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Healthcare, Volume 5, Issue 4 (December 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The impact of diet on academic achievement is a growing area of research, and while reviews in [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview Measuring Activity Performance of Older Adults Using the activPAL: A Rapid Review
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 15 October 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
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Abstract
Current measures of physical activity and sedentary behaviors such as questionnaires and functional assessments are insufficient to provide comprehensive data on older adults. In response, the use of activity monitors has increased. The purpose of this review was to summarize and assess the
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Current measures of physical activity and sedentary behaviors such as questionnaires and functional assessments are insufficient to provide comprehensive data on older adults. In response, the use of activity monitors has increased. The purpose of this review was to summarize and assess the quality of observational literature on activity measuring of older adults using the activPAL activity monitor. Seventeen databases and a bibliography, compiled by the activPAL creators, were searched. Articles were included if they were in English, were peer-reviewed, included people 65 years or older, measured activity using the activPAL and reported at least one of the following outcomes: step count, hours upright, hours sitting/lying, hours stepping, or hours standing. The search revealed 404 titles; after exclusions 24 were included in the final review. Of these studies, one examined older adults from residential aged care, six from hospital in-patient clinics, nine from outpatient clinics and eight examined community-dwellers. Mean age ranged from 66.0 to 84.2 years. Not all studies reported similar outcome variables, preventing data pooling. The review found a lack of high quality articles. There may be limitations to using the activPAL among older adults but further research is required to examine its use in this population. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Connecting the Mind–Body Split: Understanding the Relationship between Symptoms and Emotional Well-Being in Chronic Pain and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
Received: 4 October 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
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Abstract
Paediatric chronic conditions, e.g., chronic pain and functional gastrointestinal disorders, are commonly diagnosed, with fatigue, pain and abdominal discomfort the most frequently reported symptoms across conditions. Regardless of whether symptoms are connected to an underlying medical diagnosis or not, they are often associated
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Paediatric chronic conditions, e.g., chronic pain and functional gastrointestinal disorders, are commonly diagnosed, with fatigue, pain and abdominal discomfort the most frequently reported symptoms across conditions. Regardless of whether symptoms are connected to an underlying medical diagnosis or not, they are often associated with an increased experience of psychological distress by both the ill child and their parents. While pain and embarrassing symptoms can induce increased distress, evidence is also accumulating in support of a reciprocal relationship between pain and distress. This reciprocal relationship is nicely illustrated in the fear avoidance model of pain, which has recently been found to be applicable to childhood pain experiences. The purpose of this article is to illustrate how mind (i.e., emotions) and body (i.e., physical symptoms) interact using chronic pain and gastrointestinal disorders as key examples. Despite the evidence for the connection between mind and body, the mind–body split is still a dominant position for families and health care systems, as evidenced by the artificial split between physical and mental health care. In a mission to overcome this gap, this article will conclude by providing tools on how the highlighted evidence can help to close this gap between mind and body. Full article
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Open AccessReview The Impact of Hemodialysis on Spatio-Temporal Characteristics of Gait and Role of Exercise: A Systematic Review
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
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Abstract
Background: People with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) on hemodialysis (HD) commonly have functional impairments. The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the effect of HD on spatio-temporal characteristics of gait, and effect of exercise on these parameters. Methods: Electronic databases were
