Ministry of Health Library Health Improvement and Innovation Digest

on 19 July

MoH Library


Issue 170 - 19 July 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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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)

Establishing gold standards for System-Level Measures: a modified Delphi consensus process
Published in the International Journal for Quality in Health Care, the objective of this study was to establish aspirational ‘gold standards’ for a suite of System-Level Measures (SLMs) being used by Counties Manukau Health (CM Health) District Health Board.


Quality Improvement (International)

Enabling continuous learning and quality improvement in health care: The role of learning models for performance management
Published in the International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, the purpose of this paper is to examine how the design and implementation of learning models for performance management can foster continuous learning and quality improvement within a publicly funded, multi-site community hospital organization.

Retained surgical sponges: a descriptive study of 319 occurrences and contributing factors from 2012 to 2017
Unintended retention of foreign bodies remain the most frequently reported sentinel events. Surgical sponges account for the majority of these retained items. The purpose of this study, published in Patient Safety in Surgery, was to describe reports of unintentionally retained surgical sponges (RSS): the types of sponges, anatomic locations, accuracy of sponge counts, contributing factors, and harm, in order to make recommendations to improve perioperative safety.

Hospital quality reporting and improvement in quality of care for patients with acute myocardial infarction
Although public reporting of hospital performance is becoming common, it remains uncertain whether public reporting leads to improvement in clinical outcomes. Published in BMC Health Services Research, this study was conducted to evaluate whether enrollment in a quality reporting project is associated with improvement in quality of care for patients with acute myocardial infarction.


Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (New Zealand)

Trends in ischaemic heart disease: patterns of hospitalisation and mortality rates differ by ethnicity (ANZACS-QI 21)
Since 2006, hospitalisations and deaths from heart disease have continued to decline in New Zealand. However, rates of death are higher in Māori and Pacific, and hospitalisations higher in Indian, Māori and Pacific people, compared to Europeans.  Published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, the aim of this study was to examine trends in ischaemic heart disease (IHD) events by ethnicity.


Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (International)

Remote ischaemic conditioning for preventing and treating ischaemic stroke
Remote ischaemic conditioning (RIC) has been developed as a neuroprotective strategy to prevent and treat ischaemic stroke. It usually involves restricting blood flow to limbs and then releasing the ischaemic blood to promote a neuroprotective effect. Preclinical studies have suggested that RIC may have beneficial effects in ischaemic stroke patients and those at risk of ischaemic stroke. However, existing evidence is insufficient to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of RIC in preventing and treating ischaemic stroke.  The objective of this Cochrane Review was to assess the benefits and harms of RIC for preventing ischaemic stroke and for treating people with ischaemic stroke and those at risk for ischaemic stroke.


Primary Health Care (International)

Continuity of care with doctors—a matter of life and death? A systematic review of continuity of care and mortality
Continuity of care is a long-standing feature of healthcare, especially of general practice. It is associated with increased patient satisfaction, increased take-up of health promotion, greater adherence to medical advice and decreased use of hospital services. This review, published in BMJ Open, aims to examine whether there is a relationship between the receipt of continuity of doctor care and mortality.

Randomized Trial of Chronic Pain Self-Management Program in the Community or Clinic for Low-Income Primary Care Patients
Patients with chronic pain often lack the skills and resources necessary to manage this disease. The objective of this study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, was to develop a chronic pain self-management program reflecting community stakeholders’ priorities and to compare functional outcomes from training in two settings.


Primary Mental Health (New Zealand)

Can a Brief Telephone Intervention for Problem Gambling Help to Reduce Co-existing Depression? A Three-Year Prospective Study in New Zealand
Problematic gambling and depression commonly co-exist, with limited research indicating that depression and/or psychological distress appear to reduce with brief interventions for problem gambling. The present study, published in the Journal of Gambling Studies, was designed to examine the effect, over 36 months, of a brief problem gambling intervention on depression in a population of people seeking help for gambling issues.


Primary Mental Health (International)

Does Documented Brief Intervention Predict Decreases in Alcohol Use in Primary Care?
Brief intervention (BI) is recommended for patients with unhealthy alcohol use, but the effectiveness of BI in usual care settings remains unclear.  Published in Substance Use & Misuse, the authors evaluated whether BI predicts decreases in drinking 6 months after a positive screen for unhealthy alcohol use.


Increased Immunisation (International)

The use of eHealth with immunizations: An overview of systematic reviews
eHealth interventions may help increase vaccination uptake and health literacy related to immunization and improve immunization program efficiency. Published in Vaccine, the researchers sought to see where and how eHealth technologies have had a positive impact on immunization practices—using eHealth strategies to increase vaccination uptake, improve immunization program efficiency and advance heath literacy related to immunizations.


Childhood Obesity (International)

Understanding a successful obesity prevention initiative in children under 5 from a systems perspective
Systems thinking represents an innovative and logical approach to understanding complexity in community-based obesity prevention interventions. Published in PLOS ONE, the authors report on an approach to apply systems thinking to understand the complexity of a successful obesity prevention intervention in early childhood (children aged up to 5 years) conducted in a regional city in Victoria, Australia.

Narrative Review of Culinary Interventions with Children in Schools to Promote Healthy Eating: Directions for Future Research and Practice
Policymakers, scientists, and food and nutrition practitioners suggest that there is a societal decline in culinary skills, which is predictive of poor dietary habits contributing to childhood obesity. A narrative review, published in Current Developments in Nutrition, was conducted to critically evaluate culinary skill interventions for children ages 5–12 y in schools to identify specific programs and programmatic factors associated with improvement in the quality of diet, body mass index (BMI), and positive changes in psychosocial variables.

New Insights about How to Make an Intervention in Children and Adolescents with Metabolic Syndrome: Diet, Exercise vs. Changes in Body Composition. A Systematic Review of RCT
Published in Nutrients, the objective of this study was to record which interventions produce the greatest variations in body composition in children and adolescents with metabolic syndrome (MS).


Oral Health (New Zealand)

Reducing Indigenous Oral Health Inequalities: A Review from 5 Nations
Indigenous populations around the world experience a disproportionate burden in terms of oral diseases and conditions. These inequalities are likely due to a complex web of social determinants that includes poverty, historical consequences of colonialism, social exclusion, government policies of assimilation, cultural annihilation, and racism in all its forms (societal, institutional). Despite documented oral health disparities, prevention interventions have been scarce in Indigenous communities. This review, published in the Journal of Dental Research, describes oral health interventions and their outcomes conducted for Indigenous populations of the United States, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.


Māori Innovation

It’s all about Whanaungatanga: Alcohol use and older Māori in Aotearoa
This study, published in AlterNative, explored the socially shared meanings of alcohol use among Indigenous older Māori in Aotearoa (New Zealand). Using a Māori-centred research approach, hui (meeting/s) were held with five kaupapa whānau (groups with a common purpose), comprising older Māori, who shared their perspectives of alcohol use. Alcohol use is understood in the context of whanaungatanga (maintaining relationships) which was identified as the primary driver for older Māori engagement in alcohol use environments. However, participants argued that alcohol is not necessary to experience whanaungatanga and alternative options for alcohol free events that support whanaungatanga were shared.


Key Ministry of Health Publications

Pacific Islands Families Study 2014: Mother and youth gambling report
Prepared for the Ministry of Health, the research is part of the longitudinal Pacific Islands Families (PIF) Study conducted by AUT, which is following a cohort of Pacific children born in 2000, and their parents. The longitudinal nature of the study has provided useful insights into changes in gambling behaviours and risk factors over time, as well as the social, family and environmental factors associated with gambling.


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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