Ministry of Health Library Health Improvement and Innovation Digest

on 23 May

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Ministry of Health Library

Health Improvement and Innovation Digest

Issue 191 - 23 May 2019

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)

ITUI – a novel app improving paediatric assessments
Child assessments following child abuse are frequently difficult. Verbal interviews are problematic for several reasons (child distress, confusion, cognitive issues). The drawing‐ based iTui App has been designed to aid Paediatric assessments following child abuse. The aim of the study, published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, was to evaluate the usefulness and acceptance of the iTui App in Paediatric Gateway assessments in Waitemata DHB.


Quality Improvement (International)

How might patient involvement in healthcare quality improvement efforts work - a realist literature review
Published in Health Expectations, this realist literature review, regarding active patient involvement in healthcare quality improvement (QI), sought to identify possible mechanisms that contribute to success or failure. Furthermore, the paper outlines key considerations for organizing and supporting patient involvement in healthcare QI efforts.

Quality improvement strategies to prevent falls in older adults: a systematic review and network meta-analysis
Falls are a common occurrence and the most effective quality improvement (QI) strategies remain unclear. Published in Age and Ageing, the authors of this study conducted a systematic review and network meta-analysis (NMA) to elucidate effective quality improvement (QI) strategies for falls prevention.

Podiatry interventions to prevent falls in older people: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Foot problems are independent risk factors for falls in older people. Podiatrists diagnose and treat a wide range of problems affecting the feet, ankles and lower limbs. However, the effectiveness of podiatry interventions to prevent falls in older people is unknown. Published in Age and Ageing, this systematic review examined podiatry interventions for falls prevention delivered in the community and in care homes.


Disability Sector Quality Improvement (International)

Do exercise interventions improve balance for children and adolescents with Down syndrome? A systematic review
Youths with Down syndrome are characterized by deficits in balance/postural stability. One way to palliate balance deficits among this population is through exercise interventions. The purpose of this review, published in Physical Therapy, was to summarize the findings from studies examining the effects of exercise interventions designed to improve balance in youths with Down syndrome.

Efficacy of caries and gingivitis prevention strategies among children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Dental caries and periodontal diseases are the most common oral diseases among human beings. Individuals with intellectual disabilities (IDs) have poor oral health and limited access to dental care. The aim of this study, published in the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, was to investigate the efficacy of strategies in caries and gingivitis prevention among children and adolescents with ID.


Shorter Waits for Cancer Treatment (New Zealand)

The efficacy and cost-effectiveness of patient navigation programs across the cancer continuum: a systematic review
The authors of this study, published in Cancer, reviewed studies investigating the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of patient navigation across the cancer continuum, to assess quality, determine gaps, and identify avenues for future research.


Shorter Stays In Emergency Departments (International)

Association between adopting emergency department crowding interventions and emergency departments' core performance measures
Published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, the objective of this study was to estimate the association between adopting emergency department (ED) crowding interventions and emergency departments' core performance measures.


Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (New Zealand)

He Pikinga Waiora: supporting Māori health organisations to respond to pre-diabetes
The purpose of this study, published in the International Journal for Equity in Health, was to explore the questions of how the strengths of Māori heath organisations may be leveraged, and how the barriers and constraints experienced by Māori health organisations may be negotiated, for the benefit of Māori; and from a systems perspective, to identify strategic opportunities that may be considered and applied by Māori health organisations, funders and policy makers to respond more effectively to pre-diabetes and reduce health inequities between Māori and non-Māori.

Trends in cardiovascular management of people with diabetes by primary healthcare nurses in Auckland, New Zealand
Published in Diabetic Medicine, this study's aim was to re-examine current work practices and evaluate time trends in the cardiovascular management of people with diabetes consulted by primary healthcare nurses in New Zealand.


Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (International)

The impact of nurse-led atrial fibrillation clinics on patient and healthcare outcomes: a systematic mixed studies review
Nurse-led atrial fibrillation clinics have developed to improve care and guidance for atrial fibrillation patients, with the potential to reduce hospital presentations and healthcare utilisation.The aim of this study, published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, was to provide the first synthesis of evidence for the impact of nurse-led atrial fibrillation clinics on patient, healthcare utilisation, and quality of care outcomes.

Interventions to improve insulin prescribing practice for people with diabetes in hospital: a systematic review
The aim of this study, published in Diabetic Medicine, was to conduct a systematic review of literature to identify interventions that are effective in improving insulin prescribing for people with diabetes in the hospital setting.