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Background: People with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) on hemodialysis (HD) commonly have functional impairments. The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the effect of HD on spatio-temporal characteristics of gait, and effect of exercise on these parameters. Methods: Electronic databases were searched to identify relevant citations. Extracted data was computed using a random effects model for means (Hedges’ and 95% confidence interval (CI). Results: 27 studies met inclusion criteria. Mean values: gait speed (GS)—1.0 m/s (CI: 0.9–1.1 m/s; 16 studies), fast walking speed (FWS)—1.5 m/s (CI: 1.3–1.6 m/s; 7 studies), timed get-up & go test (TUG) —6.8 s (CI: 6.1–7.5 s; 2 studies), walk tests (WT) 193.0 s (CI: 116.0–270.0; 5 studies), 6 min-walk-test (6MWT)—386.6 m (CI: 243.2–530.0 m; 11 studies). 4 studies compared participants on HD with normal controls and 10 studies evaluated the effect of nutrition/exercise. Conclusions: Compared to age-matched populations, people with ESKD/HD had significantly slower GS and reduced walk distances; with intervention, the change in the distance walked was significant. Further research is required to evaluate the effect of HD on gait parameters, and the type of exercise/nutrition that will lead to meaningful changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Socio-Economic Impact of End Stage Kidney Disease)
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Open AccessReview Cross-National Differences in Psychosocial Factors of Perinatal Depression: A Systematic Review of India and Japan
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
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Abstract
Perinatal depression is prevalent worldwide. However, there are few available studies that discuss the different cultural factors affecting perinatal depression within Asian countries. This study aims to compare the literature regarding related factors relating to perinatal depression in India and Japan, and to
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Perinatal depression is prevalent worldwide. However, there are few available studies that discuss the different cultural factors affecting perinatal depression within Asian countries. This study aims to compare the literature regarding related factors relating to perinatal depression in India and Japan, and to synthesize the evidence common to both countries in addition to the country-specific evidence. We conducted a systematic review using several databases (CINAHL, MEDLINE, Pubmed, Ovid, SCOPUS, IndMED, and ICHUSI). Keywords were “antenatal depression” or “postpartum depression”, and “India” or “Japan”. Both Japanese and English language papers were reviewed. The identified evidence was compared between the two countries, as well as with non-Asian countries based on previous reports. In total, 15 articles on India and 35 on Japan were reviewed. Although several factors were shared between the two countries as well as with other non-Asian countries (vulnerable personality, being abused, age, marital conflict, and lower socio-demographic status), some differing factors were identified between India and Japan and non-Asian countries; India: poor socioeconomic status, living only with the husband, pregnancy not welcomed by the husband, a female baby, and poor relationship with in-laws; Japan: infertility treatment, conflict with work–life balance, poor relationships with biological mother or in-laws, and concerns about social relations with the other mother’s friends. To conclude, involving the family and community may be important for implementing both global standardized and culture-specific interventions. In India, treatment involving the in-laws may be effective because large family structure is a significant predictor of perinatal depression. In Japan, a family/community approach involving not only the mother’s family of origin but also the working environment is essential. Full article
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Open AccessReview Home Hemodialysis (HHD) Treatment as an Effective yet Underutilized Treatment Modality in the United States
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 9 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
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Abstract
End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is a major health burden and its incidence has been increasing yearly reaching 120,000 cases in 2014. Home hemodialysis (HHD) is a treatment modality option that has been shown to contribute to numerous clinical benefits but is largely underutilized
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End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is a major health burden and its incidence has been increasing yearly reaching 120,000 cases in 2014. Home hemodialysis (HHD) is a treatment modality option that has been shown to contribute to numerous clinical benefits but is largely underutilized due to many contributing factors. The purpose of this review paper is to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of HHD and the reasons for its low utilization with a special focus on its socioeconomic impact as compared to facility hemodialysis. Key factors contributing to HHD underutilization are related to the reimbursement system of the facility and nephrologists as well as the underutilization of the pre-dialysis educational benefit. Based on this comprehensive review of the literature, we propose several suggestions which may contribute to the expansion of HHD treatment modality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Socio-Economic Impact of End Stage Kidney Disease)
Open AccessCommunication The Geography of the Alzheimer’s Disease Mortality in Spain: Should We Focus on Industrial Pollutants Prevention?
