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The purpose of this qualitative evaluation was to explore the experience of implementing routine telemonitoring (TM) in real-world primary care settings from the perspective of those delivering the intervention; namely the TM staff, and report on lessons learned that could inform future projects of this type.
Routine TM for high-risk patients within primary care practices may help improve chronic disease control and reduce complications, including unnecessary hospital admissions. However, little is known about how to integrate routine TM in busy primary care practices. A TM pilot for diabetic patients was attempted in six primary care practices as part of the Beacon Community in Western New York.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with representatives of three TM agencies (n=8) participating in the pilot. Interviews were conducted over the phone or in person and lasted ~30 min. Interviews were audio-taped and transcribed. Analysis was conducted using immersion-crystallization to identify themes.
TM staff revealed several themes related to the experience of delivering TM in real-world primary care: (1) the nurse–patient relationship is central to a successful TM experience, (2) TM is a useful tool for understanding socio-economic context and its impact on patients’ health, (3) TM staff anecdotally report important potential impacts on patient health, and (4) integrating TM into primary care practices needs to be planned carefully.
This qualitative study identified challenges and unexpected benefits that might inform future efforts. Communication and integration between the TM agency and the practice, including the designation of a point person within the office to coordinate TM and help address the broader contextual needs of patients, are important considerations for future implementation. The role of the TM nurse in developing trust with patients and uncovering the social and economic context within which patients manage their diabetes was an unexpected benefit.
This study aimed to evaluate a pilot cross-sector initiative – bringing together public health, a community group, primary mental health teams and patients – in using co-production approaches to deliver a mental health service to meet the needs of the black and minority ethnic communities.
Black and minority ethnic communities continue to face inequalities in mental health service access and provision. They are under-represented in low-level interventions as they are less likely to be referred, and more likely to disengage from mainstream mental health services. Effective models that lead to improved access and better outcomes are yet to be established. It has long been recognised that to be effective, services need to be more culturally competent, which may be achieved through a co-production approach.
This study aimed to evaluate the role of co-production in the development of a novel community mental health service for black and minority ethnic service users. Qualitative research methods, including semi-structured interviews and focus groups, were used to collect data to examine the use of co-production methods in designing and delivering an improved mental health service.
Twenty-five patients enrolled into the study; of these, 10 were signposted for more intensive psychological support. A 75% retention rate was recorded (higher than is generally the case for black and minority ethnic service users). Early indications are that the project has helped overcome barriers to accessing mental health services. Although small scale, this study highlights an alternative model that, if explored and developed further, could lead to delivery of patient-centred services to improve access and patient experience within mental health services, particularly for black and minority ethnic communities.
To examine how patient perspectives and person-centred care values have been represented in documents on medicines optimisation policy in England.
There has been growing support in England for a policy of medicines optimisation as a response to the rise of problematic polypharmacy. Conceptually, medicines optimisation differs from the medicines management model of prescribing in being based around the patient rather than processes and systems. This critical examination of current official and independent policy documents questions how central the patient is in them and whether relevant evidence has been utilised in their development.
A documentary analysis of reports on medicines optimisation published by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), The King’s Fund and National Institute for Health and Social Care Excellence since 2013. The analysis draws on a non-systematic review of research on patient experiences of using medicines.
The reports varied in their inclusion of patient perspectives and person-centred care values, and in the extent to which they drew on evidence from research on patients’ experiences of polypharmacy and medicines use. In the RPS report, medicines optimisation is represented as being a ‘step change’ from medicines management, in contrast to the other documents which suggest that it is facilitated by the systems and processes that comprise the latter model. Only The King’s Fund report considered evidence from qualitative studies of people’s use of medicines. However, these studies are not without their limitations.
We suggest five ways in which researchers could improve this evidence base and so inform the development of future policy: by facilitating reviews of existing research; conducting studies of patient experiences of polypharmacy and multimorbidity; evaluating medicines optimisation interventions; making better use of relevant theories, concepts and tools; and improving patient and public involvement in research and in guideline development.
The purpose of this study is to assess the effectiveness of diabetes self-management education (DSME) in a rural agricultural town.
In this prospective, education-intervention trial, 85 adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus from villages randomly assigned to DSME and 70 from villages assigned to standard care participated. The DSME group underwent a curriculum delivered by peer educators; those in the standard group received usual advice. Outcome measures were anthropometric, biochemical, health behaviors, and medication use data taken at baseline then after three and six months.
DSME group had a lower median A1C after three and six months. After six months, there was a 0.5% median A1C reduction in DSME group and a 0.25% increase in the standard group. There were more participants in DSME group with A1C ⩽7.0% after three and six months. By the third month, there were more participants in DSME group performing foot examination.
DSME in this rural agricultural town improved glycemic control and promoted foot examination.
To investigate the implementation and initial impact of the Physician Integrated Network (PIN) mental health indicators, which are specific to screening and managing follow-up for depression, in three primary care practices with Shared Mental Health Care in Manitoba.
Manitoba Health undertook a primary care renewal initiative in 2006 called the PIN, which included the development of mental health indicators specific to screening and managing follow-up for depression. These indicators were implemented in three PIN group practice sites in Manitoba, which are also part of Shared Mental Health Care.
The design was a non-experimental longitudinal design. A formative evaluation investigated the implementation and initial impact of the mental health indicators using mixed methods (document review, survey, and interview). Quantitative data was explored using descriptive and comparative statistics and a content and theme analysis of the qualitative interviews was conducted. Survey responses were received from 32 out of 36 physicians from the three sites. Interviews were conducted with 15 providers.
