General Practice - Research Publications

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    Clinical characteristics of people with heart failure in Australian general practice: results from a retrospective cohort study
    Sindone, AP ; Haikerwal, D ; Audehm, RG ; Neville, AM ; Lim, K ; Parsons, RW ; Piazza, P ; Liew, D (WILEY PERIODICALS, INC, 2021-10-28)
    AIMS: Heart failure (HF) causes significant morbidity and mortality, but the rates and characteristics of people with HF in Australia are not well studied. SHAPE set out to describe the characteristics of HF patients seen in the real-world setting. METHODS: We analysed anonymized patient data extracted from the clinical software of 43 participating GP clinics for the 5 year period from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2018. Patients were stratified into 'definite' and 'probable' HF based on a hierarchy of selection criteria and analysed for their clinical characteristics. Symptoms and signs of HF and ejection fraction data were searched for within the free text of the medical notes. RESULTS: Of the 1.12 million adults seen regularly, 20 219 were classified as having definite or probable HF. The mean age of the population was 69.8 years, 50.6% were female, and mean body mass index was 31.2 kg/m2 . Fewer than 1 in 6 had the HF diagnosis optimally recorded. Only 3.2% (650 patients) had their left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) quantified: 40.9% had an EF ≥50% and 59.1% had an EF <50%. The most common comorbidities in people with HF were hypertension (41.1%), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/asthma (25.1%) and depression/anxiety (18.4%). Hypotension (2.3%), bradycardia (6.3%), severe renal impairment (6.4%) and hyperkalaemia (2.0%) were uncommon. Just over one-third (37.8%) had iron deficiency. Loop diuretic use was common (56.7%) but only 33.7% were on a guideline recommended beta-blockers. Use of ivabradine (1.4%) and sacubitril/valsartan (1.2%) was very low, while 39.9% had been prescribed an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, 31.6% an angiotensin receptor blocker and 16.0% spironolactone. Many patients were prescribed medications that may worsen HF or are relatively contraindicated, such as macrolide antibiotics (29.9%), corticosteroids (25.8%), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (23.9%), and tricyclic antidepressants (9.4%). CONCLUSIONS: Heart failure is poorly documented in general practice records and may be contributing to untoward downstream effects, such as low documentation of echocardiography, poor use of guideline recommended therapies and frequent use of medications that may worsen HF.
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    National Heart Foundation of Australia: position statement on coronary artery calcium scoring for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in Australia
    Jennings, GLR ; Audehm, R ; Bishop, W ; Chow, CK ; Liaw, S-T ; Liew, D ; Linton, SM (WILEY, 2021-05-07)
    INTRODUCTION: This position statement considers the evolving evidence on the use of coronary artery calcium scoring (CAC) for defining cardiovascular risk in the context of Australian practice and provides advice to health professionals regarding the use of CAC scoring in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in Australia. Main recommendations: CAC scoring could be considered for selected people with moderate absolute cardiovascular risk, as assessed by the National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance (NVDPA) absolute cardiovascular risk algorithm, and for whom the findings are likely to influence the intensity of risk management. (GRADE evidence certainty: Low. GRADE recommendation strength: Conditional.) CAC scoring could be considered for selected people with low absolute cardiovascular risk, as assessed by the NVDPA absolute cardiovascular risk algorithm, and who have additional risk-enhancing factors that may result in the underestimation of risk. (GRADE evidence certainty: Low. GRADE recommendation strength: Conditional.) If CAC scoring is undertaken, a CAC score of 0 AU could reclassify a person to a low absolute cardiovascular risk status, with subsequent management to be informed by patient-clinician discussion and follow contemporary recommendations for low absolute cardiovascular risk. (GRADE evidence certainty: Very low. GRADE recommendation strength: Conditional.) If CAC scoring is undertaken, a CAC score > 99 AU or ≥ 75th percentile for age and sex could reclassify a person to a high absolute cardiovascular risk status, with subsequent management to be informed by patient-clinician discussion and follow contemporary recommendations for high absolute cardiovascular risk. (GRADE evidence certainty: Very low. GRADE recommendation strength: Conditional.) CHANGES IN MANAGEMENT AS A RESULT OF THIS STATEMENT: CAC scoring can have a role in reclassification of absolute cardiovascular risk for selected patients in Australia, in conjunction with traditional absolute risk assessment and as part of a shared decision-making approach that considers the preferences and values of individual patients.
