Rural Clinical School - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 220
Exercise as a supportive care strategy in men with prostate cancer receiving androgen deprivation therapy at a regional cancer centre: a survey of patients and clinicians.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-09-14)
PURPOSE: To understand how frequently exercise is discussed and/or prescribed as a supportive care measure and the barriers and facilitators to exercise uptake for men with prostate cancer receiving androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) at a regional cancer centre. METHODS: An observational, cross-sectional study was conducted at a regional cancer centre in three stages: (1) Retrospective chart review of men with prostate cancer undergoing ADT to identify the frequency of discussion and/or prescription of supportive care measures; (2) prospective patient survey exploring barriers and facilitators to exercise; and (3) prospective clinician survey exploring barriers, facilitators and awareness of exercise guidelines in men with prostate cancer. RESULTS: Files of 100 men receiving ADT (mean age 73 years; mean ADT duration =12 months) in the medical oncology (n = 50) and radiation oncology (n = 50) clinics were reviewed. Exercise was discussed with 16% of patients and prescribed directly to 5%. Patient survey (n = 49). 44.2% of patients reported participating in exercise at a high level. Common barriers to exercise participation included fatigue (51.0%), cancer/treatment-related weakness (46.9%) and joint stiffness (44.9%). 36.7% of patients reported interest in a supervised exercise program. Clinician survey (n = 22). 36.4% identified one or more exercise guidelines, and 40.9% correctly identified national exercise guidelines. Clinicians reported low knowledge of referral pathways to a supervised exercise program (27.3%). Clinicians believe physiotherapists (95.5%) are most suited to exercise prescription and 72.7% stated that exercise counselling should be part of supportive care. Limited time (63.6%) and patient safety (59.1%) were the two most common barriers to discussing exercise with patients. Clinicians reported that only 21.9% of their patients asked about exercise. The most endorsed facilitators to increase exercise uptake were patient handouts (90.9%) and integration of exercise specialists into the clinical team (86.4%). CONCLUSION: Despite a third of patient respondents indicating an interest in a supervised exercise program, only 16% of patients with prostate cancer undergoing ADT at a regional cancer centre engaged in a discussion about exercise with their treating clinicians. Physical limitations and fatigue were the greatest barriers for patients. Clinicians indicated a need for more clinician education and better integration of exercise specialists into clinical care. A tailored, integrated approach is needed to improve the uptake of exercise in men with prostate cancer.
Selective digestive decontamination, a seemingly effective regimen with individual benefit or a flawed concept with population harm?
Selective digestive decontamination (SDD) regimens, variously constituted with topical antibiotic prophylaxis (TAP) and protocolized parenteral antibiotic prophylaxis (PPAP), appear highly effective for preventing ICU-acquired infections but only within randomized concurrent control trials (RCCT's). Confusingly, SDD is also a concept which, if true, implies population benefit. The SDD concept can finally be reified in humans using the broad accumulated evidence base, including studies of TAP and PPAP that used non-concurrent controls (NCC), as a natural experiment. However, this test implicates overall population harm with higher event rates associated with SDD use within the ICU context.
The CORE study-An adapted mental health experience codesign intervention to improve psychosocial recovery for people with severe mental illness: A stepped wedge cluster randomized-controlled trial
BACKGROUND: Mental health policies outline the need for codesign of services and quality improvement in partnership with service users and staff (and sometimes carers), and yet, evidence of systematic implementation and the impacts on healthcare outcomes is limited. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to test whether an adapted mental health experience codesign intervention to improve recovery-orientation of services led to greater psychosocial recovery outcomes for service users. DESIGN: A stepped wedge cluster randomized-controlled trial was conducted. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Four Mental Health Community Support Services providers, 287 people living with severe mental illnesses, 61 carers and 120 staff were recruited across Victoria, Australia. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The 24-item Revised Recovery Assessment Scale (RAS-R) measured individual psychosocial recovery. RESULTS: A total of 841 observations were completed with 287 service users. The intention-to-treat analysis found RAS-R scores to be similar between the intervention (mean = 84.7, SD= 15.6) and control (mean = 86.5, SD= 15.3) phases; the adjusted estimated difference in the mean RAS-R score was -1.70 (95% confidence interval: -3.81 to 0.40; p = .11). DISCUSSION: This first trial of an adapted mental health experience codesign intervention for psychosocial recovery outcomes found no difference between the intervention and control arms. CONCLUSIONS: More attention to the conditions that are required for eight essential mechanisms of change to support codesign processes and implementation is needed. PATIENT AND PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT: The State consumer (Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council) and carer peak bodies (Tandem representing mental health carers) codeveloped the intervention. The adapted intervention was facilitated by coinvestigators with lived-experiences who were coauthors for the trial and process evaluation protocols, the engagement model and explanatory model of change for the trial.
