Surgery (Austin & Northern Health) - Research Publications

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    Serious incidents in testicular torsion management in England, 2007-2019: optimizing individual and training factors are the key to improved outcomes.
    Menzies-Wilson, R ; Folkard, SS ; Sevdalis, N ; Green, JSA (Wiley, 2022-02)
    OBJECTIVES: To establish the healthcare factors that contribute to testicular torsion adverse events (orchidectomies) and 'near misses'. The secondary objective was to identify areas suitable for impactful quality improvement initiatives to be undertaken by National Health Service (NHS) healthcare providers nationally. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective record review and analysis, carried out in four phases. We applied the well-validated London Protocol patient safety incident analysis framework to all eligible serious incidents related to testicular torsion submitted by English NHS Trusts over a 12-year period to the Strategic Executive Information System database. Clinical reviewers established the incident population (Phase 1), were trained and piloted the feasibility of using the London Protocol (Phase 2), applied the protocol and themed the identified contributing factors linked to adverse events (orchidectomies) and near-misses (Phase 3), and reviewed the evidence for improvement interventions (Phase 4). RESULTS: Our search returned 992 serious incidents, of which 732 were eligible for study inclusion and analysis. Of those, 137 resulted in orchidectomies, equivalent to one serious incident resulting in orchidectomy per month, and 595 were near misses. Factors contributing to all incidents were: individual staff/training (38%); team (18%); work environment (16%); task and technology (14%); and institutional context (13%). Subgroup analysis of incidents resulting in orchidectomies vs near misses demonstrated a different pattern of factors, with individual staff/training factors significantly more prominent: individual/training (88%); work environment (8%); and task and technology (1%). No evidenced improvement interventions were found in the literature. CONCLUSION: This is the first study to our knowledge to systematically analyse and classify factors that are associated with loss of a testicle and related near-miss incidents in patients presenting with testicular torsion. In England, a significant number of orchidectomies occur annually as a consequence of healthcare serious incidents. In order to improve outcomes, we propose clinical support to aid the diagnosis of torsion, improved national clinical guidelines, development of specific standard operating procedures and (in the longer term) more exposure of trainees and medical students to urology to improve the testicular salvage rate.
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    Implementing collaborative care for major depression in a cancer center: An observational study using mixed-methods.
    Walker, J ; Hobbs, H ; Wanat, M ; Solomons, L ; Richardson, A ; Sevdalis, N ; Magill, N ; Sharpe, M (Elsevier BV, 2022-05)
    OBJECTIVES: To describe the implementation of a collaborative care (CC) screening and treatment program for major depression in people with cancer, found to be effective in clinical trials, into routine outpatient care of a cancer center. METHOD: A mixed-methods observational study guided by the RE-AIM implementation framework using quantitative and qualitative data collected over five years. RESULTS: Program set-up took three years and required more involvement of CC experts than anticipated. Barriers to implementation were uncertainty about whether oncology or psychiatry owned the program and the hospital's organizational complexity. Selecting and training CC team members was a major task. 90% (14,412/16,074) of patients participated in depression screening and 61% (136/224) of those offered treatment attended at least one session. Depression outcomes were similar to trial benchmarks (61%; 78/127 patients had a treatment response). After two years the program obtained long-term funding. Facilitators of implementation were strong trial evidence, effective integration into cancer care and ongoing clinical and managerial support. CONCLUSION: A CC program for major depression, designed for the cancer setting, can be successfully implemented into routine care, but requires time, persistence and involvement of CC experts. Once operating it can be an effective and valued component of medical care.
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    A critical review of measures of childhood vaccine confidence.
    Shapiro, GK ; Kaufman, J ; Brewer, NT ; Wiley, K ; Menning, L ; Leask, J ; BeSD Working Group, (Elsevier BV, 2021-08)
    The World Health Organization and global partners sought to identify existing measures of confidence in childhood vaccines, as part of a broader effort to measure the range of behavioural and social drivers of vaccination. We identified 14 confidence measures applicable to childhood vaccination in general, all published between 2010 and 2019. The measures examined 1-5 constructs and included a mean of 12 items. Validation studies commonly examined factor structure, internal consistency reliability, and criterion-related validity. Fewer studies examined convergent and discriminant validity, test-retest reliability, or used cognitive interviewing. Most measures were developed and validated only in high-income countries. These findings highlight the need for a childhood vaccine confidence measure validated for use in diverse global contexts.
