General Practice - Research Publications

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    Protocol for a cluster randomized control trial of the impact of the Breaking the Man Code workshops on adolescent boys' intentions to seek help
    King, K ; Schlichthorst, M ; Chondros, P ; Rice, S ; Clark, A ; Le, LK-D ; Mihalopoulos, C ; Pirkis, J (BMC, 2022-02-03)
    BACKGROUND: Males in Australia and many other countries account for three-quarters of all deaths by suicide. School-based programs to support young men's wellbeing have become increasingly common in recent years and show much promise to tackle the issue of male suicide by fostering protective factors and mitigating harmful factors. However, only a few of these programs have been evaluated. This trial seeks to address the lack of knowledge about the potential for school-based gender-transformative programs to have a positive impact on boys. Breaking the Man Code workshops, delivered by Tomorrow Man in Australia, challenge and transform harmful masculinities with young men with a view to ultimately reducing their suicide risk. The trial aims to examine whether adolescent boys who participate in the Breaking the Man Code workshop demonstrate an increase in their likelihood of seeking help for personal or emotional problems compared to boys waiting to take part in the workshop. METHODS: A stratified cluster randomized controlled superiority trial with two parallel groups will be conducted. Schools will be randomly allocated 1:1, stratified by location of the schools (rural or urban), state (Victoria, NSW, or WA), and mode of workshop delivery (face-to-face or online), to the intervention group and waitlist control group. DISCUSSION: The Breaking the Man Code workshops show great promise as a school-based prevention intervention. The trial will fill a gap in knowledge that is critically needed to inform future interventions with boys and men. Some methodological challenges have been identified related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, such as delays in ethics approvals and the need for Tomorrow Man to introduce an online delivery option for the workshop. The trial protocol has been designed to mitigate these challenges. The findings from the trial will be used to improve the workshops and will assist others who are designing and implementing suicide prevention interventions for boys and men. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ( ACTRN12620001134910 ). Registered on 30 October 2020.
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    The SMARTscreen Trial: a randomised controlled trial investigating the efficacy of a GP-endorsed narrative SMS to increase participation in the Australian National Bowel Cancer Screening Program
    Wood, A ; Emery, JD ; Jenkins, M ; Chondros, P ; Campbell, T ; Wenkart, E ; O'Reilly, C ; Cowie, T ; Dixon, I ; Toner, J ; Khalajzadeh, H ; Martinez Gutierrez, J ; Govan, L ; Buckle, G ; McIntosh, JG (BMC, 2022-01-12)
    BACKGROUND: Increasing participation in the Australian National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) is the most efficient and cost-effective way of reducing mortality associated with colorectal cancer by detecting and treating early-stage disease. Currently, only 44% of Australians aged 50-74 years complete the NBCSP. This efficacy trial aims to test whether this SMS intervention is an effective method for increasing participation in the NBCSP. Furthermore, a process evaluation will explore the barriers and facilitators to sending the SMS from general practice. METHODS: We will recruit 20 general practices in the western region of Victoria, Australia to participate in a cluster randomised controlled trial. General practices will be randomly allocated with a 1:1 ratio to either a control or intervention group. Established general practice software will be used to identify patients aged 50 to 60 years old who are due to receive a NBCSP kit in the next month. The SMS intervention includes GP endorsement and links to narrative messages about the benefits of and instructions on how to complete the NBCSP kit. It will be sent from intervention general practices to eligible patients prior to receiving the NBCSP kit. We require 1400 eligible patients to provide 80% power with a two-sided 5% significance level to detect a 10% increase in CRC screening participation in the intervention group compared to the control group. Our primary outcome is the difference in the proportion of eligible patients who completed a faecal occult blood test (FOBT) between the intervention and control group for up to 12 months after the SMS was sent, as recorded in their electronic medical record (EMR). A process evaluation using interview data collected from general practice staff (GP, practice managers, nurses) and patients will explore the feasibility and acceptability of sending and receiving a SMS to prompt completing a NBCSP kit. DISCUSSION: This efficacy trial will provide initial trial evidence of the utility of an SMS narrative intervention to increase participation in the NBCSP. The results will inform decisions about the need for and design of a larger, multi-state trial of this SMS intervention to determine its cost-effectiveness and future implementation. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12620001020976 . Registered on 17 October 2020.
