Patty Chondros

University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Publications (35)147.07 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Strategies of personal resilience enable successful adaptation in adversity. Among patients experiencing depression symptoms, we explored which personal resilience strategies they find most helpful and tested the hypothesis that use of these strategies improves depression recovery. We used interview and survey data from the Diagnosis, Management and Outcomes of Depression in Primary Care 2005 cohort of patients experiencing depression symptoms in Victoria, Australia. A total of 564 participants answered a computer-assisted telephone interview question at 12 months follow-up, about what they found most helpful for their depression, stress or worries. Depressive disorder and severity were measured at annual follow-up using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview and the Patient Health Questionnaire self-rating questionnaire. Using interview responses, we categorised participants as users or not of strategies of personal resilience, specifically, drawing primarily on expanding their own inner resources or pre-existing relationships: 316 (56%) were categorised as primarily users of personal resilience strategies. Of these, 193 (61%) reported expanding inner resources, 79 (25%) drawing on relationships and 44 (14%) reported both. There was no association between drawing on relationships and depression outcome. There was evidence supporting an association between expanding inner resources and depression outcome: 25 per cent of users having major depressive disorder 1 year later compared to 38 per cent of non-users (adjusted odds ratio: 0.59, confidence interval: 0.36-0.97). This is the first study to show improved outcome for depression for those who identify as most helpful the use of personal resilience strategies. The difference in outcome is important as expanding inner resources includes a range of low intensity, yet commonly available strategies.
    Health (London, England : 1997). 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Hot flushes and night sweats (vasomotor symptoms) are common menopausal symptoms, often causing distress, sleep deprivation and reduced quality of life. Although hormone replacement therapy is an effective treatment, there are concerns about serious adverse events. Non-hormonal pharmacological therapies are less effective and can also cause adverse effects. Complementary therapies, including acupuncture, are commonly used for menopausal vasomotor symptoms. While the evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating vasomotor symptoms is inconclusive, acupuncture has a low risk of adverse effects, and two small studies suggest it may be more effective than non-insertive sham acupuncture. Our objective is to assess the efficacy of needle acupuncture in improving hot flush severity and frequency in menopausal women. Our current study design is informed by methods tested in a pilot study.Methods/design: This is a stratified, parallel, randomised sham-controlled trial with equal allocation of participants to two trial groups. We are recruiting 360 menopausal women experiencing a minimum average of seven moderate hot flushes a day over a seven-day period and who meet diagnostic criteria for the Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis of Kidney Yin deficiency. Exclusion criteria include breast cancer, surgical menopause, and current hormone replacement therapy use. Eligible women are randomised to receive either true needle acupuncture or sham acupuncture with non-insertive (blunt) needles for ten treatments over eight weeks. Participants are blinded to treatment allocation. Interventions are provided by Chinese medicine acupuncturists who have received specific training on trial procedures. The primary outcome measure is hot flush score, assessed using the validated Hot Flush Diary. Secondary outcome measures include health-related quality of life, anxiety and depression symptoms, credibility of the sham treatment, expectancy and beliefs about acupuncture, and adverse events. Participants will be analysed in the groups in which they were randomised using an intention-to-treat analysis strategy.
    Trials. 06/2014; 15(1):224.
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    ABSTRACT: Young people face many barriers in accessing health services that are responsive to their needs. The World Health Organization has led a call to develop services that address these barriers, i.e. youth-friendly health services. Addressing the needs of young people is one of the priorities of Foundation fami, an organisation working in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Department of Development and Cooperation and Geneva University Hospitals to develop quality family medicine services in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This paper describes the design of a trial to assess the effectiveness of a multifaceted intervention involving family medicine teams (primary care doctors and nurses) to improve the youth-friendliness of family medicine services in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
    SpringerPlus 01/2014; 3:319.
