General Practice - Research Publications

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    Economic evaluation of a Decision Support Tool to guide intensity of mental health care in general practice: the Link-me pragmatic randomised controlled trial.
    Chatterton, ML ; Harris, M ; Burgess, P ; Fletcher, S ; Spittal, MJ ; Faller, J ; Palmer, VJ ; Chondros, P ; Bassilios, B ; Pirkis, J ; Gunn, J ; Mihalopoulos, C (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-09-16)
    BACKGROUND: This paper reports on the cost-effectiveness evaluation of Link-me - a digitally supported, systematic approach to triaging care for depression and anxiety in primary care that uses a patient-completed Decision Support Tool (DST). METHODS: The economic evaluation was conducted alongside a parallel, stratified individually randomised controlled trial (RCT) comparing prognosis-matched care to usual care at six- and 12-month follow-up. Twenty-three general practices in three Australian Primary Health Networks recruited 1,671 adults (aged 18 - 75 years), predicted by the DST to have minimal/mild or severe depressive or anxiety symptoms in three months. The minimal/mild prognostic group was referred to low intensity services. Participants screened in the severe prognostic group were offered high intensity care navigation, a model of care coordination. The outcome measures included in this evaluation were health sector costs (including development and delivery of the DST, care navigation and other healthcare services used) and societal costs (health sector costs plus lost productivity), psychological distress [Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10)] and quality adjusted life years (QALYs) derived from the EuroQol 5-dimension quality of life questionnaire with Australian general population preference weights applied. Costs were valued in 2018-19 Australian dollars (A$). RESULTS: Across all participants, the health sector incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of Link-me per point decrease in K10 at six months was estimated at $1,082 (95% CI $391 to $6,204) increasing to $2,371 (95% CI $191 to Dominated) at 12 months. From a societal perspective, the ICER was estimated at $1,257/K10 point decrease (95% CI Dominant to Dominated) at six months, decreasing to $1,217 (95% CI Dominant to Dominated) at 12 months. No significant differences in QALYs were detected between trial arms and the intervention was dominated (less effective, more costly) based on the cost/QALY ICER. CONCLUSIONS: The Link-me approach to stepped mental health care would not be considered cost-effective utilising a cost/QALY outcome metric commonly adopted by health technology assessment agencies. Rather, Link-me showed a trend toward cost-effectiveness by providing improvement in mental health symptoms, measured by the K10, at an additional cost. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, ANZCTRN 12617001333303.
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    Economic evaluation of the Target-D platform to match depression management to severity prognosis in primary care: A within-trial cost-utility analysis
    Lee, YY ; Mihalopoulos, C ; Chatterton, ML ; Fletcher, S ; Chondros, P ; Densley, KL ; Murray, EK ; Dowrick, C ; Coe, AJ ; Hegarty, KM ; Davidson, S ; Wachtler, C ; Palmer, V ; Gunn, J ; Durand-Zaleski, I (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2022-01-01)
    BACKGROUND: Target-D, a new person-centred e-health platform matching depression care to symptom severity prognosis (minimal/mild, moderate or severe) has demonstrated greater improvement in depressive symptoms than usual care plus attention control. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of Target-D compared to usual care from a health sector and partial societal perspective across 3-month and 12-month follow-up. METHODS AND FINDINGS: A cost-utility analysis was conducted alongside the Target-D randomised controlled trial; which involved 1,868 participants attending 14 general practices in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia. Data on costs were collected using a resource use questionnaire administered concurrently with all other outcome measures at baseline, 3-month and 12-month follow-up. Intervention costs were assessed using financial records compiled during the trial. All costs were expressed in Australian dollars (A$) for the 2018-19 financial year. QALY outcomes were derived using the Assessment of Quality of Life-8D (AQoL-8D) questionnaire. On a per person basis, the Target-D intervention cost between $14 (minimal/mild prognostic group) and $676 (severe group). Health sector and societal costs were not significantly different between trial arms at both 3 and 12 months. Relative to a A$50,000 per QALY willingness-to-pay threshold, the probability of Target-D being cost-effective under a health sector perspective was 81% at 3 months and 96% at 12 months. From a societal perspective, the probability of cost-effectiveness was 30% at 3 months and 80% at 12 months. CONCLUSIONS: Target-D is likely to represent good value for money for health care decision makers. Further evaluation of QALY outcomes should accompany any routine roll-out to assess comparability of results to those observed in the trial. This trial is registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12616000537459).
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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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    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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    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.
