General Practice and Primary Care - Research Publications

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    Heavy menstrual bleeding and dysmenorrhea in adolescents: A systematic review of self-management strategies, quality of life, and unmet needs
    Pouraliroudbaneh, S ; Marino, J ; Riggs, E ; Saber, A ; Jayasinghe, Y ; Peate, M (WILEY, 2024-04-23)
    BACKGROUND: Heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) and dysmenorrhea (DM) are common gynecological problems. OBJECTIVE: To systematically review the needs, quality of life (QOL), and effectiveness of self-management strategies among young women (12-25 years) with DM or HMB. SEARCH STRATEGY: Relevant terms were searched through PubMed, EBSCO, Google Scholar, ProQuest, and Ovid between 2010 and 2022. SELECTION CRITERIA: Qualitative and quantitative studies published in peer-reviewed journals, females aged 12-25, exploring DM or HMB, reporting supportive care needs, quality of life, self-treatment strategies, and/or treatment-seeking behavior. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Abstracts were reviewed for eligibility by two researchers. Included studies were extracted and assessed for quality independently by two authors, with discrepancies resolved through consensus or the involvement of a third researcher. Data extracted included study details, menstrual history, symptoms, self-care strategies, and quality of life. The Joanna Briggs Institute checklists were used for quality assessment. MAIN RESULTS: The search returned 285 190 studies, of which 55 were eligible for inclusion. Prevalence rates of HMB and DM were in the ranges 4%-63% and 42%-94%, respectively. Over 80% of young women with DM and HMB experienced physical and psychological problems, including pelvic pain, sleep issues, mood disturbance, diarrhea, and nausea. Academic performance and daily activities were severely affected. Most (>62%) named their mothers as their primary source of information, and friends as the secondary source (10%-65%). Few studies explored needs, but they could be inferred and fell under school-related and social needs. QOL was poorer in those who had DM than those who did not. Pain was the most common issue that drove young women to find treatment. More than 70% used medication to reduce pain. More than half chose home remedies (e.g., heat therapy, massages, herbal tea, hot drinks). No studies provided information about the efficacy and dosage of medication and herbal remedies. CONCLUSIONS: HMB and DM have a large impact on daily living, with large areas of unmet need. Limited access to information impairs the management of symptoms and consequent QOL.
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    Lost in translation: a narrative review and synthesis of the published international literature on mental health research and translation priorities (2011-2023)
    Palmer, VJ ; Wheeler, AJ ; Jazayeri, D ; Gulliver, A ; Hegarty, K ; Moorhouse, J ; Orcher, P ; Banfield, M (TAYLOR & FRANCIS INC, 2024-03-27)
    BACKGROUND: Priority setting in mental health research is arguably lost in translation. Decades of effort has led to persistent repetition in what the research priorities of people with lived-experience of mental ill-health are. AIM: This was a narrative review and synthesis of published literature reporting mental health research priorities (2011-2023). METHODS: A narrative framework was established with the questions: (1) who has been involved in priority setting? With whom have priorities been set? Which priorities have been established and for whom? What progress has been made? And, whose priorities are being progressed? RESULTS: Seven papers were identified. Two were Australian, one Welsh, one English, one was from Chile and another Brazilian and one reported on a European exercise across 28 countries (ROAMER). Hundreds of priorities were listed in all exercises. Prioritisation mostly occured from survey rankings and/or workshops (using dots, or post-it note voting). Most were dominated by clinicians, academics and government rather than people with lived-experience of mental ill-health and carer, family and kinship group members. CONCLUSION: One lived-experience research led survey was identified. Few studies reported lived-experience design and development involvement. Five of the seven papers reported responses, but no further progress on priorities being met was reported.
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    A Systematic Scoping Review of Indigenous People's Experience of Healing and Recovery from Child Sexual Abuse.
