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Medicine Sellers' Perspectives on Their Role in Providing Health Care in North-West Cameroon: A Qualitative Study

This study used in-depth interviews to explore perceptions of medicine seller roles among a restricted random sample of 20 medicine sellers in North-West Cameroon. Interviews and analysis explored self-perception of their work/role, community perceptions, skills and knowledge, regulation, future plans, links with the formal health system and diversity among medicine sellers. [from abstract]

High HIV Testing Uptake and Linkage to Care in a Novel Program of Home-Based HIV Counseling and Testing with Facilitated Referral in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

This study piloted home-based counseling and testing with point-of-care CD4 count testing and follow-up visits from lay counselors to facilitate linkage of HIV-infected persons to local HIV clinics and uptake of antiretroviral treatment in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. [adapted from abstract]

Establishing a Health Information Workforce: Innovation for Low- and Middle-Income Countries

This article describes the early outcomes, achievements, and challenges from an initiative that hired university graduates without training in health information and provided on-the-job training and mentoring to create a new cadre of health worker in order to address the shortage of health information personnel within Botswana. [adapted from abstract]

Role of Clinical Officers in the Kenyan Health System: A Question of Perspective

This work explored perceptions of the roles of Kenyan non-physician clinicians in typical health system settings. [adapted from abstract]

Noninferiority of a Task-Shifting HIV Care and Treatment Model Using Peer Counselors and Nurses Among Ugandan Women Initiated on ART: Evidence From a Randomized Trial

The objective of this study was to assess the non-inferiority of a task-shifting HIV treatment model relying on peer counselors and nurses compared with a physician-centered model among HIV-1-positive women initiated on antiretroviral therapy (ART) at a prevention of mother-to-child transmission clinic in Mulago Hospital, Uganda. [from abstract]

Using Verbal Autopsy to Ascertain Perinatal Cause of Death: Are Trained Non-Physicians Adequate?

This initiative’s objective was to develop a standardized verbal autopsy training program and evaluate whether its implementation resulted in comparable knowledge required to classify perinatal cause of death by physicians and non-physicians. [from abstract]

Case Study: Does Training of Private Networks of Family Planning Clinicians in Urban Pakistan Affect Service Utilization?

This study aimed to determine whether training of providers participating in franchise clinic networks is associated with increased family planning service use among low-income urban families in Pakistan.

Clinical Staging of HIV-Related Illness in Mozambique: Performance of Nonphysician Clinicians Based on Direct Observation of Clinical Care and Implications for Health Worker Training

In Mozambique, clinical staging may be the primary determinant of HIV/AIDS treatment decisions, and the task of staging commonly falls to non-physician clinicians. This study evaluated the quality of performance in clinical staging two years after the first Mozambican clinicians were trained in HIV/AIDS care. [adapted from abstract]

Volunteering in Health Care: Securing a Sustainable Future

This research indicates that volunteers play an important role in improving people’s experience of care, building stronger relationships between services and communities, supporting integrated care, improving public health and reducing health inequalities. [from author]

Expanded and Advances Health Practitioners, and Their Role and Relevance in the Pacific

Pacific health workforce planners must consider the potential impact on existing models of care and roles of advanced practitioners from the increasing number of medical graduates from both within and outside the region; particularly, the balance of doctors’ roles with those of established advanced health practitioners. [from author]

Expanded and Extended Health Practitioner Roles: A Review of International Practice

This paper reviews complementary roles to those of traditional health workers, focusing on extended and expanded scopes of practice. It describes international trends and approaches to the planning and delivery of a health workforce that move away from a structure based on traditional roles and scopes of practice [from author]

Contribution of Physician Assistants in Primary Care: A Systematic Review

Increasing demand, enlarged workloads, and current and anticipated physician shortages in many countries have led to the introduction of mid-level professionals, such as physician assistants. This systematic review aimed to appraise the evidence of the contribution of these workers within primary care relevant to the UK or similar systems. [adapted from abstract]

Evolving Role of Health Care Aides in the Long-Term Care and Home and Community Care Sectors in Canada

This study attempts to gather information on health care aides, a cadre that constitutes a significant component of the health care labor force providing home and community care in Canada, to fill gaps in basic information about this component of the workforce including motivations, retention, and adequacy of their training. [adapted from author]

How Do Retired Paramedics Fit into Remote, Rural Emergency Departments?

