Smartphone Medical App Use and Associated Factors Among Physicians at Referral Hospitals in Amhara Region, North Ethiopia, in 2019: Cross-sectional Study

Background:
Information in health care is rapidly expanding and is updated very regularly, especially with the increasing use of technology in the sector. Due to this, health care providers require timely access to the latest scientific evidence anywhere. Smartphone medical apps are tools to access the latest reputable scientific evidence in the discipline. In addition, smartphone medical apps could lead to improved decision making, reduced numbers of medical errors, and improved communication between hospital medical staff.

Objective:
The aim of this study was to assess smartphone medical app use and associated factors among physicians working at referral hospitals of the Amhara region, Ethiopia.

Methods:
An institution-based cross-sectional study design was conducted among physicians working at 5 referral hospitals in the Amhara region, Ethiopia, from February 5 to May 27, 2019. A simple random sampling method was used to select 423 physicians. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect the data and analyzed using SPSS, version 21 (IBM Corp). Binary and multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to assess factors associated with smartphone medical app use among physicians. A value of P<.05, corresponding to a 95% CI, was considered statistically significant. The validity of the questionnaire was determined based on the view of experts and the reliability of it obtained by calculating the value of Cronbach alpha (α=.78)

Results:
In this study, most of the 417 respondents (375, 89.9%) had medical apps installed on their smartphones. Of those 375 respondents, 264 (70.4%) had used medical apps during clinical practice. The medical apps most commonly used by the respondents were UpToDate, Medscape, MedCalc, and Doximity. According to multivariable logistic regression analysis, attitude (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.64, 95% CI 1.05-2.55), internet access (AOR 2.82, 95% CI 1.75-4.54), computer training (AOR 1.71, 95% CI 1.09-2.67), perceived usefulness of the app (AOR 1.64, 95% CI 1.05-2.54), information technology support staff (AOR 2.363, 95% CI 1.5-3.08), and technical skill (AOR 2.52, 95% CI 1.50-4.25) were significantly associated with smartphone medical app use.

Conclusions:
Most respondents have a smartphone medical app and have used it in clinical practice. Attitude, internet access, computer training, perceived usefulness of the app, information technology support staff, and technical skill are the most notable factors that are associated with smartphone medical app use by physicians.

Assessment of clinical and radiographic outcomes following retrograde versus antegrade nailing of infraisthmic femoral shaft fractures without the use of intraoperative fluoroscopy in Tanzania

Objectives:
To compare clinical and radiographic outcomes following antegrade versus retrograde intramedullary nailing of infraisthmic femoral shaft fractures.

Design:
Secondary analysis of prospective cohort study.

Setting:
Tertiary hospital in Tanzania.

Participants:
Adult patients with infraisthmic diaphyseal femur fractures.

Intervention:
Antegrade or retrograde SIGN intramedullary nail.

Outcomes:
Health-related quality of life (HRQOL), radiographic healing, knee range of motion, pain, and alignment (defined as less than or equal to 5 degrees of angular deformity in both coronal and sagittal planes) assessed at 6, 12, 24, and 52 weeks postoperatively.

Results:
Of 160 included patients, 141 (88.1%) had 1-year follow-up and were included in analyses: 42 (29.8%) antegrade, 99 (70.2%) retrograde. Antegrade-nailed patients had more loss of coronal alignment (P = .026), but less knee pain at 6 months (P = .017) and increased knee flexion at 6 weeks (P = .021). There were no significant differences in reoperations, HRQOL, hip pain, knee extension, radiographic healing, or sagittal alignment.

Conclusions:
Antegrade nailing of infraisthmic femur fractures had higher incidence of alignment loss, but no detectable differences in HRQOL, pain, radiographic healing, or reoperation. Retrograde nailing was associated with increased knee pain and decreased knee range of motion at early time points, but this dissipated by 1 year. To our knowledge, this is the first study to prospectively compare outcomes over 1 year in patients treated with antegrade versus retrograde SIGN intramedullary nailing of infraisthmic femur fractures.

Surgical service monitoring and quality control systems at district hospitals in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia: a mixed-methods study

Background In low-income and middle-income countries, an estimated one in three clinical adverse events happens in non-complex situations and 83% are preventable. Poor quality of care also leads to inefficient use of human, material and financial resources for health. Improving outcomes and mitigating the risk of adverse events require effective monitoring and quality control systems.

Aim To assess the state of surgical monitoring and quality control systems at district hospitals (DHs) in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.

