General Practice - Research Publications

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    Women's experiences and expectations of intimate partner abuse identification in healthcare settings: a qualitative evidence synthesis
    Korab-Chandler, E ; Kyei-Onanjiri, M ; Cameron, J ; Hegarty, K ; Tarzia, L (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2022-07-01)
    OBJECTIVES: To explore women's experiences and expectations of intimate partner abuse (IPA) disclosure and identification in healthcare settings, focusing on the process of disclosure/identification rather than the healthcare responses that come afterwards. DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative studies DATA SOURCES: Relevant studies were sourced by using keywords to search the databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsychINFO, SocINDEX and ASSIA in September 2021. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Studies needed to focus on women's views about IPA disclosure and identification in healthcare settings, use qualitative methods and have been published in the last 5 years. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: Relevant data were extracted into a customised template. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklist for qualitative research was used to assess the methodological quality of included studies. A thematic synthesis approach was applied to the data, and confidence in the findings was appraised using The Confidence in the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative research methods. RESULTS: Thirty-four studies were included from a range of healthcare settings and countries. Three key themes were generated through analysing their data: (1) Provide universal education, (2) Create a safe and supportive environment for disclosure and (3) It is about how you ask. Included papers were rated overall as being of moderate quality, and moderate-high confidence was placed in the review findings. CONCLUSIONS: Women in the included studies articulated a desire to routinely receive information about IPA, lending support to a universal education approach that equips all women with an understanding of IPA and options for assistance, regardless of disclosure. Women's suggestions for how to promote an environment conducive to disclosure and how to enquire about IPA have clear implications for clinical practice.PROSPERO registration numberCRD42018091523.
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    Patterns of health service utilisation of mothers experiencing mental health problems and intimate partner violence: Ten-year follow-up of an Australian prospective mother and child cohort.
    Gartland, D ; Hegarty, K ; Papadopoullos, S ; Brown, S ; López-Goñi, JJ (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2022)
    OBJECTIVES: Few studies have investigated health service use of mothers experiencing mental health problems or intimate partner violence (IPV). The aim of this study was to investigate health service utilisation of mothers experiencing mental health problems and intimate partner violence ten years after having a first baby. METHODS: Prospective cohort of 1507 first-time mothers recruited in Melbourne, Australia. Follow-up at ten years incorporated: Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, Beck Anxiety Inventory, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist, Composite Abuse Scale. RESULTS: At ten years postpartum, one in four mothers (26.1%) reported depressive, anxiety or posttraumatic stress symptoms, and almost one in five (19.4%) reported recent IPV. Two-fifths of mothers reporting clinically significant mental health symptoms had experienced recent IPV (Odds Ratio = 5.6, 95% CI 3.9-8.1). Less than half of mothers experiencing mental health problems at ten-year follow-up had discussed their mental health with a general practitioner and around one in three had talked to a mental health professional. Two-thirds of mothers experiencing recent IPV had not disclosed this to a general practitioner or mental health professional. CONCLUSIONS: The findings highlight the extent to which many women deal with IPV and mental health problems without the support that primary health care and mental health care could provide and point to the need for more concerted efforts to strengthen health system responses to these frequently related issues.
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    Development and validation of a multidimensional, culturally and socially inclusive Child Resilience Questionnaire (parent/caregiver report) to measure factors that support resilience: a community-based participatory research and psychometric testing study in Australia
    Gartland, D ; Riggs, E ; Giallo, R ; Glover, K ; Stowe, M ; Mongta, S ; Weetra, D ; Brown, SJ (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2022-06-01)
    OBJECTIVE: Develop a comprehensive socially inclusive measure to assess child resilience factors. DESIGN: A socioecological model of resilience, community-based participatory research methods and two rounds of psychometric testing created the Child Resilience Questionnaire (parent/caregiver report, child report, school report). The parent/caregiver report (CRQ-P/C) is the focus of this paper. SETTING: Australia. PARTICIPANTS: Culturally and socially diverse parents/caregivers of children aged 5-12 years completed the CRQ-P/C in the pilot (n=489) and validation study (n=1114). Recruitment via a large tertiary hospital's outpatient clinics, Aboriginal and refugee background communities (Aboriginal and bicultural researchers networks) and nested follow-up of mothers in a pregnancy cohort and a cohort of Aboriginal families. ANALYSIS: Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses conducted to assess the structure and construct validity of CRQ-P/C subscales. Cronbach's alpha used to assess internal consistency of subscales. Criterion validity assessed with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) parent report. RESULTS: Conceptually developed CRQ comprised 169 items in 19 subscales across five socioecological domains (self, family, friends, school and community). Two rounds of psychometric revision and community consultations created a CRQ-P/C with 43 items in 11 scales: self (positive self, positive future, managing emotions), family (connectedness, guidance, basic needs), school (teacher support, engagement, friends) and culture (connectedness, language). Excellent scale reliability (α=0.7-0.9), except basic needs scale (α=0.61) (where a highly endorsed item was retained for conceptual integrity). Criterion validity was supported: scales had low to moderate negative correlations with SDQ total difficulty score (Rs= -0.2/-0.5. p<0.001); children with emotion/behavioural difficulties had lower CRQ-P/C scores (β=-14.5, 95% CI -17.5 to -11.6, adjusted for gender). CONCLUSION: The CRQ-P/C is a new multidomain measure of factors supporting resilience in children. It has good psychometric properties and will have broad applications in clinical, educational and research settings. The tool also adds to the few culturally competent measures relevant to Aboriginal and refugee background communities.
