practice during the course. These were systematically selected and a focus group interview was also conducted with local participants. Data was analysed by means of the framework method and key themes identified. Results: The combination of a retreat and on-line learning was perceived to be effective. Students reported significant changes in personal functioning as a result of daily mindfulness practice: self-awareness, improved relationships, enhanced connectedness, better self-regulation, enhanced compassion and curiosity towards self and others and self-acceptance. Participants began to introduce elements of mindfulness into their professional practice. Conclusions: The first module of a post-graduate training programme for health professionals who want to teach MBIs successfully supported students to embody, explore and apply mindfulness in their lives. The integrated teaching modalities of residential retreat and distance-based on-line learning appeared effective.
- ItemExamining the effects of a mindfulnessbased distance learning professional training module on personal and professional functioning : a qualitative study(BioMed Central, 2016) Whitesman, Simon; Mash, RobertBackground: Training people to deliver mindfulness-based interventions (MBI) is becoming an important activity as mindfulness has been shown to have clinical benefits across a variety of conditions. Training courses must not only address the principles, skills and theory of mindfulness, but the trainers themselves must be able to embody the practice. There is limited research on the ability of teachers-in-training to embody the practice as a result of teacher training programmes. This study explored the extent to which a short course enabled future teachers to embody mindfulness practice. This first module was part of a larger course of four modules to prepare future teachers of MBIs. Methods: Qualitative data was obtained from 10 out of 35 end of course written assignments that asked respondents to reflect on their experience of mindfulness practice during the course. These were systematically selected and a focus group interview was also conducted with local participants. Data was analysed by means of the framework method and key themes identified. Results: The combination of a retreat and on-line learning was perceived to be effective. Students reported significant changes in personal functioning as a result of daily mindfulness practice: self-awareness, improved relationships, enhanced connectedness, better self-regulation, enhanced compassion and curiosity towards self and others and self-acceptance. Participants began to introduce elements of mindfulness into their professional practice. Conclusions: The first module of a post-graduate training programme for health professionals who want to teach MBIs successfully supported students to embody, explore and apply mindfulness in their lives. The integrated teaching modalities of residential retreat and distance-based on-line learning appeared effective.
- ItemFaith-based organisations and HIV prevention in Africa : a review(AOSIS Publishing, 2013-05) Mash, Rachel; Mash, RobertBackground: Faith-based organisations (FBOs) are potentially an important role-player in HIV prevention, but there has been little systematic study of their potential strengths and weaknesses in this area. Objectives: To identify the strengths and weaknesses of FBOs in terms of HIV prevention. The questions posed were, (1) ‘What is the influence of religion on sexual behaviour in Africa?’, and (2) ‘What are the factors that enable religion to have an influence on sexual behaviour?’. Method: A literature search of Medline, SABINET, Africa Wide NIPAD and Google Scholar was conducted. Results: The potential for Faith-based organisations to be important role-players in HIV prevention is undermined by the church’s difficulties with discussing sexuality, avoiding stigma, gender issues and acceptance of condoms. It appears that, in contrast with high-income countries, religiosity does not have an overall positive impact on risky sexual behaviour in Africa. Churches may, however, have a positive impact on alcohol use and its associated risky behaviour, as well as self-efficacy. The influence of the church on sexual behaviour may also be associated with the degree of social engagement and control within the church culture. Conclusion: Faith-based organisations have the potential to be an important role player in terms of HIV prevention. However, in order to be more effective, the church needs to take up the challenge of empowering young women, recognising the need for their sexually-active youth to use protection, reducing judgemental attitudes and changing the didactical methods used.
- ItemFamily physicians’ experience and understanding of evidence-based practice and guideline implementation in primary care practice, Cape Town, South Africa(AOSIS, 2019) Pather, Michael K.; Mash, RobertBackground: In primary care, patients present with multimorbidity and a wide spectrum of undifferentiated illnesses, which makes the application of evidence-based practice (EBP) principles more challenging than in other practice contexts. Aim: The goal of this study was to explore the experiences and understanding of family physicians (FP) in primary care with regard to EBP and the implementation of evidence-based guidelines. Setting: The study was conducted in Cape Town primary care facilities and South African university departments of Family Medicine. Methods: For this phenomenological, qualitative study, 27 purposefully selected FPs from three groups were interviewed: senior academic FPs; local FPs in public-sector practice; and local FPs in private-sector practice. Data were analysed using the framework method with the assistance of ATLAS.ti, version 6.1. Results: Guideline development should be a more inclusive process that incorporates more evidence from primary care. Contextualisation should happen at an organisational level and may include adaptation as well as the development of practical or integrated tools. Organisations should ensure synergy between corporate and clinical governance activities. Dissemination should ensure that all practitioners are aware of and know how to access guidelines. Implementation should include training that is interactive and recognises individual practitioners’ readiness to change, as well as local barriers. Quality improvement cycles may reinforce implementation and provide feedback on the process. Conclusion: Evidence-based practice is currently limited in its capacity to inform primary care. The conceptual framework provided illustrates the key steps in guideline development, contextualisation, dissemination, implementation and evaluation, as well as the interconnections between steps and barriers or enablers to progress. The framework may be useful for policymakers, health care managers and practitioners in similar settings.
- ItemHome delivery of medication during Coronavirus disease 2019, Cape Town, South Africa(AOSIS, 2020-06-04) Brey, Zameer; Mash, Robert; Goliath, Charlyn; Roman, Darrinhe public sector primary care facilities in Cape Town serve a large number of patients with chronic diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus, tuberculosis, diabetes, hypertension, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Prior to the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic, stable patients with chronic conditions attended the facility or support groups to obtain their medication. During the COVID-19 epidemic, these patients would be put at risk if they had to travel and gather in groups to receive medication. The Metropolitan Health Services, therefore, decided to offer home delivery of medication. A system of home delivery was rapidly established by linking the existing chronic dispensing unit system with the emerging approach to community-orientated primary care in the Metro. Medication was delivered as usual to primary care pharmacies, but then a variety of means were used to disseminate the parcels to local non-profit organisations, where they could be delivered by a city-wide network of community health workers (CHWs). Innovations included various ways of delivering the parcels, including via Uber, bicycles and electric scooters, as well as Google forms to monitor the success of the initiative. It was estimated that up to 200 000 parcels per month could be delivered in this way via 2500 CHWs. The new system was established throughout the Metropole, and its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are further discussed. The initiative may prevent COVID-19 amongst people with comorbidities who would be at risk of more severe diseases. It may also have de-congested primary care facilities ahead of the expected surge in COVID-19 cases.