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This paper reports the findings of a scoping review on the organisation and delivery of health improvement activities in general practice and the primary healthcare team. The project was designed to examine who delivers these interventions, where they are located, what approaches are developed in practices and how individual practices and the primary healthcare team organise such public health activities and how these contribute to health improvement. Our focus was on health promotion and prevention activities and aimed to identify the current extent of knowledge about the health improvement activities in general practice and the wider primary healthcare team. Many of the research studies reviewed had some details about the type, process, location or who provided the intervention. Little attention is paid in the literature to examining the impact of the organisational context on the way services are delivered or how this affects the effectiveness of health improvement interventions in general practice. We found that the focus of attention is mainly on individual prevention approaches with practices engaging in both primary and secondary prevention. Although many GPs do not take a population approach and focus on individual patients some do see health promotion as an integral part of practice – whether as individual approaches to primary or secondary health improvement or as a practice-based approach to improving the health of their patients. Based on our analysis we conclude that there is insufficient good evidence to support many of the health improvement interventions undertaken in general practice and primary care.
Qualitative research methods embedded within feasibility trials are of significant value as they can provide important information for a definitive trial, often unable to be fulfilled by quantitative methods alone. In addition, such information can aid researchers running other trials or evaluating interventions on a similar topic.
This study aimed to explore GP and nurses’ experiences of recruiting to a trial exploring the feasibility of evaluating YP Face IT, a novel online psychosocial intervention to support young people with appearance-altering conditions.
During the recruitment period, a focus group with participating GPs and nurses explored recruitment challenges. In addition, at the end of the recruitment period, telephone interviews were conducted with eight GPs and nurses involved in recruiting to the study, in order to inform a definitive trial of YP Face IT. Transcripts were subjected to thematic analysis.
Despite reporting that the study was valuable and interesting, interviewees struggled to recruit in-consultation. They appeared to lack confidence in raising the sensitive issue of a visible difference and adopted strategies to avoid mentioning the topic. Participants felt the nature of the target population, as well as pressures of the primary care environment presented challenges to recruitment, but welcomed YP Face IT as an intervention that could address unmet support needs. Primary care staff may benefit from training to help them raise the subject of a visible difference with young people in order to identify those that require additional support.
To understand enablers and barriers influencing postpartum screening for type 2 diabetes following gestational diabetes in Australian Indigenous women and how screening might be improved.
Australian Indigenous women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are less likely than other Australian women to receive postpartum diabetes screening. This is despite a fourfold higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes within eight years postpartum.
We conducted interviews with seven Indigenous women with previous GDM, focus groups with 20 Indigenous health workers and workshops with 24 other health professionals. Data collection included brainstorming, visualisation, sorting and prioritising activities. Data were analysed thematically using the Theoretical Domains Framework. Barriers are presented under the headings of ‘capability’, ‘motivation’ and ‘opportunity’. Enabling strategies are presented under ‘intervention’ and ‘policy’ headings.
Participants generated 28 enabling environmental, educational and incentive interventions, and service provision, communication, guideline, persuasive and fiscal policies to address barriers to screening and improve postpartum support for women. The highest priorities included providing holistic social support, culturally appropriate resources, improving Indigenous workforce involvement and establishing structured follow-up systems. Understanding Indigenous women’s perspectives, developing strategies with health workers and action planning with other health professionals can generate context-relevant feasible strategies to improve postpartum care after GDM. Importantly, we need evidence which can demonstrate whether the strategies are effective.
Older people from deprived areas, the oldest old and those from ethnic minorities engage less in health promotion interventions and related research, potentially generating inequities.
To explore and map the extent to which such ‘hard to reach’ groups of older people, are the focus of local health and well-being strategies in England.
Document analysis of current health and well-being promotion strategies in a purposive sample of 10 localities in England with high proportions of some or all of the three hard to reach groups. Documents were analysed using an interpretive approach.