Love during lockdown: findings from an online survey examining the impact of COVID-19 on the sexual health of people living in Australia
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2021-08-01)
INTRODUCTION: Australia recorded its first case of COVID-19 in late January 2020. On 22P March 2020, amid increasing daily case numbers, the Australian Government implemented lockdown restrictions to help 'flatten the curve'. Our study aimed to understand the impact of lockdown restrictions on sexual and reproductive health. Here we focus on sexual practices. METHODS: An online survey was open from the 23PP April 2020 to 11P May 2020. Participants were recruited online via social media and other networks and were asked to report on their sexual practices in 2019 and during lockdown. Logistic regression was used to calculate the difference (diff) (including 95% CIs) in the proportion of sex practices between time periods. RESULTS: Of the 1187 who commenced the survey, 965 (81.3%) completed it. Overall, 70% were female and 66.3% were aged 18-29 years. Most (53.5%) reported less sex during lockdown than in 2019. Compared with 2019, participants were more likely to report sex with a spouse (35.3% vs 41.7%; diff=6.4%; 95% CI 3.6 to 9.2) and less likely to report sex with a girl/boyfriend (45.1% vs 41.8%; diff=-3.3%; 95% CI -7.0 to -0.4) or with casual hook-up (31.4% vs 7.8%; 95% CI -26.9 to -19.8). Solo sex activities increased; 14.6% (123/840) reported using sex toys more often and 26.0% (218/838) reported masturbating more often. Dating app use decreased during lockdown compared with 2019 (42.1% vs 27.3%; diff= -14.8%; 95% CI -17.6 to -11.9). Using dating apps for chatting/texting (89.8% vs 94.5%; diff=4.7%; 95% CI 1.0 to 8.5) and for setting up virtual dates (2.6% vs 17.2%; diff=14.6%; 95% CI 10.1 to 19.2) increased during lockdown. CONCLUSION: Although significant declines in sexual activity during lockdown were reported, people did not completely stop engaging in sexual activities, highlighting the importance of ensuring availability of normal sexual and reproductive health services during global emergencies.
The Pandemic Is Not Occurring in a Vacuum: The Impact of COVID-19 and Other Disasters on Workforce Mental Health in Australia.
(Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2021-07-23)
OBJECTIVE: Prior to coronavirus disease (COVID-19), many Australians experienced extreme bushfires, droughts, and floods. A history of experiencing these events might be a risk factor for increased psychological distress during COVID-19. This study aimed to provide insight into the mental health of Australian workers during the initial COVID-19 outbreak, with an additional focus on whether previous disaster exposure and impact from that disaster is a risk factor for increased psychological distress. METHODS: A snowball recruitment strategy was used. Participants (n = 596) completed an online survey, which included the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales-21, and questions related to mental health and disaster exposure. RESULTS: Overall, 19.2%, 13.4%, and 16.8% of participants were experiencing moderate to extremely severe depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms, respectively. Multiple regression found that higher depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms were associated with a pre-existing mental health diagnosis; only higher stress symptoms were associated with having experienced a disaster, with impact, in addition to COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: People who have experienced impact from an additional disaster might need additional support to protect their mental health during COVID-19. A focus on the cumulative mental health impacts of multiple disasters and the implications for organizational communities where recovery work is undertaken, such as schools and workplaces, is needed.
