Melbourne School of Health Sciences Collected Works - Research Publications
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Survey of neurodevelopmental allied health teams in Australian and New Zealand neonatal nurseries: Staff profile and standardised neurobehavioural/neurological assessment
AIMS: The primary aim of this study was to establish how many neonatal nurseries in Australia and New Zealand had a neurodevelopmental allied health team, to ascertain the disciplines involved, their qualifications and experience. The secondary aim was to evaluate which standardised neurobehavioural/neurological assessments were currently being implemented, and the existing practice in relation to their use. METHODS: A descriptive cross-sectional survey, sampling 179 eligible public and private hospital neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and special care nurseries (SCNs) throughout Australia and New Zealand, was purpose-developed and administered electronically from the 5th April to 23rd July 2013. RESULTS: A total of 117 units (65%) overall, and 26 of 26 (100%) NICUs responded to the survey. NICUs had more neurodevelopmental allied health staff than SCNs, with physiotherapists and speech pathologists the most common disciplines. Physiotherapists were more likely to administer standardised neurobehavioural/neurological assessments in NICUs, while medical staff were more likely to do so in SCNs. A wide variety of standardised neurobehavioural/neurological assessment tools were used, with Prechtl's General Movements Assessment the most common in the NICUs (50%) and the Hammersmith Neonatal Neurological Examination the most common in the special care units (25%). Standardised neurobehavioural assessments were not administered in 22% of SCNs. CONCLUSIONS: Although neurodevelopmental allied health teams and standardised neurobehavioural/neurological assessments are valued by many, there was little consistency across Australian and New Zealand neonatal nurseries.
How is physical activity measured in lung cancer? A systematic review of outcome measures and their psychometric properties
Physical activity (PA) levels are low in patients with lung cancer. Emerging evidence supports the use of interventions to increase PA in this population. We aimed to (1) identify and synthesize outcome measures which assess PA levels in patients with lung cancer and (2) to evaluate, synthesize and compare the psychometric properties of these measures. A systematic review of articles from searches was conducted of five electronic databases and personal records. Eligible studies were those which assessed PA using either performance-based or patient-reported measures. For aim 2, studies identified in aim 1 reporting on at least one psychometric property (validity, reliability, responsiveness or measurement error) were included. Two independent reviewers assessed eligibility and risk of bias with the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health status Measurement INstruments. Thirty-four studies using 21 different measures of PA were identified. Seventeen studies used performance-based measures. The Godin Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire (GLTEQ) was the most frequently used patient-reported measure. Psychometric properties were reported for 13 of these measures and most frequently for movement sensors. Two studies reported on properties of the GLTEQ. Quality ratings for risk of bias were low. There is significant heterogeneity amongst studies regarding method of PA measurement along the lung cancer continuum. Greater consensus could be achieved by using a consensus approach such as a Delphi process. Future studies should include assessment of psychometric properties of the measurement tool being used. Currently, it is recommended where feasible, both performance-based and patient-reported measurements of PA should be undertaken.
The Australian Pelvic Floor Questionnaire is a valid measure of pelvic floor symptoms in patients following surgery for colorectal cancer
AIMS: This study evaluated the construct validity of the Australian Pelvic Floor Questionnaire against two alternative measures of the severity of bladder and bowel symptoms. METHODS: This was an exploratory analysis of data from two prospective studies. Patients who had undergone surgery for colorectal cancer were analysed. Bladder and bowel symptoms were measured using three validated questionnaires: the Australian Pelvic Floor Questionnaire, the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Short Form Questionnaire for urinary incontinence and the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Bowel Module post-cancer treatment. RESULTS: The study sample consisted of 44 participants, including 25 men and 19 women. The Australian Pelvic Floor Questionnaire bladder and bowel domain scores demonstrated moderate positive correlations with the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Short Form Questionnaire for urinary incontinence (r = 0.74, P < 0.01) and the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Bowel Module (r = 0.69-0.78, P < 0.01). Similar results were obtained in each gender subgroup. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggested that the Australian Pelvic Floor Questionnaire may be a valid measurement tool for use in colorectal cancer populations in clinical trials and practice. Future research using larger cohorts is warranted.
The review of successful mental health and wellbeing supports for young black people: The project of South Sudanese Australian young people's mental health and wellbeing support.
This paper is a review of a successful mental health programs for young black people who have experienced some complex issues such mental health, racism and discrimination, family problems and bullying in schools. The article provides a brief overview of the ways and programs that may be usefully in supporting young people with mental health and wellbeing issues from the South Sudanese Australian community. A combination of desktop research and consultation with young people was employed to collect data. There was conversation meeting with 19 young people which conducted by a youth worker and one counsellor where young people were open to raise some mental health and wellbeing related issues that are affecting them, but there are no safe programs to support them. The review of successful mental health and wellbeing programs came out from the discussion based on the mental health and wellbeing issues raised by young people. The aim is to find out the existing mental health and wellbeing programs internationally that can be replicated as support programs for South Sudanese –Australian young people in Melbourne.
Challenges of Unemployment and Benefits of Employment for South Sudanese People from Refugee Backgrounds in Melbourne, Australia
Settlement of people from refugee backgrounds has been largely discussed in Australia because of critical social issues affecting the integration of newly emerged community such as the South Sudanese community. This research paper has taken one-step back to at looks the benefits of employment in settlement context of refugees using the case study of the South Sudanese community in Melbourne, Australia. The aim of this research was to provide an understanding of the benefits of employment on different forms of capitals that can assist refugees to overcome settlement challenges. These five capitals or benefits are economic capital, social capital, the cultural and psychological capital. This research was conducted through in-depth interviews with 20 participants from the South Sudanese community in Melbourne, Australia with refugee backgrounds. Participants were given taken the time to tell their settlement experiences, the level of participation in employment and benefits of employment to them and their families with duration range between 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Major findings confirmed that participation of refugees in employment assists them to access important benefits of economic capital, social capital, cultural and psychological capital, which they can accumulate through employment.
Teaching resilience skills to social work students and others
(National Association of Social Workers-Zimbabwe, 2020)
Social work as a profession is a growing area in many Indigenous community groups around the world. Students who choose to study social work have some strong voices and commitments to serve vulnerable families, individuals and community groups that are facing some social, health and political issues. Building resilience resources and skills for social work students who are studying social work course is part of the social work roles. In real life, social issues and health issues challenged many people in different levels which caused emotional challenges, feeling of uncertain and helpless. Therefore, teaching resilience skills to social work students is very important in order for students to be well-prepared and managed complex issues of their clients in the field of social work such as emotional reaction of clients and work pressures. This paper is a literature review of resilience that used Ubuntu concept from African Indigenous perspective in humanity and community. The paper first provided introduction of Ubuntu philosophy to reader. Second, the paper provided background of the research problem, which is the need of resilience skills in social work teaching. Finally, the paper summarised resilience skills that are suitable to social work practitioners, social work students and social work lecturers in their field of practice to support their clients and themselves while dealing with complex and emotional issues in the fields.
Mental health and the role of social workers and community workers during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) period
(Institute of Development Administration, 2021)
Social workers play a significant role in supporting vulnerable families and individuals during difficult time. Social work as a profession is a frontline occupation that is forced to deal with the complex and difficult issues of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Lockdown, self-isolation, the loss of loved ones, the loss of work, and dealing with family issues and children while working at home are emotionally challenging for many. This virus has raised high levels of anxiety, fear, confusion, frustration, hopeless and uncertainty feelings among many people internationally. Many people were isolated from their families and friends as well as from community. Governments in many countries brought in health measures to control the spread of coronavirus. These measures included quarantine, lockdown, social distancing/physical distancing, isolation, travel restrictions, masks, ventilators, respirators, personal protective clothing (PPE), online/remote services, containment, mitigation, sanitisers, flattening the curve, inflammatory syndrome and herbal/organic treatments. In addition to the loss of social connection, the loss of livelihoods and income are psychologically torturing. There were many lives lost because of coronavirus around the world how many. The impacts of coronavirus have been felt across the health, economic, social, and mental health sectors. Social workers were viewed first people to support people while they were going through difficulties. The situation analysis of emergency lockdown in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia demonstrated role of social workers in supporting vulnerable individuals and families during difficult time. The study shows serious impact of lockdown such as mental health, social and economic consequences on people. The impact of COVID-19 lockdown was clearly observed in relation to mental health, social and economic impacts on people. Many residents were psychological impacted and found themselves in tears, frustration, enraged, powerless, hopeless with lack of support. This analysis argues that social workers should be prepared and supported with enough resources to support people during emergency situations. Therefore, the role of social workers and community development workers is very critical in supporting and preparing vulnerable community groups, individuals, and families to cope with emergency events when they emerge. The case example of the COVID-19 emergency lockdown is the lockdown of high-rise towers in the city of Melbourne in Australia. Many people have been seeking support from social workers for emotional support as they are enraged and frustrated by the lockdown.
An exploration of interventions for healing intergeneration trauma to develop successful healing programs for Aboriginal Australians: A literature review
(Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin, 2020)
Introduction Health outcomes and life expectancy of Indigenous people throughout the world are far poorer than non-Indigenous populations. Emerging evidence from research shows that many social issues which impact on Indigenous peoples globally is linked to trauma over generations. This review explores literature about Indigenous people from around the world to seek interventions which have been successful in healing intergenerational trauma. Method To identify interventions that have been successful in healing intergenerational trauma amongst Indigenous populations globally, a systematic search strategy was conducted using keywords and synonyms related to the topic. Peer reviewed academic literature was sourced from four different databases i.e. Ebscohost, PubMed, CINAHL and Medline. Results There were 89 citations, 55 were identified as relevant, after duplicate copies were removed. Of these 55 papers, 23 met inclusion/exclusion criteria. Two additional papers from a reference lists were included and a total of 25 papers were analysed. A comprehensive critical appraisal of the literature was undertaken using three different appraisal tools. This review found that interventions which were successful in healing intergenerational trauma amongst Indigenous populations incorporated traditional cultural practices within their healing method(s). Discussion There was strong evidence that strengthening and reclaiming cultural identity enhances mental health disorders commonly experienced throughout Indigenous populations. Often non-Indigenous clinicians, although well intentioned, fail to address the needs of Indigenous people because they lack the understanding and awareness of Indigenous people’s culture. This review highlights benefits of blending Indigenous and Western approaches into healing intergenerational trauma and the concept of ‘Two-Eyed Seeing’. This concept acknowledges that each of our worlds has its strengths and if we respectfully and methodically accept these strengths, they can work together and effectively to bring about healing. Conclusion Healing from intergenerational trauma is not a straightforward process. Incorporating traditional healing methods assists in the development of cultural identity, which was found to be extremely important in the healing process. To address trauma effectively, clinicians need to acknowledge the historical impact from public policies by having a real understanding of our history.
Systemic vilification and racism are affecting on the South Sudanese community in Australia
(International Journal of Scientific Research (IJSR), 2018)
This paper presents qualitative research findings in relation to the systemic racism and racial vilification issues facing people from the South Sudanese community in Melbourne, Australia. The paper is drawn from a PhD study at Victoria University in which 20 participants were interviewed about settlement issues facing their community. Racism and discrimination is one of the themes that emerged as a problem facing people from the South Sudanese community, including in the employment sector and in schools, because of negative media reporting on this community. This racism and racial verification has been identified in research context as unfair in which some of these research argues for how members of the South Sudanese and recent African communities have become part of a broader system of racism and racialisation in Australia (Ang & Stratton 2001; Baak 2016; Due 2008; Majavu 2017; Walton et al. 2016). The impact of racial vilification has been largely felt by African community groups in public places such as schools, shopping centres, and bus and train stations. The comments made by politicians such as Peter Dutton have promoted hatred and encouraged a great deal of racism toward the South Sudanese community and other African groups, such as the Somalian community. There is no doubt that Australia is a fair-go country, but it has an interesting record about racism and discrimination toward minor groups such as African communities and the Aboriginal community. Racial vilification can be a damaging issue for young people and for minority community groups if there are no policies in places to protect them from such vilification (Baak, 2018).
