A tailored intervention to implement guideline recommendations for elderly patients with depression in primary care: a pragmatic cluster randomised trial.
ABSTRACT: Elderly patients with depression are underdiagnosed, undertreated and run a high risk of a chronic course. General practitioners adhere to clinical practice guidelines to a limited degree. In the international research project Tailored Implementation for Chronic Diseases, we tested the effectiveness of tailored interventions to improve care for patients with chronic diseases. In Norway, we examined this approach to improve adherence to six guideline recommendations for elderly patients with depression targeting healthcare professionals, patients and administrators.We conducted a cluster randomised trial in 80 Norwegian municipalities. We identified determinants of practice for six recommendations and subsequently tailored interventions to address these determinants. The interventions targeted healthcare professionals, administrators and patients and consisted of outreach visits, a website presenting the recommendations and the underlying evidence, tools to manage depression in the elderly and other web-based resources, including a continuous medical education course for general practitioners. The primary outcome was mean adherence to the recommendations. Secondary outcomes were improvement in depression symptoms as measured by patients and general practitioners. We offered outreach visits to all general practitioners and practice staff in the intervention municipalities. We used electronic software that extracted eligible patients from the general practitioners' lists. We collected data by interviewing general practitioners or sending them a questionnaire about their practice for four patients on their list and by sending a questionnaire to the patients.One hundred twenty-four of the 900 general practitioners (14 %) participated in the data collection, 51 in the intervention group and 73 in the control group. We interviewed 77 general practitioners, 47 general practitioners completed the questionnaire, and 134 patients responded to the questionnaire. Amongst the general practitioners who provided data, adherence to the recommendations was 1.6 percentage points higher in the intervention group than in the control group (95 % CI -6 to 9).The effectiveness of our tailored intervention to implement recommendations for elderly patients with depression in primary care is uncertain, due to the low response rate in the data collection. However, it is unlikely that the effect was large. It remains uncertain how best to improve adherence to evidence-based recommendations and thereby improve the quality of care for these patients.ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01913236 .
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>It is logical that tailoring implementation strategies to address identified determinants of adherence to clinical practice guidelines should improve adherence. This study aimed to identify and prioritize determinants of adherence to six recommendations for elderly patients with depression.<h4>Design and setting</h4>Group and individual interviews and a survey were conducted in Norway.<h4>Method</h4>Individual and group interviews with healthcare professionals and patients, and a mailed survey of healthcare professionals. A generic checklist of determinants of practice was used to categorize suggested determinants.<h4>Participants</h4>Physicians and nurses from primary and specialist care, psychologists, researchers, and patients.<h4>Main outcome measures</h4>Determinants of adherence to recommendations for depressed elderly patients in primary care.<h4>Results</h4>A total of 352 determinants were identified, of which 99 were prioritized. The most frequently identified factors had to do with dissemination of guidelines, general practitioners' time constraints, the low prioritization of elderly patients with depression, and the patients' or relatives' wish for medication. Approximately three-quarters of the determinants were from three of the seven domains in the generic checklist: individual healthcare professional factors, patient factors, and incentives and resources. The survey did not provide useful information due to a low response rate and a lack of responses to open-ended questions.<h4>Implications</h4>The list of prioritized determinants can inform the design of interventions to implement recommendations for elderly patients with depression. The importance of the determinants that were identified may vary across communities, practices. and patients. Interventions that address important determinants are necessary to improve practice.
Project description:Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remains a major health problem, strongly related to smoking. Despite the publication of practice guidelines on prevention and treatment, not all patients with the disease receive the recommended healthcare, particularly with regard to smoking cessation advice where applicable. We have developed a tailored implementation strategy for enhancing general practitioners' adherence to the disease management guidelines. The primary aim of the study is to evaluate the effects of this tailored implementation intervention on general practitioners' adherence to guidelines.A pragmatic two-arm cluster randomized trial has been planned to compare care following the implementation of tailored interventions of four recommendations in COPD patients against usual care. The study will involve 18 general practices (9 in the intervention group and 9 in the control group) in Poland, each with at least 80 identified (at the baseline) patients with diagnosed COPD. The nine control practices will provide usual care without any interventions. Tailored interventions to implement four recommendations will be delivered in the remaining nine practices. At follow-up after nine months, data will be collected for all 18 general practices. The primary outcome measure is physicians' adherence to all four recommendations: brief anti-smoking advice, dyspnea assessment, care checklist utilization and demonstration to patients of correct inhaler use. This measurement will be based on data extracted from identified patients' records. Additionally, we will survey and interview patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease about the process of care.The results of this trial will be directly applicable to primary care in Poland and add to the growing body of evidence on interventions to improve chronic illness care.This trial has been registered with Clinical Trials Protocol Registration System.NCT01893476.