    Gibbs, J ; Milroy, H ; Mulder, S ; Black, C ; Lloyd-Johnsen, C ; Brown, S ; Gee, G (MDPI AG, 2024-03-07)
    Child sexual abuse is a form of violence that occurs across nations and cultures. Collective efforts are being made to address this issue within many Indigenous communities. In Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have expressed the need for cultural models of healing child sexual abuse. A preliminary exploration of the relevant literature shows a lack of synthesis with regard to the current evidence base. This protocol outlines the methods and background for a scoping review that aims to explore and collate the broad scope of literature related to healing from child sexual abuse within an Indigenous context. The proposed review utilises a 'population, concept, and context structure' from the Joanna Briggs Institute to explore the broad scope of the literature within a scoping review framework. The target population is Indigenous survivors of child sexual abuse, including Indigenous populations from six distinct regions: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from Australia; Māori peoples from Aotearoa (New Zealand); First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples from Canada; Native American peoples from North America; Native peoples from Alaska; and the Sámi peoples of the Sápmi region in Northern Europe. The concept within the review is healing from an Indigenous perspective, which includes a broad range of processes related to both recovery and personal growth. The contexts explored within this review are any context in which healing from child sexual abuse can occur. This may include processes related to disclosure and accessing services, specific interventions or programs for survivors of child sexual abuse, as well as broader non-specific healing programs and personal experiences of healing without intervention. The scoping review will use search strings with broad inclusion and exclusion criteria to capture the potential breadth of perspectives. The search will be conducted across several academic databases and will also include an extensive search for grey literature. This protocol establishes the proposed benefits of this scoping review.
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    Primary care usage at the end of life: a retrospective cohort study of cancer patients using linked primary and hospital care data.
    Grant, M ; McCarthy, D ; Kearney, C ; Collins, A ; Sundararajan, V ; Rhee, J ; Philip, J ; Emery, J (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2024-04-08)
    PURPOSE: Health service use is most intensive in the final year of a person's life, with 80% of this expenditure occurring in hospital. Close involvement of primary care services has been promoted to enhance quality end-of-life care that is appropriate to the needs of patients. However, the relationship between primary care involvement and patients' use of hospital care is not well described. This study aims to examine primary care use in the last year of life for cancer patients and its relationship to hospital usage. METHODS: Retrospective cohort study in Victoria, Australia, using linked routine care data from primary care, hospital and death certificates. Patients were included who died related to cancer between 2008 and 2017. RESULTS: A total of 758 patients were included, of whom 88% (n = 667) visited primary care during the last 6 months (median 9.1 consultations). In the last month of life, 45% of patients were prescribed opioids, and 3% had imaging requested. Patients who received home visits (13%) or anticipatory medications (15%) had less than half the median bed days in the last 3 months (4 vs 9 days, p < 0.001, 5 vs 10 days, p = 0.001) and 1 month of life (0 vs 2 days, p = 0.002, 0 vs 3 days, p < 0.001), and reduced emergency department presentations (32% vs 46%, p = 0.006, 31% vs 47% p < 0.001) in the final month. CONCLUSION: This study identifies two important primary care processes-home visits and anticipatory medication-associated with reduced hospital usage and intervention at the end of life.
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    Help-Seeking After Intimate Partner or Sexual Violence: Exploring the Experiences of International Student Women in Australia
    Tran, G ; Forbes-Mewett, H ; Tran, LT ; Hach, M ; Tarzia, L (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2024-04-22)
    Research suggests that many international students experience intimate partner violence (IPV) or sexual violence (SV) whilst attending tertiary institutions. Yet, little is known about how they engage in help-seeking and what types of support they need following IPV/SV. In this paper, we present findings from a qualitative analysis of 30 in-depth interviews with international student women who experienced SV/IPV while studying in Australia. The findings highlight how isolation and structural factors can create significant barriers to help-seeking for international student women. Yet, the findings also highlight the agency and resourcefulness of international student women in overcoming challenges. The provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate and tailored support for international students is crucial in order to help reduce the harms of SV/IPV.
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    Understanding cannabis use and mental health difficulties in context with women's experiences of stressful events and social health issues in pregnancy: The Aboriginal Families Study.