Benefits of participation in sport for people from refugee backgrounds: A study of the South Sudanese community in Melbourne, Australia
(Journal issue, 2016-02-01)
Participation in sport provides different forms of capital for all, but particularly for those with refugee backgrounds who are facing settlement issues. Such people are caught in a challenging situation of dealing with settlement issues such as homesickness, cultural shock, lack of a background of social activities and networks, lack of employment, racism and discrimination. As a result of these settlement challenges and other social issues, a large number of young people become disengaged. Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore a social benefit of participation in sport for the South Sudanese people from refugee backgrounds who are settling in Melbourne, Australia. For people with social isolation and other social issues, participation in sport can be a tool that assists those young people by providing physical benefits, a social network (thus breaking social isolation) and sometimes a form of income as a result of being noticed as a good player. Participating in sport can thus be a rewarding experience, particularly for young people, in overcoming settlement challenges. This research was conducted through an in-depth interview of 20 participants from the South Sudanese community. Major findings confirmed that social benefits of sport in relation to network, physical capital, psychological capital, cultural capital, economic capital
Our Voices Understanding Critical Challenges of Settlement when Resettled in Country Different to Your Own Country
(LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, 2014-01)
This book describes the common challenges which many refugees faced when resettled in country that is different to their own country. "This book has touched my heart as it is discussed critical challenges of settlement". John Smith.
A New Life with Opportunities and Challenges The Settlement Experiences of South Sudanese-Australians
(Africa World Books, 2019-08-18)
Migration and Marginalisation of Refugees: The Settlement Experiences of South Sudanese-AustraliansAuthor: Dr William Abur, PhDMigration and resettlement is a process that involved an individual or a family moving to
Critical Social Work from Indigenous Perspectives
Social work has a critical role in supporting families, young people and others with complex needs, such as the elderly and those with disabilities. This chapter discusses critical social work from the perspective of Indigenous social workers who have experienced some forms of institutional marginlisation and also worked with marginalised community groups, using cultural knowledge to address a number of institutional injustice issues and practices. Social workers working with Indigenous community groups constantly experience and witness the challenges faced by those communities, including isolation within educational institutions. Social work as a profession is a growing area in Indigenous community groups because of social justice problems and historical marginalisation through colonial practices. Writing as a social work lecturer within an Indigenous educational institute, I recognise that social work has a significant role to play in Indigenous communities. It can empower people to speak up and speak the truth, supporting people through journeys of pain and healing, as well as acknowledging their experiences and cultural knowledge by validating those experiences. While walking alongside students and their families, social work lecturers bring their knowledge and their own experiences to enhance social work courses at university.
Mental Health and Wellbeing of South Sudanese-Australians
(SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2019-10-16)
The majority of South Sudanese-Australians arrived in Australia, and other host countries outside Africa, after spending a greater part of their lives in refugee camps or conflict-affected areas. In addition, refugees are often not able to return to their home countries because the causes of their departure (wars, insecurity, hunger) continue to apply in their country of origin. The purpose of this paper is to examine some of the mental health and wellbeing issues some South Sudanese-Australians experience as a result of settlement difficulties and their earlier experience of conflict. The study looks at experiences of resettlement and settlement difficulties, and, more importantly, mental health and wellbeing issues in the wake of the aforesaid challenges. The data was collected from a qualitative method which comprised a series of semi-structured, one-on-one interviews with a total of 20 South Sudanese-Australians living in Melbourne. There were 11 males and nine females, with ages ranging from 18 to 64 years, who volunteered to participate in this study. Findings indicated that, as with many other people from refugee backgrounds, South Sudanese-Australians face a range of settlement-related challenges, and a host of post-resettlement adaptation experiences such as limited change of gender roles, language proficiency, unemployment, host society unacceptance or intolerance, constrained recreational opportunities, lack of community connectedness and overall mental health and general wellbeing issues. Experiencing conflict can be traumatic and refuge in neighbouring countries that are socio-culturally different can be challenging. In conclusion, these issues can not only be troublesome on a day-to-day basis, but also adversely affect the long-term mental health and wellbeing of refugees.
Peripheral, Central, and Cross Sensitization in Endometriosis-Associated Pain and Comorbid Pain Syndromes
(Frontiers Media SA, 2021-09-01)
Endometriosis-associated pain and the mechanisms responsible for its initiation and persistence are complex and difficult to treat. Endometriosis-associated pain is experienced as dysmenorrhea, cyclical pain related to organ function including dysuria, dyschezia and dyspareunia, and persistent pelvic pain. Pain symptomatology correlates poorly with the extent of macroscopic disease. In addition to the local effects of disease, endometriosis-associated pain develops as a product of peripheral sensitization, central sensitization and cross sensitization. Endometriosis-associated pain is further contributed to by comorbid pain conditions, such as bladder pain syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, abdomino-pelvic myalgia and vulvodynia. This article will review endometriosis-associated pain, its mechanisms, and its comorbid pain syndromes with a view to aiding the clinician in navigating the literature and terminology of pain and pain syndromes. Limitations of our current understanding of endometriosis-associated pain will be acknowledged. Where possible, commonalities in pain mechanisms between endometriosis-associated pain and comorbid pain syndromes will be highlighted.
Understanding context: A concept analysis(sic)(sic)(sic)(sic):(sic)(sic)(sic)(sic)
AIMS: To conduct a concept analysis of clinical practice contexts (work environments) in health care. BACKGROUND: Context is increasingly recognized as important to the development, delivery, and understanding of implementation strategies; however, conceptual clarity about what comprises context is lacking. DESIGN: Modified Walker and Avant concept analysis comprised of five steps: (1) concept selection; (2) determination of aims; (3) identification of uses of context; (4) determination of its defining attributes; and (5) definition of its empirical referents. METHODS: A wide range of databases were systematically searched from inception to August 2014. Empirical articles were included if a definition and/or attributes of context were reported. Theoretical articles were included if they reported a model, theory, or framework of context or where context was a component. Double independent screening and data extraction were conducted. Analysis was iterative, involving organizing and reorganizing until a framework of domains, attributes. and features of context emerged. RESULT: We identified 15,972 references, of which 70 satisfied our inclusion criteria. In total, 201 unique features of context were identified, of these 89 were shared (reported in two or more studies). The 89 shared features were grouped into 21 attributes of context which were further categorized into six domains of context. CONCLUSION: This study resulted in a framework of domains, attributes and features of context. These attributes and features, if assessed and used to tailor implementation activities, hold promise for improved research implementation in clinical practice.
How actionable are staff behaviours specified in policy documents? A document analysis of protocols for managing deteriorating patients
BACKGROUND: To optimise care of deteriorating patients, healthcare organisations have implemented rapid response systems including an "afferent" and "efferent" limb. Afferent limb behaviours include monitoring vital signs and escalating care. To strengthen afferent limb behaviour and reduce adverse patient outcomes, the National Early Warning Score was implemented in the UK. There are no published reports of how National Early Warning Score guidance has translated into trust-level deteriorating patient policy and whether these documents provide clear, actionable statements guiding staff. AIM: To identify how deteriorating patient policy documents provide "actionable" behavioural instruction for staff, responsible for actioning the afferent limb of the rapid response system. DESIGN: A structured content analysis of a national guideline and local policies using a behaviour specification framework. METHODS: Local deteriorating patient policies were obtained. Statements of behaviour were extracted from policies; coded using a behaviour specification framework: Target, Action, Context, Timing and Actor and scored for specificity (1 = present, nonspecific; 2 = present, specific). Frequencies and proportions of statements containing elements of the Target, Action, Context, Timing and Actor framework were summarised descriptively. Reporting was guided by the COREQ checklist. RESULTS: There were more statements related to monitoring than escalation behaviour (65% vs 35%). Despite high levels of clear specification of the action (94%) and the target of the behaviour (74%), context, timing and actor were poorly specified (37%, 37% and 33%). CONCLUSION: Delay in escalating deteriorating patients is associated with adverse outcomes. Some delay could be addressed by writing local protocols with greater behavioural specificity, to facilitate actionability. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Numerous clinical staff are required for an effective response to patient deterioration. To mitigate role confusion, local policy writers should provide clear specification of the actor. As the behaviours are time-sensitive, clear specification of the time frame may increase actionability of policy statements for clinical staff.
DEveloping a Complex Intervention for DEteriorating patients using theoretical modelling (DECIDE study): Study protocol
AIM: To develop a theory-based complex intervention (targeting nursing staff), to enhance enablers and overcome barriers to enact expected behaviour when monitoring patients and responding to abnormal vital signs that signal deterioration. DESIGN: A mixed method design including structured observations on hospital wards, field notes, brief, unrecorded interviews and semi-structured interviews to inform the development of an intervention to enhance practice. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with nursing staff using a topic guide informed by the Theoretical Domains Framework. Semi-structured interviews will be transcribed verbatim and coded deductively into the 14 Theoretical Domains Framework domains and then inductively into "belief statements". Priority domains will be identified and mapped to appropriate behaviour change techniques. Intervention content and mode of delivery (how behaviour change techniques are operationalized) will be developed using nominal groups, during which participants (clinicians) will rank behaviour change techniques/mode of delivery combinations according to acceptability and feasibility. Findings will be synthesised to develop an intervention manual. DISCUSSION: Despite being a priority for clinicians, researchers and policymakers for two decades, "sub-optimal care" of the deteriorating ward patient persists. Existing interventions have been largely educational (i.e. targeting assumed knowledge deficits) with limited evidence that they change staff behaviour. Staff behaviour when monitoring and responding to abnormal vital signs is likely influenced by a range of mediators that includes barriers and enablers. IMPACT: Systematically applying theory and evidence-based methods, will result in the specification of an intervention which is more likely to result in behaviour change and can be tested empirically in future research.
The impact of pelvic organ prolapse and/or continence surgery on pelvic floor muscle function in women: A systematic review.
AIMS: To systematically review the evidence for the effect of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and/or continence surgery on pelvic floor muscle (PFM) morphometry and function in women, and to investigate whether a relationship exists between PFM measures and clinician-reported objective pelvic floor outcomes postoperatively. METHODS: Six electronic databases were searched until March 2018. Studies were included if they examined the effect of POP and/or continence surgery on the PFM in women, and reported pre- and postoperative data. Methodological quality was assessed using a modified Downs and Black checklist. Three meta-analyses were planned based on postoperative follow-up time. RESULTS: Twenty-one studies met the inclusion criteria. Varied surgical interventions and 33 different PFM measures were represented. The methodological quality of included studies varied considerably. The 0 to 6 weeks postoperative meta-analysis showed no statistically significant change in PFM function (SMD = 0.04; 95% confidence interval [CI] = -0.26 to 0.33). This was consistent at 3 and 6 or more months (SMD = 1.13; 0.35 95% CI = -0.34 to 2.60, - 0.42 to 1.12 respectively). None of the included studies investigated the relationship between PFM measures and clinician-reported objective outcomes postoperatively. CONCLUSIONS: This review did not show a clear effect of POP and/or continence surgery on PFM morphometry or function in women and was unable to show a relationship with outcomes such as objective prolapse score and urodynamic findings. This could be because surgery does not measurably impact on the PFM or due to the poor quality and heterogeneity of studies. Future well-designed research is needed to specifically investigate change in the PFM following surgery.
