[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interventions promoting physical activity by General Practitioners (GPs) lack a strong evidence base. Recruiting participants to trials in primary care is challenging. We investigated the feasibility of (i) delivering three interventions to promote physical activity in inactive participants and (ii) different methods of participant recruitment and randomised allocation.
We recruited general practices from Devon, Bristol and Coventry. We used a 2-by-2 factorial design for participant recruitment and randomisation. Recruitment strategies were either opportunistic (approaching patients attending their GP surgery) or systematic (selecting patients from practice lists and approaching them by letter). Randomisation strategies were either individual or by practice cluster. Feasibility outcomes included time taken to recruit the target number of participants within each practice. Participants were randomly allocated to one of three interventions: (i) written advice (control); (ii) brief GP advice (written advice plus GP advice on physical activity), and (iii) brief GP advice plus a pedometer to self-monitor physical activity during the trial. Participants allocated to written advice or brief advice eachreceived a sealed pedometer to record their physical activity, and were instructed not to unseal the pedometer before the scheduled day of data collection. Participant level outcomes were reported descriptively and included the mean number of pedometer steps over a 7-day period, and European Quality of Life (EuroQoL)-5 dimensions (EQ-5D) scores, recorded at 12 weeks' follow-up.
We recruited 24 practices (12 using each recruitment method; 18 randomising by cluster, 6 randomising by individual participant), encompassing 131 participants. Opportunistic recruitment was associated with less time to target recruitment compared with systematic (mean difference (days) -54.9, 95% confidence interval (CI) -103.6; -6.2) but with greater loss to follow up (28.8% versus. 6.9%; mean difference 21.9% (95% CI 9.6%; 34.1%)). There were differences in the socio-demographic characteristics of participants according to recruitment method. There was no clear pattern of change in participant level outcomes from baseline to 12 weeks across the three arms.
Delivering and trialling GP-led interventions to promote physical activity is feasible, but trial design influences time to participant recruitment, participant withdrawal, and possibly, the socio-demographic characteristics of participants.Trial registration number: ISRCTN73725618.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The rise in childhood obesity in recent years has been accompanied by a number of initiatives to treat the condition. However, such interventions have often been characterised by poor levels of adherence to treatment and corresponding high attrition rates. This article presents data drawn from qualitative interviews to examine families' reasons for engaging or not engaging with child obesity services. Interviews took place with 15 families whose children attended a UK-based childhood obesity service and 17 families whose children withdrew from treatment. Our data suggested that involvement of children in the decision to attend a clinic was important in building engagement. Specialist diet and exercise advice tailored to individual family circumstance encouraged clinic engagement, but failed to engage some families who felt their personal circumstances had not been considered sufficiently. The clinic environment was viewed as not age appropriate for some children and did not match the expectations of some families. Our findings highlight the value of involving children in the decision to attend an obesity service and practitioners should, as much as possible, tailor advice to the circumstances of each family. Providing clinics for particular age groups in terms of environment and timing may enhance engagement with services.
Journal of Child Health Care 05/2013; · 0.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: WHAT IS ALREADY KNOWN ABOUT THIS SUBJECT: Approximately one-fifth of children in the UK are obese. There are currently few, effective interventions available in the UK. There are very little data on relative cost-effectiveness of childhood obesity interventions, which hampers the commissioning of future services. WHAT THIS STUDY ADDS: Simple multi-component obesity interventions can be provided at relatively low cost per 0.1 body mass index standard deviation score (BMI SDS) improvement. More intensive and effective interventions incur greater cost per 0.1 BMI SDS reduction but this may be justified given the improved overall BMI SDS reduction attained. OBJECTIVE: To describe the costs and outcomes of three models of care for childhood obesity previously evaluated in two 2-arm pilot randomized trials in England. The treatments were (i) a hospital clinic (control in both trials), comprising a multidisciplinary team of consultant, dietitian and exercise specialist; (ii) a nurse-led primary care clinic replicating the service provided by the hospital and (iii) an intensive intervention using Mandometer®, a behaviour modification tool aimed at encouraging slower eating and better recognition of satiety. METHOD: Patient-level data on resources used to deliver each intervention were collected during the trials. Apart from the cost of the Mandometer® the majority of cost was staff time, dependent on discipline and grade. Outcome for both trials was body mass index standard deviation score (BMI SDS) measured at 12 months. RESULTS: Cost and outcome data were available for 143 children in total. Cost per child was £1749 (SD £243) in the Mandometer® group, £301 (£76) in the primary care group, and £263 (£88) and £209 (£81) in the hospital groups. Mean reduction in BMI SDS was 0.40 (0.35), 0.17 (0.26), 0.15 (0.25) and 0.14 (0.32), respectively. CONCLUSION: Intensive management using Mandometer® was effective but costly (£432 per 0.1 reduction in BMI SDS) compared to conventional care (range £153-£173). A total of 26% children receiving conventional care achieved a clinically meaningful reduction in BMI SDS; however, use of Mandometer® training may be justified in children not responding to conventional lifestyle interventions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The TREAting Depression with physical activity (TREAD) study investigated the cost-effectiveness of a physical activity intervention, in addition to usual general practitioner care, as a treatment for people with depression.
