Primary Care Research Group

Exeter, United Kingdom

Primary Care Research Group

Exeter, United Kingdom
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Blakeman T.,NIHR | Blakeman T.,University of Manchester | Rogers A.,Primary Care Research Group | Bower P.,University of Manchester
British Journal of General Practice | Year: 2011

Background: Two key elements to improve the quality of care for people with long-term conditions in primary care are improved clinical information systems to support delivery of evidence-based care, and enhanced self-management support. Although both elements are viewed as necessary, their interaction is not well understood. Aim: To explore the use of computer-based 'disease management' templates and their relevance to self-management dialogue within clinical encounters. Design and setting: Qualitative study of general practices located in three primary care trusts in the north of England. Method: A qualitative mixed methods study was conducted that included comparative analysis of (1) observations of general practice consultations (n = 86); and (2) interviews with health professionals in general practice (n = 17). Results: The analysis suggested that use of the computer templates reinforced a checklist approach to consultations, which included professionals working through several self-management topics framed as discrete behaviours. As a consequence, conversation tended to become focused on the maintenance of the professional-patient relationship at the expense of expansion in self-management dialogue. The computer templates also shaped how patient-initiated self-management dialogue was managed when it arose, with a shift towards discussion around medical agendas. Conclusion: In order to enhance the management of longterm conditions in primary care, the design and implementation of clinical information systems to improve evidence-based care need to take into account their potential impact on supporting self-management. ©British Journal of General Practice.

Taylor R.S.,University of Exeter | Piepoli M.F.,Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital | Smart N.,University of New England of Australia | Coats A.J.S.,Monash University | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Cardiology | Year: 2014

Background Patients with chronic heart failure (HF) experience a marked reduction in their exercise capacity, health-related quality of life, and life expectancy. Despite substantive evidence supporting exercise training in HF, uncertainties remain in the interpretation and understanding of this evidence base. Clinicians and healthcare providers seek definitive estimates of impact on mortality, hospitalisation and health-related quality of life, and which HF patient subgroups are likely to most benefit. The original Exercise Training Meta-Analysis for Chronic Heart Failure (ExTraMATCH) individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis conducted in 2004 will be updated by the current collaboration (ExTraMATCH II), to investigate the effects of exercise training in HF. Methods Randomised controlled trials have been identified from the updated 2014 Cochrane systematic review and the original ExTraMATCH IPD meta-analysis with exercise training of 3 weeks' duration or more compared with a non-exercise control and a minimum follow-up of 6 months. Particular outcomes of interest are mortality, hospitalisation and health-related quality of life plus key baseline patient demographic and clinical data. Original IPD will be requested from the authors of all eligible trials; we will check original data and compile a master dataset. IPD meta-analyses will be conducted using a one-step approach where the IPD from all studies are modelled simultaneously whilst accounting for the clustering of participants with studies. Discussion The information from ExTraMATCH II will help inform future national and international clinical and policy decision-making on the use of exercise-based interventions in HF and improve the quality, design and reporting of future trials in this field. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Ramos-Casals M.,Sjogren Syndrome Research Group AGAUR | Tzioufas A.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Stone J.H.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Siso A.,Primary Care Research Group
JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association | Year: 2010

Context: A variety of topical and systemic drugs are available to treat primary Sjögren syndrome, although no evidence-based therapeutic guidelines are currently available. Objective: To summarize evidence on primary Sjögren syndrome drug therapy from randomized controlled trials. Data Sources: We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE for articles on drug therapy for primary Sjögren syndrome published between January 1, 1986, and April 30, 2010. Study Selection: Controlled trials of topical and systemic drugs including adult patients with primary Sjögren syndrome were selected as the primary information source. Results: The search strategy yielded 37 trials. A placebo-controlled trial found significant improvement in the Schirmer and corneal staining scores, blurred vision, and artificial tear use in patients treated with topical ocular 0.05% cyclosporine. Three placebo-controlled trials found that pilocarpine was associated with improvements in dry mouth (61%-70% vs 24%-31% in the placebo group) and dry eye (42%-53% vs 26%). Two placebo-controlled trials found that cevimeline was associated with improvement in dry mouth (66%-76% vs 35%-37% in the placebo group) and dry eye (39%-72% vs 24%-30%). Small trials (<20 patients) found no significant improvement in sicca outcomes for oral prednisone or hydroxychloroquine and limited benefits for immunosuppressive agents (azathioprine and cyclosporine). A large trial found limited benefits for oral interferon alfa-2a. Two placebo-controlled trials of infliximab and etanercept did not achieve the primary outcome (a composite visual analog scale measuring joint pain, fatigue, and dryness); neither did 2 small trials (<30 patients) testing rituximab, although significant results were observed in some secondary outcomes and improvement compared with baseline. Conclusions: In primary Sjögren syndrome, evidence from controlled trials suggests benefits for pilocarpine and cevimeline for sicca features and topical cyclosporine for moderate or severe dry eye. Anti-tumor necrosis factor agents have not shown clinical efficacy, and larger controlled trials are needed to establish the efficacy of rituximab. ©2010 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.