Project description:The prevalence of depression is high and the elderly have an increased risk of developing chronic course. International data suggest that depression in the elderly is under-recognised, the latency before clinicians provide a treatment plan is longer and elderly patients with depression are not offered psychotherapy to the same degree as younger patients. Although recommendations for the treatment of elderly patients with depression exist, health-care professionals adhere to these recommendations to a limited degree only. We conducted a systematic review to identify recommendations for managing depression in the elderly and prioritised six recommendations. We identified and prioritised the determinants of practice related to the implementation of these recommendations in primary care, and subsequently discussed and prioritised interventions to address the identified determinants. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of these tailored interventions for the six recommendations for the management of elderly patients with depression in primary care.We will conduct a pragmatic cluster randomised trial comparing the implementation of the six recommendations using tailored interventions with usual care. We will randomise 80 municipalities into one of two groups: an intervention group, to which we will deliver tailored interventions to implement the six recommendations, and a control group, to which we will not deliver any intervention. We will randomise municipalities rather than patients, individual clinicians or practices, because we will deliver the intervention for the first three recommendations at the municipal level and we want to minimise the risk of contamination across GP practices for the other three recommendations. The primary outcome is the proportion of actions taken by GPs that are consistent with the recommendations.This trial will investigate whether a tailored implementation approach is an effective strategy for improving collaborative care in the municipalities and health-care professionals' practice towards elderly patients with depression in primary care. The effectiveness evaluation described in this protocol will be accompanied with a process evaluation exploring why and how the interventions were effective or ineffective.ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01913236.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Exploring barriers to the uptake of research based recommendations into practice is an important part of the development of implementation programmes. Techniques to identify barriers can include use of theory-informed questionnaires and qualitative interviews. Conceptualising and measuring theory-informed factors, and engaging health professionals' to uncover all potential barriers, can be a difficult task. This paper presents a case study of the process of trying to identify, systematically, the key factors influencing health professionals' referrals for women diagnosed with mild to moderate postnatal depression for psychological treatment. The paper illustrates how the factors were conceptualised and measured and explores the real world challenges experienced, with implications for future implementation studies. METHODS: Theory-informed factors were conceptualised and measured using a questionnaire and interviews. The questionnaire was piloted, before being administered to general practitioners, practice nurses and health visitors working in general practices in one area of the UK NHS. The interviews were conducted with a small sample of general practitioners who had not completed the questionnaire, further exploring factors influencing their referral decisions in the local context. RESULTS: The response rate to the questionnaire was low (19%), despite selecting the recommendation to target through engagement with local stakeholders and surveying local health professionals, and despite using two reminders, an incentive prize, and phone calls to practice managers to bolster response rates. CONCLUSIONS: Two significant challenges to achieving higher response rates and successfully exploring local context were identified: the difficulties of developing a robust- but feasible- questionnaire to explore theory-informed factors, and targeting recommendations that are important to policy makers, but which health professionals view as unimportant. This case study highlights the "trade-off" between scientifically rigorous collection of data against the pragmatism and flexibility requirements of "real world" implementation. Future implementation studies should explore different ways of identifying factors influencing the adoption of recommendations to bridge this gulf.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite wide distribution and promotion of clinical practice guidelines, adherence among Dutch general practitioners (GPs) is not optimal. To improve adherence to guidelines, an analysis of barriers to implementation is advocated. Because different recommendations within a guideline can have different barriers, in this study we focus on key recommendations rather than guidelines as a whole, and explore the barriers to implementation perceived by Dutch GPs. METHODS:A qualitative study using six focus groups was conducted, in which 30 GPs participated, with an average of seven per session. Fifty-six key recommendations were derived from twelve national guidelines. In each focus group, barriers to the implementation of the key recommendations of two clinical practice guidelines were discussed. Focus group discussions were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Data was analysed by using an existing framework of barriers. RESULTS:The