An individually randomised, pragmatic, multicentre randomised controlled trial with follow-up at 4, 8 and 12 months. A subset of participants took part in a qualitative study that investigated the acceptability and perceived benefits of the intervention.
General practices in the Bristol and Exeter areas.
Aged 18-69 years with an International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Edition (ICD-10) diagnosis of depression and scoring ≥ 14 on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Those who were unable to complete self-administered questionnaires in English, with medical contraindications to physical activity or with psychosis, bipolar disorder or serious drug abuse were excluded.
We devised an intervention designed to encourage choice and autonomy in the adoption of physical activity. It consisted of up to three face-to-face and ten telephone contacts delivered by a trained physical activity facilitator over an 8-month period.
The primary outcome was the BDI score measured at 4 months. Secondary outcomes included depressive symptoms over the 12 months and quality of life, antidepressant use and level of physical activity.
The study recruited 361 patients, with 182 randomised to the intervention arm and 179 to the usual care arm; there was 80% retention at the 4-month follow-up. The intervention group had a slightly lower BDI score at 4 months [-0.54, 95% confidence interval (CI) -3.06 to 1.99] but there was no evidence that the intervention improved outcome for depression. Neither was there any evidence to suggest a difference in the prescription of or self-reported use of antidepressants. However, the amount of physical activity undertaken by those who had received the intervention was increased (odds ratio 2.3, 95% CI 1.3 to 3.9) and was sustained beyond the end of the intervention. From a health-care perspective, the intervention group was more costly than the usual care group, with the cost of the intervention £220 per person on average. It is therefore extremely unlikely that the intervention is cost-effective as a treatment for depression using current willingness-to-pay thresholds.
This physical activity intervention is very unlikely to lead to any clinical benefit in terms of depressive symptoms or to be a cost-effective treatment for depression. Previous research has reported some benefit and there are three possible reasons for this discrepancy: first, even though the intervention increased self-reported physical activity, the increase in activity was not sufficiently large to lead to a measurable influence; second, only more vigorous activity might be of benefit; and third, previous studies had recruited individuals with a pre-existing commitment to physical activity. Future research is needed to identify and explain the mechanisms by which depression might be effectively treated, including, in particular, specific guidance on the optimum type, intensity and duration of physical activity required to produce a therapeutic effect.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN16900744.
This project was funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in Health Technology Assessment; Vol. 16, No. 10. See the HTA programme website for further project information.
Health technology assessment (Winchester, England). 03/2012; 16(10):1-164, iii-iv.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Care Of Childhood Obesity (COCO) clinic at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children (BRHC) uses a multidisciplinary approach comprising a consultant, dietitian, and exercise specialist. The clinic has demonstrated efficacy in managing children's weight but similar clinics are scarce in the UK.
This pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) aimed to examine the feasibility of undertaking a fully powered RCT and to gauge whether the COCO model could be effective as a nurse-led clinic in primary care settings.
Patients were randomised to a hospital-based childhood obesity clinic or a nurse-led clinic in a primary care setting in south-west England.
Children aged 5-16 years with a body mass index (BMI) ≥98th centile were referred by GPs to the consultant in charge of the COCO clinic at BRHC. Referred children were clinically screened for suitability and invited into the study. Consenting families were randomised to BRHC or a primary care clinic (PCC) and offered five appointments over 12 months. Clinical effectiveness was measured by change in body mass index standard deviation score (BMI SDS) at 12 months. Other measures included: treatment adherence, quality of life (QOL), and satisfaction. Feasibility was examined by assessing referral, screening, and recruitment data.