Nagraj S.,University of Cambridge | Abel G.,University of Cambridge | Paddison C.,University of Cambridge | Payne R.,University of Cambridge | And 3 more authors.
BMC Family Practice | Year: 2013

Background: Changing family practice (voluntary disenrollment) without changing address may indicate dissatisfaction with care. We investigate the potential to use voluntary disenrollment as a quality indicator for primary care. Methods. Data from the English national GP Patient Survey (2,169,718 respondents), the number of voluntary disenrollments without change of address, data relating to practice characteristics (ethnicity, deprivation, gender of patients, practice size and practice density) and doctor characteristics were obtained for all family practices in England (n = 8450). Poisson regression analyses examined associations between rates of voluntary disenrollment, patient experience, and practice and doctor characteristics. Results: Mean and median rates of annual voluntary disenrollment were 11.2 and 7.3 per 1000 patients respectively. Strongest associations with high rates of disenrollment were low practice scores for doctor-patient communication and confidence and trust in the doctor (rate ratios 4.63 and 4.85). In a fully adjusted model, overall satisfaction encompassed other measures of patient experience (rate ratio 3.46). Patients were more likely to move from small practices (single-handed doctors had 2.75 times the disenrollment rate of practices with 6-9 doctors) and where there were other local practices. After allowing for these, substantial unexplained variation remained in practice rates of voluntary disenrollment. Conclusion: Family practices with low levels of patient satisfaction, especially for doctor patient communication, are more likely to experience high rates of disenrollment. However substantial variation in disenrollment rates remains among practices with similar levels of patient satisfaction, limiting the utility of voluntary disenrollment as a performance indicator for primary care in England. © 2013 Nagraj et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Pitman A.L.,University College London | Osborn D.P.J.,University College London | Wright C.A.,Primary Care Research Group | Nazareth I.,University College London | King M.B.,University College London
Psychiatric Services | Year: 2011

Objective: In England national clinical guidelines recommend annual screening for cardiovascular risk factors among individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder within primary care supported by efforts to promote healthy behaviors by secondary psychiatric services. This study elicited the views of primary and specialty mental health care staff and service users about such service arrangements and barriers to implementation. Methods: Surveys were mailed to a representative cross-section of service users, community mental health team (CMHT) staff, and primary care staff in Western England and London. Results: Surveys were completed by 227 service users, 143 primary care staff, and 166 CMHT staff. A majority of staff stated that cardiovascular disease screening and risk reduction work were important, felt that this work was best accomplished in primary care settings, and anticipated good uptake among service users. More than 80% of service users viewed cardiovascular screening favorably, but 30% had not been screened in the past year. The proportion of service users prepared to make healthy changes in their lifestyle varied from 37% to 51%, depending on the change contemplated, but many cited difficulty traveling (35%), time pressures (28%), and a distaste for courses or group work (23%) as barriers to attending courses in healthy living. Conclusions: The obstacles to service identified by this study reinforce the importance of providing incentives for both providers and users of services to improve implementation of national clinical guidelines on mental illness.