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    Assessing the suitability of general practice electronic health records for clinical prediction model development: a data quality assessment
    Thuraisingam, S ; Chondros, P ; Dowsey, MM ; Spelman, T ; Garies, S ; Choong, PF ; Gunn, J ; Manski-Nankervis, J-A (BMC, 2021-10-30)
    BACKGROUND: The use of general practice electronic health records (EHRs) for research purposes is in its infancy in Australia. Given these data were collected for clinical purposes, questions remain around data quality and whether these data are suitable for use in prediction model development. In this study we assess the quality of data recorded in 201,462 patient EHRs from 483 Australian general practices to determine its usefulness in the development of a clinical prediction model for total knee replacement (TKR) surgery in patients with osteoarthritis (OA). METHODS: Variables to be used in model development were assessed for completeness and plausibility. Accuracy for the outcome and competing risk were assessed through record level linkage with two gold standard national registries, Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry (AOANJRR) and National Death Index (NDI). The validity of the EHR data was tested using participant characteristics from the 2014-15 Australian National Health Survey (NHS). RESULTS: There were substantial missing data for body mass index and weight gain between early adulthood and middle age. TKR and death were recorded with good accuracy, however, year of TKR, year of death and side of TKR were poorly recorded. Patient characteristics recorded in the EHR were comparable to participant characteristics from the NHS, except for OA medication and metastatic solid tumour. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, data relating to the outcome, competing risk and two predictors were unfit for prediction model development. This study highlights the need for more accurate and complete recording of patient data within EHRs if these data are to be used to develop clinical prediction models. Data linkage with other gold standard data sets/registries may in the meantime help overcome some of the current data quality challenges in general practice EHRs when developing prediction models.
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    The CORE study-An adapted mental health experience codesign intervention to improve psychosocial recovery for people with severe mental illness: A stepped wedge cluster randomized-controlled trial
    Palmer, VJ ; Chondros, P ; Furler, J ; Herrman, H ; Pierce, D ; Godbee, K ; Densley, K ; Gunn, JM (WILEY, 2021-08-04)
    BACKGROUND: Mental health policies outline the need for codesign of services and quality improvement in partnership with service users and staff (and sometimes carers), and yet, evidence of systematic implementation and the impacts on healthcare outcomes is limited. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to test whether an adapted mental health experience codesign intervention to improve recovery-orientation of services led to greater psychosocial recovery outcomes for service users. DESIGN: A stepped wedge cluster randomized-controlled trial was conducted. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Four Mental Health Community Support Services providers, 287 people living with severe mental illnesses, 61 carers and 120 staff were recruited across Victoria, Australia. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The 24-item Revised Recovery Assessment Scale (RAS-R) measured individual psychosocial recovery. RESULTS: A total of 841 observations were completed with 287 service users. The intention-to-treat analysis found RAS-R scores to be similar between the intervention (mean = 84.7, SD= 15.6) and control (mean = 86.5, SD= 15.3) phases; the adjusted estimated difference in the mean RAS-R score was -1.70 (95% confidence interval: -3.81 to 0.40; p = .11). DISCUSSION: This first trial of an adapted mental health experience codesign intervention for psychosocial recovery outcomes found no difference between the intervention and control arms. CONCLUSIONS: More attention to the conditions that are required for eight essential mechanisms of change to support codesign processes and implementation is needed. PATIENT AND PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT: The State consumer (Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council) and carer peak bodies (Tandem representing mental health carers) codeveloped the intervention. The adapted intervention was facilitated by coinvestigators with lived-experiences who were coauthors for the trial and process evaluation protocols, the engagement model and explanatory model of change for the trial.
