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    ABSTRACT: To assess the effectiveness of telehealth interventions in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in adult patients in community settings. Systematic literature review, conducted in June 2013, of randomised controlled trials comparing the effectiveness of telehealth interventions to reduce overall cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and/or to reduce multiple CVD risk factors compared with a non-telehealth control group. Study quality was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. Fixed and Random effects models were combined with a narrative synthesis for meta-analysis of included studies. Three of 13 included studies measured Framingham 10-year CVD risk scores, and meta-analysis showed no clear evidence of reduction in overall risk (SMD -0.37%, 95% CI -2.08, 1.33). There was weak evidence for a reduction in systolic blood pressure (SMD -1.22mmHg 95% CI -2.80, 0.35) and total cholesterol (SMD -0.07mmol/L 95% CI -0.19, 0.06). There was no change in High-Density Lipoprotein cholesterol or smoking rates. There is insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of telehealth interventions in reducing overall CVD risk. More studies are needed that consistently measure overall CVD risk, directly compare different telehealth interventions, and determine cost effectiveness of telehealth interventions for prevention of CVD.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Preventive Medicine

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · European Journal of Integrative Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Demographic and policy changes appear to be increasing the complexity of consultations in general practice. To describe the number and types of problems discussed in general practice consultations, differences between problems raised by patients or doctors, and between problems discussed and recorded in medical records. Cross-sectional study based on video recordings of consultations in 22 general practices in Bristol and North Somerset. Consultations were examined between 30 representative GPs and adults making a pre-booked day-time appointment. The main outcome measures were number and types of problems and issues discussed; who raised each problem/issue; consultation duration; whether problems were recorded and coded. Of 318 eligible patients, 229 (72.0%) participated. On average, 2.5 (95% CI = 2.3 to 2.6) problems were discussed in each consultation, with 41% of consultations involving at least three problems. Seventy-two per cent (165/229) of consultations included problems in multiple disease areas. Mean consultation duration was 11.9 minutes (95% CI = 11.2 to 12.6). Most problems discussed were raised by patients, but 43% (99/229) of consultations included problems raised by doctors. Consultation duration increased by 2 minutes per additional problem. Of 562 problems discussed, 81% (n = 455) were recorded in notes, but only 37% (n = 206) were Read Coded. Consultations in general practice are complex encounters, dealing with multiple problems across a wide range of disease areas in a short time. Additional problems are dealt with very briefly. GPs, like patients, bring an agenda to consultations. There is systematic bias in the types of problems coded in electronic medical records databases.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · British Journal of General Practice
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