Associations between nutritional energy delivery, bioimpedance spectroscopy and functional outcomes in survivors of critical illness
BACKGROUND: Patients who survive critical illness frequently develop muscle weakness that can impact on quality of life; nutrition is potentially a modifiable risk factor. The present study aimed to explore the associations between cumulative energy deficits (using indirect calorimetry and estimated requirements), nutritional and functional outcomes. METHODS: A prospective single-centre observational study of 60 intensive care unit (ICU) patients, who were mechanically ventilated for at least 48 h, was conducted. Cumulative energy deficit was determined from artificial nutrition delivery compared to targets. Measurements included: (i) at recruitment and ICU discharge, weight, fat-free mass (bioimpedance spectroscopy) and malnutrition (Subjective Global Assessment score B/C); (ii) at awakening and ICU discharge, physical function (Physical Function in Intensive Care Test-scored) and muscle strength (Medical Research Council sum-score (MRC-SS). ICU-acquired weakness was defined as a MRC-SS score of less than 48/60. RESULTS: The median (interquartile range) cumulative energy deficit compared to the estimated targets up to ICU day 12 was 3648 (2514-5650) kcal. Adjusting for body mass index, age and severity of illness, cumulative energy deficit (per 1000 kcal) was independently associated with greater odds of ICU-acquired weakness [odds ratio (OR) = 2.1, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.4-3.3, P = 0.001] and malnutrition (OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.1-3.2, P = 0.02). In similar multivariable linear models, cumulative energy deficit was associated with reductions in fat-free mass (-1.3 kg; 95% CI = -2.4 to -0.2, P = 0.02) and physical function scores (-0.6 points; 95% CI = -0.9 to -0.3, P = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Cumulative energy deficit from artificial nutrition support was associated with reduced functional outcomes and greater loss of fat-free mass in ventilated ICU patients.
How soon do allied health professionals lose confidence to perform EBP activities? A cross-sectional study
OBJECTIVE: To explore if there is a relationship between allied health professionals' confidence to perform a range of evidence-based practice (EBP) activities and the time since they graduated from their entry-level degree and the presence of postgraduate qualifications. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: Allied health professionals from two Australian public metropolitan health services, including acute, subacute, and community settings. PARTICIPANTS: Sample of 288 (n = 288) allied health professionals from the disciplines of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, social work, dietetics/nutrition, and other. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Cross-sectional survey including 12 questions measuring respondents' confidence to conduct a range of EBP activities. RESULTS: Allied health professionals begin to lose confidence related to EBP activities within the first 5 years of clinical practice, particularly for those activities involving critical analysis of published studies. Respondents with postgraduate qualifications were more likely to report greater confidence with EBP activities, suggesting that higher level qualifications protect against the effect of degradation of EBP skills and confidence over time. CONCLUSIONS: Allied health professionals' confidence to perform EBP activities degrades over time, particularly for those individuals with no postgraduate qualifications. Registration and accreditation bodies along with allied health professional employers should explore potential strategies to preserve and enhance EBP skills, confidence, and behaviours.
Improving the delivery of physical activity services in lung cancer: A qualitative representation of the patient's perspective
OBJECTIVE: To explore patient experiences of, and preferences for, physical activity after a lung cancer diagnosis. METHODS: This was a qualitative study involving seven patients who had been treated for lung cancer within the previous 2 years. Participants attended a focus group interview. Conventional content analysis methodology was used to analyse the text by two independent researchers. RESULTS: Eight major themes emerged from the data. These were as follows: the influence of past lifestyle and chronic disease; the perceived benefits of physical activity; using physical activity to facilitate return to activities of daily living; the impact of symptoms, capacity and motivation; family and peer support; access to services; health professionals; and enjoyment of different types of physical activity. Patients suggested several factors that could improve their healthcare experience. These include access to exercise professionals particularly after cancer treatment; access to information about physical activity in different formats; supervision from health professionals and peer support; and use of behaviour change strategies to achieve sustainable increases in physical activity. CONCLUSION: Our results should be considered in the improvement of lung cancer care pathways as we strive to implement physical activity services into routine clinical care.
Temporal dynamics of circadian phase shifting response to consecutive night shifts in healthcare workers: role of light-dark exposure
KEY POINTS: Shift work is highly prevalent and is associated with significant adverse health impacts. There is substantial inter-individual variability in the way the circadian clock responds to changing shift cycles. The mechanisms underlying this variability are not well understood. We tested the hypothesis that light-dark exposure is a significant contributor to this variability; when combined with diurnal preference, the relative timing of light exposure accounted for 71% of individual variability in circadian phase response to night shift work. These results will drive development of personalised approaches to manage circadian disruption among shift workers and other vulnerable populations to potentially reduce the increased risk of disease in these populations. ABSTRACT: Night shift workers show highly variable rates of circadian adaptation. This study examined the relationship between light exposure patterns and the magnitude of circadian phase resetting in response to night shift work. In 21 participants (nursing and medical staff in an intensive care unit) circadian phase was measured using 6-sulphatoxymelatonin at baseline (day/evening shifts or days off) and after 3-4 consecutive night shifts. Daily light exposure was examined relative to individual circadian phase to quantify light intensity in the phase delay and phase advance portions of the light phase response curve (PRC). There was substantial inter-individual variability in the direction and magnitude of phase shift after three or four consecutive night shifts (mean phase delay -1:08 ± 1:31 h; range -3:43 h delay to +3:07 h phase advance). The relative difference in the distribution of light relative to the PRC combined with diurnal preference accounted for 71% of the variability in phase shift. Regression analysis incorporating these factors estimated phase shift to within ±60 min in 85% of participants. No participants met criteria for partial adaptation to night work after three or four consecutive night shifts. Our findings provide evidence that the phase resetting that does occur is based on individual light exposure patterns relative to an individual's baseline circadian phase. Thus, a 'one size fits all' approach to promoting adaptation to shift work using light therapy, implemented without knowledge of circadian phase, may not be efficacious for all individuals.
Does pelvic floor muscle maximum voluntary contraction improve after vaginal pelvic organ prolapse surgery? A prospective study
AIMS: to assess pelvic floor muscle maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) before and after surgical treatment for pelvic organ prolapse (POP). METHODS: This was a prospective observational study with women scheduled for surgical correction of POP. Assessments occurred 15 days before and 40 days after surgery. The primary outcome was pelvic floor muscle (PFM) MVC measured using the manometer Peritron™. The average strength of PFM contraction was also measured. Secondary outcomes were assessed using the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification (POP-Q) score. The Student paired t-test was used for quantitative data. For the pre and postsurgery comparisons of PFM strength in relation to POP-Q value we used the nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis test for dependent variables. The level of significance adopted was P < 0.05. RESULTS: Sixty-seven women were recruited, 65 (97%) completed the study. The mean age of participants was 62 ± 10.2. There was no difference (1.9 cm H2 O ± 12.9; P = 0.22) between MVC before (27.1 cm H2 O ± 17.0) and after surgery (29 cm H2 O ± 17.8). The average contraction was higher after surgery (2.3 cmH2 O ± 8.6; P = 0.03). The higher the severity of pre and postsurgery POP, the worse the MVC. CONCLUSION: There was no difference in MVC pre and postsurgery, however we found an improvement in PFM average contraction strength postsurgery.
Patient education improves pain and function in people with knee osteoarthritis with better effects when combined with exercise therapy: a systematic review
(AUSTRALIAN PHYSIOTHERAPY ASSOC, 2021-07-01)
QUESTION: Is patient education effective as a standalone intervention or combined with other interventions for people with knee osteoarthritis? DESIGN: Systematic review of randomised controlled trials. MEDLINE, EMBASE, SPORTDiscus, CINAHL and Web of Science were searched from inception to April 2020. The Cochrane Risk of Bias tool was used for included studies, and Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) was used to interpret certainty of results. PARTICIPANTS: People with knee osteoarthritis. INTERVENTION: Any patient education intervention compared with any non-pharmacological comparator. OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcomes were self-reported pain and function. RESULTS: Twenty-nine trials involving 4,107 participants were included, informing low to very-low certainty evidence. Nineteen of 28 (68%) pooled comparisons were not statistically significant. Patient education was superior to usual care for pain (SMD -0.35, 95% CI -0.56 to -0.14) and function in the short term (-0.31, 95% CI -0.62 to 0.00), but inferior to exercise therapy for pain in the short term (0.77, 95% CI 0.07 to 1.47). Combining patient education with exercise therapy produced superior outcomes compared with patient education alone for pain in the short term (0.44, 95% CI 0.19 to 0.69) and function in the short (0.81, 95% CI 0.54 to 1.08) and medium term (0.39, 95% CI 0.15 to 0.62). When using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index for these comparisons, clinically important differences indicated that patient education was inferior to exercise therapy for pain in the short term (MD 1.56, 95% CI 0.14 to 2.98) and the combination of patient education and exercise therapy for function in the short term (8.94, 95% CI 6.05 to 11.82). CONCLUSION: Although patient education produced statistically superior short-term pain and function outcomes compared with usual care, differences were small and may not be clinically important. Patient education should not be provided as a standalone treatment and should be combined with exercise therapy to provide statistically superior and clinically important short-term improvements in function compared with education alone. REGISTRATION: PROSPERO CRD42019122004.
Digital Health Interventions in Physiotherapy: Development of Client and Health Care Provider Survey Instruments
(JMIR PUBLICATIONS, INC, 2021-07-01)
BACKGROUND: The advancement of digital health has widened the scope of technology use across multiple frontiers of health care services, including personalized therapeutics, mobile health, eHealth record management, and telehealth consultations. The World Health Organization (WHO) responded to this in 2018 by publishing an inaugural broad classification framework of digital health interventions (DHIs) used to address contemporary health system needs. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to describe the systematic development of dual survey instruments (clinician and patient) to support data collection, administered in a physiotherapy setting, about perceptions toward DHIs. This is achieved by adapting the WHO framework classification for DHIs for application in real-world research. METHODS: Using a qualitative item review approach, WHO DHI descriptors were adapted and refined systematically to be used in a survey form. This approach was designed to align with the processes of delivering and receiving care in clinical practice, using musculoskeletal physiotherapy as a practical case scenario. RESULTS: Complementary survey instruments (for health care providers and clients) were developed by adapting descriptor items. These instruments will be used in a larger study exploring the willingness of physiotherapists and patients to use digital technologies in the management of musculoskeletal conditions. CONCLUSIONS: This study builds on the WHO-standardized DHI framework. We developed dual novel survey instruments by adapting and refining the functions of DHIs. These may be deployed to explore the perceived usefulness and application of DHIs for different clinical care functions. Researchers may wish to use these survey instruments to examine digital health use systematically in a variety of clinical fields or technology scenarios in a way that is standardized and generalizable.
Group-based pelvic floor muscle training for all women during pregnancy is more cost-effective than postnatal training for women with urinary incontinence: cost-effectiveness analysis of a systematic review.
(Elsevier BV, 2021-04)
QUESTION: What is the most cost-effective way of providing pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) to prevent or treat postpartum incontinence? DESIGN: Meta-analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis of models of care included in a recent Cochrane systematic review. PARTICIPANTS: Pregnant and postnatal women. INTERVENTION: Supervised PFMT for preventing or treating urinary and/or faecal incontinence. OUTCOME MEASURES: Postpartum urinary or faecal incontinence. ANALYSIS: We examined the comparative incremental cost effectiveness of different approaches to successfully prevent or cure one case of incontinence. Costs were valued in Australian dollars using publicly available market rates and enterprise agreements as of 2019. Comparisons involving group-based treatment approaches were subject to sensitivity analyses where the numbers of patients attending each group were varied to identify thresholds where recommendations change. RESULTS: Seventeen trials were included for meta-analysis. Three models of care were clinically effective: individually supervised PFMT during pregnancy to prevent urinary incontinence (Model 1), group-based PFMT during pregnancy to prevent or treat urinary incontinence (Model 2) and individually supervised postnatal PFMT to treat urinary incontinence and prevent or treat faecal incontinence (Model 3). The health service costs per urinary incontinence case prevented or cured were $768 for Model 1, and $1,970 for Model 3. However, Model 2 generated a cost saving of $14 if there were eight participants per session, with greater savings if more participants attend. The health service cost per faecal incontinence case prevented or cured was $2,784 (Model 3). CONCLUSION: Providing group-based PFMT for all women during pregnancy is likely more efficient than individual PFMT for incontinent women postnatally; however, providing PFMT for postnatal women with urinary incontinence should not be discounted because of the added known benefit for preventing and treating faecal incontinence.