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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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    "He'd Tell Me I was Frigid and Ugly and Force me to Have Sex with Him Anyway": Women's Experiences of Co-Occurring Sexual Violence and Psychological Abuse in Heterosexual Relationships
    Tarzia, L ; Hegarty, K (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2022-04-20)
    Intimate partner sexual violence (IPSV) is a common yet hidden form of violence. It is primarily perpetrated against women by their male partners and is associated with a range of serious mental and physical health outcomes. Despite these harms, it is chronically under-researched. In particular, the overlaps between IPSV and psychological abuse in relationships are poorly understood. Extant literature has focused primarily on the relationship between IPSV and physical violence, neglecting the fact that IPSV often involves verbal or emotional coercion, threats or blackmail rather than the use of 'force'. In this paper, we draw on reflexive thematic analysis of qualitative interviews with n = 38 victim/survivors of IPSV to explore how they understood the relationship between sexual and psychological abuse in their heterosexual relationships. Four themes were developed from this analysis: 1. I felt like I couldn't say Nno'; 2. I felt degraded and worthless; 3. Letting me know who's boss; and 4. Making me feel crazy. These themes broadly correspond to four distinct patterns or interactions between IPSV and psychological abuse. Our findings strongly suggest that the relationship between sexual and psychological abuse in relationships is far more complex than previous research would indicate. Psychological abuse is not simply a tool to obtain sex and sexual violence is not only used as a mechanism of psychological control. Instead, the two forms of abuse interact in ways that can be unidirectional, bi-directional or simultaneous to develop and maintain an environment of fear and control and erode women's self-worth.
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    Intimate partner violence education in Australian medical schools: has anything changed?
    Baum, A ; Valpied, J ; Kuruppu, J ; Hegarty, K (WILEY, 2021-10-14)
    OBJECTIVES: To describe current intimate partner violence (IPV) education delivery to Australian medical students, and the barriers influencing this delivery, including any changes in the quantity and nature of IPV education delivery since 2010. METHODS: A cross-sectional analysis of Australian medical schools providing primary medical degrees was conducted by identifying one staff member, from each of the disciplines of general practice, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, and where necessary, medical education, to complete an online survey. RESULTS: Sixteen of the 17 medical schools provided IPV education, typically within the general practice or obstetrics and gynaecology curriculum. The median contact hour range was 3-6 hours. Key barriers included time constraints and resource shortages. The overall response rate was 89.5%. CONCLUSION: Most Australian medical students receive limited IPV education and there is substantial variability in the depth and content of education. The proportion of medical schools providing education and the number of contact hours has only slightly increased. IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: Effective identification and management of IPV by healthcare providers can significantly improve health outcomes for victims and training in IPV may improve attitudes, knowledge and clinical skills. The need to provide more consistent and comprehensive IPV training for future doctors remains, and it is feasible to include integrated IPV education programs within a crowded medical curriculum.
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    Tensions in the therapeutic relationship: emotional labour in the response to child abuse and neglect in primary healthcare.
    Kuruppu, J ; Humphreys, C ; McKibbin, G ; Hegarty, K (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-03-17)
    BACKGROUND: Child abuse and neglect (child abuse) is a prevalent public health issue linked to survivors experiencing a higher risk of health issues such as obesity, heart disease and major depression. Given the significant impact of child abuse on health, general practitioners (GPs) and primary care nurses (nurses) are well-placed to respond to child abuse. However, research shows that responding to child abuse is difficult for health practitioners, especially the act of reporting child abuse. The present study aimed to understand how GPs and nurses experience the response to child abuse in primary healthcare. METHODS: This study employed qualitative methods. Twenty-six in-depth individual and group interviews were conducted with 30 GPs and nurses. The interviews were audio recorded with consent, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed. RESULTS: The participants were mostly metropolitan-based female GPs. Participants were sampled from two settings: private general practice and community health; and Doctors in Secondary Schools, a program that places GPs and nurses in high schools. Thematic analysis generated four themes: blowing trust out of the water; riding the reaction wave; opening a hornet's nest; and battling emotions. Participants felt that, in considering child abuse, they were betraying the trust of the therapeutic relationship and thus, had to manage their patients' reactions to preserve the therapeutic relationship. They used strategies that created shifts in perception in both themselves and their patients to help maintain the therapeutic relationship. Participants often felt that they had to compromise their professional code of ethics to fulfil their mandatory reporting obligations. Thus, they experienced internal emotional battles when responding which led to some experiencing burnout or vicarious trauma and others resilience. This complex interplay of relationship and emotional management was placed in the context of emotional labour theory. We contend that our participants undertook emotional labour across three levels: internal, organisational and systemic. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the emotional labour exerted in the response to child abuse can be diminished by: developing strategies for therapeutic relationship management; undertaking an internal, organisational and systemic values assessment; and facilitating communication between health professionals and the child protection system.
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    Tipping the Scales: Factors Influencing the Decision to Report Child Maltreatment in Primary Care
    Kuruppu, J ; McKibbin, G ; Humphreys, C ; Hegarty, K (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2020-04-07)
    Child maltreatment (CM) is an important public health issue linked to significant physical and mental health complications across the life span. Given the association between CM and health, general practitioners (GPs) and primary care nurses (PNs) are well-placed to identify and respond to this issue and are mandated to report suspected CM in many jurisdictions. Research has found that primary care doctors and nurses need support when responding to CM. This scoping review sought to answer the following question: What factors influence GPs and PNs decision to report CM when fulfilling their mandatory reporting duty? By exploring these factors, areas where support is needed were pinpointed. A systematic search was run across four databases: Medline (Ovid), PsycINFO, Embase, and CINAHL. Articles that reported on studies conducted in a location that had mandatory reporting legislation specific to CM and had a study population sampled from primary care were included in analysis. Thirty-three articles met the inclusion criteria. This review found that four principal factors influenced the decision to report CM: personal threshold of suspicion of abuse, relationship with the family, faith in the child protection system, and education and discussion. We conclude that improving the support and training to address these four areas may be beneficial for GPs and PNs in responding to CM.
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    Sexual violence associated with poor mental health in women attending Australian general practices
    Tarzia, L ; Maxwell, S ; Valpied, J ; Novy, K ; Quake, R ; Hegarty, K (WILEY, 2017-10-01)
    OBJECTIVE: Sexual violence (SV) against adult women is prevalent and associated with a range of mental health issues. General practitioners could potentially have a role in responding, however, there is little information to help guide them. Data around prevalence of all forms of adult SV (not just rape) is inconsistent, particularly in clinical samples, and the links between other forms of SV and mental health issues are not well supported. This study aimed to address these gaps in the knowledge base. METHODS: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted in Australian general practice clinics. Two hundred and thirty adult women completed an anonymous iPad survey while waiting to see the doctor. RESULTS: More than half the sample had experienced at least one incident of adult SV. Most commonly, women reported public harassment or flashing, unwanted groping and being coerced into sex. Women who had experienced adult SV were more likely to experience anxiety than women who had not, even after controlling for other factors. Women who had experienced adult SV were more likely to feel down, depressed or hopeless than women who had not; however, this association disappeared after controlling for childhood sexual abuse. CONCLUSIONS: The findings support the association between SV and poor mental health, even when 'lesser' incidents have occurred. Implications for public health: General practitioners should consider an experience of SV as a possible factor in otherwise unexplained anxiety and depressive symptoms in female patients.
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    A Conceptual Re-evaluation of Reproductive Coercion: Centring Intent, Fear and Control
    Tarzia, L ; Hegarty, K ( 2020-09-13)
    Background: Reproductive coercion and abuse (RCA) is a hidden form of violence against women. It includes behaviours intended to control or dictate a woman&rsquo;s reproductive autonomy, for the purpose of either preventing or promoting pregnancy. Main text: In this commentary, we argue that there is a lack of conceptual clarity around RCA that is a barrier to developing a robust evidence base. Furthermore, we suggest that there is a poor understanding of the way that RCA intersects with other types of violence (intimate partner violence; sexual violence) and &ndash; as a result &ndash; inconsistent definition and measurement in research and practice. To address this, we propose a new way of understanding RCA that centres perpetrator intent and the presence of fear and control. Recommendations for future research are also discussed. Conclusion: We suggest that IPV and SV are the mechanisms through which RCA is perpetrated. In other words, RCA cannot exist without some other form of co-occurring violence in a relationship. This has important implications for research, policy and practice including for screening and identification of women in reproductive healthcare settings.