barriers varied largely within guidelines, with each key recommendation having a unique pattern of barriers. The most perceived barriers were lack of agreement with the recommendations due to lack of applicability or lack of evidence (68% of key recommendations), environmental factors such as organisational constraints (52%), lack of knowledge regarding the guideline recommendations (46%), and guideline factors such as unclear or ambiguous guideline recommendations (43%). CONCLUSION:Our study findings suggest a broad range of barriers. As the barriers largely differ within guidelines, tailored and barrier-driven implementation strategies focusing on key recommendations are needed to improve adherence in practice. In addition, guidelines should be more transparent concerning the underlying evidence and applicability, and further efforts are needed to address complex issues such as comorbidity in guidelines. Finally, it might be useful to include focus groups in continuing medical education as an innovative medium for guideline education and implementation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:An increasing prevalence of having survived a myocardial infarction increases the importance of medical secondary prevention. Although preventive medication reduces mortality, prescribing and adherence are known to be frequently insufficient. General practitioners are the most important prescriber. However, their perspective on prescribing and medical non-adherence following myocardial infarction has not yet been explored. Thus, the aim of this study was to explore the general practitioners' perspective on long-term care after myocardial infarction focussing on medical prevention. METHODS:In this qualitative interview study we conducted episodic interviews with sixteen general practitioners from rural and urban surgeries in Germany. Framework analysis with focus on general practitioners' prescribing and patients' non-adherence was performed. RESULTS:Almost all general practitioners reported following guidelines for myocardial infarction aftercare and prescribing the medication that was initiated in the hospital; however, they described deviating from guidelines because of drugs' side effects or patients' intolerances. Some questioned the benefits of medical secondary prevention for the oldest of patients. General practitioners perceived good adherence among their patients who had had an MI while they regarded their methods for assessing medical non-adherence as limited. They perceived diverse reasons for non-adherence, particularly side effects, patients' freedom from symptoms and patients' indifference to health. They attributed mainly negative characteristics, like lack of knowledge and understanding, to non-adherent patients. These characteristics contribute to the difficulty of convincing these patients to take medications as prescribed. General practitioners improved adherence by preventing side effects, explaining the medication's necessity, facilitating intake and involving patients in decision-making. However, about half of the general practitioners reported threatening their patients with negative consequences of non-adherence. CONCLUSIONS:General practitioners should be aware that discharge medication can be insufficient and thus, should always check hospital recommendations for accordance with guideline recommendations. Improving physicians' communication skills and informing and motivating patients in an adequate manner, for example in simple language, should be an important goal in the hospital and the general practitioner setting. General practitioners should assess patients' motivations through motivational interviewing, which no general practitioner mentioned during the interviews, and talk with them about adherence and long-term treatment goals regularly.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Adherence to clinical practice guidelines for management of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is suboptimal. The purposes of this study were to identify practice patterns and barriers among U.S. general internists and family physicians in regard to cardiovascular risk management, and examine the association between physician characteristics and cardiovascular risk management. METHODS: A case vignette survey focused on cardiovascular disease risk management was distributed to a random sample of 12,000 U.S. family physicians and general internists between November and December 2006. RESULTS: Responses from a total of 888 practicing primary care physicians who see 60 patients per week were used for analysis. In an asymptomatic patient at low risk for cardiovascular event, 28% of family physicians and 37% of general internists made guideline-based preventive choices for no antiplatelet therapy (p < .01). In a patient at high risk for cardiovascular event, 59% of family physicians and 56% of general internists identified the guideline-based goal for serum fasting LDL level (< 100 mg/dl). Guideline adherence was inversely related to years in practice and volume of patients seen. Cost of medications (87.7%), adherence to medications (74.1%), adequate time for counseling (55.7%), patient education tools (47.1%), knowledge and skills to recommend dietary changes (47.8%) and facilitate patient adherence (52.0%) were cited as significant barriers to CVD risk management. CONCLUSION: Despite the benefits demonstrated for managing cardiovascular risks, gaps remain in primary care practitioners' management of risks according to guideline recommendations. Innovative educational approaches that address barriers may facilitate the implementation of guideline-based recommendations in CVD risk management.