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
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Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has a high worldwide prevalence but little is known about its aetiology and risk factors. Recent research suggests environmental factors might increase AD risk. We aim to describe the association between AD mortality and the presence of highly polluting industry
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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has a high worldwide prevalence but little is known about its aetiology and risk factors. Recent research suggests environmental factors might increase AD risk. We aim to describe the association between AD mortality and the presence of highly polluting industry in small areas in Spain between 1999 and 2010. We calculated AD age-adjusted Standardized Mortality Ratio (SMR), stratified by sex, grouped by industrial pollution density, compared for each small area of Spain. In the small areas with the highest mortality, the SMR among women was at least 25% greater than the national average (18% in men). The distribution of AD mortality was generally similar to that of high industrial pollution (higher mortality in the north, the Mediterranean coast and in some southern areas). The risk of AD mortality among women was 140% higher (123% among men) in areas with the highest industrial density in comparison to areas without polluting industries. This study has identified a geographical pattern of small areas with higher AD mortality risk and an ecological positive association with the density of highly polluting industry. Further research is needed on the potential impact of this type of industry pollution on AD aetiology and mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Population Health Management)
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Open AccessReview The New Old (and Old New) Medical Model: Four Decades Navigating the Biomedical and Psychosocial Understandings of Health and Illness
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 14 November 2017 / Published: 18 November 2017
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Abstract
The importance of how disease and illness are conceptualised lies in the fact that such definition is paramount to understand the boundaries and scope of responsibility associated with medical work. In this paper, we aim to provide an overview of the interplay of
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The importance of how disease and illness are conceptualised lies in the fact that such definition is paramount to understand the boundaries and scope of responsibility associated with medical work. In this paper, we aim to provide an overview of the interplay of these understandings in shaping the nature of medical work, philosophically, and in practice. We first discuss the emergence of the biopsychosocial model as an attempt to both challenge and broaden the traditional biomedical model. Then, we outline the main criticisms associated with the biopsychosocial model and note a range of contributions addressing the shortcomings of the model as initially formulated. Despite recurrent criticisms and uneven uptake, the biopsychosocial model has gone on to influence core aspects of medical practice, education, and research across many areas of medicine. One of these areas is adolescent medicine, which provides a particularly good exemplar to examine the contemporary challenges associated with the practical application of the biopsychosocial model. We conclude that a more optimal use of existing bodies of evidence, bringing together evidence-based methodological advances of the biopsychosocial model and existing evidence on the psychosocial needs associated with specific conditions/populations, can help to bridge the gap between philosophy and practice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle “To Work Just Like Anyone Else”—A Narrative from a Man Aging with Spinal Cord Injury
Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 3 November 2017 / Accepted: 7 November 2017 / Published: 9 November 2017
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Abstract
People aging with spinal cord injury (SCI) develop medical problems commonly associated with the aging process at a younger age than the general population. However, research about how the life story changes and how meaning will be experienced in occupations is lacking. The
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People aging with spinal cord injury (SCI) develop medical problems commonly associated with the aging process at a younger age than the general population. However, research about how the life story changes and how meaning will be experienced in occupations is lacking. The aim was to describe and offer an explanation of how a man experienced meaning in everyday occupations while aging with an SCI. Four narrative interviews were performed over a four-year period, with a man in his fifties, who lived with SCI for 39 years. The narrative analysis generated an overall plot, named “To Work Just Like Anyone Else,” and gives a picture of his experiences, thoughts, and reflections about meaning in occupations, from when he became injured to the present, and in relation to his future. His life story is characterized by secondary health complications, and his experiences of negotiating with the aging body and making choices to continue working. Further, how occupational risk factors, e.g., imbalance, alienation, and deprivation, occur as a result of lack of rehabilitation and support from social systems is addressed. Future research should explore how rehabilitation and social systems can support people aging with SCI to experience meaning in everyday occupations and to have balance in everyday life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ageing with Chronic Disease and Disability)
Open AccessArticle Multimodal Counseling Interventions: Effect on Human Papilloma Virus Vaccination Acceptance
Received: 10 October 2017 / Revised: 27 October 2017 / Accepted: 29 October 2017 / Published: 6 November 2017
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Abstract
Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine was developed to reduce HPV-attributable cancers, external genital warts (EGW), and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. Adolescent HPV vaccination series completion rates are less than 40% in the United States of America, but up to 80% in Australia and the
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Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine was developed to reduce HPV-attributable cancers, external genital warts (EGW), and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. Adolescent HPV vaccination series completion rates are less than 40% in the United States of America, but up to 80% in Australia and the United Kingdom. Population-based herd immunity requires 80% or greater vaccination series completion rates. Pro-vaccination counseling facilitates increased vaccination rates. Multimodal counseling interventions may increase HPV vaccination series non-completers’ HPV-attributable disease knowledge and HPV-attributable disease prophylaxis (vaccination) acceptance over a brief 14-sentence counseling intervention. An online, 4-group, randomized controlled trial, with 260 or more participants per group, found that parents were more likely to accept HPV vaccination offers for their children than were childless young adults for themselves (68.2% and 52.9%). A combined audiovisual and patient health education handout (PHEH) intervention raised knowledge of HPV vaccination purpose, p = 0.02, and HPV vaccination acceptance for seven items, p < 0.001 to p = 0.023. The audiovisual intervention increased HPV vaccination acceptance for five items, p < 0.001 to p = 0.006. That HPV causes EGW, and that HPV vaccination prevents HPV-attributable diseases were better conveyed by the combined audiovisual and PHEH than the control 14-sentence counseling intervention alone. Full article
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Open AccessReview Prescribing Physical Activity for the Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis in Older Adults
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 11 October 2017 / Accepted: 31 October 2017 / Published: 6 November 2017
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Abstract
Osteoporosis is an age-related disease, characterised by low bone mineral density (BMD) and compromised bone geometry and microarchitecture, leading to reduced bone strength. Physical activity (PA) has potential as a therapy for osteoporosis, yet different modalities of PA have varying influences on bone
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Osteoporosis is an age-related disease, characterised by low bone mineral density (BMD) and compromised bone geometry and microarchitecture, leading to reduced bone strength. Physical activity (PA) has potential as a therapy for osteoporosis, yet different modalities of PA have varying influences on bone health. This review explores current evidence for the benefits of PA, and targeted exercise regimes for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in older adults. In particular, the outcomes of interventions involving resistance training, low- and high-impact weight bearing activities, and whole-body vibration therapy are discussed. Finally, we present recommendations for future research that may maximise the potential of exercise in primary and secondary prevention of osteoporosis in the ageing population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ageing with Chronic Disease and Disability)
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Medication in Supporting Emotional Wellbeing in Young People with Long-Term Needs
Received: 12 July 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 29 October 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
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Abstract
Young people frequently use and access prescribed medications for a range of health problems. Medications aimed at treating both common health problems and long-term physical and mental health needs in adolescence can have a significant effect on a young person’s emotional well-being. We
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Young people frequently use and access prescribed medications for a range of health problems. Medications aimed at treating both common health problems and long-term physical and mental health needs in adolescence can have a significant effect on a young person’s emotional well-being. We use a series of case studies to illustrate the challenges for healthcare professionals supporting young people with medication use. The studies illustrate the efficacy and limitations of medication on improving emotional well-being by alleviating illness and distress, and how this efficacy must be balanced against both the adverse effects and the burden of treatment. There are specific challenges for medication management during adolescence including issues of adherence/concordance, facilitating autonomy and participation in decision making, and promoting independence. Full article
Open AccessArticle Socioeconomic Status and Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetes; Race by Gender Differences
Received: 11 August 2017 / Revised: 4 October 2017 / Accepted: 6 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
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Abstract
Background: This study aimed to investigate differences in the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) across race by gender groups. Methods: Using a convenient sampling strategy, participants were 112 patients with type 2
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Background: This study aimed to investigate differences in the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) across race by gender groups. Methods: Using a convenient sampling strategy, participants were 112 patients with type 2 DM who were prescribed insulin (ns = 38 Black women, 34 Black men, 14 White women, and 26 White men, respectively). Linear regression was used to test the associations between sociodemographic variables (race, gender, SES, governmental insurance) and Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in the pooled sample and within subgroups defined by race and gender. Results: In the pooled sample, neither SES nor governmental insurance were associated with HbA1c. However, the race by gender interaction approached statistical significance (B = 0.34, 95% CI = −0.24–3.00, p =0.094), suggesting higher HbA1c in Black women, compared to other race by gender groups. In stratified models, SES (B = −0.33, 95% CI = −0.10–0.00, p = 0.050), and governmental insurance (B = 0.35, 95% CI = 0.05–2.42, p = 0.042) were associated with HbA1c for Black men, but not for any of the other race by gender subgroups. Conclusion: Socioeconomic factors may relate to health outcomes differently across race by gender subgroups. In particular, SES may be uniquely important for glycemic control of Black men. Due to lack of generalizability of the findings, additional research is needed. Full article