A total 152 patients were referred by GPs: 31 (20%) were screened out; 45 (30%) declined to participate. Seventy-six (50%) patients were randomised and 68 provided baseline data (PCC = 42; BRHC = 26); 52 provided outcome data (PCC = 29; BRHC = 23). Mean change in BMI SDS was PCC -0.17 (95% confidence interval [CI] = -0.27 to -0.07); BRHC -0.15 (95% CI = -0.26 to -0.05). QOL, adherence, and satisfaction data indicated similar positive patterns in both trial arms.
Screening and recruitment data indicate that primary care is a clinically appropriate setting and acceptable to families. The primary clinical outcome measure (reduction in BMI SDS), along with secondary outcome measures, indicate that primary care has the potential to be effective in providing weight management for children, using the COCO model.
British Journal of General Practice 01/2012; 62(594):e6-12. · 1.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the effectiveness of facilitated physical activity as an adjunctive treatment for adults with depression presenting in primary care.
Pragmatic, multicentre, two arm parallel randomised controlled trial.
General practices in Bristol and Exeter.
361 adults aged 18-69 who had recently consulted their general practitioner with symptoms of depression. All those randomised had a diagnosis of an episode of depression as assessed by the clinical interview schedule-revised and a Beck depression inventory score of 14 or more.
In addition to usual care, intervention participants were offered up to three face to face sessions and 10 telephone calls with a trained physical activity facilitator over eight months. The intervention was based on theory and aimed to provide individually tailored support and encouragement to engage in physical activity.
The primary outcome was self reported symptoms of depression, assessed with the Beck depression inventory at four months post-randomisation. Secondary outcomes included use of antidepressants and physical activity at the four, eight, and 12 month follow-up points, and symptoms of depression at eight and 12 month follow-up.
There was no evidence that participants offered the physical activity intervention reported improvement in mood by the four month follow-up point compared with those in the usual care group; adjusted between group difference in mean Beck depression inventory score -0.54 (95% confidence interval -3.06 to 1.99; P=0.68). Similarly, there was no evidence that the intervention group reported a change in mood by the eight and 12 month follow-up points. Nor was there evidence that the intervention reduced antidepressant use compared with usual care (adjusted odds ratio 0.63, 95% confidence interval 0.19 to 2.06; P=0.44) over the duration of the trial. However, participants allocated to the intervention group reported more physical activity during the follow-up period than those allocated to the usual care group (adjusted odds ratio 2.27, 95% confidence interval 1.32 to 3.89; P=0.003).
The addition of a facilitated physical activity intervention to usual care did not improve depression outcome or reduce use of antidepressants compared with usual care alone.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN16900744.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During consultations on weight management in childhood obesity clinics, the additional costs incurred by healthy eating are often cited, as an economic barrier to achieving a better nutritional balance.
To examine whether adopting an improved theoretical, balanced diet compared to current dietary habits in children incurs additional cost.
Children aged 5-16 years (body mass index [BMI] ≥98th percentile) recruited to a randomised trial comparing a hospital-based and primary care childhood obesity clinics provided data for this study.
Three-day dietary diaries collected at baseline were analysed for energy and fat intake and then compared to a theoretical, adjusted healthy-eating diet based on the Food Standards Agency, 'Eatwell plate'. Both were priced contemporaneously using the appropriate portion size, at a neighbourhood, mid-range supermarket, at a budget supermarket, and on the local high street.
The existing diet purchased at a budget supermarket was cheapest (£2.48/day). The healthier, alternative menu at the same shop cost an additional 33 pence/day (£2.81). The same exercise in a mid-range supermarket, incurred an additional cost of 4 pence per day (£3.40 versus £3.44). Switching from an unhealthy mid-range supermarket menu to the healthier, budget-outlet alternative saved 59 pence per day. The healthier, alternative menu was cheaper than the existing diet if purchased on the high street (£3.58 versus £3.75), although for both menus this was most expensive.
For many obese children, eating healthily would not necessarily incur prohibitive, additional financial cost, although a poor diet at a budget supermarket remains the cheapest of all options. Cost is a possible barrier to healthy eating for the most economically disadvantaged.
British Journal of General Practice 01/2012; 62(594):e1-5. · 1.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antidepressant prescribing is widespread. Nonetheless, response to antidepressants is variable. If it was possible to predict response to medication and thus tailor treatment accordingly, this would not only improve patient outcomes but may also have economic benefits.
To test the hypothesis that individuals with more severe depression would benefit more from noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (NARIs) than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) compared with individuals with less severe depression.
