Melbourne School of Health Sciences Collected Works - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 197
Evaluation of a Theory-Informed Implementation Intervention for the Management of Acute Low Back Pain in General Medical Practice: The IMPLEMENT Cluster Randomised Trial
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-06-13)
INTRODUCTION: This cluster randomised trial evaluated an intervention to decrease x-ray referrals and increase giving advice to stay active for people with acute low back pain (LBP) in general practice. METHODS: General practices were randomised to either access to a guideline for acute LBP (control) or facilitated interactive workshops (intervention). We measured behavioural predictors (e.g. knowledge, attitudes and intentions) and fear avoidance beliefs. We were unable to recruit sufficient patients to measure our original primary outcomes so we introduced other outcomes measured at the general practitioner (GP) level: behavioural simulation (clinical decision about vignettes) and rates of x-ray and CT-scan (medical administrative data). All those not involved in the delivery of the intervention were blinded to allocation. RESULTS: 47 practices (53 GPs) were randomised to the control and 45 practices (59 GPs) to the intervention. The number of GPs available for analysis at 12 months varied by outcome due to missing confounder information; a minimum of 38 GPs were available from the intervention group, and a minimum of 40 GPs from the control group. For the behavioural constructs, although effect estimates were small, the intervention group GPs had greater intention of practising consistent with the guideline for the clinical behaviour of x-ray referral. For behavioural simulation, intervention group GPs were more likely to adhere to guideline recommendations about x-ray (OR 1.76, 95%CI 1.01, 3.05) and more likely to give advice to stay active (OR 4.49, 95%CI 1.90 to 10.60). Imaging referral was not statistically significantly different between groups and the potential importance of effects was unclear; rate ratio 0.87 (95%CI 0.68, 1.10) for x-ray or CT-scan. CONCLUSIONS: The intervention led to small changes in GP intention to practice in a manner that is consistent with an evidence-based guideline, but it did not result in statistically significant changes in actual behaviour. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN012606000098538.
Early rehabilitation in critical care (eRiCC): functional electrical stimulation with cycling protocol for a randomised controlled trial
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2012-01-01)
INTRODUCTION: Intensive care-acquired weakness is a common problem, leads to significant impairment in physical functioning and muscle strength, and is prevalent in individuals with sepsis. Early rehabilitation has been shown to be safe and feasible; however, commencement is often delayed due to a patient's inability to co-operate. An intervention that begins early in an intensive care unit (ICU) admission without the need for patient volition may be beneficial in attenuating muscle wasting. The eRiCC (early rehabilitation in critical care) trial will investigate the effectiveness of functional electrical stimulation-assisted cycling and cycling alone, compared to standard care, in individuals with sepsis. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is a single centre randomised controlled trial. Participants (n=80) aged ≥18 years, with a diagnosis of sepsis or severe sepsis, who are expected to be mechanically ventilated for ≥48 h and remain in the intensive care ≥4 days will be randomised within 72 h of admission to (1) standard care or (2) intervention where participants will receive functional electrical muscle stimulation-assisted supine cycling on one leg while the other leg undergoes cycling alone. Primary outcome measures include: muscle mass (quadriceps ultrasonography; bioelectrical impedance spectroscopy); muscle strength (Medical Research Council Scale; hand-held dynamometry) and physical function (Physical Function in Intensive Care Test; Functional Status Score in intensive care; 6 min walk test). Blinded outcome assessors will assess measures at baseline, weekly, at ICU discharge and acute hospital discharge. Secondary measures will be evaluated in a nested subgroup (n=20) and will consist of biochemical/histological analyses of collected muscle, urine and blood samples at baseline and at ICU discharge. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethics approval has been obtained from the relevant institution, and results will be published to inform clinical practice in the care of patients with sepsis to optimise rehabilitation and physical function outcomes. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12612000528853.
