Ministry of Health Library

on 12 June

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Ministry of Health Library

Health Improvement and Innovation Digest

Issue 169 - 7 June 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.


Quality Improvement (New Zealand)

Inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics following discharge after major surgery: an area for improvement
This study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, aims to determine the indications for antibiotic use in patients discharged following major surgery at Auckland City Hospital (ACH); to determine if the indications were appropriate and to identify opportunities where antimicrobial stewardship interventions would be beneficial.


Quality Improvement (International)

Education of healthcare professionals for preventing pressure ulcers
Pressure ulcers, also known as bed sores or pressure sores, are localised areas of tissue damage arising due to excess pressure and shearing forces. Education of healthcare staff has been recognised as an integral component of pressure ulcer prevention. These educational programmes are directed towards influencing behaviour change on the part of the healthcare professional, to encourage preventative practices with the aim of reducing the incidence of pressure ulcer development. The objective of this Cochrane Review was to assess the effects of educational interventions for healthcare professionals on pressure ulcer prevention.


Shorter Waits for Cancer Treatment (New Zealand)

Traditional and Complementary Medicine Use Among Indigenous Cancer Patients in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States: A Systematic Review
Cancer 'patients' are increasingly using traditional indigenous and complementary medicines (T&CM) alongside conventional medical treatments to both cure and cope with their cancer diagnoses. This paper, published in Integrative Cancer Therapies, systematically reviewed T&CM use among Indigenous cancer patients from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States.


Shorter Stays In Emergency Departments (International)

Exploring emergency department 4-hour target performance and cancelled elective operations: a regression analysis of routinely collected and openly reported NHS trust data
The objective of this study, published in BMJ Open, was to quantify the effect of intrahospital patient flow on emergency department (ED) performance targets and indicate if the expectations set by the National Health Service (NHS) England 5-year forward review are realistic in returning emergency services to previous performance levels.


Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (New Zealand)

Is general practice identification of prior cardiovascular disease at the time of CVD risk assessment accurate and does it matter?
The aim of this study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, was to determine the accuracy of general practice recording of prior cardiovascular disease (CVD) at the time of CVD risk assessment and whether recording impacts on CVD management.

Effectiveness of text message based, diabetes self management support programme (SMS4BG): two arm, parallel randomised controlled trial
The objective of this study, published in the BMJ, was to determine the effectiveness of a theoretically based and individually tailored, text message based, diabetes self management support intervention (SMS4BG) in adults with poorly controlled diabetes.


Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (International)

Future cost-effectiveness and equity of the NHS Health Check cardiovascular disease prevention programme: Microsimulation modelling using data from Liverpool, UK
Aiming to contribute to prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD), the National Health Service (NHS) Health Check programme has been implemented across England since 2009. The programme involves cardiovascular risk stratification—at 5-year intervals—of all adults between the ages of 40 and 74 years, excluding any with preexisting vascular conditions (including CVD, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension, among others), and offers treatment to those at high risk. However, the cost-effectiveness and equity of population CVD screening is contested. This study, published in PLOS Medicine, aimed to determine whether the NHS Health Check programme is cost-effective and equitable in a city with high levels of deprivation and CVD.


Primary Health Care (International)

Influences on the adoption of patient safety innovation in primary care: a qualitative exploration of staff perspectives
Primary care is changing rapidly to meet the needs of an ageing and chronically ill population. New ways of working are called for yet the introduction of innovative service interventions is complicated by organisational challenges arising from its scale and diversity and the growing complexity of patients and their care. One such intervention is the multi-strand, single platform, Patient Safety Toolkit developed to help practices provide safer care in this dynamic and pressured environment where the likelihood of adverse incidents is increasing. This study, published in BMC Family Practice, describes the attitudes of staff toward these tools and how their implementation was shaped by a number of contextual factors specific to each practice.

Transforming Integration through General Practice: Learning from a UK Primary Care Improvement Programme
This article, published in the International Journal of Integrated Care, addresses the challenge of how to implement integration within primary care services. It shares learning from a UK based improvement programme which reflected international interest in transferring activities from hospital and community and developing holistic primary care that responds to the needs of the local community.


Primary Mental Health (New Zealand)

A tale of two countries: comparing disability weights for gambling problems in New Zealand and Australia
This study, published in Quality of Life Research, aimed to assess the impact of gambling problems on quality of life. Specifically, we generated disability weight estimates for gambling problems in New Zealand, and compared these results with Australian figures.


Primary Mental Health (International)

Psychological therapies for treatment-resistant depression in adults
Antidepressants are a first-line treatment for adults with moderate to severe major depression. However, many people prescribed antidepressants for depression don't respond fully to such medication, and little evidence is available to inform the most appropriate 'next step' treatment for such patients, who may be referred to as having treatment-resistant depression (TRD).  The objective of this Cochrane Review was to assess the effectiveness of psychotherapies for adults with TRD.


Increased Immunisation (International)

Systematic review of the incremental costs of interventions that increase immunization coverage
Achieving and maintaining high vaccination coverage requires investments, but the costs and effectiveness of interventions to increase coverage remain poorly characterized. This systematic review of the literature, published in Vaccine, aimed to identify peer-reviewed studies published in English that reported interventions aimed at increasing immunization coverage and the associated costs and effectiveness of the interventions.

Pharmacies versus doctors’ offices for adolescent vaccination
This study, published in Vaccine, sought to understand the relative advantage of pharmacies compared to doctors’ offices for delivering HPV vaccination to adolescents.

‘What have you HEARD about the HERD?’ Does education about local influenza vaccination coverage and herd immunity affect willingness to vaccinate?
Vaccination protects individuals directly and communities indirectly by reducing transmission. This study, published in Vaccine, aimed to determine whether information about herd immunity and local vaccination coverage could change an individual’s vaccination plans and concern about influenza.


Childhood Obesity (New Zealand)

Economic evaluation of a multi-disciplinary community-based intervention programme for New Zealand children and adolescents with obesity
The objective of this study, published in Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, was to determine whether Whānau Pakari, a home-based, 12-month multi-disciplinary child obesity intervention programme was cost-effective when compared with the prior conventional hospital-based model of care.


Childhood Obesity (International)

Factors that contribute to effective nutrition education interventions in children: a systematic review
Establishing healthy dietary practices at an early age is crucial, as dietary behaviours in childhood track to adulthood. The purpose of this systematic review, published in Nutrition Reviews, was to identify factors associated with successful nutrition education interventions conducted in children and published between 2009 and 2016.

Interventions for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in children aged five years and under
Insufficient consumption of fruits and vegetables in childhood increases the risk of future non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular disease. Interventions to increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, such as those focused on specific child-feeding strategies and parent nutrition education interventions in early childhood may therefore be an effective strategy in reducing this disease burden. The objective of this Cochrane Review was to assess the effectiveness, cost effectiveness and associated adverse events of interventions designed to increase the consumption of fruit, vegetables or both amongst children aged five years and under.


Māori Innovation

Widening participation of Māori and Pasifika students in health careers: evaluation of two health science academies
The aim this study, published in the Australian Health Review, was to evaluate the short-term outcomes of two health science academies established by a district health board in South Auckland, New Zealand, to create a health workforce pipeline for local Māori and Pasifika students.


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.


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