Health mediators as members of multidisciplinary group practice: Lessons learned from a primary health care model programme in Hungary

Karolina Kósa, Cintia Katona, Magor Papp, Gergely Fürjes, János Sándor, Klára Bíró, Róza Ádány

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: A Model Programme of primary care group practices was implemented in Hungary between 2013 and 2017-where virtually all GPs had worked in single practices- A iming to increase preventive service uptake and reduce inequalities based on a bilateral agreement between the Swiss and Hungarian governments. Group practices employed a wide variety of health professionals as well as support workers called health mediators. Employment of the latter was based on two decades of European experience of health mediators who specifically facilitate access to and use of health services in Roma minority groups. Health mediators had been recruited from local communities, received training on the job, and were tasked to increase uptake of new preventive services provided by the group practices by personal contacts in the local minority populace. The paper describes the contribution of the work of health mediators to the uptake of two new services provided by group practices. Methods: Quantitative analysis of depersonalized administrative data mandatorily reported to the Management of the Programme during 43 months of operation was carried out on the employment of health mediators and their contribution to the uptake of two new preventive services (health status assessment and community health promoting programmes). Results: 80% of all clients registered with the GPs participated at health status assessment by invitation that was 1.3-1.7 times higher than participation at the most successful national screening programmes in the past 15 years. Both the number of mediator work minutes per client and participation rate at health status assessment, as well as total work time of mediators and participants at community health events showed high correlation. Twice as many Roma minority patients were motivated for service use by health mediators compared to all patients. The very high participation rate reflects the wide impact of health mediators who probably reached not only Roma minority, but vulnerable population groups in general. Conclusion: The future of general practices lays in multidisciplinary teams in which health mediators recruited from the serviced communities can be valuable members, especially in deprived areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
JournalBMC family practice
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 28 2020

Keywords

  • Community health workers
  • Health mediation
  • Health status assessment
  • Inequalities
  • Prevention
  • Primary health care
  • Professions allied to medicine (PAMs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

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