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    Women with type 1 diabetes and women with type 2 diabetes differ in knowledge and beliefs about contraception and pregnancy
    Hendrieckx, C ; Morrison, M ; Audehm, R ; Barry, A ; Farrell, K ; Houvardas, E ; Nankervis, A ; Porter, C ; Scibilia, R ; Ross, G (WILEY, 2021-02-02)
    AIMS: To assess differences in knowledge and beliefs about pregnancy in women with diabetes. METHODS: Questions were from the Australian 'Contraception, Pregnancy & Women's Health' survey. Women (18-50 years) were eligible if pregnant or planning pregnancy. Knowledge and beliefs items were adapted from the Reproductive Health and Behaviours Questionnaire. RESULTS: Compared to women with type 2 diabetes (n = 103), women with type 1 diabetes (n = 526) had higher scores for knowledge about pregnancy in diabetes (type 1 diabetes 9.8 ± 2.4 vs. type 2 diabetes 7.7 ± 3.1), beliefs about benefits (type 1 diabetes 18.4 ± 2.2 vs. type 2 diabetes 17.2 ± 3.3), cues-to-action (type 1 diabetes 2.7 ± 1.4 vs. type 2 diabetes 1.5 ± 1.3) and self-efficacy (type 1 diabetes 22.6 ± 5.5 vs. type 2 diabetes 20.2 ± 6.1 (all p < 0.001) regarding preparing for pregnancy. Major knowledge gaps were the need for higher dose folate compared to women without diabetes and uncertainty about breastfeeding recommendations. Women with type 1 diabetes believed more strongly in the benefits of 'close to target' glucose levels prior to pregnancy and using contraception to prevent unplanned pregnancy; they also felt more confident to access pre-pregnancy care and to wait for optimal glycaemia before pregnancy. Women with type 2 diabetes were less aware of contraceptive choices, and risks associated with hyperglycaemia before or early in pregnancy. CONCLUSIONS: The findings highlighted main gaps in knowledge and beliefs about planning for pregnancy. Especially in type 2 diabetes, there is a need for evidence-based messaging and strategies addressing these gaps, to raise understanding to prepare for future pregnancies.
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    Expert Opinion: Patient Selection for Premixed Insulin Formulations in Diabetes Care
    Kalra, S ; Czupryniak, L ; Kilov, G ; Lamptey, R ; Kumar, A ; Unnikrishnan, AG ; Boudiba, A ; Abid, M ; Akanov, ZA ; Latheef, A ; Araz, M ; Audehm, R ; Bahendeka, S ; Balde, N ; Chaudhary, S ; Deerochanawong, C ; Fasanmade, O ; Iraqi, H ; Latt, TS ; Mbanya, JC ; Rodriguez-Saldana, J ; Hyun, KS ; Latif, ZA ; Lushchyk, M ; Megallaa, M ; Naseri, MW ; Nguyen, QB ; Ramaiya, K ; Randeree, H ; Raza, SA ; Shaikh, K ; Shrestha, D ; Sobngwi, E ; Somasundaram, N ; Sukor, N ; Tan, R (SPRINGER HEIDELBERG, 2018-12-01)
    Premixed insulins are an important tool for glycemic control in persons with diabetes. Equally important in diabetes care is the selection of the most appropriate insulin regimen for a particular individual at a specific time. Currently, the choice of insulin regimens for initiation or intensification of therapy is a subjective decision. In this article, we share insights, which will help in rational and objective selection of premixed formulations for initiation and intensification of insulin therapy. The glycemic status and its variations in a person help to identify the most appropriate insulin regimen and formulation for him or her. The evolution of objective glucometric indices has enabled better glycemic monitoring of individuals with diabetes. Management of diabetes has evolved from a 'glucocentric' approach to a 'patient-centered' approach; patient characteristics, needs, and preferences should be evaluated when considering premixed insulin for treatment of diabetes.Funding: Novo Nordisk, India.
