General Practice - Research Publications

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    Patients’ Experiences of Using Skin Self-monitoring Apps with People at Higher Risk of Melanoma: Qualitative Study
    Habgood, E ; McCormack, C ; Walter, FM ; Emery, JD (JMIR Publications Inc., 2021-07-01)
    Background Melanoma is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia. Up to 75% of melanomas are first detected by patients or their family or friends. Many mobile apps for melanoma exist, including apps to encourage skin self-monitoring to improve the likelihood of early detection. Previous research in this area has focused on their development, diagnostic accuracy, or validation. Little is known about patients’ views and experiences of using these apps. Objective This study aims to understand patients’ views and experiences of using commercially available melanoma skin self-monitoring mobile apps for a period of 3 months. Methods This qualitative study was conducted in two populations: primary care (where the MelatoolsQ tool was used to identify patients who were at increased risk of melanoma) and secondary care (where patients had a previous diagnosis of melanoma, stages T0-T3a). Participants downloaded 2 of the 4 mobile apps for skin self-monitoring (SkinVision, UMSkinCheck, Mole Monitor, or MySkinPal) and were encouraged to use them for 3 months. After 3 months, a semistructured interview was conducted with participants to discuss their experiences of using the skin self-monitoring mobile apps. Results A total of 54 participants were recruited in the study, with 37% (20) of participants from primary care and 62% (34) from secondary care. Interviews were conducted with 34 participants when data saturation was reached. Most participants did not use the apps at all (n=12) or tried them once but did not continue (n=14). Only 8 participants used the apps to assist with skin self-monitoring for the entire duration of the study. Patients discussed the apps in the context of the importance of early detection and their current skin self-monitoring behaviors. A range of features of perceived quality of each app affected engagement to support skin self-monitoring. Participants described their skin self-monitoring routines and potential mismatches with the app reminders. They also described the technical and practical difficulties experienced when using the apps for skin self-monitoring. The app’s positioning within existing relationships with health care providers was crucial to understand the use of the apps. Conclusions This study of patients at increased risk of melanoma highlights several barriers to engagement with apps to support skin self-monitoring. The results highlight the wide-ranging and dynamic influences on engagement with mobile apps, which extend beyond app design and relate to broader contextual factors about skin self-monitoring routines and relationships with health care providers.
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    Using an electronic self-completion tool to identify patients at increased risk of melanoma in Australian primary care
    Habgood, E ; Walter, FM ; O'Hare, E ; McIntosh, J ; McCormack, C ; Emery, JD (WILEY, 2020-02-12)
    BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Some international guidelines recommend a risk-based approach to screening for melanoma, but few suggest how to account for multiple risk factors or how to implement risk-based screening in practice. This study investigated the acceptability and feasibility of identifying patients at increased risk of melanoma in Australian general practice using a self-completed risk assessment tool. Stratification of risk was based on the validated Williams melanoma risk prediction model. METHODS: Patients and companions aged 18 or older in Australian general practices were approached in the waiting room and invited to enter information about their melanoma risk factors into the tool using an iPad. Acceptability was measured by the proportion of people willing to participate from those invited and feasibility by the number of people able to complete the tool unaided. Risk of developing melanoma was stratified into four risk categories using the Williams model. RESULTS: 1535 (90.4%) participants were recruited from two general practices. Only 200 participants (13%) needed assistance to complete the tool. The mean risk score for participants was 15.2 (±SD 9.8). The Williams model estimated between 5% and 19% of the sample were at increased risk accounting for an estimated 30% to 60% of future incident melanomas. CONCLUSIONS: A risk-stratified tool using the Williams model was acceptable and feasible for patients to self-complete in general practice clinics. This could be an effective way to identify people in primary care for implementing risk-based targeted melanoma screening and prevention.
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    Protocol for the CHEST Australia Trial: a phase II randomised controlled trial of an intervention to reduce time-to-consult with symptoms of lung cancer
    Murray, SR ; Murchie, P ; Campbell, N ; Walter, FM ; Mazza, D ; Habgood, E ; Kutzer, Y ; Martin, A ; Goodall, S ; Barnes, DJ ; Emery, JD (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2015-01-01)
    INTRODUCTION: Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide, with 1.3 million new cases diagnosed every year. It has one of the lowest survival outcomes of any cancer because over two-thirds of patients are diagnosed when curative treatment is not possible. International research has focused on screening and community interventions to promote earlier presentation to a healthcare provider to improve early lung cancer detection. This paper describes the protocol for a phase II, multisite, randomised controlled trial, for patients at increased risk of lung cancer in the primary care setting, to facilitate early presentation with symptoms of lung cancer. METHODS/ANALYSIS: The intervention is based on a previous Scottish CHEST Trial that comprised of a primary-care nurse consultation to discuss and implement a self-help manual, followed by self-monitoring reminders to improve symptom appraisal and encourage help-seeking in patients at increased risk of lung cancer. We aim to recruit 550 patients from two Australian states: Western Australia and Victoria. Patients will be randomised to the Intervention (a health consultation involving a self-help manual, monthly prompts and spirometry) or Control (spirometry followed by usual care). Eligible participants are long-term smokers with at least 20 pack years, aged 55 and over, including ex-smokers if their cessation date was less than 15 years ago. The primary outcome is consultation rate for respiratory symptoms. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval has been obtained from The University of Western Australia's Human Research Ethics Committee (RA/4/1/6018) and The University of Melbourne Human Research Committee (1 441 433). A summary of the results will be disseminated to participants and we plan to publish the main trial outcomes in a single paper. Further publications are anticipated after further data analysis. Findings will be presented at national and international conferences from late 2016. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry ACTRN 1261300039 3752.