Ministry of Health Library Health Improvement and Innovation Digest

on 24 May

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Ministry of Health Library

Health Improvement and Innovation Digest

Issue 168 - 24 May 2018

Welcome to the fortnightly Health Improvement and Innovation Digest (formerly the HIIRC digest). The Digest has links to key evidence of interest, with access to new content arranged by topic.

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Have you heard about Grey Matter?

We'd like to introduce you to another newsletter that the Ministry of Health Library prepares.  The Grey Matter newsletter provides monthly access to a selection of recent NGO, Think Tank, and International Government reports related to health. Information is arranged by topic, allowing readers to quickly find their areas of interest.  If you'd like to subscribe to Grey Matter, email

Article access

For articles that aren't open access, contact your DHB library, or organisational or local library for assistance in accessing the full text. If your organisation has a subscription, you may be able to use the icon under full text links in PubMed to access the full article.

Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (New Zealand)

Cardiovascular disease risk prediction equations in 400,000 primary care patients in New Zealand: a derivation and validation study
Most cardiovascular disease risk prediction equations in use today were derived from cohorts established last century and with participants at higher risk but less socioeconomically and ethnically diverse than patients they are now applied to. This study, published in the Lancet, recruited a nationally representative cohort in New Zealand to develop equations relevant to patients in contemporary primary care and compared the performance of these new equations to equations that are recommended in the USA.

Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (International)

Cluster randomised controlled trial of a theory-based multiple behaviour change intervention aimed at healthcare professionals to improve their management of type 2 diabetes in primary care
National diabetes audits in the UK show room for improvement in the quality of care delivered to people with type 2 diabetes in primary care. Systematic reviews of quality improvement interventions show that such approaches can be effective but there is wide variability between trials and little understanding concerning what explains this variability. The objective of this study, published in Implementation Science, was to evaluate the effectiveness of an implementation intervention to improve six guideline-recommended health professional behaviours in managing type 2 diabetes in primary care: prescribing for blood pressure and glycaemic control, providing physical activity and nutrition advice and providing updated diabetes education and foot examination.

Primary Health Care (New Zealand)

The Dunedin Dementia Risk Awareness Project: a convenience sample of general practitioners
Recent recommendations of US and UK governmental and academic agencies suggest that up to 35% of dementia cases are preventable. This study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, aimed to appraise general practitioners' (GPs) awareness of risk and protective factors associated with dementia and their intentions to act within the context of the Health Beliefs Model.

Maori and Pacific whanau Experiences of Recurrent Rheumatic Fever and Unexpected Rheumatic Heart Disease in New Zealand
In Aotearoa, rheumatic fever (RF) remains a significant health problem with persistent ethnic, social and demographic inequities. Nationally, Maori and Pacific people have the highest rates of RF, recurrences of RF, and incidences of rheumatic heart disease (RHD). Despite these disparities, little is known about the lived experiences or the persistence of these inequities for Maori and Pacific people. This Ministry of Health funded research, published by the University of Auckland, aimed to address these knowledge gaps to inform health-service improvements.

Primary Health Care (International)

Evaluation of a Digital Consultation and Self-Care Advice Tool in Primary Care: A Multi-Methods Study
Digital services are often regarded as a solution to the growing demands on primary care services. Provision of a tool offering advice to support self-management as well as the ability to digitally consult with a General Practitioner (GP) has the potential to alleviate some of the pressure on primary care. This paper, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, reports on a Phase II, 6-month evaluation of eConsult, a web-based triage and consultation system that was piloted across 11 GP practices across Scotland.

Interventions for improving pharmacist-led patient counselling in the community setting: a systematic review
Pharmacist counselling is an important service that has been associated with improved outcomes. The primary aim of this review, published in Systematic Reviews, was to identify, describe, and determine the effectiveness of interventions for improving the counselling practice of community pharmacists.

Primary Mental Health (New Zealand)

Adverse adult consequences of different alcohol use patterns in adolescence: An integrative analysis of data to age 30 years from four Australasian cohorts
Studies have linked adolescent alcohol use with adverse consequences in adulthood; yet it is unclear how strong the associations are and to what extent they may be due to confounding. The aim of this study, published in Addiction, was to estimate the strength of association between different patterns of adolescent drinking and longer-term psychosocial harms taking into account individual, family, and peer factors.

Increased Immunisation (New Zealand)

Confidence in the safety of standard childhood vaccinations among New Zealand health professionals
The aim of this study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, was to investigate the level of confidence in the safety of standard childhood vaccinations among health professionals in New Zealand.

