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      Primary health care research in Saudi Arabia: A quantitative analysis

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          Abstract

          Objectives:

          The objective of this study was to analyze the published primary health care (PHC) research conducted in Saudi Arabia quantitatively and to determine the distribution of these research publications according to the topic, time, geographical location, and institution.

          Methods:

          In this descriptive study, we conducted literature search in PubMed and Google Scholar. The Medical Subject Headings terms: “Primary Health” AND “Saudi” and “Primary Care” AND “Saudi” were used for searching relevant journal articles. Relevant information about the journal articles, published till December 2011, was recorded on a coding instrument.

          Results:

          From 1983 to 2011, a total of 655 PHC research articles were found. The publication output showed an increase with time. Original research articles (85.6%) were the main type of publications, and the most common study design was cross-sectional (93.4%). “Chronic diseases” and “health services research” were the main topics addressed. Riyadh province had the highest proportion (46.3%) of publications, and the universities (56.2%), followed by the Saudi Ministry of Health (24.9%), were the main institutions publishing the research.

          Conclusion:

          Despite a well-established PHC setup in Saudi Arabia, the research outputs are low. Most of the published articles are cross-sectional studies and are conducted by the universities. Enhancing the PHC research by creating a supportive environment will lead to an increased evidence base for PHC and its effective translation into service delivery.

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          Most cited references 36

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          The breadth of primary care: a systematic literature review of its core dimensions

          Background Even though there is general agreement that primary care is the linchpin of effective health care delivery, to date no efforts have been made to systematically review the scientific evidence supporting this supposition. The aim of this study was to examine the breadth of primary care by identifying its core dimensions and to assess the evidence for their interrelations and their relevance to outcomes at (primary) health system level. Methods A systematic review of the primary care literature was carried out, restricted to English language journals reporting original research or systematic reviews. Studies published between 2003 and July 2008 were searched in MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, King's Fund Database, IDEAS Database, and EconLit. Results Eighty-five studies were identified. This review was able to provide insight in the complexity of primary care as a multidimensional system, by identifying ten core dimensions that constitute a primary care system. The structure of a primary care system consists of three dimensions: 1. governance; 2. economic conditions; and 3. workforce development. The primary care process is determined by four dimensions: 4. access; 5. continuity of care; 6. coordination of care; and 7. comprehensiveness of care. The outcome of a primary care system includes three dimensions: 8. quality of care; 9. efficiency care; and 10. equity in health. There is a considerable evidence base showing that primary care contributes through its dimensions to overall health system performance and health. Conclusions A primary care system can be defined and approached as a multidimensional system contributing to overall health system performance and health.
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            Health care system in Saudi Arabia: an overview.

            The government of Saudi Arabia has given high priority to the development of health care services at all levels: primary, secondary and tertiary. As a consequence, the health of the Saudi population has greatly improved in recent decades. However, a number of issues pose challenges to the health care system, such a shortage of Saudi health professionals, the health ministry's multiple roles, limited financial resources, changing patterns of disease, high demand resulting from free services, an absence of a national crisis management policy, poor accessibility to some health care facilities, lack of a national health information system, and the underutilization of the potential of electronic health strategies. This paper reviews the historical development and current structure of the health care system in Saudi Arabia with particular emphasis on the public health sector and the opportunities and challenges confronting the Saudi health care system.
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              Study protocol: national research partnership to improve primary health care performance and outcomes for Indigenous peoples

              Background Strengthening primary health care is critical to reducing health inequity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The Audit and Best practice for Chronic Disease Extension (ABCDE) project has facilitated the implementation of modern Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) approaches in Indigenous community health care centres across Australia. The project demonstrated improvements in health centre systems, delivery of primary care services and in patient intermediate outcomes. It has also highlighted substantial variation in quality of care. Through a partnership between academic researchers, service providers and policy makers, we are now implementing a study which aims to 1) explore the factors associated with variation in clinical performance; 2) examine specific strategies that have been effective in improving primary care clinical performance; and 3) work with health service staff, management and policy makers to enhance the effective implementation of successful strategies. Methods/Design The study will be conducted in Indigenous community health centres from at least six States/Territories (Northern Territory, Western Australia, New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria) over a five year period. A research hub will be established in each region to support collection and reporting of quantitative and qualitative clinical and health centre system performance data, to investigate factors affecting variation in quality of care and to facilitate effective translation of research evidence into policy and practice. The project is supported by a web-based information system, providing automated analysis and reporting of clinical care performance to health centre staff and management. Discussion By linking researchers directly to users of research (service providers, managers and policy makers), the partnership is well placed to generate new knowledge on effective strategies for improving the quality of primary health care and fostering effective and efficient exchange and use of data and information among service providers and policy makers to achieve evidence-based resource allocation, service planning, system development, and improvements of service delivery and Indigenous health outcomes.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Health Sci (Qassim)
                Int J Health Sci (Qassim)
                International Journal of Health Sciences
                Qassim Uninversity (Saudi Arabia )
                1658-3639
                Apr-Jun 2017
                : 11
                : 2
                : 9-15
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Public Health Specialist, Research and Information Unit, Public Health Administration, Qassim, Saudi Arabia
                [2 ]Arab Board in Family Medicine, Field Epidemiology Diploma, Chief, Research and Information Unit, Public Health Administration, Qassim, Saudi Arabia
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Dr. Saulat Jahan, Public Health Specialist, Research and Information Unit, Public Health Administration, Qassim, Saudi Arabia. Tel.: 0966-16-3267883 (Ext.: 107). Phone: 0966-503546089. Fax: 016-3693022. E-mail: saulatjahan@ 123456hotmail.com
                Article
                IJHS-11-9
                5426411
                Copyright: © International Journal of Health Sciences

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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