Patients' understanding, management practices, and challenges regarding hypertension: A qualitative study among hypertensive women in a rural Bangladesh
(ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2021-07-01)
Background: Hypertension, as one of the main predisposing factors of many non-communicable diseases, is generally underdiagnosed among women with a significant uncontrolled rate. This study explores the understanding, management practice and challenges related to hypertension among hypertensive women in rural Bangladesh. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted among hypertensive rural women at Kumarkhali Upazilla, Kushtia, Bangladesh, using purposive and snowball sampling technique. Data was collected through in-depth interviews among twenty-three hypertensive women until they reached saturation. Data were analyzed thematically. Results: Findings of the study found that a small number of participants perceived the symptoms, risk factors, management and treatment of hypertension based on biomedical understanding. Also, their awareness level and adherence to preventive practices reflected a significant gap between biomedical preventive practices and local practices. A substantial number of participants preferred home management and alternative treatment for hypertension over the medication adherence and hospital treatment. This investigation revealed that poor socio-economic conditions, such as financial insufficiency, and, gender-based negligence impacted women's perception of and practice for hypertension and resulted in risky hypertension management behaviors. Conclusion: Based on the study, formulation of a comprehensive health education program for creating awareness, provisioning of significant interventions services related to hypertensive care are needed. Further intensive research is needed at the community-level to manage this chronic disease.
Asymmetric Effects of Decontamination Using Topical Antibiotics for the ICU Patient
There are several antiseptic, antibiotic and non-decontamination-based interventions for preventing intensive care unit (ICU) acquired infection. These have been evaluated in >200 studies. Infection prevention using topical antibiotic prophylaxis (TAP) appears to be the most effective. Whether antibiotic use in the ICU may influence the risk of infection among concurrent control patients within the same ICU and result in asymmetrical herd effects cannot be resolved with individual studies examined in isolation. The collective observations within control and intervention groups from numerous ICU infection prevention studies simulates a multi-center natural experiment enabling the herd effects of antibiotics to be evaluated. Among the TAP control groups, the incidences for both ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) and mortality are unusually high in comparison to literature-derived benchmarks. Paradoxically, amongst the TAP intervention groups, the incidences of mortality are also unusually high and the VAP incidences are similar (i.e., not lower) compared to the incidences among studies of other interventions. By contrast, the mortality incidences among the intervention groups of other studies are similar to those among the intervention groups of TAP studies. Using topical antibiotics to prevent infections acquired within the ICU environment may result in profoundly asymmetrical effects.
Physical Activity and Self-Reported Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factors in the Aboriginal Population in Perth, Australia, Measured Using an Adaptation of the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ)
Background: Complex, ongoing social factors have led to a context where metabolic syndrome (MetS) is disproportionately high in Aboriginal Australians. MetS is characterised by insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, high blood-sugar and low HDL-C. This descriptive study aimed to document physical activity levels, including domains and intensity and sedentary behaviour, and MetS risk factors in the Perth Aboriginal (predominately Noongar) community. Methods: The Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ), together with a questionnaire on self-reported MetS risk factors, was circulated to community members for completion during 2014 (n = 129). Results: Data were analysed using chi-squared tests. The average (SD) age was 37.8 years (14) and BMI of 31.4 (8.2) kg/m2. Occupational, transport-related and leisure-time physical activity (PA) and sedentary intensities were reported across age categories. The median (interquartile range) daily sedentary time was 200 (78, 435), 240 (120, 420) and 180 (60, 300) minutes for the 18-25, 26-44 and 45+ year-olds, respectively (p = 0.973). Conclusions: An in-depth understanding of the types, frequencies and intensities of PA reported for the Perth Aboriginal community is important to implementing targeted strategies to reduce the prevalence of chronic disease in this context. Future efforts collaborating with community should aim to reduce the risk factors associated with MetS and improve quality of life.
A qualitative evaluation of the implementation of a cultural competence project in rural Victoria
OBJECTIVE: To explore the complex factors influencing the implementation of cultural competency frameworks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within rural, Victorian, mainstream health and community service organisations. METHODS: Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with key individuals from 20 public health and community services in rural Victoria who had participated in the Koolin Balit Aboriginal Health Cultural Competence Project (KB-AHCC project). Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim and a content analysis was undertaken. The findings informed the selection of six case study sites for more in-depth analysis. Following this, an expert reference group provided feedback on the findings. Findings from the different data were triangulated to identify eight factors. RESULTS: Key factors acting as barriers and/or enablers to implementing cultural competence frameworks were: comprehensive, structured tools; project workers; communication; organisational responsibility for implementation; prioritising organisational cultural competence resourcing; resistance to focussing on one group of people; and accountability. CONCLUSIONS: Embedding cultural competence frameworks within rural, mainstream health and community services requires sustained government resourcing, prioritisation and formal accountability structures. Implications for public health: Findings will inform and guide the future development, implementation and evaluation of organisational cultural competence projects for rural public health and community services.