    Mensah, FK ; Glover, K ; Leane, C ; Gartland, D ; Nikolof, A ; Clark, Y ; Gee, G ; Brown, SJ (Elsevier BV, 2024-05)
    BACKGROUND: Few population-based data sources fully recognise the intersections between stressful events, social health issues, and cannabis use in pregnancy, and little is known about sequelae for women's mental health. METHODS: We draw on two waves of population-based data for 344 families participating in the Aboriginal Families Study longitudinal cohort. We examine women's mental health in the first year postpartum and when children were aged 5-9 years in context with life experiences and use of cannabis in pregnancy. OUTCOMES: One in five women (19·5%) used cannabis during pregnancy (with or without co-use of tobacco). Within this group of women, 88·3% experienced 3 or more (3+) stressful events or social health issues. Psychological distress (Kessler-5 scale, K-5) in the year postpartum was substantially higher amongst women who had used cannabis or experienced 3+ stressful events or social health issues. High proportions of women met criteria for support and referral for depression and/or anxiety (52·5% of women who had used cannabis compared to 20·9% amongst women who had neither used cannabis nor tobacco; 43·2% of women who had experienced 3+ stressful events or social health issues compared to 15·6% amongst women who had not indicated these experiences). Similar patterns of psychological distress, depressive (9-item adapted Personal Health Questionnaire, aPHQ-9) and anxiety symptoms (7-item Generalised Anxiety Disorder score, GAD-7) were evident when the study children were aged 5-9 years. INTERPRETATION: Amongst women who had used cannabis in pregnancy, a high burden of psychological distress, depression, and anxiety is evident in the postpartum period and as their children turn 5-9 years. The overlay of stressful events and social health issues and the high proportion of women meeting criteria for referral for mental health assessment and support indicate an urgent need to offer women opportunities for safe disclosure of cannabis use and opportunities to access sustained holistic services. Reducing the harms of cannabis use on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families must be coupled with culturally safe ways of addressing the social, historical, and structural determinants of mental health distress and harmful use of substances.
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    Social media group support for antidepressant deprescribing: a mixed-methods survey of patient experiences
    Coe, A ; Abid, N ; Kaylor-Hughes, C (CSIRO Publishing, 2024-05)
    Background Antidepressant use has continually increased in recent decades and although they are an effective treatment for moderate-to-severe depression, when there is no longer a clinical benefit, deprescribing should occur. Currently, routine deprescribing is not part of clinical practice and research shows that there has been an increase in antidepressant users seeking informal support online. This small scoping exercise used a mixed-methods online survey to investigate the motives antidepressant users have for joining social media deprescribing support groups, and what elements of the groups are most valuable to them. Methods Thirty members of two antidepressant deprescribing Facebook groups completed an online survey with quantitative and open-text response questions to determine participant characteristics and motivation for group membership. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics, and open-text responses were analysed thematically through NVivo. Results Two overarching themes were evident: first, clinician expertise , where participants repeatedly reported a perceived lack of skills around deprescribing by their clinician, not being included in shared decision-making about their treatment, and symptoms of withdrawal during deprescribing going unaddressed. Motivated by the lack of clinical support, peer support developed as the second theme. Here, people sought help online where they received education, knowledge sharing and lived experience guidance for tapering. The Facebook groups also provided validation and peer support, which motivated people to continue engaging with the group. Conclusions Antidepressant users who wish to cease their medication are increasingly subscribing to specialised online support groups due to the lack of information and support from clinicians. This study highlights the ongoing need for such support groups. Improved clinician understanding about the complexities of antidepressant deprescribing is needed to enable them to effectively engage in shared decision-making with their patients.
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    Sexually transmissible infections, partner notification and intimate relationships: a qualitative study exploring the perspectives of general practitioners and people with a recent chlamydia infection
    Coombe, J ; Goller, J ; Bittleston, H ; Vaisey, A ; Sanci, L ; Groos, A ; Tomnay, J ; Temple-Smith, M ; Hocking, J (CSIRO PUBLISHING, 2020)
    UNLABELLED: Background Individuals diagnosed with a chlamydia infection are advised to notify their sexual partners from the previous 6 months so that they too can get tested and treated as appropriate. Partner notification is an essential component of chlamydia management, helping to prevent ongoing transmission and repeat infection in the index case. However, partner notification can be challenging, particularly in circumstances where a relationship has ended or transmission has occurred beyond the primary relationship. METHODS: In this study we use data from 43 semistructured interviews with general practitioners (GPs) and people with a recent diagnosis of chlamydia. The interviews examined experiences of chlamydia case management in the general practice context. Here, we focus specifically on the effect of a chlamydia infection on intimate relationships in the context of the consultation and beyond.? RESULTS: A chlamydia infection can have significant consequences for intimate relationships. Although GPs reported speaking to their patients about the importance of partner notification and participants with a recent chlamydia infection reported notifying their sexual partners, both would appreciate further support to engage in these conversations. CONCLUSIONS: Conversations with patients should go beyond simply informing them of the need to notify their sexual partners from the previous 6 months, and should provide information about why partner notification is important and discuss strategies for informing partners, particularly for those in ongoing relationships. Ensuring GPs have the training and support to engage in these conversations with confidence is vital.