Increased Immunisation (International)

Prophylactic vaccination against human papillomaviruses to prevent cervical cancer and its precursors
Persistent infection with high-risk human papillomaviruses (hrHPV) types is causally linked with the development of cervical precancer and cancer. HPV types 16 and 18 cause approximately 70% of cervical cancers worldwide. The objective of this Cochrane Review was to evaluate the harms and protection of prophylactic human papillomaviruses (HPV) vaccines against cervical precancer and HPV16/18 infection in adolescent girls and women.

Face-to-face interventions for informing or educating parents about early childhood vaccination
Early childhood vaccination is an essential global public health practice that saves two to three million lives each year, but many children do not receive all the recommended vaccines. To achieve and maintain appropriate coverage rates, vaccination programmes rely on people having sufficient awareness and acceptance of vaccines. Face-to-face information or educational interventions are widely used to help parents understand why vaccines are important; explain where, how and when to access services; and address hesitancy and concerns about vaccine safety or efficacy. Such interventions are interactive, and can be adapted to target particular populations or identified barriers. The objective of this Cochrane Review was to assess the effects of face-to-face interventions for informing or educating parents about early childhood vaccination on vaccination status and parental knowledge, attitudes and intention to vaccinate.

Addressing Parents’ Vaccine Concerns: A Randomized Trial of a Social Media Intervention
Successful strategies are needed to address parental vaccine hesitancy, a significant public health issue. The objective of this study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, was to assess whether an Internet-based platform with vaccine information and interactive social media components improved parents’ vaccine-related attitudes.

Weight Management (International)

Neighbourhood Built Environment Influences on Physical Activity among Adults: A Systematized Review of Qualitative Evidence
Qualitative studies can provide important information about how and why the built environment impacts physical activity decision-making—information that is important for informing local urban policies. The authors of this review, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, undertook a systematised literature review to synthesise findings from qualitative studies exploring how the built environment influences physical activity in adults.

Family meals among parents: Associations with nutritional, social and emotional wellbeing
A growing body of research suggests that children and adolescents who share frequent meals with their families report better nutrition indicators, family relationships and mental health. Yet, little research has examined whether parents who share meals with their families report the same indicators of wellbeing. This paper, published in Preventive Medicine, addresses this question using population-based survey data and a sample of parents in the United States.

Childhood Obesity (International)

The Daily Mile makes primary school children more active, less sedentary and improves their fitness and body composition: a quasi-experimental pilot study
The Daily Mile is a physical activity programme made popular by a school in Stirling, Scotland. It is promoted by the Scottish Government and is growing in popularity nationally and internationally. The aim is that each day, during class time, pupils run or walk outside for 15 min (~1 mile) at a self-selected pace. It is anecdotally reported to have a number of physiological benefits including increased physical activity, reduced sedentary behaviour, increased fitness and improved body composition. This study, published in BMC Medicine, aimed to investigate these reports.

Oral Health (New Zealand)

Too soon for the tooth fairy: The implications of child poverty for oral health
Poverty is a key factor contributing to preventable childhood health problems and diseases, and as such it is a key factor contributing to poor oral health amongst children. Indeed, poor oral health is a marker of poverty. Maori and Pasifika children are also at especially high risk. Poor oral health in childhood tends to lead to poor oral health in adult life. This in turn is associated with poor general health, including a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease and respiratory conditions. Poor oral health in children can lead to long-term impact on one’s social life including choice of employment and ability to earn an income. This paper, published by the Child Poverty Action Group, summarises current knowledge about the size of the problem, its causes and potential solutions.

Key Ministry of Health Publications

Sit Less, Move More, Sleep Well: Active play guidelines for under-fives resources
These resources were developed to support the Sit Less, Move More, Sleep Well: Active play guidelines for under-fives. The resources were designed predominantly for kaiako in kohanga reo, but can be used by any early childhood educators, regional sports trusts and others who provide advice to parents, caregivers and whanau on active play for tamariki under five years of age.

Regional Results 2014–2017: New Zealand Health Survey
This data explorer presents the 2014–17 regional results from the New Zealand Health Survey, for both adults and children. The data explorer includes data on health behaviours and risk factors, health conditions and access to health services.

The information available on or through this newsletter does not represent Ministry of Health policy. It is intended to provide general information to the health sector and the public, and is not intended to address specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity.

Ministry of Health - Manatu Hauora
133 Molesworth Street
Wellington, 6011
New Zealand

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