Individuals recruited from UK primary care who met ICD-10 criteria for a depressive episode and scored 15 or more on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were randomised to either an SSRI (citalopram 20 mg daily) or a NARI (reboxetine 4 mg twice daily). Randomisation was by means of a remote automated telephone system. The main outcome was depressive symptoms measured by the BDI total score 6 weeks after randomisation. (Trial registration: ISRCTN31345163.)
In total, 601 participants were randomised (citalopram: n = 298, reboxetine: n = 303). Ninety-one per cent were followed up at 6 weeks (citalopram: n = 274, reboxetine: n = 272). There was little evidence to support an interaction between treatment and severity of depression (interaction term: 0.02, 95% CI -0.59 to 0.62, P = 0.96). Adjustment for potential confounders (age, gender, employment status, history of depression, number of life events and social support) did not affect the findings (interaction term: 0.06, 95% CI -0.54 to 0.66, P = 0.85).
Treatment with NARIs does not confer any advantage over SSRI treatment for outcome in those with more severe depressive illness presenting in primary care.
The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science 12/2011; 200(2):130-6. · 6.62 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The incidence of childhood obesity is rising in the United Kingdom and this has far-reaching and serious consequences both for the physical and psychological well-being of the child, as well as significant financial implications for the health service. General practitioners (GPs) play a central role in identifying and assessing such children and directing them to the best services. While most cases of obesity are simply due to an imbalance in calorie intake and expenditure, children do need to be formally assessed to ensure that red flags are not missed, which might signify an important underlying aetiology, co-morbidity or complication. To date, there have not been tools available to guide a GP through this assessment. In this paper, we present and explain the thinking behind a tool, which was developed for use by GPs from Bristolas part of a trial to assess the transferability of a childhood obesity clinic into primary care. We look at the evidence base behind the guidelines and then assess the appropriateness and safety of the 152 referrals made using this tool. We believe that this screening tool would enable over 85% of obese children to seek their initial weight management in primary care. Additional evaluation is needed in different regions to ensure effectiveness, sensitivity and specificity of this new tool.
Primary Health Care Research & Development 10/2011; 12(4):293-300.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The rapid increase in the prevalence of childhood obesity in recent years has led to inconclusive debate about the most effective way to manage the condition and the most appropriate care setting. Primary care has been suggested as a key site to identify and treat obesity in children.
To identify children from general practice databases with a body mass index (BMI) categorised as 'obese', and invite them for a primary care consultation and possible referral to a specialist secondary care clinic. Design and setting: Targeted screening of GP practice databases for obese children in 12 general practices in Bristol, UK.
Participating GP practices searched databases for children's BMIs which were then screened by the study team to identify obese children (≥98th centile). Practices invited families of obese children to consult their GP with the potential for referral to a specialist clinic. Follow-up data was recorded with respect to: consultations; consultations about child's weight; and referrals to specialist clinic; and other referrals.
A total of 285 letters inviting families to consult their GP were sent; 134 patients consulted their GP in the follow-up period (minimum 3 months), and 42 of these consultations discussed the child's weight. Nineteen patients received a secondary care referral and six received an alternative weight-management referral.
The low take-up following the mail-out of an invitation to consult highlights the inherent difficulties of engaging families and their obese children in care pathways that facilitate long-term weight management.
British Journal of General Practice 08/2011; 61(589):e492-7. · 1.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lifestyle changes soon after diagnosis might improve outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, but no large trials have compared interventions. We investigated the effects of diet and physical activity on blood pressure and glucose concentrations.
We did a randomised, controlled trial in southwest England in adults aged 30-80 years in whom type 2 diabetes had been diagnosed 5-8 months previously. Participants were assigned usual care (initial dietary consultation and follow-up every 6 months; control group), an intensive diet intervention (dietary consultation every 3 months with monthly nurse support), or the latter plus a pedometer-based activity programme, in a 2:5:5 ratio. The primary endpoint was improvement in glycated haemoglobin A(1c)(HbA(1c)) concentration and blood pressure at 6 months. Analysis was done by intention to treat. This study is registered, number ISRCTN92162869.