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    Cluster randomized controlled trial of a peer support program for people with diabetes: study protocol for the Australasian peers for progress study
    Riddell, MA ; Renwick, C ; Wolfe, R ; Colgan, S ; Dunbar, J ; Hagger, V ; Absetz, P ; Oldenburg, B (BMC, 2012-10-04)
    BACKGROUND: Well managed diabetes requires active self-management in order to ensure optimal glycaemic control and appropriate use of available clinical services and other supports. Peer supporters can assist people with their daily diabetes self-management activities, provide emotional and social support, assist and encourage clinical care and be available when needed. METHODS: A national database of Australians diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is being used to invite people in pre-determined locations to participate in community-based peer support groups. Peer supporters are self-identified from these communities. All consenting participants receive diabetes self-management education and education manual prior to randomization by community to a peer support intervention or usual care. This multi-faceted intervention comprises four interconnected components for delivering support to the participants. (1) Trained supporters lead 12 monthly group meetings. Participants are assisted to set goals to improve diabetes self-management, discuss with and encourage each other to strengthen linkages with local clinical services (including allied health services) as well as provide social and emotional support. (2) Support through regular supporter-participant or participant-participant contact, between monthly sessions, is also promoted in order to maintain motivation and encourage self-improvement and confidence in diabetes self-management. (3) Participants receive a workbook containing diabetes information, resources and community support services, key diabetes management behaviors and monthly goal setting activity sheets. (4) Finally, a password protected website contains further resources for the participants. Supporters are mentored and assisted throughout the intervention by other supporters and the research team through attendance at a weekly teleconference. Data, including a self-administered lifestyle survey, anthropometric and biomedical measures are collected on all participants at baseline, 6 and 12 months. The primary outcome is change in cardiovascular disease risk using the UKPDS risk equation. Secondary outcomes include biomedical, quality of life, psychosocial functioning, and other lifestyle measures. An economic evaluation will determine whether the program is cost effective. DISCUSSION: This manuscript presents the protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial of group-based peer support for people with type 2 diabetes in a community setting. Results from this trial will contribute evidence about the effectiveness of peer support in achieving effective self-management of diabetes. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR); ACTRN12609000469213.
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    Cost-effectiveness of professional-mode flash glucose monitoring in general practice among adults with type 2 diabetes: Evidence from the GP-OSMOTIC trial
    Hua, X ; Catchpool, M ; Clarke, P ; Blackberry, I ; Chiang, J ; Holmes-Truscott, E ; Jenkins, A ; Khunti, K ; O'Neal, D ; Speight, J ; Furler, J ; Manski-Nankervis, J-A ; Dalziel, K (WILEY, 2021-11-27)
    AIM: To assess the cost-effectiveness of professional-mode flash glucose monitoring in adults with type 2 diabetes in general practice compared with usual clinical care. METHODS: An economic evaluation was conducted as a component of the GP-OSMOTIC trial, a pragmatic multicentre 12-month randomised controlled trial enrolling 299 adults with type 2 diabetes in Victoria, Australia. The economic evaluation was conducted from an Australian healthcare sector perspective with a lifetime horizon. Health-related quality of life (EQ-5D) and total healthcare costs were compared between the intervention and the usual care group within the trial period. The 'UKPDS Outcomes Model 2' was used to simulate post-trial lifetime costs, life expectancy and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). RESULTS: No significant difference in health-related quality of life and costs was found between the two groups within the trial period. Professional-mode flash glucose monitoring yielded greater QALYs (0.03 [95% CI: 0.02, 0.04]) and a higher cost (A$3807 [95% CI: 3604, 4007]) compared with usual clinical care using a lifetime horizon under the trial-based monitoring frequency, considered not cost-effective (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio = A$120,228). The intervention becomes cost-effective if sensor price is reduced to lower than 50%, or monitoring frequency is decreased to once per year while maintaining the same treatment effect on HbA1c . CONCLUSIONS: Including professional-mode flash glucose monitoring every 3 months as part of a management plan for people with type 2 diabetes in general practice is not cost-effective, but could be if the sensor price or monitoring frequency can be reduced.