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    ABSTRACT: Garlic is effective against Candida species in vitro, and along with other alternative therapies, is used by women with vulvovaginal candidiasis. The objective of this study was to ascertain whether oral garlic reduced vaginal candida counts during the second half of the menstrual cycle in asymptomatic women colonised with Candida species. A simple randomised double-blinded controlled trial. Melbourne, Australia. Sixty-three asymptomatic women who were culture-positive for Candida species at screening. Participants were randomised to three garlic tablets or placebo orally, twice daily, for 14 days. The primary outcome was the proportion of women with colony counts of candida >100 colony-forming units per ml in any given day during the last 7 days before menstruation, defined as a 'case'. Secondary outcomes included the mean quantitative colony counts of candida over 14 days prior to menses. There was no evidence of a difference between the proportion of cases in the garlic and placebo groups (76 versus 90%; relative risk, RR 0.85; 95% confidence interval, 95% CI 0.67-1.08), in the mean colony counts in both groups (ratio of geometric means of candidal colony counts 0.63; 95% CI 0.39-10.03; P = 0.74), or difference in the number of women reporting abnormal vaginal symptoms during the 2 weeks before menstruation (RR 1.03; 95% CI 0.67-1.58; P = 0.91). The garlic group reported more adverse effects (83% compared 43% in the placebo group; difference in proportions 39%; 95% CI 17-%; P < 0.01). This study provided data for sample size calculations in future studies on the antifungal effect of garlic, but provided no evidence to inform clinical practice regarding the use of garlic in vaginal candidiasis. Further studies might investigate longer courses or topical formulations.
    BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 12/2013; · 3.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: COAST (Chiropractic Observation and Analysis Study) aimed to describe the clinical practices of chiropractors in Victoria, Australia. Cross-sectional study using the BEACH (Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health) methods for general practice. 180 chiropractors in active clinical practice in Victoria were randomly selected from the list of 1298 chiropractors registered on Chiropractors Registration Board of Victoria. Twenty-four chiropractors were ineligible, 72 agreed to participate, and 52 completed the study. Each participating chiropractor documented encounters with up to 100 consecutive patients. For each chiropractor-patient encounter, information collected included patient health profile, patient reasons for encounter, problems and diagnoses, and chiropractic care. Data were collected on 4464 chiropractor-patient encounters from 52 chiropractors between 11 December 2010 and 28 September 2012. In most (71%) encounters, patients were aged 25-64 years; 1% of encounters were with infants (age < 1 year; 95% CI, 0.3%-3.2%). Musculoskeletal reasons for encounter were described by patients at a rate of 60 per 100 encounters (95% CI, 54-67 encounters) and maintenance and wellness or check-up reasons were described at a rate of 39 per 100 encounters (95% CI, 33-47 encounters). Back problems were managed at a rate of 62 per 100 encounters (95% CI, 55-71 encounters). The most frequent care provided by the chiropractors was spinal manipulative therapy and massage. A range of conditions are managed by chiropractors in Victoria, Australia, but most commonly these conditions are musculoskeletal-related. These results can be used by stakeholders of the chiropractic profession in workforce development, education and health care policy.