This evaluation illustrated providers’ perceived attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviours related to recognizing and treating depression and expanded our understanding of primary care processes related to managing depression related to the implementation of a new initiative. Depression is viewed as an important problem in primary care practice that is time consuming to diagnose, manage and treat and requires further investigation. Implementation of the PIN mental health indicators was variable across sites and providers. There was an increase in use of the indicators across time and a general sentiment that benefits of screening outweigh the costs; however, the benefit of screening for depression remains unclear. Consistent with current guidelines, a question the findings of this evaluation suggests is whether there are more effective ways of having an impact on depression within primary care than screening.
To better understand barriers and facilitators that hinder or help women veterans discuss their alcohol use with providers in primary care in order to better identify problematic drinking and enhance provider–patient communication about harmful drinking.
Women presenting to primary care may be less likely than men to disclose potentially harmful alcohol use. No studies have qualitatively examined the perspectives of primary care providers about factors that affect accurate disclosure of alcohol use by women veterans during routine clinic visits.
Providers (n=14) were recruited from primary care at two veterans Administration Women’s Health Clinics in California, United States. An open-ended interview guide was developed from domains of the consolidated framework for implementation science. Interviews elicited primary care providers’ perspectives on barriers and facilitators to women veterans’ (who may or may not be using alcohol in harmful ways) disclosure of alcohol use during routine clinic visits. Interview data were analyzed deductively using a combination of template analysis and matrix analysis.
Participants reported six barriers and five facilitators that they perceived affect women veteran’s decision to accurately disclose alcohol use during screenings and openness to discussing harmful drinking with a primary care provider. The most commonly described barriers to disclosure were stigma, shame, and discomfort, and co-occuring mental health concerns, while building strong therapeutic relationships and using probes to ‘dig deeper’ were most often described as facilitators. Findings from this study may enhance provider–patient discussions about alcohol use and help primary care providers to better identify problematic drinking among women veterans, ultimately improving patient outcomes.
Patients living in rural areas often need to travel long distances for access to specialist care. To increase access to specialist care, video consultation between patients in primary healthcare and specialist care has been used. In order for this new method to be developed and used to the fullest, it is important to understand healthcare personnel’s experiences with this intervention.
The aim of this study was to describe healthcare personnel’s experiences using video consultation in their work in primary healthcare.
A mixed methods design was used, and the data were analysed using qualitative and quantitative analysis methods. Interviews were conducted with eight general practitioners and one district nurse, all of whom had conducted a video consultation with a patient and a specialist physician or a cardiac specialist nurse. After each video consultation, the participants completed a consultation report/questionnaire.
Healthcare personnel considered video consultation to provide quicker access to specialist care for the patient, and greater security when the video consultation encounter was conducted at their own primary healthcare centre. They considered video consultation an opportunity to provide education and for the patients to ask questions.
Video consultation is a satisfactory tool for healthcare personnel, and the technology is a new, useful method, especially for the district nurses. Further, video consultation is an opportunity for healthcare personnel to learn. However, for it to work as an accepted method, the technology must function well and be user friendly. It must also be clear that it is beneficial for the patients and the healthcare personnel.
The introduction of the Health and Social Care Bill (2011) changed the role of GPs to include commissioning of health services.
This study aimed to identify any differences in the media portrayal of GPs before and after the introduction of the Bill.
We retrospectively searched four British newspapers over the period 2009–2013 using the media database Nexis. In order to directly compare the findings of the study with the work of Tanner et al., articles relating to GP pay were analysed using thematic analysis. Themes were identified and each article was scored to determine whether it portrayed GPs positively or negatively.
GPs were portrayed slightly less negatively after the introduction of the Bill. The theme of ‘high salaries’ persisted despite reference to ‘pay freezes’. References to decreased trust in the patient–doctor relationship appeared after the introduction of the Bill.
Negative portrayal of GP pay has continued and a lack of trust in GPs has started to be portrayed. This trend may exacerbate the low morale amongst the profession and difficulties in recruiting and retaining GPs.
To assess and improve the quality of Secondary to Primary Care communication on discharge with a focus on post-surgical wound care.
Hospital discharge summaries are the principle means of relaying accurate information back to primary care healthcare providers regarding a patient’s hospital attendance and any ongoing care that is required. The quality of these summaries can be quiet varied both nationally and local to our Trust. Subsequently the Surgical Directorate were seeing an increased level of additional emergency communication from Primary Care providers especially in relation to post-operative wound care.
A survey was distributed to local Primary Care practitioners to assess satisfaction with the General Surgical Department wound care information located on the discharge summary. Using these results, a wound closure information document was developed and distributed to general practice surgeries, and a patient-held ‘wound care’ card was piloted for two months. The survey was then repeated to determine the success of the intervention.
Post discharge communication was on the whole felt to be of poor quality and lacked a large amount of essential and desirable information. There was a particular absence of relevant information regarding surgical wound closure techniques utilised and their ongoing management. Many Primary Care practitioners acknowledge that their knowledge on this subject can be low. A Trust specific information leaflet combined with a dedicated patient held discharge information card can solve a number of these issues improving Primary and Secondary Care satisfaction and reducing the use of emergency resources and appointments.
To explore the influence of health beliefs and behaviours on diabetes management in British Indians, as successful management of diabetes is dependent on underlying cultural beliefs and behaviours.
British South Asians are six times more likely to suffer from type II diabetes than those in the general population. Yet, little research has been carried out into beliefs about diabetes among the British Indian population.
The study used semi-structured interviews, a structured vignette and a pile-sorting exercise. In all, 10 British Indians were interviewed at a General Practice in North West London.
Those interviewed were informed about their diabetes but had difficulties in adapting their diet. Themes identified included causal beliefs of diabetes, use of alternative therapies, moderation of food, adaption of exercise regimes and sources of information. All were aware of avoiding certain foods yet some still continued to consume these items. Participants expressed the need for culturally sensitive forums to help manage their diabetes.