Barriers and enablers to providing community-based occupational therapy to people with functional neurological disorder: An interview study with occupational therapists in the United Kingdom
(SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2021-05-27)
Introduction Occupational therapists have an integral role in the treatment of people with functional neurological disorder, yet there is evidence of variable implementation of occupational therapy in community settings. This study explored the barriers and enablers to delivering community-based occupational therapy to people with functional neurological disorder in the United Kingdom. Methods Community-based neurological occupational therapists ( n = 10) with experience in functional neurological disorder were invited to complete semi-structured qualitative interviews. The interview schedule and analysis were based on the Theoretical Domains Framework, a behavioural science tool for investigating barriers and enablers to clinical practice. Data were analysed using a combined content and framework analysis approach. Findings Important barriers to treatment included limited published information to guide practice, lack of professional role clarity and restricted multidisciplinary team working. Enablers included occupational therapists’ dual training in physical and mental health and focus on activity engagement. Service provision, quality and access varied across geographical locations. Conclusion Occupational therapists are uniquely placed to help people with functional neurological disorder; however, findings suggest that existing community service structures in many regions in the United Kingdom are inadequate and limit the quality of treatment that can be provided. Additional resources are required to support occupational therapy service provision in community settings.
Prediction of shiftworker alertness, sleep, and circadian phase using a model of arousal dynamics constrained by shift schedules and light exposure.
(Oxford University Press (OUP), 2021-11-12)
STUDY OBJECTIVES: The study aimed to, for the first time, (1) compare sleep, circadian phase, and alertness of intensive care unit (ICU) nurses working rotating shifts with those predicted by a model of arousal dynamics; and (2) investigate how different environmental constraints affect predictions and agreement with data. METHODS: The model was used to simulate individual sleep-wake cycles, urinary 6-sulphatoxymelatonin (aMT6s) profiles, subjective sleepiness on the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS), and performance on a Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT) of 21 ICU nurses working day, evening, and night shifts. Combinations of individual shift schedules, forced wake time before/after work and lighting, were used as inputs to the model. Predictions were compared to empirical data. Simulations with self-reported sleep as an input were performed for comparison. RESULTS: All input constraints produced similar prediction for KSS, with 56%-60% of KSS scores predicted within ±1 on a day and 48%-52% on a night shift. Accurate prediction of an individual's circadian phase required individualized light input. Combinations including light information predicted aMT6s acrophase within ±1 h of the study data for 65% and 35%-47% of nurses on diurnal and nocturnal schedules. Minute-by-minute sleep-wake state overlap between the model and the data was between 81 ± 6% and 87 ± 5% depending on choice of input constraint. CONCLUSIONS: The use of individualized environmental constraints in the model of arousal dynamics allowed for accurate prediction of alertness, circadian phase, and sleep for more than half of the nurses. Individual differences in physiological parameters will need to be accounted for in the future to further improve predictions.
Stakeholder Perspectives of Attributes and Features of Context Relevant to Knowledge Translation in Health Settings: A Multi-Country Analysis
(KERMAN UNIV MEDICAL SCIENCES, 2021-05-01)
BACKGROUND: Context is recognized as important to successful knowledge translation (KT) in health settings. What is meant by context, however, is poorly understood. The purpose of the current study was to elicit tacit knowledge about what is perceived to constitute context by conducting interviews with a variety of health system stakeholders internationally so as to compile a comprehensive list of contextual attributes and their features relevant to KT in healthcare. METHODS: A descriptive qualitative study design was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with health system stakeholders (change agents/KT specialists and KT researchers) in four countries: Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Interview transcripts were analyzed using inductive thematic content analysis in four steps: (1) selection of utterances describing context, (2) coding of features of context, (3) categorizing of features into attributes of context, (4) comparison of attributes and features by: country, KT experience, and role. RESULTS: A total of 39 interviews were conducted. We identified 66 unique features of context, categorized into 16 attributes. One attribute, Facility Characteristics, was not represented in previously published KT frameworks. We found instances of all 16 attributes in the interviews irrespective of country, level of experience with KT, and primary role (change agent/KT specialist vs. KT researcher), revealing robustness and transferability of the attributes identified. We also identified 30 new context features (across 13 of the 16 attributes). CONCLUSION: The findings from this study represent an important advancement in the KT field; we provide much needed conceptual clarity in context, which is essential to the development of common assessment tools to measure context to determine which context attributes and features are more or less important in different contexts for improving KT success.
Identifying ways to maximise cervical screening uptake: a qualitative study of GPs' and practice nurses' cervical cancer screening-related behaviours.
(F1000 Research Ltd, 2021)
Background: Cervical screening uptake is declining in several countries. Primary care practitioners could play a greater role in maximising uptake, but better understanding is needed of practitioners' cervical screening-related behaviours. Among general practitioners (GPs) and practice nurses, we aimed to identify cervical screening-related clinical behaviours; clarify practitioners' roles/responsibilities; and determine factors likely to influence clinical behaviours. Methods: Telephone interviews were conducted with GPs and practice nurses in Ireland. Interview transcripts were analysed using the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF), a comprehensive psychological framework of factors influencing clinical behaviour. Results: 14 GPs and 19 practice nurses participated. Key clinical behaviours identified were offering smears and encouraging women to attend for smears. Smeartaking responsibility was considered a predominantly female role. Of 12 possible theoretical domains, 11 were identified in relation to these behaviours. Those judged to be the most important were beliefs about capabilities; environmental context and resources; social influences; and behavioural regulation. Difficulties in obtaining smears from certain subgroups of women and inexperience of some GPs in smeartaking arose in relation to beliefs about capabilities. The need for public health education and reluctance of male practitioners to discuss cervical screening with female patients emerged in relation to social influences. Conclusions: We identified - for the first time - primary care practitioners' cervical-screening related clinical behaviours, their perceived roles and responsibilities, and factors likely to influence behaviours. The results could inform initiatives to enable practitioners to encourage women to have smear tests which in turn, may help increase cervical screening uptake.
Preoperative Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test Associated with Postoperative Outcomes in Patients Undergoing Cancer Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses
BACKGROUNDS: There is mixed evidence on the value of preoperative cardiorespiratory exercise test (CPET) to predict postoperative outcomes in patients undergoing a cancer surgical procedure. The purpose of this review was to investigate the association between preoperative CPET variables and postoperative complications, length of hospital stay, and quality of life in patients undergoing cancer surgery. METHODS: A search was conducted on MEDLINE, Embase, AMED, and Web of science from inception to April 2020. Cohort studies investigating the association between preoperative CPET variables, including peak oxygen uptake (peak VO2), anaerobic threshold (AT), or ventilatory equivalent for carbon dioxide (VE/VCO2), and postoperative outcomes (complications, length of stay, and quality of life) were included. Risk of bias was assessed using the QUIPS tool. A random-effect model meta-analysis was performed whenever possible. RESULTS: Fifty-two unique studies, including 10,030 patients were included. Overall, most studies were rated as having low risk of bias. Higher preoperative peak VO2 was associated with absence of postoperative complications (mean difference [MD]: 2.28; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.26-3.29) and no pulmonary complication (MD: 1.47; 95% CI: 0.49-2.45). Preoperative AT and VE/VCO2 also demonstrated some positive trends. None of the included studies reported a negative trend. CONCLUSIONS: This systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrated a significant association between superior preoperative CPET values, especially peak VO2, and better postoperative outcomes. The assessment of preoperative functional capacity in patients undergoing cancer surgery has the potential to facilitate treatment decision making.
A Deep Learning Model to Automate Skeletal Muscle Area Measurement on Computed Tomography Images
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2021-05-07)
Background: Muscle wasting (Sarcopenia) is associated with poor outcomes in cancer patients. Early identification of sarcopenia can facilitate nutritional and exercise intervention. Cross-sectional skeletal muscle (SM) area at the third lumbar vertebra (L3) slice of a computed tomography (CT) image is increasingly used to assess body composition and calculate SM index (SMI), a validated surrogate marker for sarcopenia in cancer. Manual segmentation of SM requires multiple steps, which limits use in routine clinical practice. This project aims to develop an automatic method to segment L3 muscle in CT scans. Methods: Attenuation correction CTs from full body PET-CT scans from patients enrolled in two prospective trials were used. The training set consisted of 66 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who underwent curative intent radiotherapy. An additional 42 NSCLC patients prescribed curative intent chemo-radiotherapy from a second trial were used for testing. Each patient had multiple CT scans taken at different time points prior to and post- treatment (147 CTs in the training and validation set and 116 CTs in the independent testing set). Skeletal muscle at L3 vertebra was manually segmented by two observers, according to the Alberta protocol to serve as ground truth labels. This included 40 images segmented by both observers to measure inter-observer variation. An ensemble of 2.5D fully convolutional neural networks (U-Nets) was used to perform the segmentation. The final layer of U-Net produced the binary classification of the pixels into muscle and non-muscle area. The model performance was calculated using Dice score and absolute percentage error (APE) in skeletal muscle area between manual and automated contours. Results: We trained five 2.5D U-Nets using 5-fold cross validation and used them to predict the contours in the testing set. The model achieved a mean Dice score of 0.92 and an APE of 3.1% on the independent testing set. This was similar to inter-observer variation of 0.96 and 2.9% for mean Dice and APE respectively. We further quantified the performance of sarcopenia classification using computer generated skeletal muscle area. To meet a clinical diagnosis of sarcopenia based on Alberta protocol the model achieved a sensitivity of 84% and a specificity of 95%. Conclusions: This work demonstrates an automated method for accurate and reproducible segmentation of skeletal muscle area at L3. This is an efficient tool for large scale or routine computation of skeletal muscle area in cancer patients which may have applications on low quality CTs acquired as part of PET/CT studies for staging and surveillance of patients with cancer.
Implementing a telehealth prehabilitation education session for patients preparing for major cancer surgery
BACKGROUND: Prehabilitation services assist patients in preparing for surgery, yet access to these services are often limited by geographical factors. Enabling rural and regional patients to access specialist surgical prehabilitation support with the use of telehealth technology has the potential to overcome health inequities and improve post-operative outcomes. AIM: To evaluate the current and likely future impact of a telehealth preoperative education package for patients preparing for major abdominal cancer surgery. METHODS: A telehealth alternative to a hospital based pre-operative education session was developed and implemented at a dedicated cancer hospital. Adult patients (≥18 years) scheduled for elective major cancer surgery were offered this telehealth alternative. Impact evaluation was conducted using the RE-AIM framework. RESULTS: To date, 35 participants have consented to participate in the study. Thirty-one participants attended the intervention; 24 (69%) residing in rural or regional areas. Twenty-four (77%) reported that if given a choice they would prefer the online session as opposed to attending the hospital in person. The majority (97%) reported they would recommend the intervention to others preparing for surgery. Session information was recalled by all 26 participants and 77% of participants reported acting on recommendations 2 weeks after the session. Lessons learnt and recommendations for providers implementing similar programs are reported. CONCLUSION: Telehealth alternatives to hospital based pre-operative education are well received by patients preparing for major cancer surgery. We make seven recommendations to improve implementation. Further evaluation of implementation strategies alongside clinical effectiveness in future studies is essential. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ACTRN12620000096954 , 04/02/2020.