Management of people with acute low-back pain: a survey of Australian chiropractors.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2011-12-15)
INTRODUCTION: Chiropractors commonly provide care to people with acute low-back pain (LBP). The aim of this survey was to determine how chiropractors intend to support and manage people with acute LBP and if this management is in accordance with two recommendations from an Australian evidence-based acute LBP guideline. The two recommendations were directed at minimising the use of plain x-ray and encouraging the patient to stay active. METHODS: This is a cross sectional survey of chiropractors in Australia. This paper is part of the ALIGN study in which a targeted implementation strategy was developed to improve the management of acute LBP in a chiropractic setting. This implementation strategy was subsequently tested in a cluster randomised controlled trial. In this survey phase of the ALIGN study we approached a random sample of 880 chiropractors in three States of Australia. The mailed questionnaire consisted of five patient vignettes designed to represent people who would typically present to chiropractors with acute LBP. Four vignettes represented people who, according to the guideline, would not require a plain lumbar x-ray, and one vignette represented a person with a suspected vertebral fracture. Respondents were asked, for each vignette, to indicate which investigation(s) they would order, and which intervention(s) they would recommend or undertake. RESULTS: Of the 880 chiropractors approached, 137 were deemed ineligible to participate, mostly because they were not currently practising, or mail was returned to sender. We received completed questionnaires from 274 chiropractors (response rate of 37%). Male chiropractors made up 66% of respondents, 75% practised in an urban location and their mean number of years in practice was 15. Across the four vignettes where an x-ray was not indicated 68% (95% Confidence Intervals (CI): 64%, 71%) of chiropractors responded that they would order or take an x-ray. In addition 51% (95%CI: 47%, 56%) indicated they would give advice to stay active when it was indicated. For the vignette where a fracture was suspected, 95% (95% CI: 91%, 97%) of chiropractors would order an x-ray. CONCLUSION: The intention of chiropractors surveyed in this study shows low adherence to two recommendations from an evidence-based guideline for acute LBP. Quality of care for these patients could be improved through effective implementation of evidence-based guidelines. Further research to find cost-effective methods to increase implementation is warranted.
Gastro-oesophageal reflux in noncystic fibrosis bronchiectasis.
(Hindawi Limited, 2011)
The clinical presentation of noncystic fibrosis bronchiectasis may be complicated by concomitant conditions, including gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR). Increased acidic GOR is principally caused by gastro-oesophageal junction incompetence and may arise from lower oesophageal sphincter hypotension, including transient relaxations, hiatus hernia, and oesophageal dysmotility. Specific pathophysiological features which are characteristic of respiratory diseases including coughing may further increase the risk of GOR in bronchiectasis. Reflux may impact on lung disease severity by two mechanisms, reflex bronchoconstriction and pulmonary microaspiration. Symptomatic and clinically silent reflux has been detected in bronchiectasis, with the prevalence of 26 to 75%. The cause and effect relationship has not been established, but preliminary reports suggest that GOR may influence the severity of bronchiectasis. Further studies examining the implications of GOR in this condition, including its effect across the disease spectrum using a combination of diagnostic tools, will clarify the clinical significance of this comorbidity.
Reaching consensus on the physiotherapeutic management of patients following upper abdominal surgery: a pragmatic approach to interpret equivocal evidence
BACKGROUND: Postoperative pulmonary complications remain the most significant cause of morbidity following open upper abdominal surgery despite advances in perioperative care. However, due to the poor quality primary research uncertainty surrounding the value of prophylactic physiotherapy intervention in the management of patients following abdominal surgery persists. The Delphi process has been proposed as a pragmatic methodology to guide clinical practice when evidence is equivocal. METHODS: The objective was to develop a clinical management algorithm for the post operative management of abdominal surgery patients. Eleven draft algorithm statements extracted from the extant literature by the primary research team were verified and rated by scientist clinicians (n=5) in an electronic three round Delphi process. Algorithm statements which reached a priori defined consensus-semi-interquartile range (SIQR)<0.5-were collated into the algorithm. RESULTS: The five panelists allocated to the abdominal surgery Delphi panel were from Australia, Canada, Sweden, and South Africa. The 11 draft algorithm statements were edited and 5 additional statements were formulated. The panel reached consensus on the rating of all statements. Four statements were rated essential. CONCLUSION: An expert Delphi panel interpreted the equivocal evidence for the physiotherapeutic management of patients following upper abdominal surgery. Through a process of consensus a clinical management algorithm was formulated. This algorithm can now be used by clinicians to guide clinical practice in this population.
