Guidelines for assessing postnatal problems: introducing evidence-based guidelines in Australian general practice
AuthorGunn, J; Southern, D; Chondros, P; Thomson, P; Robertson, K
Source TitleFAMILY PRACTICE
PublisherOXFORD UNIV PRESS
University of Melbourne Author/sGunn, Jane; Chondros, Panagiota; Robertson, Kathryn; SOUTHERN, DONNA; THOMSON, PHILIPPA
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsGunn, J., Southern, D., Chondros, P., Thomson, P. & Robertson, K. (2003). Guidelines for assessing postnatal problems: introducing evidence-based guidelines in Australian general practice. FAMILY PRACTICE, 20 (4), pp.382-389. https://doi.org/10.1093/fampra/cmg408.
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C1 - Journal Articles Refereed
BACKGROUND: Postnatal morbidity is high, and many GPs lack the confidence and knowledge to deal with common postnatal problems. There is a high consultation rate, but few women disclose common health problems. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to increase the knowledge and skills of GPs to enable them to identify and manage common health problems experienced by women in the year following childbirth. METHODS: An educational programme [Guidelines for Assessing Postnatal Problems (GAPP)] embedded within a large randomized community intervention trial [Program of Resources, Information and Support for Mothers (PRISM)] with a before/after evaluation was undergone by Australian GPs working in four metropolitan and four rural communities. The programme comprised audit, interactive workshops, role-play and evidence-based guidelines, and was evaluated at baseline and 6 months through written questionnaires and a surgery consultation with a trained simulated patient evaluator. RESULTS: A total of 68 (86%) GPs took part in the full GAPP programme. The odds of a GP improving on the knowledge items ranged from 1.0 to 16, with the greatest change occurring in knowledge about the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy for maternal depression. Of the GPs with an incorrect response at baseline, the percentage demonstrating improved knowledge at follow-up ranged from 22 to 100%. Around half of the GPs demonstrated excellent communication skills at baseline. Of the remaining GPs, more than half demonstrated greatly improved skills to detect common postnatal problems at follow-up. At baseline simulated patient visit, 70% of GPs inquired about sexual problems yet none inquired about the possibility of abuse, whereas at follow-up 94% inquired about sexual problems and 51.5% facilitated the disclosure of physical and emotional abuse. Anonymous feedback on the programme by participating GPs showed that 89% believed the programme positively influenced their actual practice. Interestingly, GPs demonstrated greater knowledge and skills in the simulated setting than on the written questionnaire. CONCLUSIONS: This relatively brief multifaceted educational programme assisted many participants in improving their knowledge and the skills required to improve both physical and emotional health after birth. Despite being experienced clinicians and participating actively in a programme on interviewing skills, half of the GPs did not facilitate disclosure of the underlying sensitive issue (abuse) during the follow-up consultation and could benefit from further in-depth training in effective communication skills.
KeywordsReproduction ; Primary Health Care; Women's Health; Continuing Education
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