Of 593 eligible individuals, 99 were assigned usual care, 248 the diet regimen, and 246 diet plus activity. Outcome data were available for 587 (99%) and 579 (98%) participants at 6 and 12 months, respectively. At 6 months, glycaemic control had worsened in the control group (mean baseline HbA(1c) percentage 6·72, SD 1·02, and at 6 months 6·86, 1·02) but improved in the diet group (baseline-adjusted difference in percentage of HbA(1c) -0·28%, 95% CI -0·46 to -0·10; p=0·005) and diet plus activity group (-0·33%, -0·51 to -0·14; p<0·001). These differences persisted to 12 months, despite less use of diabetes drugs. Improvements were also seen in bodyweight and insulin resistance between the intervention and control groups. Blood pressure was similar in all groups.
An intensive diet intervention soon after diagnosis can improve glycaemic control. The addition of an activity intervention conferred no additional benefit.
Diabetes UK and the UK Department of Health.
The Lancet 06/2011; 378(9786):129-39. · 39.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patient participation in primary care treatment decisions has been much debated. There has been little attention to patients' contributions to primary care consultations over a period of time, when consulting about depression and its treatment with antidepressants.
To explore: (1) what issues remain unsaid during a primary care consultation for depression but are later raised by the patient as important during a research interview; (2) patients' reasons for non-disclosure; (3) whether unvoiced agendas are later voiced; and (4) the nature of the GP-patient relationship in which unvoiced agendas occur.
Qualitative interview study.
Primary health care.
Patients were recruited through six general practices in the south west of England. Qualitative interviews were carried out with 10 'pairs' of GPs and patients who presented with a new or first episode of moderate to severe depression and were prescribed antidepressants. Follow-up patient interviews were conducted at 3 and 6 months. Throughout the 6-month period, patients were invited to record subsequent consultations (with GPs' consent), using a patient-held tape recorder.
Twenty-three unvoiced agendas were revealed, often within decision-making relationships that were viewed in positive terms by patients. Unvoiced agendas included: a preference for immediate treatment, a preference to increase dosage, and the return or worsening of suicidal thoughts. In some cases, patients were concerned that they were 'letting the GP down' by not being able to report feeling better.
Unvoiced agendas are not necessarily an indication that 'shared decision making' is absent but may in some cases represent patients' attempts to 'protect' their GPs.
British Journal of General Practice 02/2011; 61(583):e63-71. · 1.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Few intervention studies of postnatal depression (PND) have evaluated accompanying changes in parenting, in spite of mounting evidence that exposure to chronic depression is detrimental to infant development. This study examined maternal attitudes and adjustment over the first postnatal year within a treatment trial. The aim was to examine whether maternal adjustment improved with earlier remission, and with combined medical and psychological treatment.
As part of a multicentre pragmatic randomised controlled trial of treatment for PND, mothers completed a measure of maternal adjustment and attitudes and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale at an initial home visit (week 0) and three follow-ups (weeks 4, 18 and 44).
Maternal attitudes and adjustment improved with PND remission; earlier remission conferred no additional benefit by 44-week follow-up. In line with previous studies, no particular treatment modality (antidepressant or health-visitor delivered non-directive counselling), or combination of treatments, was more effective for improving adjustment to parenthood. However, the earlier start of antidepressant treatment provided a short-term advantage for improving attitudes and reducing perceived stress.
As a result of the study's pragmatic trial design, there was high treatment non-compliance and no 'pure' control group. More depressed mothers may have been less likely to complete the maternal adjustment and attitudes measure.
Effective treatment of PND is important not only for the mother's wellbeing but also for healthy adjustment to parenthood. Provision of treatment choice and early antidepressant treatment are suggested for optimising maternal attitudes and adjustment.
Journal of affective disorders 02/2011; 131(1-3):284-92. · 3.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antidepressants exhibit a variety of pharmacological actions including inhibition of the serotonin and noradrenaline transporters. We wished to investigate whether genetic variation could be used to target or personalise treatment, in a comparison of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) with noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (NARIs).
To test the hypothesis that patients homozygous for the long (insertion) polymorphism of the serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) have an increased response to SSRI antidepressants but not to NARI antidepressants.
In an individually randomised, parallel-group controlled trial, people meeting criteria for a depressive episode who were referred by their general practitioner were randomised to receive either citalopram (an SSRI) or reboxetine (an NARI). Randomisation was by means of a remote automated system accessed by telephone. The main outcome was depressive symptoms, measured by Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) total score 6 weeks after randomisation. The trial was registered with the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trials Number registry (ISRCTN31345163).