Saukko P.M.,Loughborough University | Farrimond H.,University of Exeter | Evans P.H.,Primary Care Research Group | Qureshi N.,University of Nottingham
Sociology of Health and Illness | Year: 2012

Social science research on lifestyle-related diseases typically focuses on patients' understandings and beliefs and takes the clinical risk for granted. We interviewed 30 healthy UK patients at high risk of heart disease, recruited from a family history trial at 2weeks and 6months after a discussion with a clinician about their risk, lifestyle and medications. The participants took four different paths: (i) pharmaceutical (most common, risk reduction with cholesterol lowering statins), (ii) mixed (statins and behaviour change), (iii) behavioural (behaviour change, focus on wellbeing) and (iv) 'lost' (no prevention, difficult social/personal circumstances). Drawing on Berg we argue that coronary heart disease (CHD) risk assessment technologies are formal tools that generate, rather than represent, high risk in a way that patients often experience lifestyle change as futile, because it rarely reduces their cholesterol to targets defined by the tools. We suggest social scientists studying incipient or 'proto-diseases', such as CHD risk, should not only focus on understandings but also investigate the technologies (and the associated guidelines, policies, clinical practice and pharmaceutical industry operations) that generate incipient diseases and patients' experiences of them. However, technologies do not determine experience and we also discuss elements that direct patients down other than the pharmaceutical path. © 2011 The Authors. Sociology of Health & Illness © 2011 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Zhou Y.,Institute of Public Health | Abel G.,Institute of Public Health | Warren F.,Primary Care Research Group | Roland M.,Institute of Public Health | And 2 more authors.
Emergency Medicine Journal | Year: 2015

Introduction It is believed that some patients are more likely to use out-of-hours primary care services because of difficulties in accessing in-hours care, but substantial evidence about any such association is missing. Methods We analysed data from 567 049 respondents to the 2011/2012 English General Practice Patient Survey who reported at least one in-hours primary care consultation in the preceding 6 months. Of those respondents, 7% also reported using out-of-hours primary care. We used logistic regression to explore associations between use of out-of-hours primary care and five measures of in-hours access (ease of getting through on the telephone, ability to see a preferred general practitioner, ability to get an urgent or routine appointment and convenience of opening hours). We illustrated the potential for reduction in use of out-ofhours primary care in a model where access to in-hours care was made optimal. Results Worse in-hours access was associated with greater use of out-of-hours primary care for each access factor. In multivariable analysis adjusting for access and patient characteristic variables, worse access was independently associated with increased out-of-hours use for all measures except ease of telephone access. Assuming these associations were causal, we estimated that an 11% relative reduction in use of out-of-hours primary care services in England could be achievable if access to in-hours care were optimal. Conclusions This secondary quantitative analysis provides evidence for an association between difficulty in accessing in-hours care and use of out-of-hours primary care services. The findings can motivate the development of interventions to improve in-hour access.

PubMed | Primary Care Research Group and University of Barcelona
Type: Clinical Trial | Journal: Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases : NMCD | Year: 2015

Moderate alcohol consumption exerts a cardioprotective effect, but no studies have evaluated the alcohol-independent cardiovascular effects of the non-alcoholic components of beer. We aimed to evaluate the effects of ethanol and the phenolic compounds of beer on classical and novel cardiovascular risk factors.Thirty-three high risk male volunteers were included in a randomized, crossover feeding trial. After a washout period, all subjects received beer (30 g alcohol/d, 660 mL), the equivalent amount of polyphenols as non-alcoholic beer (990 mL), and gin (30 g alcohol/d, 100 mL) for 4 weeks. All outcomes were evaluated before and after each intervention period. Moderate alcohol consumption increased serum HDL-cholesterol (5%), ApoA-I (6%), ApoA-II (7%) and adiponectin (7%), and decreased serum fibrinogen (8%), and interleukin (IL)-5 (14%) concentrations, whereas the non-alcoholic fraction of beer (mainly polyphenols) increased the receptor antagonist of IL-1 (24%), and decreased lymphocyte expression of lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (11%), lymphocyte and monocyte expression of Sialil-Lewis X (16%) and monocyte expression of CCR2 (31%), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)- (14%) and IL-15 (22%) plasma concentrations. No changes were observed in glucose metabolism parameters or in body weight and adiposity parameters.The phenolic content of beer reduces leukocyte adhesion molecules and inflammatory biomarkers, whereas alcohol mainly improves the lipid profile and reduces some plasma inflammatory biomarkers related to atherosclerosis.