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    Epidemiology of heart failure: Study of Heart failure in the Australian Primary carE setting (SHAPE)
    Liew, D ; Audehm, RG ; Haikerwal, D ; Piazza, P ; Neville, AM ; Lim, K ; Parsons, RW ; Sindone, AP (WILEY PERIODICALS, INC, 2020-09-09)
    AIMS: At present, there is no robust information on the prevalence and incidence of heart failure (HF) in the general Australian community. The present study of primary care data sought to estimate the prevalence and incidence of HF in the community and to describe the demographic and clinical profile of Australians with HF. METHODS AND RESULTS: We undertook a retrospective cohort study based on analysis of anonymized medical records of adult patients cared for at 43 Australian general practices between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2018. Data were extracted from coded and uncoded fields in electronic medical records. The prevalence and annual incidence of HF were calculated, along with 95% confidence intervals, using the 'active' population of people who were regular attenders at the practices. Age-standardized estimates were also derived using the 2017 Australian population as reference. The mean age of the population with HF was 69.8 years, 50.6% were female, and mean body mass index was 31.2 kg/m2 . The age-standardized prevalence was 2.199% [95% confidence interval (CI): 2.168-2.23%], and the age-standardized annual incidence was 0.348% (95% CI: 0.342-0.354%). These estimates accord with almost 420 000 people living with HF in Australia in 2017, and >66 000 new cases of HF occurring that year. Only 18.9% of patients with definite HF had this formally captured as a 'diagnosis' in their medical record. HF was more frequent among those of lower socio-economic status. CONCLUSIONS: HF is common in Australia. The majority of HF patients do not have this diagnosis optimally noted in their primary care medical records.
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    Guiding Glucose Management Discussions Among Adults With Type 2 Diabetes in General Practice: Development and Pretesting of a Clinical Decision Support Tool Prototype Embedded in an Electronic Medical Record.
    Kunstler, BE ; Furler, J ; Holmes-Truscott, E ; McLachlan, H ; Boyle, D ; Lo, S ; Speight, J ; O'Neal, D ; Audehm, R ; Kilov, G ; Manski-Nankervis, J-A (JMIR Publications Inc., 2020-09-02)
    BACKGROUND: Managing type 2 diabetes (T2D) requires progressive lifestyle changes and, sometimes, pharmacological treatment intensification. General practitioners (GPs) are integral to this process but can find pharmacological treatment intensification challenging because of the complexity of continually emerging treatment options. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to use a co-design method to develop and pretest a clinical decision support (CDS) tool prototype (GlycASSIST) embedded within an electronic medical record, which uses evidence-based guidelines to provide GPs and people with T2D with recommendations for setting glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) targets and intensifying treatment together in real time in consultations. METHODS: The literature on T2D-related CDS tools informed the initial GlycASSIST design. A two-part co-design method was then used. Initial feedback was sought via interviews and focus groups with clinicians (4 GPs, 5 endocrinologists, and 3 diabetes educators) and 6 people with T2D. Following refinements, 8 GPs participated in mock consultations in which they had access to GlycASSIST. Six people with T2D viewed a similar mock consultation. Participants provided feedback on the functionality of GlycASSIST and its role in supporting shared decision making (SDM) and treatment intensification. RESULTS: Clinicians and people with T2D believed that GlycASSIST could support SDM (although this was not always observed in the mock consultations) and individualized treatment intensification. They recommended that GlycASSIST includes less information while maintaining relevance and credibility and using graphs and colors to enhance visual appeal. Maintaining clinical autonomy was important to GPs, as they wanted the capacity to override GlycASSIST's recommendations when appropriate. Clinicians requested easier screen navigation and greater prescribing guidance and capabilities. CONCLUSIONS: GlycASSIST was perceived to achieve its purpose of facilitating treatment intensification and was acceptable to people with T2D and GPs. The GlycASSIST prototype is being refined based on these findings to prepare for quantitative evaluation.