Altogether 298 participants were randomised to receive citalopram and 303 were randomised to reboxetine. At 6 weeks follow-up, complete data were available for 258 participants taking citalopram and 262 taking reboxetine. We found no evidence to support an influence of 5-HTTLPR on outcome following antidepressant treatment. The interaction term for BDI score at 6 weeks was 0.50 (95% CI -2.04 to 3.03, P = 0.70), which indicated that responses to the SSRI and NARI were similar irrespective of 5-HTTLPR genotype.
It is unlikely that the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism alone will be clinically useful in predicting response to antidepressants in people with depression.
The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science 01/2011; 198(6):464-71. · 6.62 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 2009, a new indicator (DEP 3) was introduced into the Quality and Outcomes Framework. GPs are now encouraged to assess response to antidepressant treatment 5-12 weeks after the initial assessment, to guide clinical decision making. The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) is one of the validated instruments that GPs can use to assess the patient's clinical state.
To explore the extent to which changes in PHQ-9 score over time reflect patients' accounts of their experiences of depression during the same period; and to explore patients' experiences of using the PHQ-9 within primary care consultations.
Patients were recruited through six GP practices. The PHQ-9 and in-depth interviews were used at the same three time points over a 6-month period during a new or first episode of depression.
Patterns in the total PHQ-9 score broadly reflected patients' accounts of the severity of their depression over time. However, the PHQ-9 was inaccurate in its assessment of the presence and intensity of thoughts of self-harm, and missed symptoms that are meaningful to patients. At the diagnostic primary care consultation, patients viewed their score as a 'tangible' measure of their condition. Some patients requested the PHQ-9 subsequently as a way to measure their own treatment response and recovery process.
The potential therapeutic value of the PHQ-9 may be dependent upon the GP's willingness to openly discuss the results and what they may mean for the patient.
British Journal of General Practice 06/2010; 60(575):e231-8. · 1.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To explore women's experiences of health visitor delivered listening visits as a treatment for postnatal depression.
In-depth interviews with 22 women who had received listening visits as a treatment for postnatal depression.
All the women reported the visits as beneficial, although many of them had required additional intervention to manage their symptoms. Women who had a previous history of depression and women whose depression was not attributed to events in the postnatal period perceived the listening visits to be less beneficial. Receiving visits from a research health visitor, rather than their practice health visitor, was felt to be advantageous.
Women with postnatal depression may report listening visits as helpful but insufficient to manage their depression. The extent to which women report listening visits as beneficial appears to be linked to the causes of their depression, the way in which the visits are delivered and by whom.
Practitioners managing women with postnatal depression should discuss possible causes and previous episodes of depression before suggesting listening visits as a treatment. They need to explain what the visits will entail, ensure that additional types of treatment remain available and encourage women to utilise other forms of support.
Patient Education and Counseling 07/2009; 78(2):234-9. · 2.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aim To explore childrens’ and parents’ views and experiences of attending a hospital-based childhood obesity clinic, in order to inform the development of services in primary care.Background The prevalence of childhood obesity in the UK is rising. Previous literature identifies the need for long-term, regular follow-up during weight management programmes, and acknowledges the difficulties families face when making lifestyle changes. Primary care has been identified as a possible clinical setting that can meet these needs. However, there is a paucity of evidence to guide the development of such services.Method A qualitative interview study was undertaken in a hospital-based childhood obesity clinic in Bristol, England. Short in-depth interviews were held with 21 parents and 11 children attending this clinic. Interviewees were purposefully sampled to ensure interviews were held covering participants of varying age, gender and success in reducing their BMI. The interviews were audiotaped, fully transcribed and analysed thematically.Findings Families valued the multidisciplinary team approach used in the clinic in terms of the education and support it offered. They enjoyed regular follow-up, reporting that this provided ongoing support and motivation. Families whose children succeeded in BMI reduction appeared more resourceful and tended to embrace ideas for making lifestyle changes. Unsuccessful families, however, found it harder to alter their lifestyle and often met barriers to change. The authors conclude that community obesity clinics will need to provide a multidisciplinary service offering regular support and individualized exercise and dietary advice whilst attempting to address barriers to change.
Primary Health Care Research & Development 06/2009; 10(03):236 - 244.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to review evaluations and audits of primary care complementary therapy services to determine the impact of these services on improving health outcomes and reducing NHS costs. Our intention is to help service users, service providers, clinicians and NHS commissioners make informed decisions about the potential of NHS based complementary therapy services.