Efficacy of Prehabilitation Including Exercise on Postoperative Outcomes Following Abdominal Cancer Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2021-03-19)
Objectives: This systematic review set out to identify, evaluate and synthesise the evidence examining the effect of prehabilitation including exercise on postoperative outcomes following abdominal cancer surgery. Methods: Five electronic databases (MEDLINE 1946-2020, EMBASE 1947-2020, CINAHL 1937-2020, PEDro 1999-2020, and Cochrane Central Registry of Controlled Trials 1991-2020) were systematically searched (until August 2020) for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that investigated the effects of prehabilitation interventions in patients undergoing abdominal cancer surgery. This review included any form of prehabilitation either unimodal or multimodal that included whole body and/or respiratory exercises as a stand-alone intervention or in addition to other prehabilitation interventions (such as nutrition and psychology) compared to standard care. Results: Twenty-two studies were included in the systematic review and 21 studies in the meta-analysis. There was moderate quality of evidence that multimodal prehabilitation improves pre-operative functional capacity as measured by 6 min walk distance (Mean difference [MD] 33.09 metres, 95% CI 17.69-48.50; p = <0.01) but improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness such as preoperative oxygen consumption at peak exercise (VO2 peak; MD 1.74 mL/kg/min, 95% CI -0.03-3.50; p = 0.05) and anaerobic threshold (AT; MD 1.21 mL/kg/min, 95% CI -0.34-2.76; p = 0.13) were not significant. A reduction in hospital length of stay (MD 3.68 days, 95% CI 0.92-6.44; p = 0.009) was observed but no effect was observed for postoperative complications (Odds Ratio [OR] 0.81, 95% CI 0.55-1.18; p = 0.27), pulmonary complications (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.28-1.01; p = 0.05), hospital re-admission (OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.61-1.90; p = 0.81) or postoperative mortality (OR 0.95, 95% CI 0.43-2.09, p = 0.90). Conclusion: Multimodal prehabilitation improves preoperative functional capacity with reduction in hospital length of stay. This supports the need for ongoing research on innovative cost-effective prehabilitation approaches, research within large multicentre studies to verify this effect and to explore implementation strategies within clinical practise.
Barriers and facilitators of evidence-based management of patients with bacterial infections among general dental practitioners: a theory-informed interview study
BACKGROUND: General dental practitioners (GDPs) regularly prescribe antibiotics to manage dental infections although most infections can be treated successfully by local measures. Published guidance to support GDPs to make appropriate prescribing decisions exists but there continues to be wide variation in dental antibiotic prescribing. An interview study was conducted as part of the Reducing Antibiotic Prescribing in Dentistry (RAPiD) trial to understand the barriers and facilitators of using local measures instead of prescribing antibiotics to manage bacterial infections. METHODS: Thirty semi-structured one-to-one telephone interviews were conducted using the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF). Responses were coded into domains of the TDF and sub-themes. Priority domains (high frequency: ≥50 % interviewees discussed) relevant to behaviour change were identified as targets for future intervention efforts and mapped onto 'intervention functions' of the Behaviour Change Wheel system. RESULTS: Five domains (behavioural regulation, social influences, reinforcement, environmental context and resources, and beliefs about consequences) with seven sub-themes were identified as targets for future intervention. All participants had knowledge about the evidence-based management of bacterial infections, but they reported difficulties in following this due to patient factors and time management. Lack of time was found to significantly influence their decision processes with regard to performing local measures. Beliefs about their capabilities to overcome patient influence, beliefs that performing local measures would impact on subsequent appointment times as well as there being no incentives for performing local measures were also featured. Though no knowledge or basic skills issues were identified, the participants suggested some continuous professional development programmes (e.g. time management, an overview of published guidance) to address some of the barriers. The domain results suggest a number of intervention functions through which future interventions could change GDPs' antibiotic prescribing for bacterial infections: imparting skills through training, providing an example for GDPs to imitate (i.e. modelling) or creating the expectation of a reward (i.e. incentivisation). CONCLUSIONS: This is the first theoretically informed study to identify barriers and facilitators of evidence-based management of patients with bacterial infections among GDPs. A pragmatic approach is needed to address the modifiable barriers in future interventions intended to change dentists' inappropriate prescribing behaviour.
Prevalence and impact of bladder and bowel disorders in women with breast cancer: A systematic review with meta-analysis.
BACKGROUND: One of the consequences of breast cancer treatments may be the onset of new, or aggravation of preexisting bladder and bowel disorders. However, the presence and impact of these disorders in women with breast cancer are poorly documented. The aim of this systematic review was to assess the prevalence, incidence and impact of bladder and bowel disorders in women undergoing breast cancer treatment. METHODS: A systematic search of six databases was conducted. Pooled prevalence rates and impact of bladder and bowel disorders were calculated using random-effects models. RESULTS: A total of 32 studies met the inclusion criteria, and 17 studies were included in the meta-analyses. The pooled estimate of women who experienced bladder disorders following sensitivity analysis, which removed one study reporting a result that deviated from the pooled estimate, was 38% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 32%-44%; I2 = 98%; n = 4584). The impact of bladder and bowel disorders on women's daily lives was relatively low (bladder [scale: 0-4]: mean: 0.8; 95% CI: 0.4-1.1; I2 = 99%; n = 4908; bowel [scale: 0-100]: mean 14.2; 95% CI: 9.4-19; I2 = 95%; n = 1024). CONCLUSION: This is the first study to comprehensively document the magnitude of bladder and bowel disorders in the breast cancer population. This meta-analysis found that women with breast cancer had a higher prevalence of urinary incontinence (38%) compared to women without breast cancer (21%). Given the extent and impact of our findings, screening and management of bladder and bowel disorders may be indicated in women with breast cancer to improve their health-related quality of life.
A Blue-Enriched, Increased Intensity Light Intervention to Improve Alertness and Performance in Rotating Night Shift Workers in an Operational Setting
(DOVE MEDICAL PRESS LTD, 2021-01-01)
Purpose: This study examined the efficacy of a lighting intervention that increased both light intensity and short-wavelength (blue) light content to improve alertness, performance and mood in night shift workers in a chemical plant. Patients and Methods: During rostered night shifts, 28 workers (46.0±10.8 years; 27 male) were exposed to two light conditions each for two consecutive nights (~19:00-07:00 h) in a counterbalanced repeated measures design: traditional-spectrum lighting set at pre-study levels (43 lux, 4000 K) versus higher intensity, blue-enriched lighting (106 lux, 17,000 K), equating to a 4.5-fold increase in melanopic illuminance (24 to 108 melanopic illuminance). Participants completed the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale, subjective mood ratings, and the Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT) every 2-4 hours during the night shift. Results: A significant main effect of time indicated KSS, PVT mean reaction time, number of PVT lapses (reaction times > 500 ms) and subjective tension, misery and depression worsened over the course of the night shift (p<0.05). Percentage changes in KSS (p<0.05, partial η2=0.14) and PVT mean reaction time (p<0.05, partial η2=0.19) and lapses (p<0.05, partial η2=0.17) in the middle and end of night shift, expressed relative to start of shift, were significantly improved during the lighting intervention compared to the traditional lighting condition. Self-reported mood did not significantly differ between conditions (p>0.05). Conclusion: Our findings, showing improvements in alertness and performance with exposure to blue-enriched, increased intensity light, provide support for light to be used as a countermeasure for impaired alertness in night shift work settings.
Light-based methods for predicting circadian phase in delayed sleep-wake phase disorder
(NATURE RESEARCH, 2021-05-25)
Methods for predicting circadian phase have been developed for healthy individuals. It is unknown whether these methods generalize to clinical populations, such as delayed sleep-wake phase disorder (DSWPD), where circadian timing is associated with functional outcomes. This study evaluated two methods for predicting dim light melatonin onset (DLMO) in 154 DSWPD patients using ~ 7 days of sleep-wake and light data: a dynamic model and a statistical model. The dynamic model has been validated in healthy individuals under both laboratory and field conditions. The statistical model was developed for this dataset and used a multiple linear regression of light exposure during phase delay/advance portions of the phase response curve, as well as sleep timing and demographic variables. Both models performed comparably well in predicting DLMO. The dynamic model predicted DLMO with root mean square error of 68 min, with predictions accurate to within ± 1 h in 58% of participants and ± 2 h in 95%. The statistical model predicted DLMO with root mean square error of 57 min, with predictions accurate to within ± 1 h in 75% of participants and ± 2 h in 96%. We conclude that circadian phase prediction from light data is a viable technique for improving screening, diagnosis, and treatment of DSWPD.
Geriatric Rehabilitation Inpatients Roam at Home! A Matched Cohort Study of Objectively Measured Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in Home-Based and Hospital-Based Settings
(ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2021-12-01)
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to describe objectively measured physical activity and sedentary behavior in geriatric rehabilitation patients receiving care in the home-based compared to the hospital-based setting. DESIGN: Observational matched cohort study. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Home-based (patient's home) or hospital-based (ward) geriatric rehabilitation was delivered to inpatients within the REStORing health of acutely unwell adulTs (RESORT) observational, longitudinal cohort of the Royal Melbourne Hospital (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia). METHODS: Patients were asked to wear ActivPAL4 accelerometers for 1 week and were assessed by a comprehensive geriatric assessment at admission, discharge, and followed up after 3 months. Hospital-based patients were matched to home-based patients for sex and baseline physical function [Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), activities (instrumental) of daily living, and Clinical Frailty Scale]. Differences in patient characteristics and physical activity (total, standing and walking durations, number of steps and sit-to stand transitions) and sedentary behavior (total, sitting and lying durations) were assessed. RESULTS: A total of 159 patients were included: 18 home-based [mean age: 81.9 ± 8.6 years, 38.9% female, median (interquartile range [IQR]) SPPB: 7.0 (5.0-9.0)] and 141 hospital-based [mean age: 82.9 ± 7.8 years, 57.4% female, median (IQR) SPPB: 1.0 (0.0-4.0)] patients, of whom 18 were matched [mean age: 80.1 ± 7.4 years, 38.9% female, median (IQR) SPPB: 6.5 (4.8-10.0)]. Median physical activity measures were consistently higher in home-based patients compared to the total group of hospital-based patients. After matching, physical activity measures remained >2.4 times higher and were significantly different for all measures (total physical activity, standing and walking durations, and steps) except for sit-to-stand transitions. Sedentary behaviors were similar with home-based patients spending non-significantly more time sitting but significantly less time lying than hospital-based patients (matched and total). CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Home-based inpatients are more physically active than hospital-based inpatients independent of matching for sex and baseline physical function, which supports home-based geriatric rehabilitation.
Implementing a psychosocial intervention DIALOG+ for patients with psychotic disorders in low and middle income countries in South Eastern Europe: protocol for a hybrid effectiveness-implementation cluster randomized clinical trial (IMPULSE)
(Walter de Gruyter GmbH, 2020-05-01)
Abstract Objectives Psychotic disorders have large treatment gap in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in South-Eastern Europe, where up to 45% of affected people do not receive care for their condition. This study will assess the implementation of a generic psychosocial intervention called DIALOG+ in mental health care services and its effectiveness at improving patients’ clinical and social outcomes. Methods This is a protocol for a multi-country, pragmatic, hybrid effectiveness–implementation, cluster-randomised, clinical trial. The trial aims to recruit 80 clinicians and 400 patients across 5 South-Eastern European LMICs: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Republic of North Macedonia and Serbia. Clusters are clinicians working with patients with psychosis, and each clinician will deliver the intervention to five patients. After patient baseline assessments, clinicians will be randomly assigned to either the DIALOG+ intervention or treatment as usual, with an allocation ratio of 1:1. The intervention will be delivered six times over 12 months during routine clinical meetings. TThe primary outcome measure is the quality of life at 12 months [Manchester Short Assessment of Quality of Life (MANSA)]; the secondary outcomes include mental health symptoms [Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), Clinical Assessment Interview for Negative Symptoms (CAINS), Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI)], satisfaction with services [Client Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ-8)] and economic costs at 12 months [based on Client Service Receipt Inventory (CSRI), EQ-5D-5L and Recovering Quality of Life (ReQOL-10)]. The study will assess the intervention fidelity and the experience of clinicians and patients’ about implementing DIALOG+ in real-life mental health care settings. In the health economic assessment, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio is calculated with effectiveness measured by quality-adjusted life year. Data will also be collected on sustainability and reach to inform guidelines for potentially scaling up and implementing the intervention widely. Conclusion: The study is expected to generate new scientific knowledge on the treatment of people with psychosis in health care systems with limited resources. The learning from LMICs could potentially help other countries to expand the access to care and alleviate the suffering of patients with psychosis and their families. Trial registration: ISRCTN 11913964
Urinary and anal incontinence among female gymnasts and cheerleaders-bother and associated factors. A cross-sectional study
(SPRINGER LONDON LTD, 2021-02-13)
INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: Artistic gymnastics, team gymnastics and cheerleading are sports including high-impact activities. It is presumed that the athletes' pelvic floor must be functioning well to prevent urinary (UI) and anal incontinence (AI) during sports. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and risk factors for UI and AI in female artistic gymnasts, team gymnasts and cheerleaders; the influence of UI and AI on daily living and sport performance; and the athletes' knowledge about the pelvic floor muscles (PFM). METHODS: All female athletes ≥ 12 years of age competing in ≥ 1 National Championship in artistic gymnastics, team gymnastics or cheerleading in 2018/2019 were invited. International Consensus on Incontinence Questionnaires were used to assess the prevalence/bother of UI and AI. RESULTS: Among the 319 gymnasts and cheerleaders who participated, the prevalence of UI and AI was 67% and 84%, respectively. Age, training ≥ 4 days/week and straining to void were significantly associated with stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and years of training with AI. Eighty-three percent of athletes with SUI reported a negative effect on sports performance, 22% would occasionally avoid training or specific exercises because of leakage, and 28% used pads for protection. Forty-one percent of the athletes had never heard about the PFM, and 74% reported an interest in PFM training to prevent/treat UI or AI. CONCLUSIONS: UI and AI were prevalent in female gymnasts and cheerleaders, and SUI negatively influenced sport performance. The athletes' knowledge about the PFM was limited.