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    Establishing a perioperative medicine for older people undergoing surgery service for general surgical patients at a district general hospital.
    de Las Casas, R ; Meilak, C ; Whittle, A ; Partridge, J ; Adamek, J ; Sadler, E ; Sevdalis, N ; Dhesi, J (Royal College of Physicians, 2021-11)
    INTRODUCTION: There is growing recognition of the need for perioperative medicine services for older surgical patients. Comprehensive geriatric assessment and optimisation methodology has been successfully used to improve perioperative outcomes at tertiary centres. This paper describes translation of an established model of geriatrician-led perioperative care to a district general hospital (DGH) setting. METHODS: A mixed methods quality improvement programme was used and included stakeholder co-design, identification of core components, definition of mechanisms for change, and measurement of impact through qualitative and quantitative approaches. RESULTS: Within 18 months, a substantive perioperative service for older people was established at a DGH, funded by the surgical directorate. Key outcomes included reduction in length of stay and 30-day readmission and positive staff and patient experience. DISCUSSION: This study is in keeping with improvement science literature demonstrating the importance of a mixed-methods approach in translating an evidenced-based intervention into another setting, maintaining fidelity and replicating results.
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    A user-centered approach to developing a new tool measuring the behavioural and social drivers of vaccination.
    Wiley, KE ; Levy, D ; Shapiro, GK ; Dube, E ; SteelFisher, GK ; Sevdalis, N ; Ganter-Restrepo, F ; Menning, L ; Leask, J (Elsevier BV, 2021-10-08)
    BACKGROUND: Children around the world remain under-vaccinated for many reasons. To develop effective vaccine delivery programmes and monitor intervention impact, vaccine programme implementers need to understand reasons for under-vaccination within their local context. The World Health Organization (WHO) Working Group on the Behavioural and Social Drivers of Vaccination (BeSD) is developing standardised tools for assessing childhood vaccine acceptance and uptake that can be used across regions and countries. The tools will include: (1) a validated survey; (2) qualitative interview guides; and (3) corresponding user guidance. We report a user-centred needs assessment of key end-users of the BeSD tools. METHODS: Twenty qualitative interviews (Apr-Aug 2019) with purposively sampled vaccine programme managers, partners and stakeholders from UNICEF and WHO country and regional offices. The interviews assessed current systems, practices and challenges in data utilisation and reflections on how the BeSD tools might be optimised. Framework analysis was used to code the interviews. RESULTS: Regarding current practices, participants described a variety of settings, data systems, and frequencies of vaccination attitude measurement. They reported that the majority of data used is quantitative, and there is appetite for increased use of qualitative data. Capacity for conducting studies on social/behavioural drivers of vaccination was high in some jurisdictions and needed in others. Issues include barriers to collecting such data and variability in sources. Reflecting on the tools, participants described the need to explore the attitudes and practices of healthcare workers in addition to parents and caregivers. Participants were supportive of the proposed mixed-methods structure of the tools and training in their usage, and highlighted the need for balance between tool standardisation and flexibility to adapt locally. CONCLUSIONS: A user-centred approach in developing the BeSD tools has given valuable direction to their design, bringing the use of behavioural and social data to the heart of programme planning.
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    Team functioning across different tumour types: Insights from a Swiss cancer center using qualitative and quantitative methods.
    Hitz, F ; Ribi, K ; Grote, G ; Kolbe, M ; Schmitz, C ; Lamb, BW ; Ruhstaller, T ; Berchtold, P ; Sevdalis, N (Wiley, 2022-08)
    BACKGROUND: Multidisciplinary care is pivotal in cancer centres and the interaction of all cancer disease specialists in decision making processes is state-of-the-art. AIM: To describe differences of MDTMs by tumour type. METHODS: Twelve multidisciplinary team meetings (MDTMs) with participation of different cancer disease specialists at a tertiary hospital were assessed by an exploratory sequential mixed method approach with interviews, observations and a survey to address the following five topics: organisational structure and supporting technology; leadership; teamwork; decision-making, perceived value and motivation. Thirteen persons with different tumour specialities and levels of seniority were interviewed. The 12 MDTMs were observed twice by uninvolved persons and evaluated by the participating physicians with a survey. RESULTS: There were no systematic differences between MDTMs for different tumour types with the exception of the non-disease specific type MDTM, which was the only one for which the organisational structure was not driven by an electronic tool. However, several factors could be identified that generally influenced the functioning of the MDTMs. In particular, the quality of decision-making was highly dependent on the availability of case-based information and the presence of relevant cancer disease specialists. Leadership and teamwork were rated as important and were comparable across the MDTM. Team participants' motivation and perceived value of MDTMs was high across all meetings. CONCLUSION: MDTM at a single institution did not demonstrate disease specific characteristics. An effective MDTM, irrespective of the tumour type, can be successfully structured by technical means and a chairperson coordinating the interaction of cancer disease specialists to improve the decision-making process.
