Special Issue "Recent Advances in Health Improvement Strategies"

A special issue of Medical Sciences (ISSN 2076-3271).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Paul Anand

Professor of Economics, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, The Open University (UK)
Research Associate, Health Economics Research Centre, Oxford University
Research Associate, CPNSS, London School of Economics
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Health and Welfare Economics, Health Management, Genetics Health Economics, Health Statistics
Guest Editor
Prof. Seeromanie Harding

Professor of Social Epidemiology, Schools of Life Course Sciences & Population Health and Environmental Sciences, King’s College London (UK)
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Social Epidemiology, Social Health, Public Health, Health Inequalities, Health Promotion, Clinical Trials, Preventive Medicine, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Nutrition, Obesity, Vision and Related Surgeries
Guest Editor
Prof. Mark Exworthy

Professor of Health Policy and Management, Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham (UK)
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Health Management, Health Inequalities, Health Care Organisations, Health Reforms

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will contain selected papers presented at the Oxford International Health Congress, to take place from 28 to 30 June at St Hugh’s College Oxford. Full details about the conference and the submission of abstracts can be found at: http://www.globalhealthcongress.org/submissions. Only papers to be presented at the conference, either as oral or poster presentations, will be considered for publication in this Special Issue. As part of the submission process, it is required to state in your cover letter to the journal both the title and number of your abstract presented at the Oxford International Health Congress 2018. Academics, researchers and health professionals interested in submitting an article for publication to the Issue are encouraged to submit an abstract and register to the conference.

This Special Issue will bring to the fore and highlight major current developments in health services and improvement strategies in Europe and around the world. It aims to foster the uptake of research and evidence-based innovations in all areas of science that contribute to health and wellbeing through better health services. It will further emphasise the link between research and practice by gathering together a wide range of papers related to research on health practice and policy. The contributors will come from an impressive range of allied disciplines, offering valuable insights into many different settings. Adopting thus a cross-disciplinary approach, this Special Issue will represent many strands of interest including Medicine, Primary Care, Nursing, Mental Health, Public Health, Clinical Trials as well as Health Economics, Health Management, Medical Statistics, Social Science and Health, Health Policy and Systems, Psychology and Implementation Research.

