General Practice - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 246
Observed intra-cluster correlation coefficients in a cluster survey sample of patient encounters in general practice in Australia.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2004-12-22)
BACKGROUND: Cluster sample study designs are cost effective, however cluster samples violate the simple random sample assumption of independence of observations. Failure to account for the intra-cluster correlation of observations when sampling through clusters may lead to an under-powered study. Researchers therefore need estimates of intra-cluster correlation for a range of outcomes to calculate sample size. We report intra-cluster correlation coefficients observed within a large-scale cross-sectional study of general practice in Australia, where the general practitioner (GP) was the primary sampling unit and the patient encounter was the unit of inference. METHODS: Each year the Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH) study recruits a random sample of approximately 1,000 GPs across Australia. Each GP completes details of 100 consecutive patient encounters. Intra-cluster correlation coefficients were estimated for patient demographics, morbidity managed and treatments received. Intra-cluster correlation coefficients were estimated for descriptive outcomes and for associations between outcomes and predictors and were compared across two independent samples of GPs drawn three years apart. RESULTS: Between April 1999 and March 2000, a random sample of 1,047 Australian general practitioners recorded details of 104,700 patient encounters. Intra-cluster correlation coefficients for patient demographics ranged from 0.055 for patient sex to 0.451 for language spoken at home. Intra-cluster correlations for morbidity variables ranged from 0.005 for the management of eye problems to 0.059 for management of psychological problems. Intra-cluster correlation for the association between two variables was smaller than the descriptive intra-cluster correlation of each variable. When compared with the April 2002 to March 2003 sample (1,008 GPs) the estimated intra-cluster correlation coefficients were found to be consistent across samples. CONCLUSIONS: The demonstrated precision and reliability of the estimated intra-cluster correlations indicate that these coefficients will be useful for calculating sample sizes in future general practice surveys that use the GP as the primary sampling unit.
Health practitioners' readiness to address domestic violence and abuse: A qualitative meta-synthesis
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2020-06-16)
Health practitioners play an important role in identifying and responding to domestic violence and abuse (DVA). Despite a large amount of evidence about barriers and facilitators influencing health practitioners' care of survivors of DVA, evidence about their readiness to address DVA has not been synthesised. This article reports a meta-synthesis of qualitative studies exploring the research question: What do health practitioners perceive enhances their readiness to address domestic violence and abuse? Multiple data bases were searched in June 2018. Inclusion criteria included: qualitative design; population of health practitioners in clinical settings; and a focus on intimate partner violence. Two reviewers independently screened articles and findings from included papers were synthesised according to the method of thematic synthesis. Forty-seven articles were included in the final sample, spanning 41 individual studies, four systematic reviews and two theses between the years of 1992 and 2018; mostly from high income countries. Five themes were identified as enhancing readiness of health practitioners to address DVA: Having a commitment; Adopting an advocacy approach; Trusting the relationship; Collaborating with a team; and Being supported by the health system. We then propose a health practitioners' readiness framework called the CATCH Model (Commitment, Advocacy, Trust, Collaboration, Health system support). Applying this model to health practitioners' different readiness for change (using Stage of Change framework) allows us to tailor facilitating strategies in the health setting to enable greater readiness to deal with intimate partner abuse.
Psychological therapies for women who experience intimate partner violence.
BACKGROUND: Intimate partner violence (IPV) against women is prevalent and strongly associated with mental health problems. Women experiencing IPV attend health services frequently for mental health problems. The World Health Organization recommends that women who have experienced IPV and have a mental health diagnosis should receive evidence-based mental health treatments. However, it is not known if psychological therapies work for women in the context of IPV and whether they cause harm. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effectiveness of psychological therapies for women who experience IPV on the primary outcomes of depression, self-efficacy and an indicator of harm (dropouts) at six- to 12-months' follow-up, and on secondary outcomes of other mental health symptoms, anxiety, quality of life, re-exposure to IPV, safety planning and behaviours, use of healthcare and IPV services, and social support. SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Common Mental Disorders Controlled Trials Register (CCMDCTR), CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and three other databases, to the end of October 2019. We also searched international trials registries to identify unpublished or ongoing trials and handsearched selected journals, reference lists of included trials and grey literature. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs), quasi-RCTs, cluster-RCTs and cross-over trials of psychological therapies with women aged 16 years and older who self-reported recent or lifetime experience of IPV. We included trials if women also experienced co-existing mental health diagnoses or substance abuse issues, or both. Psychological therapies included a wide range of interventions that targeted cognition, motivation and behaviour compared with usual care, no treatment, delayed or minimal interventions. We classified psychological therapies according to Cochrane Common Mental Disorders's psychological therapies list. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors extracted data and undertook 'Risk of Bias' assessment. Treatment effects were compared between experimental and comparator interventions at short-term (up to six months post-baseline), medium-term (six to under 12 months, primary outcome time point), and long-term follow-up (12 months and above). We used standardised mean difference (SMD) for continuous and odds ratio (OR) for dichotomous outcomes, and used random-effects meta-analysis, due to high heterogeneity across trials. MAIN RESULTS: We included 33 psychological trials involving 5517 women randomly assigned to experimental (2798 women, 51%) and comparator interventions (2719 women, 49%). Psychological therapies included 11 integrative therapies, nine humanistic therapies, six cognitive behavioural therapy, four third-wave cognitive behavioural therapies and three other psychologically-orientated interventions. There were no trials classified as psychodynamic therapies. Most trials were from high-income countries (19 in USA, three in Iran, two each in Australia and Greece, and one trial each in China, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Spain and UK), among women recruited from healthcare, community, shelter or refuge settings, or a combination of any or all of these. Psychological therapies were mostly delivered face-to-face (28 trials), but varied by length of treatment (two to 50 sessions) and staff delivering therapies (social workers, nurses, psychologists, community health workers, family doctors, researchers). The average sample size was 82 women (14 to 479), aged 37 years on average, and 66% were unemployed. Half of the women were married or living with a partner and just over half of the participants had experienced IPV in the last 12 months (17 trials), 6% in the past two years (two trials) and 42% during their lifetime (14 trials). Whilst 20 trials (61%) described reliable low-risk random-sampling strategies, only 12 trials (36%) described reliable procedures to conceal the allocation of participant status. While 19 trials measured women's depression, only four trials measured depression as a continuous outcome at medium-term follow-up. These showed a probable beneficial effect of psychological therapies in reducing depression (SMD -0.24, 95% CI -0.47 to -0.01; four trials, 600 women; moderate-certainty evidence). However, for self-efficacy, there may be no evidence of a difference between groups (SMD -0.12, 95% CI -0.33 to 0.09; one trial with medium-term follow-up data, 346 women; low-certainty evidence). Further, there may be no difference between the number of women who dropped out from the experimental or comparator intervention groups, an indicator of no harm (OR 1.04, 95% CI 0.75 to 1.44; five trials with medium-term follow-up data, 840 women; low-certainty evidence). Although no trials reported adverse events from psychological therapies or participation in the trial, only one trial measured harm outcomes using a validated scale. For secondary outcomes, trials measured anxiety only at short-term follow-up, showing that psychological therapies may reduce anxiety symptoms (SMD -0.96, 95% CI -1.29 to -0.63; four trials, 158 women; low-certainty evidence). However, within medium-term follow-up, low-certainty evidence revealed that there may be no evidence between groups for the outcomes safety planning (SMD 0.04, 95% CI -0.18 to 0.25; one trial, 337 women), post-traumatic stress disorder (SMD -0.24, 95% CI -0.54 to 0.06; four trials, 484 women) or re-exposure to any form of IPV (SMD 0.03, 95% CI -0.14 to 0.2; two trials, 547 women). AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is evidence that for women who experience IPV, psychological therapies probably reduce depression and may reduce anxiety. However, we are uncertain whether psychological therapies improve other outcomes (self-efficacy, post-traumatic stress disorder, re-exposure to IPV, safety planning) and there are limited data on harm. Thus, while psychological therapies probably improve emotional health, it is unclear if women's ongoing needs for safety, support and holistic healing from complex trauma are addressed by this approach. There is a need for more interventions focused on trauma approaches and more rigorous trials (with consistent outcomes at similar follow-up time points), as we were unable to synthesise much of the research.
Evaluation of the Social Participation Questionnaire in adult patients with depressive symptoms using Rasch analysis
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to explore the psychometric properties of the 22-item Social Participation Questionnaire (SPQ). METHODS: The SPQ was administered to 789 adult primary care patients with depressive symptoms. As the items were intended to be summed together to provide total score, Rasch analysis (partial credit model) was applied to assess the overall fit of the model, individual item fit, differential item functioning (DIF), targeting of persons, response dependency, unidimensionality and person separation. RESULTS: To improve the scale's fit, it was necessary to re-score the response format. Two items demonstrated some DIF for gender and eight items showed DIF for age. To support the assumption of unidimensionality post hoc principal component analysis was performed. The analysis showed two subtests of the residuals with positive and negative loadings, but the person estimates derived from these two subtests were not statistically different to that derived from all items taken together. The response dependence between two items was identified; however, the magnitude of difficulty was very small. Although the questionnaire appeared to have insufficient items to assess the full spectrum of informal social contact, the SPQ was reasonably well targeted. CONCLUSION: The SPQ is a promising questionnaire for the measurement of social participation although it could benefit from the inclusion of further items to measure informal social contact. This study found support for the internal validity, internal consistency reliability, and unidimensionality. A future study will investigate whether targeting can be improved when additional items are included.
Subjective cognitive decline and subsequent dementia: a nationwide cohort study of 579,710 people aged 66 years in South Korea.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-05-06)
BACKGROUND: Subjective cognitive decline (SCD) is a potential risk factor for dementia. We aimed to investigate the association between SCD and subsequent dementia in a nationwide population-based cohort in South Korea. METHODS: This cohort included 579,710 66-year-old adults who were followed for a total of 3,870,293 person-years (average 6.68 ± 1.33 years per person). All subjects completed a questionnaire about subjective memory impairment, the Pre-screening Korean Dementia Screening Questionnaire (KDSQ-P), which included a validated 5-item derivative, and were determined to have SCD based on a single question assessing memory decline. Depressive symptoms were assessed in all subjects using a 3-item modified geriatric depression scale. Hazard ratios were estimated using the Cox proportional hazards model and compared between subjects with and without SCD. RESULTS: Compared to subjects without SCD, those with SCD were more likely to develop dementia (incidence per 1000 person-years: non-SCD, 5.66; SCD, 8.59). After adjusting for potential confounding factors, the risk of subsequent dementia significantly increased in subjects with SCD, with an adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) of 1.38 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.34 to 1.41). The risk of subsequent dementia was greatly increased in subjects with higher KDSQ-P scores (aHR = 2.77, 95% CI 2.35 to 3.27). A significant association between SCD and dementia was observed in both depressive and non-depressive symptom groups (aHR = 1.50, 95% CI 1.42 to 1.57 in subjects with depressive symptoms; aHR = 1.33, 95% CI 1.29 to 1.37 in subjects without depressive symptoms; P = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: In this population of 66-year-old individuals, SCD was significantly associated with an increased risk of subsequent dementia. This association was found in both depressive and non-depressive groups, with an increased risk of dementia in the presence of depressive symptoms. Our findings suggest that SCD indicates a risk for dementia. Further studies are needed to delineate potential approaches to preventing the development of dementia in individuals with SCD.
The Post-Anaesthesia N-acetylcysteine Cognitive Evaluation (PANACEA) trial: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial
BACKGROUND: Some degree of cognitive decline after surgery occurs in as many as one quarter of elderly surgical patients, and this decline is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Cognition may be affected across a range of domains, including memory, psychomotor skills, and executive function. Whilst the exact mechanisms of cognitive change after surgery are not precisely known, oxidative stress and subsequent neuroinflammation have been implicated. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) acts via multiple interrelated mechanisms to influence oxidative homeostasis, neuronal transmission, and inflammation. NAC has been shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in both human and animal models. There is clinical evidence to suggest that NAC may be beneficial in preventing the cognitive decline associated with both acute physiological insults and dementia-related disorders. To date, no trials have examined perioperative NAC as a potential moderator of postoperative cognitive changes in the noncardiac surgery setting. METHODS AND DESIGN: This is a single-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, with a between-group, repeated-measures, longitudinal design. The study will recruit 370 noncardiac surgical patients at the University Hospital Geelong, aged 60 years or older. Participants are randomly assigned to receive either NAC or placebo (1:1 ratio), and groups are stratified by age and surgery type. Participants undergo a series of neuropsychological tests prior to surgery, 7 days, 3 months, and 12 months post surgery. It is hypothesised that the perioperative administration of NAC will reduce the degree of postoperative cognitive changes at early and long-term follow-up, as measured by changes on individual measures of the neurocognitive battery, when compared with placebo. Serum samples are taken on the day of surgery and on day 2 post surgery to quantitate any changes in levels of biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress. DISCUSSION: The PANACEA trial aims to examine the potential efficacy of perioperative NAC to reduce the severity of postoperative cognitive dysfunction in an elderly, noncardiac surgery population. This is an entirely novel approach to the prevention of postoperative cognitive dysfunction and will have high impact and translatable outcomes if NAC is found to be beneficial. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The PANACEA trial has been registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration, and the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12614000411640 ; registered on 15 April 2014.
Is a clinician's personal history of domestic violence associated with their clinical care of patients: a cross-sectional study
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2019-08-01)
OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether domestic violence (DV) impacts on health professionals' clinical care of DV survivor patients. DESIGN, SETTING: Descriptive, cross-sectional study at an Australian tertiary maternity hospital. PARTICIPANTS: 471 participating female health professionals (45.0% response rate). OUTCOME MEASURES: Using logistic and linear regression, we examined whether health professionals' exposure to lifetime DV was associated with their clinical care on specific measures of training, attitudes, identification and intervention. RESULTS: DV survivor health professionals report greater preparedness to intervene with survivor patients in a way that is consistent with ideal clinical care. This indicates that personal DV experience is not a barrier, and may be a facilitator, to clinical care of survivor patients. CONCLUSIONS: Health professionals are at the front line of identifying and responding to patients who have experienced DV. These findings provide evidence that survivor health professionals may be a strength to the healthcare organisations in which they work since among the participants in this study, they appear to be doing more of the work seen as better clinical care of survivor patients. We discuss the need for greater workplace supports aimed at promoting safety and recovery from violence and strengthening clinical practice with patients.
Link-me: Protocol for a randomised controlled trial of a systematic approach to stepped mental health care in primary care
(ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2019-03-01)
Primary care in Australia is undergoing significant reform, with a particular focus on cost-effective tailoring of mental health care to individual needs. Link-me is testing whether a patient-completed Decision Support Tool (DST), which predicts future severity of depression and anxiety symptoms and triages individuals into care accordingly, is clinically effective and cost-effective relative to usual care. The trial is set in general practices, with English-speaking patients invited to complete eligibility screening in their general practitioner's waiting room. Eligible and consenting patients will then complete the DST assessment and are randomised and stratified according to predicted symptom severity. Participants allocated to the intervention arm will receive feedback on DST responses, select treatment priorities, assess motivation to change, and receive a severity-matched treatment recommendation (information about and links to low intensity services for those with mild symptoms, or assistance from a specially trained health professional (care navigator) for those with severe symptoms). All patients allocated to the comparison arm will receive usual GP care plus attention control. Primary (psychological distress) and secondary (depression, anxiety, quality of life, days out of role) outcomes will be assessed at 6 and 12 months. Differences in outcome means between trial arms both across and within symptom severity group will be examined using intention-to-treat analyses. Within trial and modelled economic evaluations will be conducted to determine the value for money of credentials of Link-me. Findings will be reported to the Federal Government to inform how mental health services across Australia are funded and delivered in the future.
Socioeconomic Disadvantage, Mental Health and Substance Use in Young Men in Emerging Adulthood
(ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2019-06-22)
Emerging adulthood is a neglected phase of the life course in health research. Health problems and risk behaviors at this time of life can have long-term consequences for health. The 2016 Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing reported that the influence of socioeconomic factors was under-researched among adolescents and young adults. Moreover, the influence of socioeconomic factors on health has been little researched specifically in emerging adult men. We aimed to investigate associations between socioeconomic disadvantage and mental health, suicidal behavior, and substance use in young adult Australian men. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between Year 12 (high school) completion and area disadvantage on mental health, suicidal behavior, and substance use in 2,281 young men age 18-25 participating in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health (Ten to Men). In unadjusted analysis both Year 12 non-completion and area disadvantage were associated with multiple adverse outcomes. In adjusted analysis Year 12 non-completion, but not area disadvantage, was associated with poorer mental health, increased odds of suicidal behavior, and substance use. Retaining young men in high school and developing health-promotion strategies targeted at those who do exit education early could both improve young men's mental health and reduce suicidal behavior and substance use in emerging adulthood.