A total of 254 documents were retrieved and reviewed. Much of the content of the documents was descriptive and reported the implications for resources/services of population ageing rather than actual initiatives. All localities had an Older People’s Strategy. Strategies to counter deprivation included redistribution of winter fuel payments, income maximisation, debt reduction and social inclusion initiatives, a focus on older owner occupiers and recruitment of village ‘agents’ to counter rural deprivation. The needs of the oldest old were served by integrated services for older people, a community alarm service with total coverage of the 85+ population, and dietary advice. The needs of black and minority ethnic (BME) older people were discussed in all localities and responses included community work with BME groups, attention to housing needs and monitoring of service use by BME older people. Three other themes that emerged were: use of telecare technologies; a challenge to the idea of ‘hard to reach’ groups; and outreach services to those at most risk.
Document analysis revealed a range of policy statements that may indicate tailoring of policy and practice to local conditions, the salience of national priorities, some innovative local responses to policy challenges and even dissenting views that seek to redefine the policy problem.
Most mid-life and older adults are not achieving recommended physical activity (PA) targets and effective interventions are needed to increase and maintain PA long-term for health benefits. The Pedometer And Consultation Evaluation (PACE-UP) trial, a three-armed primary care pedometer-based walking intervention in those aged 45–75 years, demonstrated increased PA levels at 12 months. A three-year follow-up was conducted to evaluate long-term PA maintenance, including a qualitative component.
To examine facilitators and barriers to PA maintenance in mid-life and older adults previously involved in a PA trial.
Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with 60 PACE-UP participants across all study arms. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and coded independently by researchers, prior to thematic analysis.
Two-thirds of participants felt since the PACE-UP trial they had an awareness of PA, with the pedometer reported as ‘kick-starting’ regular activity, and then helped them to maintain regular activity. PA facilitators included: maintaining good health, self-motivation, social support and good weather. Lack of time was the most frequently cited barrier. Other barriers were often the inverse of the facilitators; for example, poor health and bad weather. Participants described the type of ‘top-up’ intervention they would find beneficial to aid PA maintenance (eg, text messages, online resources and walking groups).
A challenge for future PA interventions is to transform barriers into facilitators; for example, educating trial participants about the value of PA for many chronic health conditions to change this from inhibiting to promoting PA. Participants provided ideas for encouraging PA maintenance which could be incorporated into future interventions.
Little is known about how interprofessional healthcare providers in nursing homes work together. We know that interprofessional teamwork evolves from trial and error learning and so interprofessional collaboration has to be actively taught. This study aims to gain insights in the perception of professionals towards interprofessional collaboration in nursing homes and the factors that have an impact on interprofessional collaboration.
A qualitative descriptive methodology using focus group interviews and additional semi-structured interviews was performed. In total three focus group sessions with healthcare providers from different disciplines were held and additionally nine semi-structured interviews were executed. A thematic analysis was performed. The transcripts were read to immerse in the data and initial ideas were noted. Both open coding (identification of primary themes) and axial coding (analysis of relationships among themes) were conducted and re-focussed into potential themes.
Four main themes emerge from the analysis: context, collaboration, care and experience. From the findings it seems that healthcare teams in nursing homes work as ‘separated groups’. A lot of collaboration is perceived, but no common vision or responsibility sharing is found. The role description of the different disciplines does not always seem clear or is not always explicit.
In usual care the perceived interactions between professionals are called collaboration. Obviously physicians and all healthcare professionals do not work interprofessionally according to definitions from the literature. This study provided evidence of the awareness that interprofessional collaboration in usual care is situational and fragmentary organised.
Spirometry is known to be a gold standard for the diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD Assessment Test (CAT) is an eight-item questionnaire currently in use to evaluate patients with COPD. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate if CAT is an adequate tool for screening COPD.
In total, 600 persons aging ⩾40 years old were randomly selected from three different family practice units located in the city center. CAT was asked to the participants and a spirometry was used to assess pulmonary obstruction. Pulmonary obstruction was defined as forced expiratory volume in first second/forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC)<70% and then COPD diagnosis was confirmed with the reversibility test. The relationship between CAT results and pulmonary function test values was evaluated.