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    A parallel randomised controlled trial of the Hypoglycaemia Awareness Restoration Programme for adults with type 1 diabetes and problematic hypoglycaemia despite optimised self-care (HARPdoc).
    Amiel, SA ; Potts, L ; Goldsmith, K ; Jacob, P ; Smith, EL ; Gonder-Frederick, L ; Heller, S ; Toschi, E ; Brooks, A ; Kariyawasam, D ; Choudhary, P ; Stadler, M ; Rogers, H ; Kendall, M ; Sevdalis, N ; Bakolis, I ; de Zoysa, N (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-04-28)
    Impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia (IAH) is a major risk for severe hypoglycaemia in insulin treatment of type 1 diabetes (T1D). To explore the hypothesis that unhelpful health beliefs create barriers to regaining awareness, we conducted a multi-centre, randomised, parallel, two-arm trial (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02940873) in adults with T1D and treatment-resistant IAH and severe hypoglycaemia, with blinded analysis of 12-month recall of severe hypoglycaemia at 12 and/or 24 months the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included cognitive and emotional measures. Adults with T1D, IAH and severe hypoglycaemia despite structured education in insulin adjustment, +/- diabetes technologies, were randomised to the "Hypoglycaemia Awareness Restoration Programme despite optimised self-care" (HARPdoc, n = 49), a psychoeducation programme uniquely focussing on changing cognitive barriers to avoiding hypoglycaemia, or the evidence-based "Blood Glucose Awareness Training" (BGAT, n = 50), both delivered over six weeks. Median [IQR] severe hypoglycaemia at baseline was 5[2-12] per patient/year, 1[0-5] at 12 months and 0[0-2] at 24 months, with no superiority for HARPdoc (HARPdoc vs BGAT incident rate ratios [95% CI] 1.25[0.51, 3.09], p = 0.62 and 1.26[0.48, 3.35], p = 0.64 respectively), nor for changes in hypoglycaemia awareness scores or fear. Compared to BGAT, HARPdoc significantly reduced endorsement of unhelpful cognitions (Estimated Mean Difference for Attitudes to Awareness scores at 24 months, -2.07 [-3.37,-0.560], p = 0.01) and reduced scores for diabetes distress (-6.70[-12.50,-0.89], p = 0.02); depression (-1.86[-3.30, -0.43], p = 0.01) and anxiety (-1.89[-3.32, -0.47], p = 0.01). Despite positive impact on cognitive barriers around hypoglycaemia avoidance and on diabetes-related and general emotional distress scores, HARPdoc was not more effective than BGAT at reducing severe hypoglycaemia.
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    Implementation, Adoption, and Perceptions of Telemental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Systematic Review.
    Appleton, R ; Williams, J ; Vera San Juan, N ; Needle, JJ ; Schlief, M ; Jordan, H ; Sheridan Rains, L ; Goulding, L ; Badhan, M ; Roxburgh, E ; Barnett, P ; Spyridonidis, S ; Tomaskova, M ; Mo, J ; Harju-Seppänen, J ; Haime, Z ; Casetta, C ; Papamichail, A ; Lloyd-Evans, B ; Simpson, A ; Sevdalis, N ; Gaughran, F ; Johnson, S (JMIR Publications Inc., 2021-12-09)
    BACKGROUND: Early in 2020, mental health services had to rapidly shift from face-to-face models of care to delivering the majority of treatments remotely (by video or phone call or occasionally messaging) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This resulted in several challenges for staff and patients, but also in benefits such as convenience or increased access for people with impaired mobility or in rural areas. There is a need to understand the extent and impacts of telemental health implementation, and barriers and facilitators to its effective and acceptable use. This is relevant both to future emergency adoption of telemental health and to debates on its future use in routine mental health care. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the adoption and impacts of telemental health approaches during the COVID-19 pandemic, and facilitators and barriers to optimal implementation. METHODS: Four databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and Web of Science) were searched for primary research relating to remote working, mental health care, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Preprint servers were also searched. Results of studies were synthesized using framework synthesis. RESULTS: A total of 77 papers met our inclusion criteria. In most studies, the majority of contacts could be transferred to a remote form during the pandemic, and good acceptability to service users and clinicians tended to be reported, at least where the alternative to remote contacts was interrupting care. However, a range of impediments to dealing optimal care by this means were also identified. CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of telemental health allowed some continuing support to the majority of service users during the COVID-19 pandemic and has value in an emergency situation. However, not all service users can be reached by this means, and better evidence is now needed on long-term impacts on therapeutic relationships and quality of care, and on impacts on groups at risk of digital exclusion and how to mitigate these. TRIAL REGISTRATION: PROSPERO International prospective register of systematic reviews CRD42021211025; https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?ID=CRD42021211025.