Open AccessReview Updates on the Management of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC)
Received: 8 September 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
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Abstract
Non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) are the most common malignancy worldwide, of which 99% are basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) of skin. NMSCs are generally considered a curable diseases, yet they currently pose an increasing global healthcare problem due to
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Non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) are the most common malignancy worldwide, of which 99% are basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) of skin. NMSCs are generally considered a curable diseases, yet they currently pose an increasing global healthcare problem due to rising incidence. This has led to a shift in emphasis on prevention of NMSCs with development of various skin cancer prevention programs worldwide. This article aims to summarize the most recent changes and advances made in NMSC management with a focus on prevention, screening, diagnosis, and staging. Full article
Open AccessReview Senescent Nephropathy: The New Renal Syndrome
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 25 September 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 28 October 2017
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Abstract
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition characterized by progressive and irreversible deterioration of renal function due to the reduction of nephron mass for a period of at least three months. The prevalence of CKD is roughly 10% in the general population but
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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition characterized by progressive and irreversible deterioration of renal function due to the reduction of nephron mass for a period of at least three months. The prevalence of CKD is roughly 10% in the general population but increases with age, affecting more than one-third of people older than 65. Frailty is a condition usually found in elderly people, characterized by weakness, motility, and balance issues, with a declined ability to resist stressors leading to increased risks of adverse health outcomes including falls, fracture, hospitalization, institutionalization, disability, dependence, dementia, poor quality of life, and death. There is interdependence between CKD and normal ageing whereby CKD makes ageing more accelerated and pronounced (senescence), whereas senescence accelerates chronic nephropathy’s progression. Frailty status catalyzes this spiral, with renal and systemic consequences, phenomenon which can be named senescent nephropathy. In conclusion, senescent nephropathy is a new renal syndrome that should be taken into account, and we must try to handle its appearance and progression not only by applying nephron prevention measurements but also by diagnosis and treating frailty in the CKD population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Socio-Economic Impact of End Stage Kidney Disease)
Open AccessArticle Strengthening the Referral System through Social Capital: A Qualitative Inquiry in Ghana
Received: 12 June 2017 / Revised: 25 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
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Abstract
The referral system in health care has been noted as very influential in determining which services are accessed and when. Nonetheless, existing studies have relied on specific measurable factors relating to health personnel, transportation and communication infrastructure, and finance to explain the challenges
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The referral system in health care has been noted as very influential in determining which services are accessed and when. Nonetheless, existing studies have relied on specific measurable factors relating to health personnel, transportation and communication infrastructure, and finance to explain the challenges facing the referral policy in developing countries. While this is understandable, the role of social capital remains mostly uncharted even though it is implicit in the well-known lay referral system. Using various facets of the social capital concept, this paper empirically examines how the resources embedded in both structural and cognitive aspects of social relationships influence knowledge of, and adherence to, referral policy. This study is based on semi-structured in-depth interviews conducted with 79 adults in the Ashanti Region of Ghana in 2015. Of the 79 participants, 28 lived in urban areas and 51 in rural localities. Eight health personnel and eight community leaders also contributed to the study. Additionally, six focus group discussions were held. The findings indicated that both cognitive and structural forms of social capital considerably underpinned the ability and willingness of people to adhere to the referral process. Moreover, the role of social capital was double-barrelled. It contributed in a significant way to encouraging or dissuading potential patients from rightly embracing the policy. In addition, precepts of social capital reinforced both positive and adverse effects of the other determinants of the policy such as finance and transportation. However, the magnitude of such impact was linked to how ‘resourceful’ and ‘trustworthy’ one’s available social acquaintances were. The paper suggests that a cautious engagement with social capital will make it a potentially powerful tool for understanding the gaps in and improving the effectiveness of referral policy. Full article
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