Can an accelerometer-based monitor be used to accurately assess physical activity in a population of survivors of critical illness?
(Canadian Center of Science and Education, 2012-04-28)
PURPOSE: To investigate the validity and reliability of the Activity Monitoring Pod (AMP331) to record gait parameters in healthy young adults (YA) and intensive care unit inpatients (ICU). METHODS: Fifteen YA completed a series of over-ground walks. Another 15 YA completed a series of treadmill walks. The ICU group (N=20) completed a series of over-ground walks with repeat trials. Gait parameters were recorded simultaneously for each walk. RESULTS: For the YA over-ground condition, no significant differences were found between the measures recorded by the systems. For the YA treadmill condition, 43% of the measures differed (P < .05). For the ICU group, the AMP331 underestimated distance and speed by 3m and 25cm/s respectively. Reliability measures for distance (ICC 0.99, 95%CI 0.98 - 0.99) and step count (ICC 0.99, 95%CI 0.99 - 1.00) were excellent. CONCLUSIONS: The AMP 331 is a valid instrument for recording basic gait parameters for over-ground walking in healthy YA and ICU survivors.
Improving the care for people with acute low-back pain by allied health professionals (the ALIGN trial): A cluster randomised trial protocol
BACKGROUND: Variability between clinical practice guideline recommendations and actual clinical practice exists in many areas of health care. A 2004 systematic review examining the effectiveness of guideline implementation interventions concluded there was a lack of evidence to support decisions about effective interventions to promote the uptake of guidelines. Further, the review recommended the use of theory in the development of implementation interventions. A clinical practice guideline for the management of acute low-back pain has been developed in Australia (2003). Acute low-back pain is a common condition, has a high burden, and there is some indication of an evidence-practice gap in the allied health setting. This provides an opportunity to develop and test a theory-based implementation intervention which, if effective, may provide benefits for patients with this condition. AIMS: This study aims to estimate the effectiveness of a theory-based intervention to increase allied health practitioners' (physiotherapists and chiropractors in Victoria, Australia) compliance with a clinical practice guideline for acute non-specific low back pain (LBP), compared with providing practitioners with a printed copy of the guideline. Specifically, our primary objectives are to establish if the intervention is effective in reducing the percentage of acute non-specific LBP patients who are either referred for or receive an x-ray, and improving mean level of disability for patients three months post-onset of acute LBP. METHODS: The design of the study is a cluster randomised trial. Restricted randomisation was used to randomise 210 practices (clusters) to an intervention or control group. Practitioners in the control group received a printed copy of the guideline. Practitioners in the intervention group received a theory-based intervention developed to address prospectively identified barriers to practitioner compliance with the guideline. The intervention primarily consisted of an educational symposium. Patients aged 18 years or older who visit a participating practitioner for acute non-specific LBP of less than three months duration over a two-week data collection period, three months post the intervention symposia, are eligible for inclusion. Sample size calculations are based on recruiting between 15 to 40 patients per practice. Outcome assessors will be blinded to group allocation. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12609001022257 (date registered 25th November 2009).
Understanding practice: the factors that influence management of mild traumatic brain injury in the emergency department-a qualitative study using the Theoretical Domains Framework
BACKGROUND: Mild traumatic brain injury is a frequent cause of presentation to emergency departments. Despite the availability of clinical practice guidelines in this area, there is variation in practice. One of the aims of the Neurotrauma Evidence Translation program is to develop and evaluate a targeted, theory- and evidence-informed intervention to improve the management of mild traumatic brain injury in Australian emergency departments. This study is the first step in the intervention development process and uses the Theoretical Domains Framework to explore the factors perceived to influence the uptake of four key evidence-based recommended practices for managing mild traumatic brain injury. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with emergency staff in the Australian state of Victoria. The interview guide was developed using the Theoretical Domains Framework to explore current practice and to identify the factors perceived to influence practice. Two researchers coded the interview transcripts using thematic content analysis. RESULTS: A total of 42 participants (9 Directors, 20 doctors and 13 nurses) were interviewed over a seven-month period. The results suggested that (i) the prospective assessment of post-traumatic amnesia was influenced by: knowledge; beliefs about consequences; environmental context and resources; skills; social/professional role and identity; and beliefs about capabilities; (ii) the use of guideline-developed criteria or decision rules to inform the appropriate use of a CT scan was influenced by: knowledge; beliefs about consequences; environmental context and resources; memory, attention and decision processes; beliefs about capabilities; social influences; skills and behavioral regulation; (iii) providing verbal and written patient information on discharge was influenced by: beliefs about consequences; environmental context and resources; memory, attention and decision processes; social/professional role and identity; and knowledge; (iv) the practice of providing brief, routine follow-up on discharge was influenced by: environmental context and resources; social/professional role and identity; knowledge; beliefs about consequences; and motivation and goals. CONCLUSIONS: Using the Theoretical Domains Framework, factors thought to influence the management of mild traumatic brain injury in the emergency department were identified. These factors present theoretically based targets for a future intervention.
