Differences in the continuity of care perceived by patients with chronic diseases in Latin America: a new Equity-LA II publication
The scientific journal Gaceta Sanitaria has published a new article, entitled Care continuity across levels of care perceived by patients with chronic conditions in six Latin-American countries, which is part of the project The impact of alternative care integration strategies on Health Care Network's performance in different Latin American health systems (Equity-LA II).
This paper compares the continuity of care perceived by chronic patients in two public health networks in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay, and explores the associated factors. The study is based on a survey of 4,881 people with chronic conditions who had consulted for the same health problem at two levels of care in the previous six months. The Continuity of Care Questionnaire between Levels of Care (CCAENA) adapted to each context was used to measure continuity of care.
The results show notable differences between the networks analyzed; however, in the six countries studied, chronic patients perceive significant discontinuities in the exchange of clinical information between primary and secondary care physicians and in access to secondary care after a referral. Exploration of the factors associated with improved perceptions of continuity of care highlights the importance of organizational factors such as continuity of relationship with primary and secondary care physicians and information transfer. In contrast, it does not highlight any individual factors that are associated with continuity of care on a systematic basis.
The article is signed by Laia Ollé-Espluga, Ingrid Vargas, María Luisa Vázquez (SEPPS, CSC), Amparo Mogollón (Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, Colombia), Renata-Patricia Freitas Soares-de-Jesus (Instituto de Medicina Integral Prof. Fernando Figueira, Recife, Brazil), Pamela Eguiguren (Universidad de Chile, Santiago de Chile, Chile), Angélica-Ivonne Cisneros (Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico),María-Cecilia Muruaga (Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Argentina), Adriana Huerta (Secretaría de Salud Pública Municipal, Rosario, Argentina) and Fernando Bertolotto (Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay).