General Practice - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 781
Outcomes of cancer survivorship education and training for primary care providers: a systematic review
PURPOSE: To identify published literature regarding cancer survivorship education programs for primary care providers (PCPs) and assess their outcomes. METHODS: PubMed, Embase, and CINAHL databases were searched between January 2005 and September 2020. The Quality of Cancer Survivorship Care Framework and Kirkpatrick's 4-level evaluation model were used to summarize program content and outcomes, respectively. Data extraction and critical appraisal were conducted by two authors. RESULTS: Twenty-one studies were included, describing self-directed online courses (n=4), presentations (n=2), workshops and training sessions (n=6), placement programs (n=3), a live webinar, a fellowship program, a referral program, a survivorship conference, a dual in-person workshop and webinar, and an in-person seminar and online webinar series. Eight studies described the use of a learner framework or theory to guide program development. All 21 programs were generally beneficial to PCP learners (e.g., increased confidence, knowledge, behavior change); however, methodological bias suggests caution in accepting claims. Three studies reported positive outcomes at the patient level (i.e., satisfaction with care) and organizational level (i.e., increased screening referrals, changes to institution practice standards). CONCLUSIONS: A range of cancer survivorship PCP education programs exist. Evidence for clinical effectiveness was rarely reported. Future educational programs should be tailored to PCPs, utilize an evidence-based survivorship framework, and evaluate patient- and system-level outcomes. IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: PCPs have an important role in addressing the diverse health care needs of cancer survivors. Improving the content, approach, and evaluation of PCP-focused cancer survivorship education programs could have a positive impact on health outcomes among cancer survivors.
An inverse stage-shift model to estimate the excess mortality and health economic impact of delayed access to cancer services due to the COVID-19 pandemic
AIM: Decreased cancer incidence and reported changes to clinical management indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed cancer diagnosis and treatment. This study aimed to develop and apply a flexible model to estimate the impact of delayed diagnosis and treatment on survival outcomes and healthcare costs based on a shift in the disease stage at treatment initiation. METHODS: A model was developed and made publicly available to estimate population-level health economic outcomes by extrapolating and weighing stage-specific outcomes by the distribution of stages at treatment initiation. It was applied to estimate the impact of 3- and 6-month delays based on Australian data for stage I breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer patients, and for T1 melanoma. Two approaches were explored to estimate stage shifts following a delay: (a) based on the relation between time to treatment initiation and overall survival (breast, colorectal, and lung cancer), and (b) based on the tumor growth rate (melanoma). RESULTS: Using a conservative once-off 3-month delay and considering only shifts from stage I/T1 to stage II/T2, 88 excess deaths and $12 million excess healthcare costs were predicted in Australia over 5 years for all patients diagnosed in 2020. For a 6-month delay, excess mortality and healthcare costs were 349 deaths and $46 million over 5 years. CONCLUSIONS: The health and economic impacts of delays in treatment initiation cause an imminent policy concern. More accurate individual patient data on shifts in stage of disease during and after the COVID-19 pandemic are critical for further analyses.
Personal barriers to addressing intimate partner abuse: a qualitative meta-synthesis of healthcare practitioners' experiences
BACKGROUND: Healthcare practitioners (HCPs) play a crucial role in recognising, responding to, and supporting female patients experiencing intimate partner abuse (IPA). However, research consistently identifies barriers they perceive prevent them from doing this work effectively. These barriers can be system-based (e.g. lack of time or training) or personal/individual. This review of qualitative evidence aims to synthesise the personal barriers that impact HCPs' responses to IPA. METHODS: Five databases were searched in March 2020. Studies needed to utilise qualitative methods for both data collection and analysis and be published between 2010 and 2020 in order to qualify for inclusion; however, we considered any type of healthcare setting in any country. Article screening, data extraction and methodological appraisal using a modified version of the Critical Appraisal Skills Program checklist for qualitative studies were undertaken by at least two independent reviewers. Data analysis drew on Thomas and Harden's thematic synthesis approach. RESULTS: Twenty-nine studies conducted in 20 countries informed the final review. A variety of HCPs and settings were represented. Three themes were developed that describe the personal barriers experienced by HCPs: I can't interfere (which describes the belief that IPA is a "private matter" and HCPs' fears of causing harm by intervening); I don't have control (highlighting HCPs' frustration when women do not follow their advice); and I won't take responsibility (which illuminates beliefs that addressing IPA should be someone else's job). CONCLUSION: This review highlights the need for training to address personal issues in addition to structural or organisational barriers. Education and training for HCPs needs to: encourage reflection on their own values to reinforce their commitment to addressing IPA; teach HCPs to relinquish the need to control outcomes so that they can adopt an advocacy approach; and support HCPs' trust in the critical role they can play in responding. Future research should explore effective ways to do this within the context of complex healthcare organisations.
Can patient-led surveillance detect subsequent new primary or recurrent melanomas and reduce the need for routinely scheduled follow-up? A protocol for the MEL-SELF randomised controlled trial
BACKGROUND: Most subsequent new primary or recurrent melanomas might be self-detected if patients are trained to systematically self-examine their skin and have access to timely medical review (patient-led surveillance). Routinely scheduled clinic visits (clinician-led surveillance) is resource-intensive and has not been shown to improve health outcomes; fewer visits may be possible if patient-led surveillance is shown to be safe and effective. The MEL-SELF trial is a randomised controlled trial comparing patient-led surveillance with clinician-led surveillance in people who have been previously treated for localised melanoma. METHODS: Stage 0/I/II melanoma patients (n = 600) from dermatology, surgical, or general practice clinics in NSW Australia, will be randomised (1:1) to the intervention (patient-led surveillance, n = 300) or control (usual care, n = 300). Patients in the intervention will undergo a second randomisation 1:1 to polarised (n = 150) or non-polarised (n = 150) dermatoscope. Patient-led surveillance comprises an educational booklet, skin self-examination (SSE) instructional videos; 3-monthly email/SMS reminders to perform SSE; patient-performed dermoscopy with teledermatologist feedback; clinical review of positive teledermoscopy through fast-tracked unscheduled clinic visits; and routinely scheduled clinic visits following each clinician's usual practice. Clinician-led surveillance comprises an educational booklet and routinely scheduled clinic visits following each clinician's usual practice. The primary outcome, measured at 12 months, is the proportion of participants diagnosed with a subsequent new primary or recurrent melanoma at an unscheduled clinic visit. Secondary outcomes include time from randomisation to diagnosis (of a subsequent new primary or recurrent melanoma and of a new keratinocyte cancer), clinicopathological characteristics of subsequent new primary or recurrent melanomas (including AJCC stage), psychological outcomes, and healthcare use. A nested qualitative study will include interviews with patients and clinicians, and a costing study we will compare costs from a societal perspective. We will compare the technical performance of two different models of dermatoscope (polarised vs non-polarised). DISCUSSION: The findings from this study may inform guidance on evidence-based follow-up care, that maximises early detection of subsequent new primary or recurrent melanoma and patient wellbeing, while minimising costs to patients, health systems, and society. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR): ACTRN12621000176864 . Registered on 18 February 2021.
How do colorectal cancer patients rate their GP: a mixed methods study
BACKGROUND: New Zealand (NZ) has a high incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) and low rates of early diagnosis. With screening not yet nationwide, the majority of CRC is diagnosed through general practice. A good patient-general practitioner (GP) relationship can facilitate prompt diagnosis, but when there is a breakdown in this relationship, delays can occur. Delayed diagnosis of CRC in NZ receives a disproportionally high number of complaints directed against GPs, suggesting deficits in the patient-GP connection. We aimed to investigate patient-reported confidence and ratings of their GP following the diagnostic process. METHODS: This study is a mixed methods analysis of responses to a structured questionnaire and free text comments from patients newly diagnosed with CRC in the Midland region of NZ. A total of 195 patients responded to the structured questionnaire, and 113 patients provided additional free text comments. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the study population and chi square analysis determined the statistical significance of factors possibly linked to delay. Free text comments were analysed using a thematic framework. RESULTS: Most participants rated their GP as 'Very good/Good' at communication with patients about their health conditions and involving them in decisions about their care, and 6.7% of participants rated their overall level of confidence and trust in their GP as 'Not at all'. Age, gender, ethnicity and a longer diagnostic interval were associated with lower confidence and trust. Free text comments were grouped in to three themes: 1. GP Interpersonal skills; (communication, listening, taking patient symptoms seriously), 2. Technical competence; (speed of referral, misdiagnoses, lack of physical examination), and 3. Organisation of general practice care; (appointment length, getting an appointment, continuity of care). CONCLUSIONS: Māori, females, and younger participants were more likely to report low confidence and trust in their GP. Participants associate a poor diagnostic experience with deficits in the interpersonal and technical skills of their GP, and health system factors within general practice. Short appointment times, access to appointments and poor GP continuity are important components of how patients assess their experience and are particularly important to ensure equal access for Māori patients.
Delayed or failure to follow-up abnormal breast cancer screening mammograms in primary care: a systematic review
BACKGROUND: Successful breast cancer screening relies on timely follow-up of abnormal mammograms. Delayed or failure to follow-up abnormal mammograms undermines the potential benefits of screening and is associated with poorer outcomes. However, a comprehensive review of inadequate follow-up of abnormal mammograms in primary care has not previously been reported in the literature. This review could identify modifiable factors that influence follow-up, which if addressed, may lead to improved follow-up and patient outcomes. METHODS: A systematic literature review to determine the extent of inadequate follow-up of abnormal screening mammograms in primary care and identify factors impacting on follow-up was conducted. Relevant studies published between 1 January, 1990 and 29 October, 2020 were identified by searching MEDLINE®, Embase, CINAHL® and Cochrane Library, including reference and citation checking. Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Checklists were used to assess the risk of bias of included studies according to study design. RESULTS: Eighteen publications reporting on 17 studies met inclusion criteria; 16 quantitative and two qualitative studies. All studies were conducted in the United States, except one study from the Netherlands. Failure to follow-up abnormal screening mammograms within 3 and at 6 months ranged from 7.2-33% and 27.3-71.6%, respectively. Women of ethnic minority and lower education attainment were more likely to have inadequate follow-up. Factors influencing follow-up included physician-patient miscommunication, information overload created by automated alerts, the absence of adequate retrieval systems to access patient's results and a lack of coordination of patient records. Logistical barriers to follow-up included inconvenient clinic hours and inconsistent primary care providers. Patient navigation and case management with increased patient education and counselling by physicians was demonstrated to improve follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Follow-up of abnormal mammograms in primary care is suboptimal. However, interventions addressing amendable factors that negatively impact on follow-up have the potential to improve follow-up, especially for populations of women at risk of inadequate follow-up.
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.
Memorialisation during COVID-19: implications for the bereaved, service providers and policy makers.
(SAGE Publications, 2020)
Background: The aim of this rapid perspective review is to capture key changes to memorialisation practices resulting from social distancing rules implemented due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Method: As published peer-reviewed research pertaining to memorialisation practices during the COVID-19 pandemic is lacking, this rapid review includes academic literature from the pre-COVID-19 period and international media reports during the pandemic. Findings: Changes to memorialisation practices were under way before COVID-19, as consumer preferences shifted towards secularisation and personalisation of ritual and ceremony. However, several key changes to memorialisation practices connected with body preparation, funerals, cremation, burials and rituals have taken place as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussion: Although boundaries between public and private memorialisation practices were already blurred, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this process. Without access to public memorialisation, practices are increasingly private in nature. A number of implications are considered for the bereaved, service providers and policy makers. Conclusion: Forms of memorialisation and bereavement support emerging during the pandemic that blend the public and the private are likely to persist in a post-pandemic world.
Review of emergency obstetric care interventions in health facilities in the Upper East Region of Ghana: a questionnaire survey
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2018-03-15)
BACKGROUND: Maternal morbidity and mortality is most prevalent in resource-poor settings such as sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia. In sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana is one of the countries still facing particular challenges in reducing its maternal morbidity and mortality. Access to emergency obstetric care (EmOC) interventions has been identified as a means of improving maternal health outcomes. Assessing the range of interventions provided in health facilities is, therefore, important in determining capacity to treat obstetric emergencies. The aim of this study was to examine the availability of emergency obstetric care interventions in the Upper East Region of Ghana. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of 120 health facilities was undertaken. Status of emergency obstetric care was assessed through an interviewer administered questionnaire to directors/in-charge officers of maternity care units in selected facilities. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: Eighty per cent of health facilities did not meet the criteria for provision of emergency obstetric care. Comparatively, private health facilities generally provided EmOC interventions less frequently than public health facilities. Other challenges identified include inadequate skill mix of maternity health personnel, poor referral processes, a lack of reliable communication systems and poor emergency transport systems. CONCLUSION: Multiple factors combine to limit women's access to a range of essential maternal health services. The availability of EmOC interventions was found to be low across the region; however, EmOC facilities could be increased by nearly one-third through modest investments in some existing facilities. Also, the key challenges identified in this study can be improved by enhancing pre-existing health system structures such as Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS), training more midwifery personnel, strengthening in-service training and implementation of referral audits as part of health service monitoring. Gaps in availability of EmOC interventions, skilled personnel and referral processes must be tackled in order to improve obstetric outcomes.
Computer assisted chronic disease management: does it work? A pilot study using mixed methods.
(Hindawi Limited, 2013)
Background. Key factors for the effective chronic disease management (CDM) include the availability of practical and effective computer tools and continuing professional development/education. This study tested the effectiveness of a computer assisted chronic disease management tool, a broadband-based service known as cdmNet in increasing the development of care plans for patients with chronic disease in general practice. Methodology. Mixed methods are the breakthrough series methodology (workshops and plan-do-study-act cycles) and semistructured interviews. Results. Throughout the intervention period a pattern emerged suggesting GPs use of cdmNet initially increased, then plateaued practice nurses' and practice managers' roles expanded as they became more involved in using cdmNet. Seven main messages emerged from the GP interviews. Discussion. The overall use of cdmNet by participating GPs varied from "no change" to "significant change and developing many the GPMPs (general practice management plans) using cdmNet." The variation may be due to several factors, not the least, allowing GPs adequate time to familiarise themselves with the software and recognising the benefit of the team approach. Conclusion. The breakthrough series methodology facilitated upskilling GPs' management of patients diagnosed with a chronic disease and learning how to use the broadband-based service cdmNet.
'My relationships have changed because I've changed': biographical disruption, personal relationships and the formation of an early menopausal subjectivity
Early menopause (EM) or premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) can disrupt gendered and age-related expectations associated with perceived 'normative' biographies for young adult women, with implications for subjectivity and relationships. While previous qualitative research has concentrated on the impacts of EM/POI on biography and sense of self, in this article, we examine the enmeshment of personal relationships with the formation of early menopausal subjectivities. Drawing on research exploring concepts of 'biographical disruption' and personal relationships, and theoretical work on social norms and subject formation, we present findings from a narrative thematic analysis of 25 interviews with women diagnosed with spontaneous or medically induced EM/POI. We identify three main narrative 'types' of subjective and relational experience in response to the 'disruption' of EM/POI: interlude and continuity; disruption and adaptation; and disruption and ambivalence. Women's accounts of their experience of EM/POI indicate that the formation of early menopausal selves is mediated by the extent to which women and those around them identify with gendered norms related to reproduction and age. Consistent with theoretical perspectives that consider the self as relationally produced, we argue that the subjective and relational dimensions of EM/POI are intertwined and must be understood in tandem.