Description and Effectiveness of Communication Partner Training in TBI: A Systematic Review
(LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 2021-01-01)
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the current evidence on communication partner training and its effectiveness on outcomes for people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and/or their communication partners. METHODS: Information sources: Systematic searches of 9 databases (AMED, CINAHL, EMBASE, Medline/EBSCOHOST, PsycINFO, PsycBITE, PsycARTICLES, PubMed, and Scopus) from database inception to February 2019. Eligibility criteria: Empirical studies on interventions for adult communication partners where the primary focus of the program (>50%) was on improving communication skills of people with TBI and/or communication partners. Data: Participants, characteristics of the training, outcome measures, and findings. Risk of bias: Standard checklists were used for methodological quality (PEDro, ROBiN-T) and intervention description (TIDieR). Synthesis: Narrative synthesis and effect sizes (Cohen's d) for group-level studies. OUTCOMES: Ten articles (describing 8 studies) met eligibility criteria: 3 randomized controlled trials, 2 nonrandomized controlled trials, and 3 single-case experimental designs. Studies included a total of 258 people with TBI and 328 communication partners; however, all but one study had fewer than 65 participants. Methodological quality varied and intervention description was poor. Three studies in the final synthesis (n = 41 communication partners, n = 36 people with TBI) reported positive intervention effects. Effect sizes in group studies were d = 0.80 to 1.13 for TBI and d = 1.16 to 2.09 for communication partners. CONCLUSIONS: The articles provided encouraging, though limited, evidence for training communication partners. Greater methodological rigor, more clearly described interventions, and consistent use of outcome measures and follow-up after treatment are needed. Further research on this topic is warranted.
Feasibility of establishing a rehabilitation programme in a Vietnamese intensive care unit
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2021-03-03)
Increasing numbers of people are surviving critical illness throughout the world, but survivorship is associated with long-term disability. In high-income settings physical rehabilitation is commonly employed to counter this and improve outcomes. These utilize highly-trained multidisciplinary teams and are unavailable and unaffordable in most low and middle income countries (LMICs). We aimed to design a sustainable intensive care unit (ICU) rehabilitation program and to evaluate its feasibility in a LMIC setting. In this project patients, care-givers and experts co-designed an innovative rehabilitation programme that can be delivered by non-expert ICU staff and family care-givers in a LMIC. We implemented this programme in adult patient with patients with tetanus at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Ho Chi Minh City over a 5-month period, evaluating the programme's acceptability, enablers and barriers. A 6-phase programme was designed, supported by written and video material. The programme was piloted in total of 30 patients. Rehabilitation was commenced a median 14 (inter quartile range (IQR) 10-18) days after admission. Each patient received a median of 25.5 (IQR 22.8-34.8) rehabilitation sessions out of a median 27 (22.8-35) intended (prescribed) sessions. There were no associated adverse events. Patients and staff found rehabilitation to be beneficial, enhanced relationships between carers, patients and staff and was deemed to be a positive step towards recovery and return to work. The main barrier was staff time. The programme was feasible for patients with tetanus and viewed positively by staff and participants. Staff time was identified as the major barrier to ongoing implementation.
Changing behaviour, 'more or less': do implementation and de-implementation interventions include different behaviour change techniques?
BACKGROUND: Decreasing ineffective or harmful healthcare practices (de-implementation) may require different approaches than those used to promote uptake of effective practices (implementation). Few psychological theories differentiate between processes involved in decreasing, versus increasing, behaviour. However, it is unknown whether implementation and de-implementation interventions already use different approaches. We used the behaviour change technique (BCT) taxonomy (version 1) (which includes 93 BCTs organised into 12 groupings) to investigate whether implementation and de-implementation interventions for clinician behaviour change use different BCTs. METHODS: Intervention descriptions in 181 articles from three systematic reviews in the Cochrane Library were coded for (a) implementation versus de-implementation and (b) intervention content (BCTs) using the BCT taxonomy (v1). BCT frequencies were calculated and compared using Pearson's chi-squared (χ2), Yates' continuity correction and Fisher's exact test, where appropriate. Identified BCTs were ranked according to frequency and rankings for de-implementation versus implementation interventions were compared and described. RESULTS: Twenty-nine and 25 BCTs were identified in implementation and de-implementation interventions respectively. Feedback on behaviour was identified more frequently in implementation than de-implementation (Χ2(2, n=178) = 15.693, p = .000057). Three BCTs were identified more frequently in de-implementation than implementation: Behaviour substitution (Χ2(2, n=178) = 14.561, p = .0001; Yates' continuity correction); Monitoring of behaviour by others without feedback (Χ2(2, n=178) = 16.187, p = .000057; Yates' continuity correction); and Restructuring social environment (p = .000273; Fisher's 2-sided exact test). CONCLUSIONS: There were some significant differences between BCTs reported in implementation and de-implementation interventions suggesting that researchers may have implicit theories about different BCTs required for de-implementation and implementation. These findings do not imply that the BCTs identified as targeting implementation or de-implementation are effective, rather simply that they were more frequently used. These findings require replication for a wider range of clinical behaviours. The continued accumulation of additional knowledge and evidence into whether implementation and de-implementation is different will serve to better inform researchers and, subsequently, improve methods for intervention design.
Repeated analyses of national clinical audit reports demonstrate improvements in feedback methods.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-11-25)
BACKGROUND: There is growing interest in the impact of national clinical audit programmes on the quality of healthcare. There is also an evolving evidence-base for enhancing the design and delivery of audit and feedback. We assessed the extent to which a sample of UK national clinical audit feedback reports met a set of good practice criteria over three time points. METHODS: We undertook three cross-sectional content analyses. We developed good practice criteria for the content and delivery of feedback based upon evidence, behavioural theory and expert opinion. We applied these to a feedback reports from 23 national audits listed on the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) website in November 2015. We repeated our assessments in January 2017 for 20 repeat feedback reports, after HQIP had published reporting guidance for national audits, and in August 2019 for a further 14 repeat feedback reports. We verified our assessments, where possible, with audit leads. RESULTS: Feedback reports consistently included strengths at baseline, including past or planned repeated audit cycles (21; 91%), stating the importance of the topic in relation to patient care (22; 93%), using multi-modal data presentation (23; 100%), and summarising key findings (23; 100%). We observed improvements over subsequent assessments, so that by 2019, at least 13 out of 14 (93%) feedback reports presented easily identifiable key findings and recommendations, linked recommendations to audit standards, and proposed easily identifiable action plans. Whilst the use of regional comparators did not improve, audit leads highlighted that programmes now provide local data via additional means. The main shortcoming was the time lag between data collection and feedback; none of the 14 reports assessed in 2019 presented performance data less than 6 months old. Audit leads highlighted that some of these data might be available via programme websites. CONCLUSION: We identified increased adherence to good practice in feedback by national clinical audit programmes that may enhance their impact on service delivery and outcomes. There is scope for improvement, especially in the recency of performance data. With further refinements, a criterion-based assessment offers an efficient means of monitoring the quality of national clinical audit feedback reports.
Exploring the Use of Two Brief Fatigue Screening Tools in Cancer Outpatient Clinics
(SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2021-01-01)
PURPOSE: Cancer fatigue guidelines recommend routine fatigue screening, with further assessment for people reporting moderate to severe fatigue. There is neither a gold-standard, nor a broadly accepted screening method, and knowledge about the impact of screening on care processes is limited. This study aimed to explore the feasibility of 2 fatigue screening methods and current clinical practice in cancer outpatient clinics. METHODS: Hospital outpatients attending cancer clinics during 1 week completed a five-item survey: a numeric scale for current tiredness, 2 categorical pictorial scales rating tiredness last week and the impact of fatigue (Fatigue Pictogram), screening tool preference and help needed for survey completion. Participant demographics and fatigue documentation by clinical staff for that appointment were extracted from medical records. Analyses used descriptive statistics. Groups were compared using appropriate statistical tests. RESULTS: Over 75% of participants rated their fatigue consistently as mild or significant on both screening tools. Of 1709 eligible outpatients, 533 (31%) completed the survey. Records were audited for 430 (81%) identifiable participants. Over half of the participants reported moderate or severe tiredness either "now" (237, 57%) and/or "last week" (226, 53%). Clinician documentation of fatigue seldom matched self-reports. Fatigue was rated as severe by 103 participants (24%), yet was noted in only 21 (20%) of these individuals' clinical notes. Both screening tools were equally preferred. CONCLUSION: The numeric rating scale and Fatigue Pictogram are equally applicable for screening fatigue in cancer outpatient care. There is a high prevalence of clinically significant fatigue in a hospital outpatient setting that is not documented. Adequate care pathways for further management should be established alongside fatigue screening.
Does prospective acceptability of an intervention influence refusal to participate in a randomised controlled trial? An interview study
(ELSEVIER INC, 2021-03-01)
Background: The generalizability of findings of Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) is undermined by low or biased recruitment. Reasons for participant refusal are infrequently reported in published literature. Aims: To apply the Theoretical Framework of Acceptability (TFA) to: (1) explore patient-reported reasons for declining to participate in a RCT comparing a new service model (patient-initiated appointments) with standard care (appointments scheduled by clinician) for managing blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm; (2) to explore associations between decliners' perceptions of acceptability and non-participation. Method: Eligible patients (n = 242) were approached to participate in the trial. Phase 1: decliners provided a brief reason for refusal. Reasons were analysed descriptively and reviewed against TFA constructs. Phase 2: Consecutive decliners participated in short semi-structured interviews, to explore their reasons for refusal in more depth. Interviews were transcribed and analysed, with the TFA as a coding framework. Results: Eighty-seven (36%) eligible patients refused trial participation; all provided a reason. From interviews with 15 decliners (17%), four key beliefs about acceptability were identified: happy with standard care (n = 41) (49%), anticipated burden of patient-initiated service, lack of confidence in ability to engage with new service and uncertainties about effectiveness of new service. Two themes reflected non-TFA factors: trial participation a low priority and burden of completing trial documentation. Conclusion: Reasons for refusal trial participation included: (a) reasons directly associated with intervention acceptability, and (b) reasons associated with trial participation more broadly. The TFA facilitated identification of problematic aspects of the new appointment booking system which could be addressed to enhance acceptability.