    The Medical journal of Australia 11/2013; 199(10):687-91. · 2.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Evidence for a benefit of interventions to help women who screen positive for intimate partner violence (IPV) in health-care settings is limited. We assessed whether brief counselling from family doctors trained to respond to women identified through IPV screening would increase women's quality of life, safety planning and behaviour, and mental health. METHODS: In this cluster randomised controlled trial, we enrolled family doctors from clinics in Victoria, Australia, and their female patients (aged 16-50 years) who screened positive for fear of a partner in past 12 months in a health and lifestyle survey. The study intervention consisted of the following: training of doctors, notification to doctors of women screening positive for fear of a partner, and invitation to women for one-to-six sessions of counselling for relationship and emotional issues. We used a computer-generated randomisation sequence to allocate doctors to control (standard care) or intervention, stratified by location of each doctor's practice (urban vs rural), with random permuted block sizes of two and four within each stratum. Data were collected by postal survey at baseline and at 6 months and 12 months post-invitation (2008-11). Researchers were masked to treatment allocation, but women and doctors enrolled into the trial were not. Primary outcomes were quality of life (WHO Quality of Life-BREF), safety planning and behaviour, mental health (SF-12) at 12 months. Secondary outcomes included depression and anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; cut-off ≥8); women's report of an inquiry from their doctor about the safety of them and their children; and comfort to discuss fear with their doctor (five-point Likert scale). Analyses were by intention to treat, accounting for missing data, and estimates reported were adjusted for doctor location and outcome scores at baseline. This trial is registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry, number ACTRN12608000032358. FINDINGS: We randomly allocated 52 doctors (and 272 women who were eligible for inclusion and returned their baseline survey) to either intervention (25 doctors, 137 women) or control (27 doctors, 135 women). 96 (70%) of 137 women in the intervention group (seeing 23 doctors) and 100 (74%) of 135 women in the control group (seeing 26 doctors) completed 12 month follow-up. We detected no difference in quality of life, safety planning and behaviour, or mental health SF-12 at 12 months. For secondary outcomes, we detected no between-group difference in anxiety at 12 months or comfort to discuss fear at 6 months, but depressiveness caseness at 12 months was improved in the intervention group compared with the control group (odds ratio 0·3, 0·1-0·7; p=0·005), as was doctor enquiry at 6 months about women's safety (5·1, 1·9-14·0; p=0·002) and children's safety (5·5, 1·6-19·0; p=0·008). We recorded no adverse events. INTERPRETATION: Our findings can inform further research on brief counselling for women disclosing intimate partner violence in primary care settings, but do not lend support to the use of postal screening in the identification of those patients. However, we suggest that family doctors should be trained to ask about the safety of women and children, and to provide supportive counselling for women experiencing abuse, because our findings suggest that, although we detected no improvement in quality of life, counselling can reduce depressive symptoms. FUNDING: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.
    The Lancet 04/2013; · 39.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effectiveness of goal focused telephone coaching by practice nurses in improving glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes in Australia. Prospective, cluster randomised controlled trial, with general practices as the unit of randomisation. General practices in Victoria, Australia. 59 of 69 general practices that agreed to participate recruited sufficient patients and were randomised. Of 829 patients with type 2 diabetes (glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) >7.5% in the past 12 months) who were assessed for eligibility, 473 (236 from 30 intervention practices and 237 from 29 control practices) agreed to participate. Practice nurses from intervention practices received two days of training in a telephone coaching programme, which aimed to deliver eight telephone and one face to face coaching episodes per patient. The primary end point was mean absolute change in HbA1c between baseline and 18 months in the intervention group compared with the control group. The intervention and control patients were similar at baseline. None of the practices dropped out over the study period; however, patient attrition rates were 5% in each group (11/236 and 11/237 in the intervention and control group, respectively). The median number of coaching sessions received by the 236 intervention patients was 3 (interquartile range 1-5), of which 25% (58/236) did not receive any coaching sessions. At 18 months' follow-up the effect on glycaemic control did not differ significantly (mean difference 0.02, 95% confidence interval -0.20 to 0.24, P=0.84) between the intervention and control groups, adjusted for HbA1c measured at baseline and the clustering. Other biochemical and clinical outcomes were similar in both groups. A practice nurse led telephone coaching intervention implemented in the real world primary care setting produced comparable outcomes to usual primary care in Australia. The addition of a goal focused coaching role onto the ongoing generalist role of a practice nurse without prescribing rights was found to be ineffective. Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN50662837.