Methods A mixed-methods cross-sectional study of 75 DHs: Malawi (22), Tanzania (30) and Zambia (23). This included a questionnaire, interviews and visual inspection of operating theatre (OT) registers. Data were collected on monitoring and quality systems for surgical activity, processes and outcomes, as well as perceived barriers.

Results 53% (n=40/75) of DHs use more than one OT register to record surgical operations. With the exception of standardised printed OT registers in Zambia, the register format (often handwritten books) and type of data collected varied between DHs. Monthly reports were seldom analysed by surgical teams. Less than 30% of all surveyed DHs used surgical safety checklists (n=22/75), and <15% (n=11/75) performed surgical audits. 73% (n=22/30) of DHs in Tanzania and less than half of DHs in Malawi (n=11/22) and Zambia (n=10/23) conducted surgical case reviews. Reports of surgical morbidity and mortality were compiled in 65% (n=15/23) of Zambian DHs, and in less than one-third of DHs in Tanzania (n=9/30) and Malawi (n=4/22). Reported barriers to monitoring and quality systems included an absence of formalised guidelines, continuous training opportunities as well as inadequate accountability mechanisms.

Conclusions Surgical monitoring and quality control systems were not standard among sampled DHs. Improvements are needed in standardisation of quality measures used; and in ensuring data completeness, analysis and utilisation for improving patient outcomes.

Predictors of Five-Year Overall Survival in Women Treated for Cervical Cancer at the Kenyatta National Hospital in 2008

Cervical cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed and the fourth leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide. In many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) including Kenya cervical cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death among women. This situation is due to the fact that despite the existence of effective preventive and early detection programs, lack of implementation in LMICs leads many women suffering from the disease to premature death. This study was aimed at estimating the five-year overall survival rates for women with cervical cancer in Kenya. To achieve this, the study employed a retrospective cohort design where medical records of all patients who commenced treatment for cervical cancer in 2008 were reviewed retrospectively over a period of five years from 2008- 2013. Data analysis involved the use of Stata v14.2 to generate descriptive statistics and conduct survival analysis. The five-year overall survival estimate for women with cervical cancer at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in 2008 was found to be 59%. Stage of disease at diagnosis, type of treatment received and whether or not treatment was initiated and completed are the three factors revealed to have the strongest influence on patient survival. Occupation which was used as a proxy for socio-economic status (SES) did not reflect the financial burden imposed on patients seeking treatment. However, the loss to follow up was significantly high at a rate of 82.3%; with no deaths observed after the first year, the overall survival estimate is only accurate over the first year. The results of this study provided insight on the relationship between various socio-demographic and clinical factors and patient outcomes of cervical cancer treatments at KNH. Moreover, it highlighted the ongoing health system challenges surrounding provision of and access to cancer treatment. The results will inform policy makers and health service providers on the quality and accessibility of available cervical cancer treatments as delivered within our healthcare setting

Andersen’s utilization model for cataract surgical rate and empirical evidence from economically-developing areas

Abstract
Background
Un-operated cataract is the leading cause of vision loss worldwide, responsible for 33% of visual impairment, and half of global blindness. The study aimed to build a fast evaluation method utilizing Andersen’s utilization framework and identify predictors of cataract surgical rate in sub-Saharan Africa and China.

Methods
The study was a cross-over ecological epidemiology study with a total of 19 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and 31 provinces in China. Information was extracted from public data and published studies. Linear regression and structural equation modeling with Bootstrap were used to analyze predictors of CSR and their pathways to impact in sub-Saharan Africa and China separately.

Results
Cataract surgical resources in sub-Saharan Africa were linearly correlated with CSR (β = 0.74, 95% CI: 0.09, 0.91), while GDP/P didn’t impact cataract surgical resources (β = 0.29, 95% CI: − 0.12, 0.75). In China, residents’ average ability to pay was confirmed as the mediator between GDP/P and CSR (p = 0.32, RMSEA = 0.07; βCSR-paying = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.25, 0.90; βpaying-GDP/P = 0.89, 95% CI: 0.82, 0.93).

Conclusions
In sub-Saharan Africa, CSR is determined by health care provision. Local economic development may not directly influence CSR. Therefore, international assistance aimed to providing free cataract surgery directly is crucial. In China, CSR is determined principally by health care demand (ability to pay). To increase CSR in underserved areas of China, ability to pay must be enhanced through social insurance, and reduced surgical fees.