A non-randomised pilot study of the Solutions for Medication Adherence Problems (S-MAP) intervention in community pharmacies to support older adults adhere to multiple medications
BACKGROUND: Older patients prescribed multiple medications commonly experience difficulties with adherence. High-quality evidence on interventions targeting older patients is lacking. Theory is rarely used to tailor adherence solutions. This study aimed to pilot test a novel intervention, developed using the Theoretical Domains Framework, which guides community pharmacists in identifying adherence barriers and delivering tailored solutions (behaviour change techniques). Key study procedures (e.g. recruitment, data collection) for a future randomised controlled trial (cRCT) were also assessed. METHODS: Using purposive sampling, this non-randomised pilot study aimed to recruit 12 community pharmacies (six in Northern Ireland; six in London, England). Pharmacists were trained to deliver the intervention to non-adherent older patients (maximum 10 per pharmacy; target n = 60-120) aged ≥ 65 years (reduced to 50 years due to recruitment challenges) and prescribed ≥ 4 regular medicines. The intervention, guided by an iPad web-application, was delivered over 3-4 face-to-face or telephone sessions, tailored to specific barriers to adherence. We assessed the feasibility of collecting adherence data (primary outcome: self-report and dispensing records), health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and unplanned hospitalisations (secondary outcomes) at baseline and 6-months. The final decision on progressing to a cRCT, using pre-defined 'stop-amend-go' criteria, is presented. RESULTS: Fifteen pharmacists from 12 pharmacies were recruited and trained. One pharmacy subsequently dropped out. Sixty patients were recruited (meeting the 'Amend' progression criteria), with 56 receiving the intervention. Adherence barriers were identified for 55 patients (98%) and a wide range of behaviour change solutions delivered (median: 5 per patient). Self-report and dispensing adherence data were available for 37 (61.7%) and 44 (73.3%) patients, respectively. HRQOL data were available for 35 (58.3%) patients. GP-reported and self-reported hospitalisations data were available for 47 (78.3%) and 23 (38.3%) patients, respectively. All progression concepts were met (nine 'Go' and three 'Amend' criteria). CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates the feasibility of key study procedures (e.g. pharmacy recruitment) and delivery of a tailored adherence intervention in community pharmacies. However, modifications are required to enhance issues identified with patient recruitment, retention and missing data. A future definitive cRCT will explore the effectiveness of the intervention. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN, ISRCTN73831533 , Registered 12 January 2018.
Using the Technology Acceptance Model to Identify Factors That Predict Likelihood to Adopt Tele-Neurorehabilitation
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2020-12-02)
Tele-neurorehabilitation has the potential to reduce accessibility barriers and enhance patient outcomes through a more seamless continuum of care. A growing number of studies have found that tele-neurorehabilitation produces equivalent results to usual care for a variety of outcomes including activities of daily living and health related quality of life. Despite the potential of tele-neurorehabilitation, this model of care has failed to achieve mainstream adoption. Little is known about feasibility and acceptability of tele-neurorehabilitation and most published studies do not use a validated model to guide and evaluate implementation. The technology acceptance model (TAM) was developed 20 years ago and is one of the most widely used theoretical frameworks for predicting an individual's likelihood to adopt and use new technology. The TAM3 further built on the original model by incorporating additional elements from human decision making such as computer anxiety. In this perspective, we utilize the TAM3 to systematically map the findings from existing published studies, in order to explore the determinants of adoption of tele-neurorehabilitation by both stroke survivors and prescribing clinicians. We present evidence suggesting that computer self-efficacy and computer anxiety are significant predictors of an individual's likelihood to use tele-neurorehabilitation. Understanding what factors support or hinder uptake of tele-neurorehabilitation can assist in translatability and sustainable adoption of this technology. If we are to shift tele-neurorehabilitation from the research domain to become a mainstream health sector activity, key stakeholders must address the barriers that have consistently hindered adoption.
Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Associated Risk Factors in Patients With Lung Cancer: A Longitudinal Observational Study
(SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2018-12-01)
PURPOSE: This study aimed to measure symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Chinese patients following a new diagnosis of lung cancer. Secondary aims were to explore factors at diagnosis that may predict PTSD symptoms at 6 months. METHODS: This was a prospective longitudinal observational study that included 93 patients with newly diagnosed lung cancer. PTSD symptomology was assessed using the PTSD Checklist Civilian Version (PCL-C) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was assessed with the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer questionnaire. Measures were completed at diagnosis and 6 months. RESULTS: No patient had PTSD at baseline or 6 months as measured by a score of ⩾50 in the PCL-C. However, at diagnosis, 44% of patients had "mild" symptoms of PTSD. At 6 months, 64% of patients had "mild" and 8% had "moderate" PTSD symptoms. PTSD symptom scores significantly worsened over 6 months (mean difference [95% CI] = 7.2 [5.4 to 9.0]). Six months after diagnosis, higher PTSD scores were seen in people who at diagnosis were younger ( P = .003), had a lower smoking pack history ( P = .012), displayed less sedentary behavior ( P < .005), or initially had worse cancer symptoms, including fatigue ( P = .001) and poorer HRQoL ( P = .004). CONCLUSIONS: Mild PTSD symptoms are common in patients with lung cancer 6 months after treatment; however, a full diagnosis of PTSD is uncommon. Screening for PTSD symptoms may be considered for at-risk patients with newly diagnosed lung cancer.
Specifying active components of educational interventions to promote adherence to treatment in glaucoma patients: application of a taxonomy of behavior change techniques
(DOVE MEDICAL PRESS LTD, 2015-01-01)
PURPOSE: In response to recent calls for clearer specification of behavior change interventions, the purpose of this study was to apply a system of taxonomy for behavior change techniques (BCTs) to two educational interventions to improve adherence to glaucoma eye drops. Clarification of constituent BCTs will promote easy and reliable application of the interventions in clinical settings and research. METHODS: A published taxonomy of BCTs was used to code two interventions (group and individual) to increase adherence to eye drops. Intervention materials were coded by assigning a BCT label to each text unit. We noted the frequency with which each BCT occurred, compared the interventions in terms of the BCTs that were delivered, and identified whether the taxonomy was sufficient to describe the intervention components. RESULTS: The individual intervention consisted of 94 text units. Fifty-seven were identified as targeting behavior change and coded using 18 BCTs, many coded more than once. In the group intervention, 165 units of text were identified, and 125 were coded using 22 BCTs. The most frequently coded BCT was "provide information about behavior-health link" in the group intervention and "prompt barrier identification" in the individual intervention. The interventions included similar BCTs. All text units targeting behavior change were codable into BCTs. CONCLUSION: The similarity of the two interventions may have implications for the cost-effectiveness of the interventions. The taxonomy was found sufficient to describe both interventions. This level of specification can be used to ensure that precisely the same intervention that has been pilot tested is reproducible in the clinical setting and in any further research.
Barriers and facilitators to early rehabilitation in mechanically ventilated patients-a theory-driven interview study
Background: Despite a supportive evidence base and a push to implement, the uptake of early rehabilitation in critical care has been inconsistent. The objective of this study was to explore barriers and facilitators to early rehabilitation for critically ill patients receiving invasive mechanical ventilation. Methods: Using the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) of behavior change, we conducted semi-structured interviews exploring barriers and facilitators to early rehabilitation among four purposively sampled ICU clinician groups (nurses, rehabilitation professionals, respiratory therapists, and physicians). The TDF is a comprehensive framework of 14 "construct domains," synthesized from 33 theories of behavior that was developed to study determinants of behavior and to design interventions to improve evidence-based healthcare practice. A topic guide was developed and piloted based on the TDF and expert knowledge. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were content analyzed by coding items into domains and then synthesized into more specific, over-arching themes or "beliefs." An expert consensus group used structured decision rules to classify beliefs as high, moderate, or low in importance. Results: We interviewed 40 stakeholders from the four clinician groups and identified 135 separate beliefs. Of these, 19 were classified as high, 40 as moderate, and 76 of low importance as barriers or facilitators. All beliefs classified as highly important fell within one of seven TDF domains: skills, social/professional role and identity, beliefs about capabilities, beliefs about consequences, environmental context/resources, social influences, and behavioral regulation. Beliefs of lower importance fell under the following seven domains: knowledge; optimism; reinforcement; intention; goals; memory, attention, and decision processes; and emotion. Quantitative differences in stated beliefs about early rehabilitation between professional groups were not common. Conclusions: This study identified important barriers and facilitators to early rehabilitation in critical care patients. Domains identified as important should be considered when designing interventions to increase uptake of early rehabilitation.
A feasibility study of a theory-based intervention to improve appropriate polypharmacy for older people in primary care.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2018)
BACKGROUND: A general practitioner (GP)-targeted intervention aimed at improving the prescribing of appropriate polypharmacy for older people was previously developed using a systematic, theory-based approach based on the UK Medical Research Council's complex intervention framework. The primary intervention component comprised a video demonstration of a GP prescribing appropriate polypharmacy during a consultation with an older patient. The video was delivered to GPs online and included feedback emphasising the positive outcomes of performing the behaviour. As a complementary intervention component, patients were invited to scheduled medication review consultations with GPs. This study aimed to test the feasibility of the intervention and study procedures (recruitment, data collection). METHODS: GPs from two general practices were given access to the video, and reception staff scheduled consultations with older patients receiving polypharmacy (≥4 medicines). Primary feasibility study outcomes were the usability and acceptability of the intervention to GPs. Feedback was collected from GP and patient participants using structured questionnaires. Clinical data were also extracted from recruited patients' medical records (baseline and 1 month post-consultation). The feasibility of applying validated assessment of prescribing appropriateness (STOPP/START criteria, Medication Appropriateness Index) and medication regimen complexity (Medication Regimen Complexity Index) to these data was investigated. Data analysis was descriptive, providing an overview of participants' feedback and clinical assessment findings. RESULTS: Four GPs and ten patients were recruited across two practices. The intervention was considered usable and acceptable by GPs. Some reservations were expressed by GPs as to whether the video truly reflected resource and time pressures encountered in the general practice working environment. Patient feedback on the scheduled consultations was positive. Patients welcomed the opportunity to have their medications reviewed. Due to the short time to follow-up and a lack of detailed clinical information in patient records, it was not feasible to detect any prescribing changes or to apply the assessment tools to patients' clinical data. CONCLUSION: The findings will help to further refine the intervention and study procedures (including time to follow-up) which will be tested in a randomised pilot study that will inform the design of a definitive trial to evaluate the intervention's effectiveness. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN18176245.
A pilot study of the S-MAP (Solutions for Medications Adherence Problems) intervention for older adults prescribed polypharmacy in primary care: study protocol
Background: Adhering to multiple medications as prescribed is challenging for older patients (aged ≥ 65 years) and a difficult behaviour to improve. Previous interventions designed to address this have been largely complex in nature but have shown limited effectiveness and have rarely used theory in their design. It has been recognised that theory ('a systematic way of understanding events or situations') can guide intervention development and help researchers better understand how complex adherence interventions work. This pilot study aims to test a novel community pharmacy-based intervention that has been systematically developed using the Theoretical Domains Framework (12-domain version) of behaviour change. Methods: As part of a non-randomised pilot study, pharmacists in 12 community pharmacies across Northern Ireland (n = 6) and London, England (n = 6), will be trained to deliver the intervention to older patients who are prescribed ≥ 4 regular medicines and are non-adherent (self-reported). Ten patients will be recruited per pharmacy (n = 120) and offered up to four tailored one-to-one sessions, in the pharmacy or via telephone depending on their adherence, over a 3-4-month period. Guided by an electronic application (app) on iPads, the intervention content will be tailored to each patient's underlying reasons for non-adherence and mapped to the most appropriate solutions using established behaviour change techniques. This study will assess the feasibility of collecting data on the primary outcome of medication adherence (self-report and dispensing data) and secondary outcomes (health-related quality of life and unplanned hospitalisations). An embedded process evaluation will assess training fidelity for pharmacy staff, intervention fidelity, acceptability to patients and pharmacists and the intervention's mechanism of action. Process evaluation data will include audio-recordings of training workshops, intervention sessions, feedback interviews and patient surveys. Analysis will be largely descriptive. Discussion: Using pre-defined progression criteria, the findings from this pilot study will guide the decision whether to proceed to a cluster randomised controlled trial to test the effectiveness of the S-MAP intervention in comparison to usual care in community pharmacies. The study will also explore how the intervention components may work to bring about change in older patients' adherence behaviour and guide further refinement of the intervention and study procedures. Trial registration: This study is registered at ISRCTN: 10.1186/ISRCTN73831533.