We searched for published and unpublished studies of NHS based primary care complementary therapy services located in England and Wales from November 2003 to April 2008. We identified the type of information included in each document and extracted comparable data on health outcomes and NHS costs (e.g. prescriptions and GP consultations).
Twenty-one documents for 14 services met our inclusion criteria. Overall, the quality of the studies was poor, so few conclusions can be made. One controlled and eleven uncontrolled studies using SF36 or MYMOP indicated that primary care complementary therapy services had moderate to strong impact on health status scores. Data on the impact of primary care complementary therapy services on NHS costs were scarcer and inconclusive. One controlled study of a medical osteopathy service found that service users did not decrease their use of NHS resources.
To improve the quality of evaluations, we urge those evaluating complementary therapy services to use standardised health outcome tools, calculate confidence intervals and collect NHS cost data from GP medical records. Further discussion is needed on ways to standardise the collection and reporting of NHS cost data in primary care complementary therapy services evaluations.
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 04/2009; 9:5. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the UK, 8-15% of women suffer from postnatal depression with long term consequences for maternal mood and child development. Current guidelines state that health visitors and GPs should continue to have a major role in the detection and management of postnatal depression. Previous literature suggests that women are reluctant to disclose symptoms of postnatal depression. This study aimed to explore general practitioners' (GPs), health visitors' and women's views on the disclosure of symptoms which may indicate postnatal depression in primary care.
In-depth interviews with GPs, health visitors and women who were participating in a randomised controlled trial of anti-depressants versus health visitor delivered non-directive counselling for the treatment of postnatal depression. Interviews were audio-taped and fully transcribed. Thematic analysis with an iterative approach was used, allowing the views of practitioners and patients to be explored and then compared.
Nineteen GPs, 14 health visitors and 28 women were interviewed. A number of common themes were identified across all three data sets: understanding and negotiating the diagnosis of postnatal depression, hindering and facilitating disclosure, and the system of care. Both women and health professionals described postnatal depression in psychosocial terms: an adjustment reaction to change in life circumstances and the reality of motherhood not meeting personal expectations. Women described making a conscious decision about whether or not to disclose their feelings to their GP or health visitor. Health professionals described strategies used to hinder disclosure and described a reluctance to make a diagnosis of postnatal depression, as they had few personal resources to manage women with postnatal depression themselves, and no services to which to refer women for further treatment.
To improve disclosure of symptoms in primary care, there should be a move away from questioning why health professionals do not make the diagnosis of depression and in response suggesting that education and training will improve skills and thus improve detection of depression. Improving the detection and management of postnatal depression in primary care requires recognition of the context in which women consult, and system changes that ensure health professionals work in an environment that can facilitate disclosure and that the necessary resources for management are available.
BMC Family Practice 02/2009; 10:7. · 1.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify and quantify symptoms of ovarian cancer in women in primary care.
Case-control study, with coding of participants' primary care records for one year before diagnosis.
39 general practices in Devon, England.
212 women aged over 40 with a diagnosis of primary ovarian cancer, 2000-7; 1060 controls matched by age and general practice.
Odds ratios and positive predictive values for symptoms from conditional logistic regression analyses.
Seven symptoms were associated with ovarian cancer in multivariable analysis. The univariable positive predictive values and multivariable odds ratios (with 95% confidence intervals) for these were 2.5% (1.2% to 5.9%) and 240 (46 to 1200) for abdominal distension; 0.5% (0.2% to 0.9%) and 24 (9.3 to 64) for postmenopausal bleeding; 0.6% (0.3% to 1.0%) and 17 (6.1 to 50) for loss of appetite; 0.2% (0.1% to 0.3%) and 16 (5.6 to 48) for increased urinary frequency; 0.3% (0.2% to 0.3%) and 12 (6.1 to 22) for abdominal pain; 0.2% (0.1% to 0.4%) and 7.6 (2.5 to 23) for rectal bleeding; and 0.3% (0.2% to 0.6%) and 5.3 (1.8 to 16) for abdominal bloating. In 181 (85%) cases and 164 (15%) controls at least one of these seven symptoms was reported to primary care before diagnosis. After exclusion of symptoms reported in the 180 days before diagnosis, abdominal distension, urinary frequency, and abdominal pain remained independently associated with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.
Women with ovarian cancer usually have symptoms and report them to primary care, sometimes months before diagnosis. This study provides an evidence base for selection of patients for investigation, both for clinicians and for developers of guidelines.