Methods and work plan
Equity-LA II adopts an innovative action-research approach with a quasi-experimental design (intervention and control, before and after) for the evaluation of complex interventions in different integrated health care networks (IHN)
Research will be carried out in the six participating Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay) with different types of healthcare systems. In each country, two comparable IHN – one intervention and one control IHN – have been selected according to pre-defined inclusion criteria.
Equity-LA II is carried out will full adherence to current European Union legislation, international conventions and regulations on research ethics, data protection and professional codes of conduct of each of the involved country.
Research phases and methods
The project will extend over five years (August 2013 – July 2018) and consists of four sequential research phases:
Phase 1 | Base-line study
After finalizing the research plan and framework, the base-line study will be conducted to assess the levels of coordination and quality of care in the selected IHN. Data will be obtained by combining qualitative research methods (focus groups and individual interviews with health professionals, health managers and patients with tracer conditions: COPD and diabetes mellitus types II) with quantitative research methods (survey to health professionals and health care users).
Phase 2 | Design and implementation of interventions in one IHN in every participating country
Based on the results of the previous phase, main problems that hinder coordination across care levels will be identified and interventions will be designed and implemented by defining, implementing and monitoring a set of corrective measures.
Phase 3 | Evaluation of interventions in each country
The results of the interventions will be evaluated applying the same design as in the base-line study and including, in each country, a before and after comparison and a comparison of both IHN (intervention and control).
Phase 4 | Cross-country comparative analysis
A comparative analysis of the results across countries will be conducted to identify the factors that influence each particular context.
The timetable can be downloaded here.