General Practice - Research Publications

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    Cancer beliefs in ethnic minority populations: a review and meta-synthesis of qualitative studies
    Licqurish, S ; Phillipson, L ; Chiang, P ; Walker, J ; Walter, F ; Emery, J (WILEY, 2017-01-01)
    People from ethnic minorities often experience poorer cancer outcomes, possibly due to later presentation to healthcare and later diagnosis. We aimed to identify common cancer beliefs in minority populations in developed countries, which can affect symptom appraisal and help seeking for symptomatic cancer. Our systematic review found 15 relevant qualitative studies, located in the United Kingdom (six), United States (five), Australia (two) and Canada (two) of African, African-American, Asian, Arabic, Hispanic and Latino minority groups. We conducted a meta-synthesis that found specific emotional reactions to cancer, knowledge and beliefs and interactions with healthcare services as contributing factors in help seeking for a cancer diagnosis. These findings may be useful to inform the development of interventions to facilitate cancer diagnosis in minority populations.
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    Implementing a QCancer risk tool into general practice consultations: an exploratory study using simulated consultations with Australian general practitioners
    Chiang, PP-C ; Glance, D ; Walker, J ; Walter, FM ; Emery, JD (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2015-03-31)
    BACKGROUND: Reducing diagnostic delays in primary care by improving the assessment of symptoms associated with cancer could have significant impacts on cancer outcomes. Symptom risk assessment tools could improve the diagnostic assessment of patients with symptoms suggestive of cancer in primary care. We aimed to explore the use of a cancer risk tool, which implements the QCancer model, in consultations and its potential impact on clinical decision making. METHODS: We implemented an exploratory 'action design' method with 15 general practitioners (GPs) from Victoria, Australia. General practitioners applied the risk tool in simulated consultations, conducted semi-structured interviews based on the normalisation process theory and explored issues relating to implementation of the tool. RESULTS: The risk tool was perceived as being potentially useful for patients with complex histories. More experienced GPs were distrustful of the risk output, especially when it conflicted with their clinical judgement. Variable interpretation of symptoms meant that there was significant variation in risk assessment. When a risk output was high, GPs were confronted with numerical risk outputs creating challenges in consultation. CONCLUSIONS: Significant barriers to implementing electronic cancer risk assessment tools in consultation could limit their uptake. These relate not only to the design and integration of the tool but also to variation in interpretation of clinical histories, and therefore variable risk outputs and strong beliefs in personal clinical intuition.
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    The use of a risk assessment and decision support tool (CRISP) compared with usual care in general practice to increase risk-stratified colorectal cancer screening: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial
    Walker, JG ; Macrae, F ; Winship, I ; Oberoi, J ; Saya, S ; Milton, S ; Bickerstaffe, A ; Dowty, JG ; Lourenco, RDA ; Clark, M ; Galloway, L ; Fishman, G ; Walter, FM ; Flander, L ; Chondros, P ; Ouakrim, DA ; Pirotta, M ; Trevena, L ; Jenkins, MA ; Emery, JD (BMC, 2018-07-25)
    BACKGROUND: Australia and New Zealand have the highest incidence rates of colorectal cancer worldwide. In Australia there is significant unwarranted variation in colorectal cancer screening due to low uptake of the immunochemical faecal occult blood test, poor identification of individuals at increased risk of colorectal cancer, and over-referral of individuals at average risk for colonoscopy. Our pre-trial research has developed a novel Colorectal cancer RISk Prediction (CRISP) tool, which could be used to implement precision screening in primary care. This paper describes the protocol for a phase II multi-site individually randomised controlled trial of the CRISP tool in primary care. METHODS: This trial aims to test whether a standardised consultation using the CRISP tool in general practice (the CRISP intervention) increases risk-appropriate colorectal cancer screening compared to control participants who receive standardised information on cancer prevention. Patients between 50 and 74 years old, attending an appointment with their general practitioner for any reason, will be invited into the trial. A total of 732 participants will be randomised to intervention or control arms using a computer-generated allocation sequence stratified by general practice. The primary outcome (risk-appropriate screening at 12 months) will be measured using baseline data for colorectal cancer risk and objective health service data to measure screening behaviour. Secondary outcomes will include participant cancer risk perception, anxiety, cancer worry, screening intentions and health service utilisation measured at 1, 6 and 12 months post randomisation. DISCUSSION: This trial tests a systematic approach to implementing risk-stratified colorectal cancer screening in primary care, based on an individual's absolute risk, using a state-of-the-art risk assessment tool. Trial results will be reported in 2020. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry, ACTRN12616001573448p . Registered on 14 November 2016.
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    The CRISP colorectal cancer risk prediction tool: an exploratory study using simulated consultations in Australian primary care
    Walker, JG ; Bickerstaffe, A ; Hewabandu, N ; Maddumarachchi, S ; Crecrc, JGD ; Jenkins, M ; Pirotta, M ; Walter, FM ; Emery, JD (BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2017-01-19)
    BACKGROUND: In Australia, screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) with colonoscopy is meant to be reserved for people at increased risk, however, currently there is a mismatch between individuals' risk of CRC and the type of CRC screening they receive. This paper describes the development and optimisation of a Colorectal cancer RISk Prediction tool ('CRISP') for use in primary care. The aim of the CRISP tool is to increase risk-appropriate CRC screening. METHODS: CRISP development was informed by previous experience with developing risk tools for use in primary care and a systematic review of the evidence. A CRISP prototype was used in simulated consultations by general practitioners (GPs) with actors as patients. GPs were interviewed to explore their experience of using CRISP, and practice nurses (PNs) and practice managers (PMs) were interviewed after a demonstration of CRISP. Transcribed interviews and video footage of the 'consultations' were qualitatively analyzed. Themes arising from the data were mapped onto Normalization Process Theory (NPT). RESULTS: Fourteen GPs, nine PNs and six PMs were recruited from 12 clinics. Results were described using the four constructs of NPT: 1) Coherence: Clinicians understood the rationale behind CRISP, particularly since they were familiar with using risk tools for other conditions; 2) Cognitive participation: GPs welcomed the opportunity CRISP provided to discuss healthy and unhealthy behaviors with their patients, but many GPs challenged the screening recommendation generated by CRISP; 3) Collective Action: CRISP disrupted clinician-patient flow if the GP was less comfortable with computers. GP consultation time was a major implementation barrier and overall consensus was that PNs have more capacity and time to use CRISP effectively; 4) Reflexive monitoring: Limited systematic monitoring of new interventions is a potential barrier to the sustainable embedding of CRISP. CONCLUSIONS: CRISP has the potential to improve risk-appropriate CRC screening in primary care but was considered more likely to be successfully implemented as a nurse-led intervention.