Trauma-informed knowledge, awareness, practice, competence and confidence of rural health staff: A descriptive study
(Sciedu Press, 2021-04-22)
Background and objective: By adopting a trauma-informed approach to care at the organisational and clinical levels, health care systems and providers can enhance the quality of care that they deliver and improve health outcomes for individuals with a trauma history. This study aimed to explore the trauma-related knowledge, attitudes awareness, practice, competence and confidence of health service staff from three small rural health services in Victoria, Australia, and examine their self-reported capacity to respond to clients with a trauma history.Methods: Staff from each site were invited to complete a paper-based survey. The survey included demographic information and questions related to knowledge and understanding of trauma, experience of trauma-informed care and confidence engaging in, and perceived importance of, trauma-informed practices. Results: The respondents were predominately nurses. Results showed that 16% of respondents had undertaken training in trauma-informed care and 44% disagreed that they had an understanding of trauma-informed practices. There were high levels of agreement for statements related to knowledge and understanding of trauma and low levels of agreement with statements related to experience of trauma-informed care. More than 70% of respondents reported that they had little knowledge of the principals of trauma-informed care, and little experiencing with practicing trauma-informed care.Discussion and conclusions: Overall, the survey results showed that staff were trauma-aware, but supported the need for more education and training in trauma-informed practices and improved organisational approaches to support trauma-informed approaches. It is important for organisations to shift from being trauma aware to being trauma-informed, by building foundational awareness of these practices and reinforcement through continuing education.
Moving from "let's fix them" to "actually listen": the development of a primary care intervention for mental-physical multimorbidity
BACKGROUND: Effective person-centred interventions are needed to support people living with mental-physical multimorbidity to achieve better health and wellbeing outcomes. Depression is identified as the most common mental health condition co-occurring with a physical health condition and is the focus of this intervention development study. The aim of this study is to identify the key components needed for an effective intervention based on a clear theoretical foundation, consideration of how motivational interviewing can inform the intervention, clinical guidelines to date, and the insights of primary care nurses. METHODS: A multimethod approach to intervention development involving review and integration of the theoretical principles of Theory of Planned Behavior and the patient-centred clinical skills of motivational interviewing, review of the expert consensus clinical guidelines for multimorbidity, and incorporation of a thematic analysis of group interviews with Australian nurses about their perspectives of what is needed in intervention to support people living with mental-physical multimorbidity. RESULTS: Three mechanisms emerged from the review of theory, guidelines and practitioner perspective; the intervention needs to actively 'engage' patients through the development of a collaborative and empathic relationship, 'focus' on the patient's priorities, and 'empower' people to make behaviour change. CONCLUSION: The outcome of the present study is a fully described primary care intervention for people living with mental-physical multimorbidity, with a particular focus on people living with depression and a physical health condition. It builds on theory, expert consensus guidelines and clinician perspective, and is to be tested in a clinical trial.
Could simulation methods solve the curse of sparse data within clinical studies of antibiotic resistance?
(OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2021-03-01)
Infectious disease (ID) physicians and ID pharmacists commonly confront therapeutic questions relating to antibiotic resistance. Randomized controlled trial data are few and meta-analytic-based approaches to develop the evidence-base from several small studies that might relate to an antibiotic resistance question are not simple. The overriding challenge is the sparsity of data which is problematic for traditional frequentist methods, being the paradigm underlying the derivation of 'P value' inferential statistics. In other sparse data contexts, simulation methods enable answers to key questions that are meaningful, quantitative and potentially relevant. How these simulation methods 'work' and how Bayesian-based methods, being not 'P value based', can facilitate simulation are reviewed. These methods are becoming increasingly accessible. This review highlights why sparse data is less of an issue within Bayesian versus frequentist paradigms. A fictional pharmacokinetic study with sparse data illustrates a simplistic application of Bayesian and simulation methods to antibiotic dosing. Whether within epidemiological projections or clinical studies, simulation methods are likely to play an increasing role in antimicrobial resistance research within both hospital and community studies of either rare infectious disease or infections within specific population groups.