Stephen Birch

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OBJECTIVE To evaluate trials of acupuncture for osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, to assess the methodologic quality of the trials and determine whether low-quality trials are associated with positive outcomes, to document adverse effects, to identify patient or treatment characteristics associated with positive response, and to identify areas of future(More)
Aging populations, limited budgets, changing public expectations, new technologies, and the emergence of new diseases create challenges for health care systems as ways to meet needs and protect, promote, and restore health are considered. Traditional planning methods for the professionals required to provide these services have given little consideration to(More)
Health human resources planning is generally based on estimating the effects of demographic change on the supply of and requirements for healthcare services. In this article, we develop and apply an extended analytical framework that incorporates explicitly population health needs, levels of service to respond to health needs, and provider productivity as(More)
This article examines the degree to which relationships between social capital and health are embedded in local geographical contexts and influenced by demographic factors, socio-economic status, health behaviours and coping skills. Using data from a telephone survey of a random sample of adults (N=1504 respondents, response rate=60%), the article(More)
BACKGROUND The objective of this study was to understand the attitudes and preferences of risk-eligible women regarding use of tamoxifen for breast cancer risk reduction. METHODS A cross-sectional, mixed-methods interview study was conducted at a university medical center and at community sites. Participants were women who had an estimated 5-year breast(More)
Despite the central role of the threshold incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER), or lambda (lambda), in the methods and application of cost-effective analysis (CEA), little attention has been given to the determining the value of lambda. In this paper we consider 'what explains the silence of the lambda'? The concept of the threshold ICER is(More)
Despite the growing literature on economic evaluation of health care programmes, little attention has been paid to the theoretical foundations of cost-effectiveness and cost utility analyses and the validity of the decision rules adopted as methods of achieving the stated goals. We show that although applications of the techniques can be used to pursue some(More)
While there is a large and growing literature investigating the relationship between an individual's employment status and health, considerably less is known about the effect on this relationship of the context in which unemployment occurs. The aim of this paper is test for the presence and nature of contextual effects in the ways unemployment and health(More)
BACKGROUND South Africa's maternal mortality rate (625 deaths/100,000 live births) is high for a middle-income country, although over 90% of pregnant women utilize maternal health services. Alongside HIV/AIDS, barriers to Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric Care currently impede the country's Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) of reducing child mortality and(More)