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    An RCT of a decision aid to support informed choices about taking aspirin to prevent colorectal cancer and other chronic diseases: a study protocol for the SITA (Should I Take Aspirin?) trial
    Milton, S ; McIntosh, J ; Macrae, F ; Chondros, P ; Trevena, L ; Jenkins, M ; Walter, FM ; Taylor, N ; Boyd, L ; Saya, S ; Karnchanachari, N ; Novy, K ; Forbes, C ; Gutierrez, JM ; Broun, K ; Whitburn, S ; McGill, S ; Fishman, G ; Marker, J ; Shub, M ; Emery, J (BMC, 2021-07-15)
    BACKGROUND: Australian guidelines recommend that all people aged 50-70 years old actively consider taking daily low-dose aspirin (100-300 mg per day) for 2.5 to 5 years to reduce their risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). Despite the change of national CRC prevention guidelines, there has been no active implementation of the guidelines into clinical practice. We aim to test the efficacy of a health consultation and decision aid, using a novel expected frequency tree (EFT) to present the benefits and harms of low dose aspirin prior to a general practice consultation with patients aged 50-70 years, on informed decision-making and uptake of aspirin. METHODS: Approximately five to seven general practices in Victoria, Australia, will be recruited to participate. Patients 50-70 years old, attending an appointment with their general practitioner (GP) for any reason, will be invited to participate in the trial. Two hundred fifty-eight eligible participants will be randomly allocated 1:1 to intervention or active control arms using a computer-generated allocation sequence stratified by general practice, sex, and mode of trial delivery (face-to-face or teletrial). There are two co-primary outcomes: informed decision-making at 1-month post randomisation, measured by the Multi-dimensional Measure of Informed Choice (MMIC), and self-reported daily use of aspirin at 6 months. Secondary outcomes include decisional conflict at 1-month and other behavioural changes to reduce CRC risk at both time points. DISCUSSION: This trial will test the efficacy of novel methods for implementing national guidelines to support informed decision-making about taking aspirin in 50-70-year-olds to reduce the risk of CRC and other chronic diseases. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) ACTRN12620001003965 . Registered on 10 October 2020.
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    Towards optimising chronic kidney disease detection and management in primary care: Underlying theory and protocol for technology development using an Integrated Knowledge Translation approach
    Manski-Nankervis, J-A ; Alexander, K ; Biezen, R ; Jones, J ; Hunter, B ; Emery, J ; Lumsden, N ; Boyle, D ; Gunn, J ; McMorrow, R ; Prictor, M ; Taylor, M ; Hallinan, C ; Chondros, P ; Janus, E ; McIntosh, J ; Nelson, C (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2021-04-01)
    Worldwide, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), directly or indirectly, causes more than 2.4 million deaths annually with symptoms generally presenting late in the disease course. Clinical guidelines support the early identification and treatment of CKD to delay progression and improve clinical outcomes. This paper reports the protocol for the codesign, implementation and evaluation of a technological platform called Future Health Today (FHT), a software program that aims to optimise early detection and management of CKD in general practice. FHT aims to optimise clinical decision making and reduce practice variation by translating evidence into practice in real time and as a part of quality improvement activities. This protocol describes the co-design and plans for implementation and evaluation of FHT in two general practices invited to test the prototype over 12 months. Service design thinking has informed the design phase and mixed methods will evaluate outcomes following implementation of FHT. Through systematic application of co-design with service users, clinicians and digital technologists, FHT attempts to avoid the pitfalls of past studies that have failed to accommodate the complex requirements and dynamics that can arise between researchers and service users and improve chronic disease management through use of health information technology.
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    Gender norms and the wellbeing of girls and boys
    King, K ; Rice, S ; Schlichthorst, M ; Chondros, P ; Pirkis, J (ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2020-04-01)
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    Matching depression management to severity prognosis in primary care: results of the Target-D randomised controlled trial
    Fletcher, S ; Chondros, P ; Densley, K ; Murray, E ; Dowrick, C ; Coe, A ; Hegarty, K ; Davidson, S ; Wachtler, C ; Mihalopoulos, C ; Lee, YY ; Chatterton, ML ; Palmer, VJ ; Gunn, J (ROYAL COLL GENERAL PRACTITIONERS, 2021-02-01)
    BACKGROUND: Mental health treatment rates are increasing, but the burden of disease has not reduced. Tools to support efficient resource distribution are required. AIM: To investigate whether a person-centred e-health (Target-D) platform matching depression care to symptom severity prognosis can improve depressive symptoms relative to usual care. DESIGN AND SETTING: Stratified individually randomised controlled trial in 14 general practices in Melbourne, Australia, from April 2016 to February 2019. In total, 1868 participants aged 18-65 years who had current depressive symptoms; internet access; no recent change to antidepressant; no current antipsychotic medication; and no current psychological therapy were randomised (1:1) via computer-generated allocation to intervention or usual care. METHOD: The intervention was an e-health platform accessed in the GP waiting room, comprising symptom feedback, priority-setting, and prognosis-matched management options (online self-help, online guided psychological therapy, or nurse-led collaborative care). Management options were flexible, neither participants nor staff were blinded, and there were no substantive protocol deviations. The primary outcome was depressive symptom severity (9-item Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ-9]) at 3 months. RESULTS: In intention to treat analysis, estimated between- arm difference in mean PHQ-9 scores at 3 months was -0.88 (95% confidence interval [CI] = -1.45 to -0.31) favouring the intervention, and -0.59 at 12 months (95% CI = -1.18 to 0.01); standardised effect sizes of -0.16 (95% CI = -0.26 to -0.05) and -0.10 (95% CI = -0.21 to 0.002), respectively. No serious adverse events were reported. CONCLUSION: Matching management to prognosis using a person-centred e-health platform improves depressive symptoms at 3 months compared to usual care and could feasibly be implemented at scale. Scope exists to enhance the uptake of management options.