In this sampling, the prevalence of COPD was 4.2%. Reliability of the CAT in the study group was acceptable (Cronbach’s α: 0.84). The CAT scores was significantly higher in patients with COPD (P<0.001). There was a significant negative correlation between CAT score and FEV1, FVC and FEV1/FVC ratio (r=−0.31, P<0.001; r=−0.26, P<0.001; r=0.18, P=0.001). Among smokers, phlegm was the predominating symptom (P=0.01). Sensitivity of CAT was 66.67% and its specificity was 75.15% to determine COPD.
CAT is a reliable questionnaire and there is an apparent relationship between the total CAT scores and COPD. However, CAT’s ability to screen COPD is limited since it may miss the symptom-free cases.
The study purpose was to provide evidence of validity for the Primary Health Care Engagement (PHCE) Scale, based on exploratory factor analysis and reliability findings from a large national survey of regulated nurses residing and working in rural and remote Canadian communities.
There are currently no published provider-level instruments to adequately assess delivery of community-based primary health care, relevant to ongoing primary health care (PHC) reform strategies across Canada and elsewhere. The PHCE Scale reflects a contemporary approach that emphasizes community-oriented and community-based elements of PHC delivery.
Data from the pan-Canadian Nursing Practice in Rural and Remote Canada II (RRNII) survey were used to conduct an exploratory factor analysis and evaluate the internal consistency reliability of the final PHCE Scale.
The RRNII survey sample included 1587 registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed practical nurses, and registered psychiatric nurses residing and working in rural and remote Canada. Exploratory factor analysis identified an eight-factor structure across 28 items overall, and good internal consistency reliability was indicated by an α estimate of 0.89 for the final scale. The final 28-item PHCE Scale includes three of four elements in a contemporary approach to PHC (accessibility/availability, community participation, and intersectoral team) and most community-oriented/based elements of PHC (interdisciplinary collaboration, person-centred, continuity, population orientation, and quality improvement). We recommend additional psychometric testing in a range of health care providers and settings, as the PHCE Scale shows promise as a tool for health care planners and researchers to test interventions and track progress in primary health care reform.
Obesity is a major risk factor for osteoarthritis (OA) whilst there is some evidence that diabetes also increases risk. Metformin is a common oral treatment for those with diabetes.
The aim is to investigate whether metformin reduces the risk of OA.
This was a cohort study set within the Consultations in Primary Care Archive, with 3217 patients with type 2 diabetes. Patients at 13 general practices with recorded type 2 diabetes in the baseline period (2002–2003) and no prior record of OA were identified. Exposure was a prescription for metformin. Outcome was an OA record during follow up. Cox proportional hazard models with Gamma frailty term were fitted: adjusted for age, gender, deprivation, and comorbidity.
There was no association between prescribed metformin treatment at baseline and OA (adjusted HR: 1.02, 95% CI: 0.91, 1.15). A similar non- significant association was found when allowing exposure status of prescription of metformin to vary over time.
This study aims to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of primary care physicians (PCPs) in Lebanon regarding nutrition counseling and to investigate possible related barriers.
Nutrition counseling is an important aspect of patient care, especially with the increase in nutrition-related disorders.
This is a descriptive study among a convenience sample of PCPs in Lebanon at two annual conferences in 2014 using an anonymous questionnaire.
Response rate was 54.6%. Overall, physicians considered that they have good to very good nutritional knowledge. Although they rated their formal nutritional education poorly, they had a positive attitude towards nutritional counseling and reported practicing general nutritional counseling with their patients. Barriers to nutritional counseling were: time, perceived poor patient adherence to diet, gap in physician’s nutritional knowledge and lack of insurance coverage for dietitian fees. Changes should be made to medical education curricula to include nutrition courses related to prevalent health problems.