Magnitude of Multidrug Resistance among Bacterial Isolates from Surgical Site Infections in Two National Referral Hospitals in Asmara, Eritrea

Abstract
Background. The World Health Organization has emphasized the importance of understanding the epidemiology of MDR organisms from a local standpoint. Here, we report on a spectrum of bacteria associated with surgical site infections in two referral hospitals in Eritrea and the associated antibiotic susceptibility patterns. Methods. This survey was conducted between February and June 2017. A total of 83 patients receiving treatment for various surgical conditions were included. Swabs from infected surgical sites were collected using Levine technique and processed using standard microbiological procedures. In vitro antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed on Mueller–Hinton Agar by the Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method following Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 20. Results. A total of 116 isolates were recovered from 83 patients. In total, 67 (58%) and 49 (42%) of the isolates were Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, respectively. The most common isolates included Citrobacter spp., Klebsiella spp., Escherichia coli, Proteus spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella spp., Enterobacter spp., and Acinetobacter spp. In contrast, Staphylococcus aureus, CONS, and Streptococcus viridians were the predominant Gram-positive isolates. All the Staphylococcus aureus isolates were resistant to penicillin. MRSA phenotype was observed in 70% of the isolates. Vancomycin, clindamycin, and erythromycin resistance were observed in 60%, 25%, and 25% of the isolates, respectively. Furthermore, a high proportion (91%) of the Gram-negative bacteria were resistant to ampicillin and 100% of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli isolates were resistant to >5 of the tested antibiotics. The two Acinetobacter isolates were resistant to >7 antimicrobial agents. We also noted that 4 (60%) of the Klebsiella isolates were resistant to >5 antimicrobial agents. Possible pan-drug-resistant (PDR) strains were also isolated. Conclusion. Due to the high frequency of MDR isolates reported in this study, the development and implementation of suitable infection control policies and guidelines is imperative.

Understanding health-seeking and adherence to treatment by patients with esophageal cancer at the Uganda cancer Institute: a qualitative study

Background
In the low- and middle-income countries, most patients with esophageal cancer present with advanced stage disease and experience poor survival. There is inadequate understanding of the factors that influence decisions to and actual health-seeking, and adherence to treatment regimens among esophageal cancer patients in Uganda, yet this knowledge is critical in informing interventions to promote prompt health-seeking, diagnosis at early stage and access to appropriate cancer therapy to improve survival. We explored health-seeking experiences and adherence to treatment among esophageal cancer patients attending the Uganda Cancer Institute.

Methods
We conducted an interview based qualitative study at the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI). Participants included patients with established histology diagnosis of esophageal cancer and healthcare professionals involved in the care of these patients. We used purposive sampling approach to select study participants. In-depth and key informant interviews were used in data collection. Data collection was conducted till point of data saturation was reached. Thematic content analysis approach was used in data analyses and interpretations. Themes and subthemes were identified deductively.

Results
Sixteen patients and 17 healthcare professionals were included in the study. Delayed health-seeking and poor adherence to treatment were related to (i) emotional and psychosocial factors including stress of cancer diagnosis, stigma related to esophageal cancer symptoms, and fear of loss of jobs and livelihood, (ii) limited knowledge and recognition of esophageal cancer symptoms by both patients and primary healthcare professionals, and (iii) limited access to specialized cancer care, mainly because of long distance to the facility and associated high transport cost. Patients were generally enthused with patient – provider relationships at the UCI. While inadequate communication and some degree of incivility were reported, majority of patients thought the healthcare professionals were empathetic and supportive.

Conclusion
Health system and individual patient factors influence health-seeking for symptoms of esophageal cancer and adherence to treatment schedule for the disease. Interventions to improve access to and acceptability of esophageal cancer services, as well as increase public awareness of esophageal cancer risk factors and symptoms could lead to earlier diagnosis and potentially better survival from the disease in Uganda.

Magnitude, Pattern and Management Outcome of Intestinal Obstruction among Non-Traumatic Acute Abdomen Surgical Admissions in Arba Minch General Hospital, Southern Ethiopia

Abstract
Background: Intestinal obstruction is defined as a blockage or partial blockage of the passage of the intestinal contents. It is a potentially risky surgical emergency associated with high morbidity and mortality. Its pattern differs from country to country and even from place to place within a country. Therefore, this study aimed to find out the magnitude, pattern and management outcome of intestinal obstruction in Arba Minch General Hospital.

Methods: A retrospective Cross-Sectional study was conducted in Arba Minch General hospital from January 09, 2015, to November 09, 2018. The data collection period was from December 15, 2018, to February 09, 2019. Simple random technique was applied to select 801 study participants. Then, the required data entered into Epi Info version 7.2.1.0 and exported to the statistical package for the social sciences software package version 20 for analysis.