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    Patients' preferences for involvement in treatment decision making in Japan.
    Sekimoto, M ; Asai, A ; Ohnishi, M ; Nishigaki, E ; Fukui, T ; Shimbo, T ; Imanaka, Y (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2004-03-01)
    BACKGROUND: A number of previous studies have suggested that the Japanese have few opportunities to participate in medical decision-making, as a result both of entrenched physician paternalism and national characteristics of dependency and passivity. The hypothesis that Japanese patients would wish to participate in treatment decision-making if adequate information were provided, and the decision to be made was clearly identified, was tested by interview survey. METHODS: The subjects were diabetic patients at a single outpatient clinic in Kyoto. One of three case study vignettes (pneumonia, gangrene or cancer) was randomly assigned to each subject and, employing face-to-face interviews, the subjects were asked what their wishes would be as patients, for treatment information, participation in decision-making and family involvement. RESULTS: 134 patients participated in the study, representing a response rate of 90%. The overall proportions of respondents who preferred active, collaborative, and passive roles were 12%, 71%, and 17%, respectively. Respondents to the cancer vignette were less likely to prefer an active role and were more likely to prefer family involvement in decision-making compared to non-cancer vignette respondents. If a physician's recommendation conflicted with their own wishes, 60% of the respondents for each vignette answered that they would choose to respect the physician's opinion, while few respondents would give the family's preference primary importance. CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggested that a majority of Japanese patients have positive attitudes towards participation in medical decision making if they are fully informed. Physicians will give greater patient satisfaction if they respond to the desire of patients for participation in decision-making.
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    The PAV trial: does lactobacillus prevent post-antibiotic vulvovaginal candidiasis? Protocol of a randomised controlled trial [ISRCTN24141277].
    Pirotta, M ; Gunn, J ; Chondros, P ; Grover, S ; Hurley, S ; Garland, S (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2004-03-28)
    BACKGROUND: Complementary and alternative medicines are used by many consumers, and increasingly are being incorporated into the general practitioner's armamentarium. Despite widespread usage, the evidence base for most complementary therapies is weak or non-existent. Post-antibiotic vulvovaginitis is a common problem in general practice, for which complementary therapies are often used. A recent study in Melbourne, Australia, found that 40% of women with a past history of vulvovaginitis had used probiotic Lactobacillus species to prevent or treat post-antibiotic vulvovaginitis. There is no evidence that this therapy is effective. This study aims to test whether oral or vaginal lactobacillus is effective in the prevention of post-antibiotic vulvovaginitis. METHODS/DESIGN: A randomised placebo-controlled blinded 2 x 2 factorial design is being used. General practitioners or pharmacists approach non-pregnant women, aged 18-50 years, who present with a non-genital infection requiring a short course of oral antibiotics, to participate in the study. Participants are randomised in a four group factorial design either to oral lactobacillus powder or placebo and either vaginal lactobacillus pessaries or placebo. These interventions are taken while on antibiotics and for four days afterwards or until symptoms of vaginitis develop. Women self collect a vaginal swab for culture of Candida species and complete a survey at baseline and again four days after completing their study medications. The sample size (a total of 496--124 in each factorial group) is calculated to identify a reduction of half in post-antibiotic vulvovaginitis from 23%, while allowing for a 25% drop-out. An independent Data Monitoring Committee is supervising the trial. Analysis will be intention-to-treat, with two pre-specified main comparisons: (i) oral lactobacillus versus placebo and (ii) vaginal lactobacillus versus placebo.