Understanding diagnosis and management of dementia and guideline implementation in general practice: a qualitative study using the theoretical domains framework
BACKGROUND: Dementia is a growing problem, causing substantial burden for patients, their families, and society. General practitioners (GPs) play an important role in diagnosing and managing dementia; however, there are gaps between recommended and current practice. The aim of this study was to explore GPs' reported practice in diagnosing and managing dementia and to describe, in theoretical terms, the proposed explanations for practice that was and was not consistent with evidence-based guidelines. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with GPs in Victoria, Australia. The Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) guided data collection and analysis. Interviews explored the factors hindering and enabling achievement of 13 recommended behaviours. Data were analysed using content and thematic analysis. This paper presents an in-depth description of the factors influencing two behaviours, assessing co-morbid depression using a validated tool, and conducting a formal cognitive assessment using a validated scale. RESULTS: A total of 30 GPs were interviewed. Most GPs reported that they did not assess for co-morbid depression using a validated tool as per recommended guidance. Barriers included the belief that depression can be adequately assessed using general clinical indicators and that validated tools provide little additional information (theoretical domain of 'Beliefs about consequences'); discomfort in using validated tools ('Emotion'), possibly due to limited training and confidence ('Skills'; 'Beliefs about capabilities'); limited awareness of the need for, and forgetting to conduct, a depression assessment ('Knowledge'; 'Memory, attention and decision processes'). Most reported practising in a manner consistent with the recommendation that a formal cognitive assessment using a validated scale be undertaken. Key factors enabling this were having an awareness of the need to conduct a cognitive assessment ('Knowledge'); possessing the necessary skills and confidence ('Skills'; 'Beliefs about capabilities'); and having adequate time and resources ('Environmental context and resources'). CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to our knowledge to use a theoretical approach to investigate the barriers and enablers to guideline-recommended diagnosis and management of dementia in general practice. It has identified key factors likely to explain GPs' uptake of the guidelines. The results have informed the design of an intervention aimed at supporting practice change in line with dementia guidelines, which is currently being evaluated in a cluster randomised trial.
Functional outcomes in ICU - what should we be using? - an observational study
INTRODUCTION: With growing awareness of the importance of rehabilitation, new measures are being developed specifically for use in the intensive care unit (ICU). There are currently 26 measures reported to assess function in ICU survivors. The Physical Function in Intensive care Test scored (PFIT-s) has established clinimetric properties. It is unknown how other functional measures perform in comparison to the PFIT-s or which functional measure may be the most clinically applicable for use within the ICU. The aims of this study were to determine (1) the criterion validity of the Functional Status Score for the ICU (FSS-ICU), ICU Mobility Scale (IMS) and Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) against the PFIT-s; (2) the construct validity of these tests against muscle strength; (3) predictive utility of these tests to predict discharge to home; and (4) the clinical applicability. This was a nested study within an ongoing controlled study and an observational study. METHODS: Sixty-six individuals were assessed at awakening and ICU discharge. Measures included: PFIT-s, FSS-ICU, IMS and SPPB. Bivariate relationships (Spearman's rank correlation coefficient) and predictive validity (logistic regression) were determined. Responsiveness (effect sizes); floor and ceiling effects; and minimal important differences were calculated. RESULTS: Mean ± SD PFIT-s at awakening was 4.7 ± 2.3 out of 10. On awakening a large positive relationship existed between PFIT-s and the other functional measures: FSS-ICU (rho = 0.87, p < 0.005), IMS (rho = 0.81, p < 0.005) and SPPB (rho = 0.70, p < 0.005). The PFIT-s had excellent construct validity (rho = 0.8, p < 0.005) and FSS-ICU (rho = 0.69, p < 0.005) and IMS (rho = 0.57, p < 0.005) had moderate construct validity with muscle strength. The PFIT-s and FSS-ICU had small floor/ceiling effects <11% at awakening and ICU discharge. The SPPB had a large floor effect at awakening (78%) and ICU discharge (56%). All tests demonstrated responsiveness; however highest effect size was seen in the PFIT-s (Cohen's d = 0.71). CONCLUSIONS: There is high criterion validity for other functional measures against the PFIT-s. The PFIT-s and FSS-ICU are promising functional measures and are recommended to measure function within the ICU. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02214823. Registered 7 August 2014).