Rethinking Strategies for Positive Newborn Screening Result (NBS plus ) Delivery (ReSPoND): a process evaluation of co-designing interventions to minimise impact on parental emotional well-being and stress
Background: Newborn blood spot (NBS) screening seeks to prevent ill health, disability and death through early diagnosis and effective intervention. Each year, around 10,000 parents of babies born in England are given a positive NBS result indicating their child may be affected or carriers of one of the nine conditions currently screened for. Despite guidance, these results are inconsistently delivered to parents across geographical regions. There is evidence that many parents are dissatisfied with how NBS results are communicated to them and that poor communication practices can lead to various negative sequelae. The purpose of this study is to co-design, implement and undertake a process evaluation of new, co-designed interventions to improve delivery of initial positive NBS results to parents. Methods: This mixed-methods study will use four phases with defined outputs. Family Systems Theory will form the theoretical basis for the study. The principles and methods of experience-based co-design will underpin intervention development. Normalisation Process Theory will underpin the process evaluation of the interventions co-designed to improve the delivery of positive NBS results to parents. An economic analysis will determine resource use and costs of current practice and of implementing the new co-designed interventions. The nominal group technique will be used to inform the selection of suitable outcome measures for a future evaluation study. Discussion: The main output of the proposed study will be co-designed interventions for initial communication of positive NBS results to parents ready to be evaluated in a definitive evaluation study.The interventions, co-designed with parents, will help to minimise potential negative sequelae associated with poor communication practices by considering parental and staff experiences as well as healthcare challenges such as finite resources. In addition, information about indicative costs associated with different communication strategies will be determined.It is anticipated it may also be possible to extrapolate principles of good communication practices from the present study for the delivery of bad news to parents for children newly diagnosed with other conditions including cancer and other chronic conditions such as diabetes or epilepsy. Trial registration: ISRCTN 15330120 date of registration 17/01/2018.
Effect of early and intensive nutrition care, delivered via telephone or mobile application, on quality of life in people with upper gastrointestinal cancer: study protocol of a randomised controlled trial
BACKGROUND: A major challenge for those living with cancers of the upper gastrointestinal tract (oesophagus, stomach and pancreas), is the impact of the disease and treatment on nutritional status and quality of life. People with cancer and malnutrition have a greater risk of morbidity and mortality. Nutrition intervention is recommended to commence immediately in those who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. Novel cost-effective approaches that can deliver early, pre-hospital nutrition intervention before usual hospital dietetic service is commenced are needed. Linking clinicians and patients via mobile health (mHealth) and wireless technologies is a contemporary solution not yet tested for delivery of nutrition therapy to people with cancer. The aim of this study is to commence nutrition intervention earlier than usual care and evaluate the effects of using the telephone or mHealth for intervention delivery. It is hypothesised that participants allocated to receive the early and intensive pre-hospital dietetic service will have more quality-adjusted life years lived compared with control participants. This study will also demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of mHealth for the nutrition management of patients at home undergoing cancer treatment. METHODS: This study is a prospective three-group randomised controlled trial, with a concurrent economic evaluation. The 18 week intervention is provided in addition to usual care and is delivered by two different modes, via telephone (group 1) or via mHealth (group 2), The control group receives usual care alone (group 3). The intervention is an individually tailored, symptom-directed nutritional behavioural management program led by a dietitian. Participants will have at least fortnightly reviews. The primary outcome is quality adjusted life years lived and secondary outcomes include markers of nutritional status. Outcomes will be measured at three, six and 12 months follow up. DISCUSSION: The findings will provide evidence of a strategy to implement early and intensive nutrition intervention outside the hospital setting that can favourably impact on quality of life and nutritional status. This patient-centred approach is relevant to current health service provision and challenges the current reactive delivery model of care. TRIAL REGISTRATION: 27th January 2017 Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry ( ACTRN12617000152325 ).
?It ? s not hands-on therapy, so it ? s very limited ? : Telehealth use and views among allied health clinicians during the coronavirus pandemic *
BACKGROUND: Telehealth services have helped enable continuity of care during the coronavirus pandemic. We aimed to investigate use and views towards telehealth among allied health clinicians treating people with musculoskeletal conditions during the pandemic. METHODS: Cross-sectional international survey of allied health clinicians who used telehealth to manage musculoskeletal conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. Questions covered demographics, clinician-related factors (e.g. profession, clinical experience and setting), telehealth use (e.g. proportion of caseload, treatments used), attitudes towards telehealth (Likert scale), and perceived barriers and enablers (open questions). Data were presented descriptively, and an inductive thematic content analysis approach was used for qualitative data, based on the Capability-Opportunity-Motivation Behavioural Model. RESULTS: 827 clinicians participated, mostly physiotherapists (82%) working in Australia (70%). Most (71%, 587/827) reported reduced revenue (mean (SD) 62% (24.7%)) since the pandemic commenced. Median proportion of people seen via telehealth increased from 0% pre (IQR 0 to 1) to 60% during the pandemic (IQR 10 to 100). Most clinicians reported managing common musculoskeletal conditions via telehealth. Less than half (42%) of clinicians surveyed believed telehealth was as effective as face-to-face care. A quarter or less believed patients value telehealth to the same extent (25%), or that they have sufficient telehealth training (21%). Lack of physical contact when working through telehealth was perceived to hamper accurate and effective diagnosis and management. CONCLUSION: Although telehealth was adopted by allied health clinicians during the coronavirus pandemic, we identified barriers that may limit continued telehealth use among allied health clinicians beyond the current pandemic.
Application of theory to enhance audit and feedback interventions to increase the uptake of evidence-based transfusion practice: an intervention development protocol
BACKGROUND: Audits of blood transfusion demonstrate around 20% transfusions are outside national recommendations and guidelines. Audit and feedback is a widely used quality improvement intervention but effects on clinical practice are variable, suggesting potential for enhancement. Behavioural theory, theoretical frameworks of behaviour change and behaviour change techniques provide systematic processes to enhance intervention. This study is part of a larger programme of work to promote the uptake of evidence-based transfusion practice. OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study are to design two theoretically enhanced audit and feedback interventions; one focused on content and one on delivery, and investigate the feasibility and acceptability. METHODS: Study A (Content): A coding framework based on current evidence regarding audit and feedback, and behaviour change theory and frameworks will be developed and applied as part of a structured content analysis to specify the key components of existing feedback documents. Prototype feedback documents with enhanced content and also a protocol, describing principles for enhancing feedback content, will be developed. Study B (Delivery): Individual semi-structured interviews with healthcare professionals and observations of team meetings in four hospitals will be used to specify, and identify views about, current audit and feedback practice. Interviews will be based on a topic guide developed using the Theoretical Domains Framework and the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. Analysis of transcripts based on these frameworks will form the evidence base for developing a protocol describing an enhanced intervention that focuses on feedback delivery. Study C (Feasibility and Acceptability): Enhanced interventions will be piloted in four hospitals. Semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and observations will be used to assess feasibility and acceptability. DISCUSSION: This intervention development work reflects the UK Medical Research Council's guidance on development of complex interventions, which emphasises the importance of a robust theoretical basis for intervention design and recommends systematic assessment of feasibility and acceptability prior to taking interventions to evaluation in a full-scale randomised study. The work-up includes specification of current practice so that, in the trials to be conducted later in this programme, there will be a clear distinction between the control (usual practice) conditions and the interventions to be evaluated.
Applying the behaviour change technique (BCT) taxonomy v1: a study of coder training
(OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2015-06-01)
Behaviour Change Technique Taxonomy v1 (BCTTv1) has been used to detect active ingredients of interventions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate effectiveness of user training in improving reliable, valid and confident application of BCTTv1 to code BCTs in intervention descriptions. One hundred sixty-one trainees (109 in workshops and 52 in group tutorials) were trained to code frequent BCTs. The following measures were taken before and after training: (i) inter-coder agreement, (ii) trainee agreement with expert consensus, (iii) confidence ratings and (iv) coding competence. Coding was assessed for 12 BCTs (workshops) and for 17 BCTs (tutorials). Trainees completed a course evaluation. Methods improved agreement with expert consensus (p < .05) but not inter-coder agreement (p = .08, p = .57, respectively) and increased confidence for BCTs assessed (both p < .05). Methods were as effective as one another at improving coding competence (p = .55). Training was evaluated positively. The training improved agreement with expert consensus, confidence for BCTs assessed, coding competence but not inter-coder agreement. This varied according to BCT.
Pelvic floor muscle training as an adjunct to prolapse surgery: a randomised feasibility study
(SPRINGER LONDON LTD, 2014-07-01)
INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: There is evidence that in nonsurgical populations, pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) and lifestyle advice improves symptoms and stage of pelvic organ prolapse (POP). Some women, however, require surgery, after which de novo symptoms can develop or additional surgery is required due to recurrence. Robust evidence is required as to the benefit of perioperative PFMT in the postsurgery reduction of symptoms and POP recurrence. The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of and collect pilot data to inform sample size (SS) calculation for a multicentre randomised controlled trial (RCT) of perioperative PFMT following surgical intervention for POP. METHODS: Fifty-seven participants were recruited and randomised to a treatment group (one pre and six postoperative PFMT sessions) or a control group (usual care). The primary outcome measure was the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Symptom Score (POP-SS) at 12 months; secondary outcome measures included measurement of prolapse, the pelvic floor and questionnaires relating to urinary and bowel incontinence. All outcomes were measured at 0, 6 and 12 months. RESULTS: Information on recruitment, retention and appropriateness of outcome measures for a definitive trial was gathered, and data enabled us to undertake an SS calculation. When compared with the control group (n = 29), benefits to the intervention group (n = 28) were observed in terms of fewer prolapse symptoms at 12 months [mean difference 3.94; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.35-6.75; t = 3.24, p = 0.006]; however, these results must be viewed with caution due to possible selection bias. CONCLUSION: With modifications to design identified in this pilot study, a multicentre RCT is feasible.
Exercise rehabilitation following hospital discharge in survivors of critical illness: an integrative review
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2012-01-01)
Although clinical trials have shown benefit from early rehabilitation within the ICU, rehabilitation of patients following critical illness is increasingly acknowledged as an area of clinical importance. However, despite recommendations from published guidelines for rehabilitation to continue following hospital discharge, there is limited evidence to underpin practice during this intermediate stage of recovery. Those patients with ICU-acquired weakness on discharge from the ICU are most likely to benefit from ongoing rehabilitation. Despite this, screening based on strength alone may fail to account for the associated level of physical functioning, which may not correlate with muscle strength, nor address non-physical complications of critical illness. The aim of this review was to consider which patients are likely to require rehabilitation following critical illness and to perform an integrative review of the available evidence of content and nature of exercise rehabilitation programmes for survivors of critical illness following hospital discharge. Literature databases and clinical trials registries were searched using appropriate terms and groups of terms. Inclusion criteria specified the reporting of rehabilitation programmes for patients following critical illness post-hospital discharge. Ten items, including data from published studies and protocols from trial registries, were included. Because of the variability in study methodology and inadequate level of detail of reported exercise prescription, at present there can be no clear recommendations for clinical practice from this review. As this area of clinical practice remains in its relative infancy, further evidence is required both to identify which patients are most likely to benefit and to determine the optimum content and format of exercise rehabilitation programmes for patients following critical illness post-hospital discharge.
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.