    BMJ (online) 01/2013; 347:f5272. · 17.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Intimate partner violence (IPV) has major affects on women's wellbeing. There has been limited investigation of the association between type and severity of IPV and health outcomes. This article describes socio-demographic characteristics, experiences of abuse, health, safety, and use of services in women enrolled in the Women's Evaluation of Abuse and Violence Care (WEAVE) project. We explored associations between type and severity of abuse and women's health, quality of life, and help seeking. Women (aged 16-50 years) attending 52 Australian general practices, reporting fear of partners in last 12 months were mailed a survey between June 2008 and May 2010. Response rate was 70.5% (272/386). In the last 12 months, one third (33.0%) experienced Severe Combined Abuse, 26.2% Physical and Emotional Abuse, 26.6% Emotional Abuse and/or Harassment only, 2.7% Physical Abuse only and 12.4% scored negative on the Composite Abuse Scale. A total of 31.6% of participants reported poor or fair health and 67.9% poor social support. In the last year, one third had seen a psychologist (36.6%) or had 5 or more general practitioner visits (34.3%); 14.7% contacted IPV services; and 24.4% had made a safety plan. Compared to other abuse groups, women with Severe Combined Abuse had poor quality of life and mental health, despite using more medications, counseling, and IPV services and were more likely to have days out of role because of emotional issues. In summary, women who were fearful of partners in the last year, have poor mental health and quality of life, attend health care services frequently, and domestic violence services infrequently. Those women experiencing severe combined physical, emotional, and sexual abuse have poorer quality of life and mental health than women experiencing other abuse types. Health practitioners should take a history of type and severity of abuse for women with mental health issues to assist access to appropriate specialist support.
    Journal of Interpersonal Violence 08/2012; · 1.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: There are growing worldwide concerns about the ability of primary health care systems to manage the major burden of illness in young people. Over two thirds of premature adult deaths result from risks that manifest in adolescence, including injury, neuropsychiatric problems and consequences of risky behaviours. One policy response is to better reorientate primary health services towards prevention and early intervention. Currently, however, there is insufficient evidence to support this recommendation for young people. This paper describes the design and implementation of a trial testing an intervention to promote psychosocial risk screening of all young people attending general practice and to respond to identified risks using motivational interviewing. Main outcomes: clinicians' detection of risk-taking and emotional distress, young people's intention to change and reduction of risk taking. Secondary outcomes: pathways to care, trust in the clinician and likelihood of returning for future visits. The design of the economic and process evaluation are not detailed in this protocol. METHODS: PARTY is a cluster randomised trial recruiting 42 general practices in Victoria, Australia. Baseline measures include: youth friendly practice characteristics; practice staff's self-perceived competency in young people's care and clinicians' detection and response to risk taking behaviours and emotional distress in 14-24 year olds, attending the practice. Practices are then stratified by a social disadvantage index and billing methods and randomised. Intervention practices receive: nine hours of training and tools; feedback of their baseline data and two practice visits over six weeks. Comparison practices receive a three hour seminar in youth friendly practice only. Six weeks post-intervention, 30 consecutive young people were interviewed post-consultation from each practice and followed-up for self-reported risk taking behaviour and emotional distress three and 12 months post consultation. DISCUSSION: The PARTY trial is the first to examine the effectiveness and efficiency of a psychosocial risk screening and counselling intervention for young people attending primary care. It will provide important data on health risk profiles of young people attending general practice and on the effects of the intervention on engagement with primary care and health outcomes over 12 months. Trial registration ISRCTN16059206 Key Words Young people, health risks, screening, motivational interviewing, emotional distress, primary care, health outcomes.
    BMC Public Health 06/2012; 12(1):400. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the link between multimorbidity, type of chronic physical health problems and depressive symptoms The study was a cross-sectional postal survey conducted in 30 General Practices in Victoria, Australia as part of the diamond longitudinal study. Participants included 7,620 primary care attendees; 66% were females; age range from 18 to 76 years (mean = 51 years SD = 14); 81% were born in Australia; 64% were married and 67% lived in an urban area. The main outcome measures include the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and a study-specific self-report check list of 12 common chronic physical health problems. The prevalence of probable depression increased with increasing number of chronic physical conditions (1 condition: 23%; 2 conditions: 27%; 3 conditions: 30%; 4 conditions: 31%; 5 or more conditions: 41%). Only 16% of those with no listed physical conditions recorded CES-D scores of 16 or above. Across the listed physical conditions the prevalence of 'probable depression' ranged from 24% for hypertension; 35% for emphysema; 35% for dermatitis to 36% for stroke. The dose-response relationship is reduced when functional limitations and self-rated health are taken into account, suggesting that these factors mediate the relationship. A clear dose-response relationship exists between the number of chronic physical problems and depressive symptoms. The relationship between multimorbidity and depression appears to be mediated via self-perceived health related quality of life. Primary care practitioners will identify more cases of depression if they focus on those with more than one chronic health problem, no matter what the problems may be, being especially aware in the group who rate their health as poor/fair.