PubMed | Primary Care Research Group, University of Barcelona, French Institute of Health and Medical Research and Cellex, Inc.
Type: | Journal: Arthritis research & therapy | Year: 2015

We conducted a study to analyze how infection by hepatitis C virus (HCV) may influence the immunological serum pattern of patients with Sjgren syndrome (SS).Since 1994, we have tested serum HCV-IgG antibodies in 783 patients with SS diagnosed according to the 1993 European classification criteria. The immunological profile at diagnosis was compared according to the presence or absence of HCV.Of the 783 patients with SS, 105 (13.4 %) tested positive for HCV-IgG antibodies (88 females, 17 males, mean age at SS diagnosis: 62.9 years). Multivariate analysis showed that patients with SS-HCV had a higher mean age and a higher frequency of low C3/C4 levels, cryoglobulins, and hematological neoplasia compared with patients without HCV. The frequency of anti-La antibodies compared with anti-Ro antibodies was higher in patients with SS-HCV (17 % vs. 15 %) and lower in patients without HCV infection (30 % vs. 43 %). The frequency of concomitant detection of the three main cryoglobulin-related markers (cryoglobulins, rheumatoid factor activity, and C4 consumption) was threefold higher in patients with SS-HCV compared with patients without HCV. SS-HCV patients with genotype 1b showed the highest frequencies of immunological abnormalities related to cryoglobulins and the lowest frequencies of anti-Ro/La antibodies.We found HCV infection in 13 % of a large series of Spanish patients with SS. The HCV-driven autoimmune response was characterized by a lower frequency of anti-Ro/La antibodies, an abnormal predominance of anti-La among anti-Ro antibodies, and a higher frequency of cryoglobulinemic-related immunological markers in comparison with patients without HCV infection. This immunological pattern may contribute to the poor outcomes found in patients with SS-HCV.

Gandia M.,University of Cádiz | Akasbi M.,Hospital Infanta Leonor | Perez-De-Lis M.,Hospital do Meixoeiro | Perez-Alvarez R.,Hospital do Meixoeiro | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Autoimmunity | Year: 2012

Objective: To analyze the monoclonal expression of SS through the detection of serum monoclonal immunoglobulins (mIgs) in a large series of patients with Sjögren syndrome (SS), focusing on the etiology, characterization and evolution of the monoclonal band and the association with SS clinical expression and outcomes. Methods: Serum immunoelectrophoresis (IE) was performed to 408 consecutive patients who were evaluated by our unit between 1992 and 2011: 221 patients who fulfilled the 2002 American-European criteria for primary SS, 122 primary SS patients who fulfilled exclusively the 1993 European criteria and 65 patients with SS-associated hepatitis C virus infection. IE was performed at diagnosis and every year during the follow-up. Results: Of the 221 patients with primary SS, 48 (22%) had monoclonal gammopathy. In the control groups, the prevalence was 16% in patients with SS who fulfilled the 1993 criteria (p > 0.05) and 52% in SS-HCV patients (p < 0.001). Monoclonal bands were characterized in 47/48 patients with primary SS: IgG (n = 21), IgM (n = 16), IgA (n = 5) and free light chains (n = 5); the light chain was κ in 28 patients and λ in 19 (κ:λ ratio 1.5). Primary SS patients with monoclonal gammopathy had a higher prevalence of parotidomegaly (38% vs 20%, p = 0.021), vasculitis (21% vs 6%, p = 0.003), neurological involvement (42% vs 23%, p = 0.016), higher mean values of circulating gammaglobulins (23.4 vs 20.6%, p = 0.026), ESR (56.6 vs 37.6 mm/h, p = 0.003), a higher prevalence of RF (69% vs 50%, p = 0.022), low C3 levels (24% vs 11%, p = 0.028), low C4 levels (24% vs 7%, p = 0.003), low CH50 activity (28% vs 11%, p = 0.008) and cryoglobulins (23% vs 8%, p = 0.012) compared with those without monoclonal gammopathy. Of the 48 patients with primary SS and monoclonal gammopathy, 8 developed hematologic neoplasia after a mean follow-up of 10 years, a higher prevalence than observed in patients without monoclonal gammopathy (17% vs 5%, p = 0.009). Survival rates according to the presence or absence of monoclonal gammopathy were 83% and 97%, respectively (log rank 0.004). Conclusion: Monoclonal gammopathy was detected in 22% of patients with primary SS fulfilling the 2002 criteria, with mIgGκ being the most frequent type of band detected. In HCV-associated SS patients, the prevalence was higher (52%) with IgMκ being the most prevalent band detected. Monoclonal gammopathy was associated with a higher prevalence of parotid enlargement, extraglandular features, hypergammaglobulinemia, cryoglobulinemia and related markers (rheumatoid factor, hypocomplementemia), and with a poor prognosis (development of neoplasia and death). © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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