Prof. Paul Anand
Prof. Seeromanie Harding
Prof. Mark Exworthy
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Medical Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Professionalisation of International Medical Volunteer Work to Maintain Ethical Standards: A Qualitative Study Exploring the Experience of Volunteer Doctors in Relation to UK Policy
Med. Sci. 2019, 7(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7010009
Received: 2 November 2018 / Revised: 18 December 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
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Abstract
Doctors from the United Kingdom are increasingly involved in international medical volunteerism in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Although supported by government policy this practice lacks infrastructure and coordination. Volunteer activities can have positive impact but also risk causing harm. Without external governance
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Doctors from the United Kingdom are increasingly involved in international medical volunteerism in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Although supported by government policy this practice lacks infrastructure and coordination. Volunteer activities can have positive impact but also risk causing harm. Without external governance the responsibility lies with volunteers and their organisations to self-evaluate their activities. This study aimed to explore influences affecting volunteer engagement with ethical standards and evaluative practice. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven doctors working in the Scottish National Health Service with volunteer experience in LMICs. Findings were analysed thematically to explore this issue in view of ongoing policy development. Although ethical standards were valued by participants they were unaware of relevant government policy. Influences on volunteer development are unstructured and vary in quality. Evaluation lacks structure and framing. Volunteer physicians face a number of barriers to engaging in critical evaluation of their activities in LMICs. Development and professionalization of medical volunteering in LMICs needs to address volunteer preparation and evaluative practice to maximise the benefits of volunteering, reduce the risk of harm and maximise learning and accountability. Further areas of research are suggested to inform professionalisation of this sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Health Improvement Strategies)
Open AccessArticle Health and Demographic Characteristics of Patients Attending a Newly-Opened Medical Facility in a Remote Amazonian Community: A Descriptive Study
Med. Sci. 2018, 6(4), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci6040106
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 2 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 26 November 2018
PDF Full-text (1958 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Peru is a country with wide regional disparities in health. Remote Amazonian communities have high rates of poverty and poor access to health services. There is a lack of data on morbidity and use of health services in the region. We describe a
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Peru is a country with wide regional disparities in health. Remote Amazonian communities have high rates of poverty and poor access to health services. There is a lack of data on morbidity and use of health services in the region. We describe a descriptive, cross-sectional study of the demographic characteristics and presenting complaints of attendees to a newly-opened primary care facility in a remote community. This was supplemented by structured interviews of adult attendees to build a picture of sociocultural determinants of health locally, including engagement with traditional forms of medicine. Our study provides novel insights into an under-studied and under-resourced area. We found a young population with a high prevalence of infectious illnesses, particularly dermatological infections - a previously under-recognised source of morbidity in these communities. Poor literacy rates and widespread use of traditional forms of medicine have important implications for the provision of healthcare in this region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Health Improvement Strategies)
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Open AccessArticle Community Resilience and Long-Term Impacts of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Northern Rwanda
Med. Sci. 2018, 6(4), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci6040094
Received: 30 August 2018 / Revised: 7 October 2018 / Accepted: 15 October 2018 / Published: 24 October 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (288 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, discussions have considered how mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) can build upon local resilience in war-affected settings. To contribute to the knowledge in this field, the paper explored the gap between MHPSS and local communities in terms of perceived mental health
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Recently, discussions have considered how mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) can build upon local resilience in war-affected settings. To contribute to the knowledge in this field, the paper explored the gap between MHPSS and local communities in terms of perceived mental health problems and healing processes, and how the gap could be filled. Qualitative research was conducted in northern Rwanda with 43 participants between 2015 and 2016. Findings revealed how three particular gaps can isolate MHPSS recipients in their local community. First, whereas MHPSS applies bio-psychological frameworks to post-genocide mental health, community conceptualisations emphasise social aspects of suffering. Second, unlike MHPSS which encourages ‘talking’ about trauma, ‘practicing’ mutual support plays a major role in the community healing process. Third, MHPSS focuses on one part of the community (those who share the same background) and facilitates their healing in intervention groups. However, healing in natural communities continues in everyday life, through mutual support among different people. Despite these gaps, MHPSS recipients can be (re)integrated into the community through sharing suffering narratives and sharing life with other community members. The paper highlights the ways in which MHPSS could inclusively support different social groups in the overall geographical community, allowing members to preserve the existing reciprocity and recover collective life through their own initiatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Health Improvement Strategies)

Other

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Open AccessPerspective The Future of Health Is Self-Production and Co-Creation Based on Apomediative Decision Support
Med. Sci. 2018, 6(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci6030066
Received: 18 July 2018 / Revised: 11 August 2018 / Accepted: 20 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1072 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cultural changes are needed in medicine if the benefits of technological advances are to benefit healthcare users. The Digital Health Manifesto of ‘medical futurist’ doctor Bertalan Meskó and ‘e-patient’ Dave deBronkart, The Patient Will See You Now by Eric Topol and The Patient
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Cultural changes are needed in medicine if the benefits of technological advances are to benefit healthcare users. The Digital Health Manifesto of ‘medical futurist’ doctor Bertalan Meskó and ‘e-patient’ Dave deBronkart, The Patient Will See You Now by Eric Topol and The Patient as CEO by Robin Farmanfarmaian, are among the proliferating warnings of the approaching paradigm shift in medicine, resulting, above all, from technological advances that gives users independent access to exponentially increasing amounts of information about themselves. We question their messages only in suggesting they do not sufficiently shift the focus from ‘patient’ to ‘person’ and consequently fail to recognise the need for the credible, efficient, ethical and independent decision support that can ensure the ‘democratisation of knowledge’ is person empowering, not overpowering. Such decision support can ensure the ‘democratisation of decision,’ leading to higher quality decisions and fully-informed and preference-based consent to health provider actions. The coming paradigm will therefore be characterised by apomediative (‘direct-to-consumer’) decision support tools, engaged with by the person in the community to help them make health production decisions for themselves (including whether to consult a healthcare professional or provider), as well as intermediative (‘direct-from-clinician’) tools, delivered by a health professional in a ‘shared decision making’ or ‘co-creation of health’ process. This vision paper elaborates on the implementation of these preference-sensitive decision support tools through the technique of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Health Improvement Strategies)
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