Expert consensus and recommendations on safety criteria for active mobilization of mechanically ventilated critically ill adults
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2014-01-01)
INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to develop consensus recommendations on safety parameters for mobilizing adult, mechanically ventilated, intensive care unit (ICU) patients. METHODS: A systematic literature review was followed by a meeting of 23 multidisciplinary ICU experts to seek consensus regarding the safe mobilization of mechanically ventilated patients. RESULTS: Safety considerations were summarized in four categories: respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological and other. Consensus was achieved on all criteria for safe mobilization, with the exception being levels of vasoactive agents. Intubation via an endotracheal tube was not a contraindication to early mobilization and a fraction of inspired oxygen less than 0.6 with a percutaneous oxygen saturation more than 90% and a respiratory rate less than 30 breaths/minute were considered safe criteria for in- and out-of-bed mobilization if there were no other contraindications. At an international meeting, 94 multidisciplinary ICU clinicians concurred with the proposed recommendations. CONCLUSION: Consensus recommendations regarding safety criteria for mobilization of adult, mechanically ventilated patients in the ICU have the potential to guide ICU rehabilitation whilst minimizing the risk of adverse events.
Implementing evidence-based recommended practices for the management of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries in Australian emergency care departments: study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial
BACKGROUND: Mild head injuries commonly present to emergency departments. The challenges facing clinicians in emergency departments include identifying which patients have traumatic brain injury, and which patients can safely be sent home. Traumatic brain injuries may exist with subtle symptoms or signs, but can still lead to adverse outcomes. Despite the existence of several high quality clinical practice guidelines, internationally and in Australia, research shows inconsistent implementation of these recommendations. The aim of this trial is to test the effectiveness of a targeted, theory- and evidence-informed implementation intervention to increase the uptake of three key clinical recommendations regarding the emergency department management of adult patients (18 years of age or older) who present following mild head injuries (concussion), compared with passive dissemination of these recommendations. The primary objective is to establish whether the intervention is effective in increasing the percentage of patients for which appropriate post-traumatic amnesia screening is performed. METHODS/DESIGN: The design of this study is a cluster randomised trial. We aim to include 34 Australian 24-hour emergency departments, which will be randomised to an intervention or control group. Control group departments will receive a copy of the most recent Australian evidence-based clinical practice guideline on the acute management of patients with mild head injuries. The intervention group will receive an implementation intervention based on an analysis of influencing factors, which include local stakeholder meetings, identification of nursing and medical opinion leaders in each site, a train-the-trainer day and standardised education and interactive workshops delivered by the opinion leaders during a 3 month period of time. Clinical practice outcomes will be collected retrospectively from medical records by independent chart auditors over the 2 month period following intervention delivery (patient level outcomes). In consenting hospitals, eligible patients will be recruited for a follow-up telephone interview conducted by trained researchers. A cost-effectiveness analysis and process evaluation using mixed-methods will be conducted. Sample size calculations are based on including 30 patients on average per department. Outcome assessors will be blinded to group allocation. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12612001286831 (date registered 12 December 2012).