General Practice - Research Publications

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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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    Effect of lactobacillus in preventing post-antibiotic vulvovaginal candidiasis: a randomised controlled trial
    Pirotta, M ; Gunn, J ; Chondros, P ; Grover, S ; O'Malley, P ; Hurley, S ; Garland, S (B M J PUBLISHING GROUP, 2004-09-04)
    OBJECTIVE: To test whether oral or vaginal lactobacillus can prevent vulvovaginitis after antibiotic treatment. DESIGN: Randomised, placebo controlled, double blind, factorial 2x2 trial. SETTING: Fifty general practices and 16 pharmacies in Melbourne, Australia. PARTICIPANTS: Non-pregnant women aged 18-50 years who required a short course of oral antibiotics for a non-gynaecological infection: 278 were enrolled in the study, and results were available for 235. INTERVENTIONS: Lactobacillus preparations taken orally or vaginally, or both, from enrollment until four days after completion of their antibiotic course. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Participants' reports of symptoms of post-antibiotic vulvovaginitis, with microbiological evidence of candidiasis provided by a self obtained vaginal swab. RESULTS: Overall, 55/235 (23% (95% confidence interval 18% to 29%)) women developed post-antibiotic vulvovaginitis. Compared with placebo, the odds ratio for developing post-antibiotic vulvovaginitis with oral lactobacillus was 1.06 (95% confidence interval 0.58 to 1.94) and with vaginal lactobacillus 1.38 (0.75 to 2.54). Compliance with antibiotics and interventions was high. The trial was terminated after the second interim analysis because of lack of effect of the interventions. Given the data at this time, the chances of detecting a significant reduction in vulvovaginitis with oral or vaginal lactobacillus treatment were less than 0.032 and 0.0006 respectively if the trial proceeded to full enrollment. CONCLUSIONS: The use of oral or vaginal forms of lactobacillus to prevent post-antibiotic vulvovaginitis is not supported by these results. Further research on this subject is unlikely to be fruitful, unless new understandings about the pathogenesis of post-antibiotic vulvovaginitis indicate a possible role for lactobacillus.
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    Guidelines for assessing postnatal problems: introducing evidence-based guidelines in Australian general practice
    Gunn, J ; Southern, D ; Chondros, P ; Thomson, P ; Robertson, K (OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2003-08-01)
    BACKGROUND: Postnatal morbidity is high, and many GPs lack the confidence and knowledge to deal with common postnatal problems. There is a high consultation rate, but few women disclose common health problems. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to increase the knowledge and skills of GPs to enable them to identify and manage common health problems experienced by women in the year following childbirth. METHODS: An educational programme [Guidelines for Assessing Postnatal Problems (GAPP)] embedded within a large randomized community intervention trial [Program of Resources, Information and Support for Mothers (PRISM)] with a before/after evaluation was undergone by Australian GPs working in four metropolitan and four rural communities. The programme comprised audit, interactive workshops, role-play and evidence-based guidelines, and was evaluated at baseline and 6 months through written questionnaires and a surgery consultation with a trained simulated patient evaluator. RESULTS: A total of 68 (86%) GPs took part in the full GAPP programme. The odds of a GP improving on the knowledge items ranged from 1.0 to 16, with the greatest change occurring in knowledge about the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy for maternal depression. Of the GPs with an incorrect response at baseline, the percentage demonstrating improved knowledge at follow-up ranged from 22 to 100%. Around half of the GPs demonstrated excellent communication skills at baseline. Of the remaining GPs, more than half demonstrated greatly improved skills to detect common postnatal problems at follow-up. At baseline simulated patient visit, 70% of GPs inquired about sexual problems yet none inquired about the possibility of abuse, whereas at follow-up 94% inquired about sexual problems and 51.5% facilitated the disclosure of physical and emotional abuse. Anonymous feedback on the programme by participating GPs showed that 89% believed the programme positively influenced their actual practice. Interestingly, GPs demonstrated greater knowledge and skills in the simulated setting than on the written questionnaire. CONCLUSIONS: This relatively brief multifaceted educational programme assisted many participants in improving their knowledge and the skills required to improve both physical and emotional health after birth. Despite being experienced clinicians and participating actively in a programme on interviewing skills, half of the GPs did not facilitate disclosure of the underlying sensitive issue (abuse) during the follow-up consultation and could benefit from further in-depth training in effective communication skills.