This article argues that paramedics’ skills, education and experience enable them to become useful physician assistants who may relieve much of the doctors’ burden, allowing physicians in remote hospitals to concentrate on genuine medical duties; but the objection of doctors’ and nurses’ professional organizations constitute a substantial obstacle to this solution. [adapted from abstract]

Effect of Women's Groups and Volunteer Peer Counselling on Rates of Mortality, Morbidity, and Health Behaviours in Mothers and Children in Rural Malawi (MaiMwana): A Factorial, Cluster-Randomised Controlled Trial

This article describes an assessment of the effects of community mobilisation through women’s groups, and health education through female volunteer peer counsellors on rates of infant care, feeding, morbidity, and mortality. [adapted from author]

Effectiveness of Nurse Case Management Compared with Usual Care in Cancer Patients at a Single Medical Center in Taiwan: A Quasi-Experimental Study

The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of care quality in cancer patients using a nurse case management model. [adapted from abstract]

Results from a Study Using Misoprostol for Management of Incomplete Abortion in Vietnamese Hospitals: Implications for Task Shifting

This study sought to assess whether sublingual misoprostol could effectively evacuate the uterus after incomplete abortion and to confirm its applicability for use by lower level clinicians. [adapted from abstract]

Introducing Peer Worker Roles into UK Mental Health Service Teams: A Qualitative Analysis of the Organisational Benefits and Challenges

This paper seeks to address a gap in the empirical literature in understanding the organisational challenges and benefits of introducing peer worker roles into mental health service teams. [from abstract]

Lady Health Worker Program in Pakistan: A Commentary

This article describes the Lady Health Worker Program in Pakistan based on training women from local communities to provide specific, basic primary health-care treatment plus preventive services and the success of the program in enabling timely treatment, prevention and even screening. [adapted from author]

Unfree Markets: Socially Embedded Informal Health Providers in Northern Karnataka, India

The authors examined how informal health markets operate from the viewpoint of informal providers (those without any government-recognised medical degrees) by drawing upon data from a household survey in 2002, a provider census in 2004 and ongoing field observations from a research site in Koppal district, Karnataka, India. [adapted from author]

NIMART Rollout to Primary Healthcare Facilities Increases Access to Antiretrovirals in Johannesburg: An Interrupted Time Series Analysis

In this study, decentralisation of anitretroviral treatement (ART) initiation by professional nurses through the Nurse Initiatied Management of Antiretroviral Treatment (NIMART) program was shown to increase ART uptake and reduce workloadat referral facilities, enabling them to concentrate on complicated cases. [adapted from author]

Systematic Review Evaluating the Impact of Task Shifting on Access to Antiretroviral Therapy in Sub-Saharan Africa

This review evaluates whether task shifting of ART initiation and management from physicians to nurses increases access to antiretroviral therapy, the primary purpose cited for the implementation of task shifting policies. [from introduction]

Health Systems Strengthening Case Study: Demonstration Project to Strengthen the Community Health Systems to Improve the Performance of Health Extension Workers to Provide Quality Care at the Community Level in Ethiopia

This report outlines a project to apply a quality improvement approach to Ethiopia’s Health Extension Program, which was designed to improve access and utilization of quality preventive, promotive and curative health care services in an accessible and equitable manner to reach all segments of the population, with special attention on mothers and children. [adapted from author]

Evaluation of a Well-Established Task-Shifting Initiative: The Lay Counselor Cadre in Botswana

This study examined the Botswana lay counselor cadre, a task shifting initiative, to explore effectiveness and contribution to the health workforce. [from abstract]

Case Study of Nurse Practitioner Role Implementation in Primary Care: What Happens When New Roles Are Introduced

The purpose of the study was to explain the process implementing a new cadre of nurse practitioners role in British Columbia as it was occurring and to identify factors that could enhance the implementation process. An explanatory, single case study with embedded units of analysis was used. [adapted from abstract]

What Is the Role of Informal Healthcare Providers in Developing Countries? A Systematic Review

The authors conducted a comprehensive literature review on the informal health care sector in developing countries to determine thebasic characteristics of performance, cost, quality, utilization, and size of this sector. [adpated from abstract]

Developing a New Mid-Level Health Worker: Lessons from South Africa's Experience with Clinical Associates

This article describes the development of a new mid-level medical worker in South Africa including the way in which scopes of practice and course design were negotiated and the progress during the early years. [adapted from abstract]

Combating Global Health Worker Shortages: Task Shifting and Sharing May Provide One Solution

This article discusses the options of task shifting and task sharing to boost access to healthcare in the face of the global health worker shortage. [adapted from author]

Provision of Injectable Contraceptives in Ethiopia through Community-Based Reproductive Health Agents

The objective of this study was to determine if, with appropriate training, volunteers known as community-based reproductive health agents can administer injectable contraceptives to women in a rural region of Ethiopia with the same effectiveness, safety and acceptability as health extension workers. [from author]

Optimizing Health Worker Roles to Improve Access to Key Maternal and Newborn Health Interventions through Task Shifting

The objective of this guidance is to issue evidence-based recommendations to facilitate universal access to key, effective maternal and newborn interventions through the optimization of health worker roles. [from summary]