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. This 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.

A primary care programme to improve identification and stepped-care support of Asians with mental health and lifestyle issues
Asians living in Western countries have a higher incidence of mental health and lifestyle issues, but are less likely to disclose these to health-care professionals due to stigma. Instead, they tend to present to primary care with somatic concerns. Published in the Journal of Primary Health Care, the aim of this study was to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a well-validated electronic screening and stepped-care support tool (eCHAT) to identify mental health and lifestyle issues among Asian patients.


Better Help for Smokers to Quit (New Zealand)

Mass media promotion of a smartphone smoking cessation app: modelled health and cost-saving impacts
Smartphones are increasingly available and some high quality apps are available for smoking cessation. However, the cost-effectiveness of promoting such apps has never been studied. This study, published in BMC Public Health, aimed to estimate the health gain, inequality impacts and cost-utility from a five-year promotion campaign of a smoking cessation smartphone app compared to business-as-usual (no app use for quitting).


Better Help for Smokers to Quit (International)

Improving health providers smoking cessation care in pregnancy: a systematic review and meta-analysis
The aim of this study, published in Addictive Behaviors, was to systematically review all available global studies on the effectiveness of interventions in improving health providers' provision of smoking cessation care during pregnancy.


Weight Management (New Zealand)

Ethnic-specific suggestions for physical activity based on existing recreational physical activity preferences of New Zealand women
In this study, published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, recreational physical activities of New Zealand women were examined to develop ethnic-specific suggestions encouraging physical activity (PA) participation as a targeted approach to reduce obesity rates among different groups.


Weight Management (International)

Weight loss for children and adults with obesity and asthma. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials
Asthma and obesity are major public health problems, affecting hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Obesity is associated with increased asthma risk and severity, and lower asthma-related quality of life. In this systematic review, published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, the authors aimed to evaluate whether weight loss in subjects with obesity and asthma leads to improvement in asthma-related outcomes.


Child Obesity (New Zealand)

The complexity of food provisioning decisions by Māori caregivers to ensure the happiness and health of their children
Obesity in children is a global health concern. In New Zealand, one in three school entrant children are overweight or obese. Māori, the indigenous people, are disproportionately represented among the lowest economic group and have a disproportionately high incidence of obesity. Published in Nutrients, this study explored Māori parents'; and caregivers' views of the relative importance of weight to health, and the facilitators and barriers to a healthy weight in children aged 6 months to 5 years.

Whānau Pakari: a multi-disciplinary assessment and intervention programme for children and adolescents with obesity
Multi‐disciplinary interventions remain recommended best practice for the management of childhood obesity. The purpose of this research, published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, was to create and assess a multi‐disciplinary assessment and intervention programme for children and adolescents with obesity in Taranaki, Aotearoa/New Zealand, using a mixed methods approach, incorporating a randomised clinical trial.


Childhood Obesity (International)

Physical activity and health in children younger than 6 years: a systematic review
Physical activity is known to provide important health benefits in school-age youth. However, until recently, few studies have examined associations between physical activity and health in young children. The purpose of this study, published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, was to conduct a systematic review of the relationship between physical activity and selected health outcomes in children younger than 6 years old.


Oral Health (International)

Interventions to reduce socio-economic inequalities in dental service utilisation - a systematic review
A gradient exists where people with lower socio-economic status (SES) use dental services less regularly than others. Evidence suggests these SES differences may contribute to inequalities in oral health. A variety of approaches have been tried to increase regular dental service use, although it is possible that some are ineffective or may even widen SES inequalities. This study, published in Community Dental Health, aimed to undertake a systematic review of interventions to reduce SES differences in dental visiting.


Key Ministry of Health Publications

National SUDI Prevention Programme: Needs Assessment and Care Planning Guide
Approximately 60,000 babies are born each year in Aotearoa New Zealand. The current sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) rate in Aotearoa New Zealand is approximately 0.7 in every 1,000 babies born. Most of these deaths are preventable and most occur among Māori and Pacific babies. The needs assessment and care planning guide contains recommended strategies and advice for protecting babies from SUDI.

Medication Guidelines for the Home and Community Support Services Sector
The Medication Guidelines for the Home and Community Support Services Sector aim to guide HCSS providers in providing medication support for people at home. The Guidelines reflect the Home and Community Support Sector Standard (NZS 8158:2012), and are based on current evidence of best practice and relevant legislation. They should serve as a reference tool for HCSS providers, to support safe medication practice, policies and processes.


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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