Australians' views on personal genomic testing: focus group findings from the Genioz study
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2018-08-01)
Personal genomic testing provides healthy individuals with access to information about their genetic makeup for purposes including ancestry, paternity, sporting ability and health. Such tests are available commercially and globally, with accessibility expected to continue to grow, including in Australia; yet little is known of the views/expectations of Australians. Focus groups were conducted within a multi-stage, cross-disciplinary project (Genioz) to explore this. In mid-2015, 56 members of the public participated in seven focus groups, allocated into three age groups: 18-24, 25-49, and ≥50 years. Three researchers coded transcripts independently and generated themes. Awareness of personal genomic testing was low, but most could deduce what "personal genomics" might entail. Very few had heard of the term "direct-to-consumer" testing, which has implications for organisations developing information to support individuals in their decision-making. Participants' understanding of genetics was varied and drawn from several sources. There were diverse perceptions of the relative influence of genetics and environment on health, mental health, behavior, talent, or personality. Views about having a personal genomic test were mixed, with greater interest in health-related tests if they believed there was a reason for doing so. However, many expressed scepticisms about the types of tests available, and how the information might be used; concerns were also raised about privacy and the potential for discrimination. These exploratory findings inform subsequent stages of the Genioz study, thereby contributing to strategies of supporting Australians to understand and make meaningful and well-considered decisions about the benefits, harms, and implications of personal genomic tests.
Person-Generated Health Data in Simulated Rehabilitation Using Kinect for Stroke: Literature Review.
(JMIR Publications Inc., 2018-05-08)
BACKGROUND: Person- or patient-generated health data (PGHD) are health, wellness, and clinical data that people generate, record, and analyze for themselves. There is potential for PGHD to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of simulated rehabilitation technologies for stroke. Simulated rehabilitation is a type of telerehabilitation that uses computer technologies and interfaces to allow the real-time simulation of rehabilitation activities or a rehabilitation environment. A leading technology for simulated rehabilitation is Microsoft's Kinect, a video-based technology that uses infrared to track a user's body movements. OBJECTIVE: This review attempts to understand to what extent Kinect-based stroke rehabilitation systems (K-SRS) have used PGHD and to what benefit. METHODS: The review is conducted in two parts. In part 1, aspects of relevance for PGHD were searched for in existing systematic reviews on K-SRS. The following databases were searched: IEEE Xplore, Association of Computing Machinery Digital Library, PubMed, Biomed Central, Cochrane Library, and Campbell Collaboration. In part 2, original research papers that presented or used K-SRS were reviewed in terms of (1) types of PGHD, (2) patient access to PGHD, (3) PGHD use, and (4) effects of PGHD use. The search was conducted in the same databases as part 1 except Cochrane and Campbell Collaboration. Reference lists on K-SRS of the reviews found in part 1 were also included in the search for part 2. There was no date restriction. The search was closed in June 2017. The quality of the papers was not assessed, as it was not deemed critical to understanding PGHD access and use in studies that used K-SRS. RESULTS: In part 1, 192 papers were identified, and after assessment only 3 papers were included. Part 1 showed that previous reviews focused on technical effectiveness of K-SRS with some attention on clinical effectiveness. None of those reviews reported on home-based implementation or PGHD use. In part 2, 163 papers were identified and after assessment, 41 papers were included. Part 2 showed that there is a gap in understanding how PGHD use may affect patients using K-SRS and a lack of patient participation in the design of such systems. CONCLUSIONS: This paper calls specifically for further studies of K-SRS-and for studies of technologies that allow patients to generate their own health data in general-to pay more attention to how patients' own use of their data may influence their care processes and outcomes. Future studies that trial the effectiveness of K-SRS outside the clinic should also explore how patients and carers use PGHD in home rehabilitation programs.
Patient-generated health data management and quality challenges in remote patient monitoring.
(Oxford University Press (OUP), 2019-12)
Background: Patient-Generated Health Data (PGHD) in remote monitoring programs is a promising source of precise, personalized data, encouraged by expanding growth in the health technologies market. However, PGHD utilization in clinical settings is low. One of the critical challenges that impedes confident clinical use of PGHD is that these data are not managed according to any recognized approach for data quality assurance. Objective: This article aims to identify the PGHD management and quality challenges that such an approach must address, as these are expressed by key PGHD stakeholder groups. Materials and Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 experts who have experience in the use of PGHD in remote patient monitoring, including: healthcare providers, health information professionals within clinical settings, and commercial providers of remote monitoring solutions. Participants were asked to describe PGHD management processes in the remote monitoring programs in which they are involved, and to express their perspectives on PGHD quality challenges during the data management stages. Results: The remote monitoring programs in the study did not follow clear PGHD management or quality assurance approach. Participants were not fully aware of all the considerations of PGHD quality. Digital health literacy, wearable accuracy, difficulty in data interpretation, and lack of PGHD integration with electronic medical record systems were among the key challenges identified that impact PGHD quality. Conclusion: Co-development of PGHD quality guidelines with relevant stakeholders, including patients, is needed to ensure that quality remote monitoring data from wearables is available for use in more precise and personalized patient care.