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    The epidemiology of heart failure in the general Australian community - study of heart failure in the Australian primary carE setting (SHAPE): methods
    Parsons, RW ; Liew, D ; Neville, AM ; Audehm, RG ; Haikerwal, D ; Piazza, P ; Lim, K ; Sindone, AP (BMC, 2020-05-11)
    BACKGROUND: There is a paucity of information on the epidemiology of heart failure (HF) in Australia. The Study of Heart failure in the Australian Primary carE setting (SHAPE) study aims to estimate the prevalence and annual incidence of HF in the general Australian community and to describe the demographic and key clinical profile of Australians with HF. METHODS: We undertook a retrospective cohort study based on analysis of non-identifiable medical records of adult patients cared for at 43 general practices between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2018. Data were extracted from coded (diagnosis, pathology and prescription fields) and uncoded fields (clinical notes) in the medical records. The latter searches of free text looked for common synonyms relevant to HF. The population was stratified into three groups based on a hierarchy of selection criteria: (1) definite HF, (2) probable HF and (3) possible HF. The prevalence and annual incidence of HF were calculated, along with 95% confidence intervals. RESULTS: The practices provided care to 2.3 million individual patients over the five-year study period, of whom 1.93 million were adults and 1.12 million were regular patients. Of these patients 15,468 were classified as having 'definite HF', 4751 as having 'probable HF' and 33,556 as having 'possible HF'. A further 39,247 were identified as having an aetiological condition associated with HF. A formal HF diagnosis, HF terms recorded as text in the notes and HF-specific medication were the most common methods to identify 'definite' HF patients. Typical signs and symptoms in combination with a diuretic prescription was the most common method to identify 'probable HF' patients. The majority of 'possible' HF patients were identified by the presence of 2 or more of the typical signs or symptoms. Dyspnoea was the commonest recorded symptom and an elevated jugular venous pressure the commonest recorded sign. CONCLUSIONS: This novel approach to undertaking retrospective research of primary care data successfully analysed a combination of coded and uncoded data from the electronic medical records of patients routinely managed in the GP setting. SHAPE is the first real-world study of the epidemiology of HF in the general Australian community setting.
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    Update on the General Practice Optimising Structured Monitoring to Improve Clinical Outcomes in Type 2 Diabetes (GP-OSMOTIC) trial: statistical analysis plan for a multi-centre randomised controlled trial
    Thuraisingam, S ; Chondros, P ; Catchpool, M ; Dalziel, K ; Manski-Nankervis, J-A ; Speight, J ; Holmes-Truscott, E ; Audehm, R ; Chiang, J ; Blackberry, I ; O'Neal, D ; Khunti, K ; Best, J ; Furler, J (BMC, 2019-01-30)
    BACKGROUND: General Practice Optimising Structured Monitoring to Improve Clinical Outcomes in Type 2 Diabetes (GP-OSMOTIC) is a multicentre, individually randomised controlled trial aiming to compare the use of intermittent retrospective continuous glucose monitoring (r-CGM) to usual care in patients with type 2 diabetes attending general practice. The study protocol was published in the British Medical Journal Open and described the principal features of the statistical methods that will be used to analyse the trial data. This paper provides greater detail on the statistical analysis plan, including background and justification for the statistical methods chosen, in accordance with SPIRIT guidelines. OBJECTIVE: To describe in detail the data management process and statistical methods that will be used to analyse the trial data. METHODS: An overview of the trial design and primary and secondary research questions are provided. Sample size assumptions and calculations are explained, and randomisation and data management processes are described in detail. The planned statistical analyses for primary and secondary outcomes and sub-group analyses are specified along with the intended table layouts for presentation of the results. CONCLUSION: In accordance with best practice, all analyses outlined in the document are based on the aims of the study and have been pre-specified prior to the completion of data collection and outcome analyses. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, ACTRN12616001372471 . Registered on 3 August 2016.