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    Perceptions of general practitioners towards managing dental presentations in Australia: a qualitative study
    Biezen, R ; Leong, A ; Teoh, L (CSIRO PUBLISHING, 2024)
    Background Patients presenting with dental pain are common in general practice, despite dental infections being most appropriately managed with dental treatment to address the cause of the infection. Although antibiotics are not appropriate for the management of localised toothache without signs of systemic spread, general practitioners (GPs) often prescribe antibiotics and analgesics for the management of dental pain. The aim of this study was to explore GPs' perceptions and management of dental presentations in Australia. Methods Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted with GPs across Victoria, Australia, between October 2022 and January 2023. Data were thematically analysed. Results The study found that dental pain was the most common presenting complaint for patients attending general practice with a dental problem. Five major themes were identified in this study: knowledge, beliefs about capabilities, emotion, environmental context and resources, and social influences/social professional role and identity. In terms of knowledge and capabilities, GPs would advise patients to seek dental care, as they are aware that antibiotics would not resolve the underlying issue. Challenges for GPs included limited training in oral and dental treatment, as well as emotions, such as patient anxiety and phobia resulting in patients seeking dental care through a GP rather than a dentist. Barriers due to the context, such as access to dental care, long waiting lists within the public dental system and cost, were some of the reasons patients present to general practice rather than a seeing a dentist. Furthermore, issues that influenced GPs' antibiotic prescribing included patients' expectations for antibiotics to treat their dental pain, as well as dentists advising their patients to attend their GP for antibiotics prior to dental treatment. Conclusions This study identified factors that influenced GPs' management of patients with dental conditions. To address these issues, it is imperative to develop interventions addressing patients' knowledge around oral health, as well as providing improved access to dental care for these patients.
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    Colorectal cancer survivors' experiences and views of shared and telehealth models of survivorship care: A qualitative study
    Gore, C ; Lisy, K ; O'Callaghan, C ; Wood, C ; Emery, J ; Martin, A ; De Abreu Lourenco, R ; Schofield, P ; Jefford, M (Wiley, 2024-01)
    OBJECTIVES: The number of colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors is increasing and current models of survivorship care are unsustainable. There is a drive to implement alternative models of care including shared care between general practitioners (GPs) and hospital-based providers. The primary objective of this study was to explore perspectives on facilitators and barriers to shared care. The secondary objective was to explore experiences of telehealth-delivered care. METHOD: Qualitative data were collected via semi-structured interviews with participants in the Shared Care for Colorectal Cancer Survivors (SCORE) randomised controlled trial. Interviews explored patient experiences of usual and shared survivorship care during the SCORE trial. In response to the COVID pandemic, participant experiences of telehealth appointments were also explored. Interviews were recorded and transcribed for thematic analysis. RESULTS: Twenty survivors of CRC were interviewed with an even number in the shared and usual care arms; 14 (70%) were male. Facilitators to shared care included: good relationships with GPs; convenience of GPs; good communication between providers; desire to reduce public health system pressures. Barriers included: poor communication between clinicians; inaccessibility of GPs; beliefs about GP capacity; and a preference for follow-up care with the hospital after positive treatment experiences. Participants also commonly expressed a preference for telehealth-based follow-up when there was no need for a clinical examination. CONCLUSIONS: This is one of few studies that have explored patient experiences with shared and telehealth-based survivorship care. Findings can guide the implementation of these models, particularly around care coordination, communication, preparation, and personalised pathways of care.