Project description:Pharmaceutical care guidelines aim to provide recommendations for pharmaceutical care, reduce unwanted pharmacy practice variation and ultimately improve the quality of healthcare. This study evaluated community pharmacists' adherence to recommendations for the provision of care to asthma patients with first dispensing and follow-up refill encounters in The Netherlands. Data were pharmacists' self-assessment of adherence to guideline recommendations, independent observations of dispensing encounters and a nationwide questionnaire on pharmacists' views on the desirable (clinical) necessity of applying guideline recommendations to their patient population. The 21 pharmacists who performed self-assessment judged their adherence concerning inhalation instructions as high. The lowest scores were reported for recommendations to collect additional information on the type of lung disease and for asking patients' expectations, wishes and concerns. Sixty-eight dispensing encounters were observed. In 83% of the 35 first dispensing observations, inhalation instruction was provided. This percentage was lower (62%) at refill dispensings. During all encounters, pharmacy staff seldom explored patients' perceptions or responded to patients' expectations, wishes and concerns. One hundred and four pharmacists completed the feasibility questionnaire. Pharmacists judged that all patients should receive inhalation instruction at first dispensing. They regarded it necessary to check on patients' expectations, wishes and concerns regarding the treatment for only up to 70% of the patients. More efforts on guideline implementation are needed, especially on follow-up dispensings and on gaining relevant information from patients and other healthcare professionals. Pharmacists still have opportunities to grow in applying a patient-tailored approach and exploring patients' individual needs, rather than providing practical information.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Adherence to guidelines pertaining to stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation is poor. Decision support systems have shown promise in increasing guideline adherence. AIMS:To improve guideline adherence with a non-obtrusive clinical decision support system integrated in the workflow. Secondly, we seek to capture reasons for guideline non-adherence. DESIGN AND SETTING:A cluster randomized controlled trial in Dutch general practices. METHOD:A decision support system was developed that implemented properties positively associated with effectiveness: real-time, non-interruptive and based on data from electronic health records. Recommendations were based on the Dutch general practitioners guideline for atrial fibrillation that uses the CHA2DS2-VAsc for stroke risk stratification. Usage data and responses to the recommendations were logged. Effectiveness was measured as adherence to the guideline. We used a chi square to test for group differences and a mixed effects model to correct for clustering and baseline adherence. RESULTS:Our analyses included 781 patients. Usage of the system was low (5%) and declined over time. In total, 76 notifications received a response: 58% dismissal and 42% acceptance. At the end of the study, both groups had improved, by 8% and 5% respectively. There was no statistically significant difference between groups (Control: 50%, Intervention: 55% P = 0.23). Clustered analysis revealed similar results. Only one usable reasons for non-adherence was captured. CONCLUSION:Our study could not demonstrate the effectiveness of a decision support system in general practice, which was likely due to lack of use. Our findings should be used to develop next generation decision support systems that are effective in the challenging setting of general practice.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Clinically significant depressive symptoms are prevalent in people attending low vision clinics and often go undetected. The Low Vision Service Wales (LVSW) plans to introduce depression screening and management pathways. Prior to implementation there is an unmet need to understand how eye care practitioners providing the service currently address depression with patients, and the characteristics and beliefs that influence their practice. METHODS:A mixed methods convergent design was employed. Twelve low vision practitioners were purposively selected to engage in individual semi-structured interviews which were analysed using thematic analysis. A further 167 practitioners were invited to complete a questionnaire assessing professional background, current practice, confidence and perceived barriers in working with people with low vision and suspected depression. Multiple regression analyses were performed to determine the characteristics related to the Rasch-transformed questionnaire scores. RESULTS:Of the 122 practitioners that responded to the questionnaire, 33% aimed to identify depression in patients, and those who were more confident were more likely to do so. Those who scored higher on the perceived barriers scale and lower on confidence were less likely to report acting in response to suspected depression (all p?<?0.05). Three qualitative themes were identified; depression is an understandable response to low vision, patients themselves are a barrier to addressing depression and practitioners lacked confidence in their knowledge and skills to address depression. The qualitative data largely expanded the quantitative findings. CONCLUSIONS:Practitioners viewed their own lack of knowledge and confidence as a barrier to the identification and management of depression and expressed a need for training prior to the implementation of service changes. The study findings will help to inform the development of a training programme to support low vision practitioners and those working with other chronic illness in Wales, and internationally, in the identification and management of people with depression.