Result: This study revealed that the overall magnitude of intestinal obstruction was 40.60% with 95% CI (34.95 – 45.95). The magnitude of unfavorable management outcomes and deaths during the study period were 22.3% with 95% CI (18.00-27.00) and 7.1 % with 95% CI (4.00-10.00) respectively. Small bowel volvulus, sigmoid volvulus and adhesion (bands) accounted for 45.30%, 21.35% and 11.97% of all patterns of intestinal obstructions respectively. Dehydration (p<0.001), persistent tachycardia (p<0.001) and perforated bowl (p<0.001) were highly significantly associated with the management outcome of intestinal obstruction.

Conclusion and recommendation: Intestinal obstruction was the most common among all acute abdomen cases and its management outcome highly associated with dehydration. Early resuscitation is recommended to decrease unfavorable management outcomes.

Predicting mortality in adults with suspected infection in a Rwandan hospital: an evaluation of the adapted MEWS, qSOFA and UVA scores

Rationale: Mortality prediction scores are increasingly being evaluated in low and middle income countries (LMICs) for research comparisons, quality improvement and clinical decision-making. The modified early warning score (MEWS), quick Sequential (Sepsis-Related) Organ Failure Assessment (qSOFA), and Universal Vital Assessment (UVA) score use variables that are feasible to obtain, and have demonstrated potential to predict mortality in LMIC cohorts.

Objective: To determine the predictive capacity of adapted MEWS, qSOFA and UVA in a Rwandan hospital.

Design, setting, participants and outcome measures: We prospectively collected data on all adult patients admitted to a tertiary hospital in Rwanda with suspected infection over 7 months. We calculated an adapted MEWS, qSOFA and UVA score for each participant. The predictive capacity of each score was assessed including sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value, OR, area under the receiver operating curve (AUROC) and performance by underlying risk quartile.

Results: We screened 19 178 patient days, and enrolled 647 unique patients. Median age was 35 years, and in-hospital mortality was 18.1%. The proportion of data missing for each variable ranged from 0% to 11.7%. The sensitivities and specificities of the scores were: adapted MEWS >4, 50.4% and 74.9%, respectively; qSOFA >2, 24.8% and 90.4%, respectively; and UVA >4, 28.2% and 91.1%, respectively. The scores as continuous variables demonstrated the following AUROCs: adapted MEWS 0.69 (95% CI 0.64 to 0.74), qSOFA 0.65 (95% CI 0.60 to 0.70), and UVA 0.71 (95% CI 0.66 to 0.76); there was no statistically significant difference between the discriminative capacities of the scores.

Conclusion: Three scores demonstrated a modest ability to predict mortality in a prospective study of inpatients with suspected infection at a Rwandan tertiary hospital. Careful consideration must be given to their adequacy before using them in research comparisons, quality improvement or clinical decision-making.

Health System Factors That Influence Treatment Delay in Women With Breast Cancer in Sub-saharan Africa: A Systematic Review

Abstract
Background
Breast cancer patients in sub-Saharan Africa experience long delays between their first presentation to a health care facility and the start of cancer treatment. The role of the health system in the increasing delay in treatment has not been widely investigated. This review aimed to identify existing information on health system factors that influence treatment delays in women with breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa to contribute to the reorientation of health policies in the region.
Methods
PubMed, ScienceDirect, African Journals Online, Mendeley, ResearchGate and Google Scholar were searched to identify relevant studies published between 2010 and July 2020. We performed a qualitative synthesis in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyse (PRISMA) statement. Related health system factors were extracted and classified according to the World Health Organization’s six health system building blocks. The quality of qualitative and quantitative studies was assessed by using the Critical Appraisal Skills Program quality-assessment tool and the National Institute of Health Quality Assessment Tool, respectively. In addition, we used the Confidence in the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative Research tool to assess the evidence for each qualitative finding.
Results
From 14,184 identified studies, this systematic review included 28 articles. We identified a total of 36 barriers and 8 facilitators that may influence treatment delay in women with breast cancer. The principal health system factors identified were mainly related to human resources and service delivery, particularly difficulty accessing health care, diagnostic errors, poor management, and treatment cost.
Conclusion
The present review shows that treatment delay among women with breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa is influenced by many related health system factors. Policymakers in sub-Saharan Africa need to tackle the financial accessibility to breast cancer treatment by adequate universal health coverage policies and reinforce the clinical competencies for health workers to ensure timely diagnosis and appropriate care for women with breast cancer in this region