    Social Psychiatry 12/2010; 47(2):175-84. · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Intimate partner abuse (IPA) is a major public health problem with serious implications for the physical and psychosocial wellbeing of women, particularly women of child-bearing age. It is a common, hidden problem in general practice and has been under-researched in this setting. Opportunities for early intervention and support in primary care need to be investigated given the frequency of contact women have with general practice. Despite the high prevalence and health consequences of abuse, there is insufficient evidence for screening in primary care settings. Furthermore, there is little rigorous evidence to guide general practitioners (GPs) in responding to women identified as experiencing partner abuse. This paper describes the design of a trial of a general practice-based intervention consisting of screening for fear of partner with feedback to GPs, training for GPs, brief counselling for women and minimal practice organisational change. It examines the effect on women's quality of life, mental health and safety behaviours. weave is a cluster randomised controlled trial involving 40 general practices in Victoria, Australia. Approximately 500 women (16-50 years) seen by the GP in the previous year are mailed a short lifestyle survey containing an item to screen for IPA. Women who indicate that they were afraid of a partner/ex-partner in the last year and provide contact details are invited to participate. Once baseline data are collected, GPs are randomly assigned to either a group involving healthy relationship and responding to IPA training plus inviting women for up to 6 sessions of counselling or to a group involving basic education and usual care for women. Outcomes will be evaluated by postal survey at 6 and 12 months following delivery of the intervention. There will be an economic evaluation, and process evaluation involving interviews with women and GPs, to inform understanding about implementation and outcomes. The weave trial responds to an urgent need for more evidence on what can be achieved in primary care with regard to responding to women who experience IPA. It will provide important knowledge about the effectiveness of a brief method of screening, professional IPA training program and brief counselling for women. [ACTRN12608000032358].
    BMC Public Health 01/2010; 10:2. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Depressive symptoms, intimate partner violence and hazardous drinking are common among patients attending general practice. Despite the high prevalence of these three problems; the relationship between them remains relatively unexplored. This paper explores the association between depressive symptoms, ever being afraid of a partner and hazardous drinking using cross-sectional screening data from 7667 randomly selected patients from a large primary care cohort study of 30 metropolitan and rural general practices in Victoria, Australia. The screening postal survey included the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, the Fast Alcohol Screening Test and a screening question from the Composite Abuse Scale on ever being afraid of any intimate partner. 23.9% met criteria for depressive symptoms. A higher proportion of females than males (20.8% vs. 7.6%) reported ever being afraid of a partner during their lifetime (OR 3.2, 95%CI 2.5 to 4.0) and a lower proportion of females (12%) than males (25%) were hazardous drinkers (OR 0.4; 95%CI 0.4 to 0.5); and a higher proportion of females than males (20.8% vs. 7.6%) reported ever being afraid of a partner during their lifetime (OR 3.2, 95%CI 2.5 to 4.0). Men and women who had ever been afraid of a partner or who were hazardous drinkers had on average higher depressive symptom scores than those who had never been afraid or who were not hazardous drinkers. There was a stronger association between depressive symptoms and ever been afraid of a partner compared to hazardous drinking for both males (ever afraid of partner; Diff 6.87; 95% CI 5.42, 8.33; p < 0.001 vs. hazardous drinking in last year; Diff 1.07, 95% CI 0.21, 1.94; p = 0.015) and females (ever afraid of partner; Diff 5.26; 95% CI 4.55, 5.97; p < 0.001 vs. hazardous drinking in last year; Diff 2.23, 95% CI 1.35, 3.11; p < 0.001), even after adjusting for age group, income, employment status, marital status, living alone and education level. Strategies to assist primary care doctors to recognise and manage intimate partner violence and hazardous drinking in patients with depression may lead to better outcomes from management of depression in primary care.
