Using email as a research tool in general practice: starting to implement the National Service Framework for Mental Health
ABSTRACT The first primary care trust milestone for implementation of Standard 2 of the National Service Framework for Mental Health is the use of a formal diagnostic approach to the assessment of the severity of common psychiatric illnesses. Whilst developing a diagnostic tool to assess depressive symptoms, based on the ICD-10 classification of disease, we surveyed the current usage of such diagnostic aids by general practitioners (GPs) in Birmingham. According to the Birmingham Health Authority IT Directorate, 477 GP principals in the city had personal access to email at their practices through the NHSnet.
All GPs were sent a short questionnaire by email. They were asked to indicate their responses to four yes/no answers and return the email by pressing the 'Reply' icon. Non-respondents were then sent the questionnaire by post.
We had a total response rate of 67%. We received an email response from 105 GPs, or 22%. A further 216 out of a possible 372 GPs (58%) then responded by post. Forty-seven (22%) of the postal respondents had received the email, but 38 of them had problems replying; 150 (69%) said that they had never seen the email.
The overall response rate to the questionnaire suggests that the topic was considered sufficiently relevant for GPs to reply and was not the reason for the poor email response. There were no obvious differences in the answers to the questionnaire to suggest that the mental health topic had identified a separate email-using GP population. Although four out of every five Birmingham GPs have access to email, only one in five feels confident or competent to use it as a regular means of professional communication. It is not yet appropriate to use email as the only conduit for obtaining GP opinion.
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ABSTRACT: Objective To evaluate an e-mail self-completion questionnaire to determine if it obtains the opinions of chiropractors on the perceived safety of chiropractic care for pregnant patients while determining the types of treatments employed when seeing pregnant patients, and the referral patterns of pregnant patients between chiropractors and other professionals. Design Pilot e-mail self-completion survey in embedded and attached forms. Subjects Twenty-six Canadian and Australian chiropractors with varying levels of experience selected as part of a convenience sample. Methods E-mails containing the 12-question survey and instructions for completion were sent. A 1-week cut-off for return of the surveys was employed and a reminder message was sent to non-respondents 4 days after the initial e-mail. Percentages of each response were determined. Results A response rate of 69% was obtained. All of the respondents indicated seeing fewer than 11 pregnant patients per month. Spinal manipulative therapy was opined to be a safe therapy for use on pregnant patients, although certain co-morbidities reduced the number of respondents willing to use this particular treatment on such patients. Most of the respondents used spinal manipulative therapy, soft tissue therapy, exercise therapies and patient education on pregnant patients with back and/or neck pain, headaches, or benign vertigo. Nearly all of the respondents indicated that spinal manipulative therapy was an appropriate treatment for those conditions during pregnancy. Almost all of the respondents indicated there was no evidence that pregnant patients are at increased or decreased risk for vertebrobasilar incident after cervical spinal manipulative therapy and pregnancy is not a contraindication for this therapy. Referral of pregnant patients between chiropractors and massage therapists was the most common scenario followed by referrals between chiropractors and family medical doctors. Conclusions This pilot study yielded useful information about the questionnaire and will allow it to be modified so it can yield more useful information in future studies. The questionnaire appears to accomplish the stated goals. A larger pilot study is necessary to evaluate changes made to the questionnaire. This was a preliminary study and the results should be interpreted cautiously as numerous sources of bias were noted, particularly the sampling method employed.Clinical Chiropractic 03/2007; 10(1):24-35. DOI:10.1016/j.clch.2006.10.003
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ABSTRACT: Exchanging information and building communication channels are critical ingredients of biomedical education and research. Collaboration tools can help researchers work in harmony and learn together at a distance. This category spans a wide variety of applications from simple text-based e-mail clients to complex online meeting tools. E-mail is the oldest, most widely used, and effective collaboration tool. Online discussions go by various formats and names such as discussion groups, bulletin boards, and discussion forums. The Internet and web technologies have the potential to increase the productivity of biomedical research. The Internet collaboratories can support expensive equipment to address complex problems, which can speed up discovery and innovation in research. Having the right tools and technology is a necessary foundation and building a community needs conscious effort among website designers, community promoters, and leaders. Integrating electronic collaborative tools into routine scientific practice can be successful but requires further research.12/2007: pages 759-762;
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ABSTRACT: Detecting oral cancer (OC) at an early stage is the most effective means of improving survival and reducing morbility from disease. The objective was to study the knowledge, opinions and attitudes held by general dentists in Spain regarding aspects of OC in general clinic practice. A 44-item questionnaire relating to OC was randomly distributed by email to 1000 dentists in the different autonomous communities in Spain. The response rate was 42.7%. Only 49.7% of the dentists who replied considered themselves to have up-to-date knowledge on OC. A total of 94.7% of those interviewed hold the opinion that it is the dentists who are qualified to carry out the oral examination. In addition, 41.8% felt that family doctors and 13.8% that dental hygienists were also capable of making this examination. We should highlight that dentists who rated their undergraduate OC training favourably were more likely to agree that their OC knowledge was current than those who rated their undergraduate training unfavourably [odds ratio (OR) = 4.1, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.1-4.2, P = 0.019). Respondents who performed oral cancer examinations on all patients 40 years of age or older were 1.8 times more likely to agree that their OC knowledge was current; however, the differences were not significant (OR = 1.3, 95% CI = 0.6-2.7, P = 0.392). Gaps in knowledge exist, strongly suggesting the need for continued courses of education detection and prevention of OC.Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 02/2010; 16(1):129-33. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2753.2009.01132.x · 1.58 Impact Factor