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    Clinical efficacy of a Decision Support Tool (Link-me) to guide intensity of mental health care in primary practice: a pragmatic stratified randomised controlled trial
    Fletcher, S ; Spittal, MJ ; Chondros, P ; Palmer, VJ ; Chatterton, ML ; Densley, K ; Potiriadis, M ; Harris, M ; Bassilios, B ; Burgess, P ; Mihalopoulos, C ; Pirkis, J ; Gunn, J (ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2021-03-01)
    BACKGROUND: The volume and heterogeneity of mental health problems that primary care patients present with is a substantial challenge for health systems, and both undertreatment and overtreatment are common. We developed Link-me, a patient-completed Decision Support Tool, to predict severity of depression or anxiety, identify priorities, and recommend interventions. In this study, we aimed to examine if Link-me reduces psychological distress among individuals predicted to have minimal/mild or severe symptoms of anxiety or depression. METHODS: In this pragmatic stratified randomised controlled trial, adults aged 18-75 years reporting depressive or anxiety symptoms or use of mental health medication were recruited from 23 general practices in Australia. Participants completed the Decision Support Tool and were classified into three prognostic groups (minimal/mild, moderate, severe), and those in the minimal/mild and severe groups were eligible for inclusion. Participants were individually and randomly assigned (1:1) by a computer-generated allocation sequence to receive either prognosis-matched care (intervention group) or usual care plus attention control (control group). Participants were not blinded but intervention providers were only notified of those allocated to the intervention group. Outcome assessment was blinded. The primary outcome was the difference in the change in scores between the intervention and control group, and within prognostic groups, on the 10-item Kessler Psychological Distress Scale at 6 months post randomisation. The trial was registered on the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, ACTRN12617001333303. OUTCOMES: Between Nov 21, 2017, and Oct 31, 2018, 24 616 patients were invited to complete the eligibility screening survey. 1671 of these patients were included and randomly assigned to either the intervention group (n=834) or the control group (n=837). Prognosis-matched care was associated with greater reductions in psychological distress than usual care plus attention control at 6 months (p=0·03), with a standardised mean difference (SMD) of -0·09 (95% CI -0·17 to -0·01). This reduction was also seen in the severe prognostic group (p=0·003), with a SMD of -0·26 (-0·43 to -0·09), but not in the minimal/mild group (p=0·73), with a SMD of 0·04 (-0·17 to 0·24). In the complier average causal effect analysis in the severe prognostic group, differences were larger among those who received some or all aspects of the intervention (SMD range -0·58 to -1·15). No serious adverse effects were recorded. INTERPRETATION: Prognosis-based matching of interventions reduces psychological distress in patients with anxiety or depressive symptoms, particularly in those with severe symptoms, and is associated with better outcomes when patients access the recommended treatment. Optimisation of the Link-me approach and implementation into routine practice could help reduce the burden of disease associated with common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. FUNDING: Australian Government Department of Health.
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    The assertive cardiac care trial: A randomised controlled trial of a coproduced assertive cardiac care intervention to reduce absolute cardiovascular disease risk in people with severe mental illness in the primary care setting
    Lewis, M ; Chondros, P ; Mihalopoulos, C ; Lee, YY ; Gunn, JM ; Harvey, C ; Furler, J ; Osborn, D ; Castle, D ; Davidson, S ; Jayaram, M ; Kenny, A ; Nelson, MR ; Morgan, VA ; Harrap, S ; McKenzie, K ; Potiriadis, M ; Densley, K ; Palmer, VJ (ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2020-10-01)
    BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for 40% of the excess mortality identified in people with severe mental illness (SMI). Modifiable CVD risk factors are higher and can be exacerbated by the cardiometabolic impact of psychotropic medications. People with SMI frequently attend primary care presenting a valuable opportunity for early identification, prevention and management of cardiovascular health. The ACCT Healthy Hearts Study will test a coproduced, nurse-led intervention delivered with general practitioners to reduce absolute CVD risk (ACVDR) at 12 months compared with an active control group. METHODS/DESIGN: ACCT is a two group (intervention/active control) individually randomised (1:1) controlled trial (RCT). Assessments will be completed baseline (pre-randomisation), 6 months, and 12 months. The primary outcome is 5-year ACVDR measured at 12 months. Secondary outcomes include 6-month ACVDR; and blood pressure, lipids, HbA1c, BMI, quality of life, physical activity, motivation to change health behaviour, medication adherence, alcohol use and hospitalisation at 6 and 12 months. Linear mixed-effects regression will estimate mean difference between groups for primary and secondary continuous outcomes. Economic cost-consequences analysis will be conducted using quality of life and health resource use information and routinely collected government health service use and medication data. A parallel process evaluation will investigate implementation of the intervention, uptake and outcomes. DISCUSSION: ACCT will deliver a coproduced and person-centred, guideline level cardiovascular primary care intervention to a high need population with SMI. If successful, the intervention could lead to the reduction of the mortality gap and increase opportunities for meaningful social and economic participation. Trial registration ANZCTR Trial number: ACTRN12619001112156.