    BMC Family Practice 01/2010; 11:72. · 1.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To report patient responses to the General Practice Assessment Questionnaire (GPAQ) as a measure of satisfaction with health care received from Australian general practitioners. A clustered cross-sectional study involving general practice patients from 30 randomly selected general practices in Victoria. Between January and December 2005, a screening survey, including a postal version of the GPAQ, was mailed to 17 780 eligible patients. Scores on the six GPAQ items. We analysed data from 7130 patients who completed the screening survey and fulfilled our eligibility criteria. Levels of patient satisfaction with general practice care were generally high: mean GPAQ scores ranged from 68.6 (95% CI, 66.1-71.0) for satisfaction with access to the practice to 84.0 (95% CI, 82.2-85.4) for satisfaction with communication. Intracluster correlations for the GPAQ items ranged from 0.016 for overall satisfaction with the practice to 0.163 for satisfaction with access to the practice. Compared with national benchmarks in the United Kingdom, the GPs and practices participating in our study were rated higher on all six GPAQ items. Multivariable mixed effects linear regression showed that patients who were older, rated their health more highly, visited their GP more frequently and saw the same GP each time tended to express greater satisfaction with their care. Generally patients reported high levels of satisfaction with GP care. Greater satisfaction with care was associated with older patients, good health, more frequent contact with the GP, and seeing the one GP consistently.
    The Medical journal of Australia 09/2008; 189(4):215-9. · 2.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Intimate partner abuse causes significant morbidity and mortality in women attending general practice. Currently there is insufficient evidence for screening all women but case finding of women at risk of intimate partner abuse is recommended. To develop physical symptoms and sociodemographic indicators for partner abuse for women attending general practice. Descriptive, cross-sectional survey. Thirty general practices in Victoria, Australia. A total of 1257 consecutive women attending general practice (response rate 77%) were screened for a history of partner abuse using a self-report questionnaire. The presence of partner abuse in the last 12 months was measured by the Composite Abuse Scale. Women who reported more than two physical symptoms in the last month were more likely to report experiencing partner abuse in the last 12 months (3-5 symptoms, odds ratio [OR]=2.32, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.55 to 3.48; 6-15 symptoms OR=3.47, 95% CI=2.21 to 5.47). Many individual physical symptoms were associated with partner abuse in the bivariable analysis. Multivariable analysis showed clinical indicators of partner abuse (excluding the strong association with depression) which included sociodemographic features (age, separated/divorced, low education, low income, no private insurance) and physical symptoms (diarrhoea, tiredness, chest pain). Clinicians should be alert for current and past partner abuse in women who are separated/divorced, on low incomes, have poor education, or have multiple physical symptoms in the past month. Future research questions include what interventions would work for women who have been or are being abused once identified.
    British Journal of General Practice 08/2008; 58(552):484-7. · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To report the baseline characteristics of the Diagnosis, Management and Outcomes of Depression in Primary Care (diamond) study cohort and discuss the implications for depression care in general practice. A prospective longitudinal study beginning in January 2005. Adult patients with depressive symptoms identified via screening with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D > or = 16) in 30 randomly selected Victorian general practices. Depression status on the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ). 789 patients form the cohort (71% women). At baseline, 47% were married, 21% lived alone, 36% received a pension or benefit, 15% were unable to work, 23% reported hazardous drinking, 32% were smokers, 39% used antidepressants and 19% used sedatives. 27% satisfied criteria for current major depressive syndrome (MDS) on the PHQ, while 52% had "persistent" depressive symptoms, and 22% had "transient" depressive symptoms, lasting at most a few weeks. Of those satisfying criteria for MDS, 49% were also classified with an anxiety syndrome, 40% reported childhood sexual abuse, 57% reported childhood physical abuse, 42% had at some time been afraid of their partner, and 72% reported a chronic physical condition; 84% were receiving mental health care (either taking antidepressants or seeing a health practitioner specifically for mental health care) compared with 66% of those with persistent depressive symptoms and 57% with transient depressive symptoms. This method of screening for depressive symptoms in general practice identifies a group of patients with substantial multiple comorbidities -- psychiatric, physical and social problems coexist with depressive symptoms, raising challenges for the management of depression in general practice.