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    Strategies for Improving Access to Cancer Services in Rural Communities: A Pre-implementation Study
    Crabtree-Ide, C ; Sevdalis, N ; Bellohusen, P ; Constine, LS ; Fleming, F ; Holub, D ; Rizvi, I ; Rodriguez, J ; Shayne, M ; Termer, N ; Tomaszewski, K ; Noyes, K (Frontiers Media SA, 2022-03-14)
    Background Implementation science is defined as the scientific study of methods and strategies that facilitate the uptake of evidence-based practice into regular use by practitioners. Failure of implementation is more common in resource-limited settings and may contribute to health disparities between rural and urban communities. In this pre-implementation study, we aimed to (1) evaluate barriers and facilitators for implementation of guideline-concordant healthcare services for cancer patients in rural communities in Upstate New York and (2) identify key strategies for successful implementation of cancer services and supportive programs in resource-poor settings. Methods The mixed methods study was guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). Using engagement approaches from Community-Based Participatory Research, we collected qualitative and quantitative data to assess barriers and facilitators to implementation of rural cancer survivorship services (three focus groups, n = 43, survey n = 120). Information was collected using both in-person and web-based approaches and assessed attitude and preferences for various models of cancer care organization and delivery in rural communities. Stakeholders included cancer survivors, their families and caregivers, local public services administrators, health providers, and allied health-care professionals from rural and remote communities in Upstate New York. Data was analyzed using grounded theory. Results Responders reported preferences for cross-region team-based cancer care delivery and emphasized the importance of connecting local providers with cancer care networks and multidisciplinary teams at large urban cancer centers. The main reported barriers to rural cancer program implementation included regional variation in infrastructure and services delivery practices, inadequate number of providers/specialists, lack of integration among oncology, primary care and supportive services within the regions, and misalignment between clinical guideline recommendations and current reimbursement policies. Conclusions Our findings revealed a unique combination of community, socio-economic, financial, and workforce barriers to implementation of guideline-concordant healthcare services for cancer patients in rural communities. One strategy to overcome these barriers is to improve provider cross-region collaboration and care coordination by means of teamwork and facilitation. Augmenting implementation framework with provider team-building strategies across and within regions could improve rural provider confidence and performance, minimize chances of implementation failure, and improve continuity of care for cancer patients living in rural areas.
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    Preventing unnecessary referrals into specialist mental health services: an interrupted time-series evaluation of a new primary care-linked mental health service
    Healey, A ; Melaugh, A ; Demetriou, L ; Power, T ; Sevdalis, N ; Pritchard, M ; Goulding, L (Emerald, 2021-11-30)
    Purpose Many patients referred by their GP for an assessment by secondary mental health services are unlikely to ever meet eligibility thresholds for specialist treatment and support. A new service was developed to support people in primary care. “the authors evaluate” whether the phased introduction of the Lambeth Living Well Network (LWN) Hub to a population in south London led to: a reduction in the overall volume of patients referred from primary care for a secondary mental health care assessment; and an increase in the proportion of patients referred who met specialist service eligibility criteria, as indicated by the likelihood of being accepted in secondary care. Design/methodology/approach The evaluation applied a quasi-experimental interrupted time series design using electronic patient records data for a National Health Service (NHS) provider of secondary mental health services in south London. Findings Scale-up of the Hub to the whole of the population of Lambeth led to an average of 98 fewer secondary care assessments per month (95% CI −118 to −78) compared to an average of 203 assessments per month estimated in the absence of the Hub; and an absolute incremental increase in the probability of acceptance for specialist intervention of 0.20 (95% CI; 0.14 to 0.27) above an average probability of acceptance of 0.57 in the absence of the Hub. Research limitations/implications Mental health outcomes for people using the service and system wide-service impacts were not evaluated preventing a more holistic evaluation of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the LWN Hub. Practical implications Providing general practitioners with access to service infrastructure designed to help people whose needs cannot be managed within specialist mental health services can prevent unnecessary referrals into secondary care assessment teams. Social implications Reducing unnecessary referrals through provision of a primary-care linked mental health service will reduce delay in access to professional support that can address specific mental-health related needs that could not be offered within the secondary care services and could prevent the escalation of problems. Originality/value The authors use NHS data to facilitate the novel application of a quasi-experimental methodology to deliver new evidence on whether an innovative primary care linked mental health service was effective in delivering on one of its key aims.