    The Medical journal of Australia 06/2008; 188(12 Suppl):S119-25. · 2.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A cluster randomised trial was conducted to determine the effectiveness of locally adapted practice guidelines and education about paediatric asthma management, delivered to general practitioners (GPs) in small group interactive workshops. Twenty-nine practices were randomly allocated to one of three study arms. Australian asthma management guidelines were adapted to accommodate characteristics of the local area. GPs in the intervention arm (Group 1, n = 18 GPs) participated in a small group based education program and were provided with the adapted guidelines. One control arm (Group 2, n = 18 GPs) received only the adapted guidelines, while the other control arm (Group 3, n = 15 GPs) received an unrelated education intervention. GPs' knowledge, attitudes and management of paediatric asthma was assessed. Post intervention, intervention arm GPs were no more likely to provide a written asthma action plan, but were better able to assess the severity of asthma attack (Group 1vs Group 2 p = 0.05 and Group 1 vs Group 3 p = 0.01), better able to identify patients at high risk of severe attack (Group 1vs Group 3 p = 0.06), and tended to score higher on the asthma knowledge questionnaire (Group 1 vs Group 2 p = 0.06 and Group 1 vs Group 3 p = 0.2). Most intervention arm GPs felt more confident than control GPs to manage acute asthma attack and ongoing management of infrequent episodic asthma. Using interactive small group workshops to disseminate locally adapted guidelines was associated with improvement in GP's knowledge and confidence to manage asthma, but did not change GP's self-reported provision of written action plans.
    BMC Family Practice 02/2008; 9:22. · 1.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The PEACH study is based on an innovative 'telephone coaching' program that has been used effectively in a post cardiac event trial. This intervention will be tested in a General Practice setting in a pragmatic trial using existing Practice Nurses (PN) as coaches for people with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Actual clinical care often fails to achieve standards, that are based on evidence that self-management interventions (educational and psychological) and intensive pharmacotherapy improve diabetes control. Telephone coaching in our study focuses on both. This paper describes our study protocol, which aims to test whether goal focused telephone coaching in T2D can improve diabetes control and reduce the treatment gap between guideline based standards and actual clinical practice. In a cluster randomised controlled trial, general practices employing Practice Nurses (PNs) are randomly allocated to an intervention or control group. We aim to recruit 546 patients with poorly controlled T2D (HbA1c >7.5%) from 42 General Practices that employ PNs in Melbourne, Australia. PNs from General Practices allocated to the intervention group will be trained in diabetes telephone coaching focusing on biochemical targets addressing both patient self-management and engaging patients to work with their General Practitioners (GPs) to intensify pharmacological treatment according to the study clinical protocol. Patients of intervention group practices will receive 8 telephone coaching sessions and one face-to-face coaching session from existing PNs over 18 months plus usual care and outcomes will be compared to the control group, who will only receive only usual care from their GPs. The primary outcome is HbA1c levels and secondary outcomes include cardiovascular disease risk factors, behavioral risk factors and process of care measures. Understanding how to achieve comprehensive treatment of T2D in a General Practice setting is the focus of the PEACH study. This study explores the potential role for PNs to help reduce the treatment and outcomes gap in people with T2D by using telephone coaching. The intervention, if found to be effective, has potential to be sustained and embedded within real world General Practice.
    BMC Family Practice 01/2007; 8:20. · 1.61 Impact Factor
  • Susan Nicolson, Marie Pirotta, Patty Chondros
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    ABSTRACT: Shared maternity care is an important model of care in Australia and overseas, but Victorian studies have shown patient dissatisfaction and widespread communication problems. This study aimed to implement and evaluate initiatives to improve communication between three maternity hospitals and general practitioners involved in shared maternity care in Melbourne. A pre- and post-design with audit of 150 hospital records at each of three hospitals plus audit of 20 general practitioner files for evidence of key communications on shared care patients, before and after a multifaceted intervention. Significant improvements at individual hospitals were seen if one person was made responsible for a communication outcome. Other initiatives did not lead to improvements if they did not include individual accountability. The standard of integration of shared maternity care is unacceptable low. Improvements to communication are achievable but depend on the allocation of individual time and responsibility, plus a commitment by hospitals to ongoing audit of their performance.
    Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 01/2006; 45(6):509-13. · 1.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper provides intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for estimation of sample size inflation required in future cluster randomised trials in primary or residential care. Three cluster randomised trials were conducted among middle-aged and older adults in primary care and residential care in Australia and New Zealand between 1995 and 2002. Baseline means or proportions, mean change, and ICCs with their standard errors and 95% confidence intervals are reported for outcome variables used in the three studies. The ICCs were estimated from a one-way random effects model using the analysis of variance method. ICCs for quality of life and psychological variables in the primary care studies were low (below 0.018). ICCs for clinical and physical activity variables ranged from 0 to 0.08. ICCs for health and functional status in residential care for the elderly were high, ranging from 0.025 to 0.514. The magnitude of the intraclass correlation varies with the venue of the trial, the outcome variables used, and the expected effect of the intervention. However, the intraclass correlations provided will be useful for more appropriate planning of residential and primary care-based trials in the future.
    Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 11/2005; 29(5):461-7. · 1.64 Impact Factor
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    Stephanie A Knox, Patty Chondros
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    ABSTRACT: Cluster sample study designs are cost effective, however cluster samples violate the simple random sample assumption of independence of observations. Failure to account for the intra-cluster correlation of observations when sampling through clusters may lead to an under-powered study. Researchers therefore need estimates of intra-cluster correlation for a range of outcomes to calculate sample size. We report intra-cluster correlation coefficients observed within a large-scale cross-sectional study of general practice in Australia, where the general practitioner (GP) was the primary sampling unit and the patient encounter was the unit of inference. Each year the Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH) study recruits a random sample of approximately 1,000 GPs across Australia. Each GP completes details of 100 consecutive patient encounters. Intra-cluster correlation coefficients were estimated for patient demographics, morbidity managed and treatments received. Intra-cluster correlation coefficients were estimated for descriptive outcomes and for associations between outcomes and predictors and were compared across two independent samples of GPs drawn three years apart. Between April 1999 and March 2000, a random sample of 1,047 Australian general practitioners recorded details of 104,700 patient encounters. Intra-cluster correlation coefficients for patient demographics ranged from 0.055 for patient sex to 0.451 for language spoken at home. Intra-cluster correlations for morbidity variables ranged from 0.005 for the management of eye problems to 0.059 for management of psychological problems. Intra-cluster correlation for the association between two variables was smaller than the descriptive intra-cluster correlation of each variable. When compared with the April 2002 to March 2003 sample (1,008 GPs) the estimated intra-cluster correlation coefficients were found to be consistent across samples. The demonstrated precision and reliability of the estimated intra-cluster correlations indicate that these coefficients will be useful for calculating sample sizes in future general practice surveys that use the GP as the primary sampling unit.
    BMC Medical Research Methodology 01/2005; 4(1):30. · 2.21 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

499 Citations
147.07 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2002–2014
    • University of Melbourne
      • • Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care
      • • Department of Medicine
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    • Center for Adolescent Health and the Law
      North Carolina, United States
  • 2010
    • IMIM Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute
      • Substance Use Disorders Group
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2008
    • University of Sharjah
      • Department of Family and Community Medicine and Behavioral Sciences
      Ash Shāriqah, Ash Shāriqah, United Arab Emirates
  • 2005
    • University of Sydney
      Sydney, New South Wales, Australia