Ministry of Health Library Health Improvement and Innovation Digest

on 18 July

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Ministry of Health Library

Health Improvement and Innovation Digest

Issue 195 - 18 July 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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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.


Shorter Waits for Cancer Treatment (International)

Diagnostic spectrum and time intervals in Sweden’s first diagnostic center for patients with nonspecific symptoms of cancer
Fast-track referral is an increasingly used method for diagnostic evaluation of patients suspected of having cancer. This approach is challenging and not used as often for patients with only nonspecific symptoms. In order to expedite the diagnostics for these patients, the authors established Sweden’s first Diagnostic Center (DC) focusing on outcomes related to diagnoses and diagnostic time intervals.The aim of this study, published in Acta Oncologica, was to investigate the diagnostic spectrum, diagnostic time intervals, feasibility, and patient satisfaction at the DC.


Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (New Zealand)

Insulin pump initiation and education for children and adolescents – a qualitative study of current practice in New Zealand
Worldwide, the use of insulin pumps for the management of type 1 diabetes is increasing. There are no national or international published guidelines and few guidance recommendations detailing the education and training required to commence insulin pump therapy. The aim of this study, published in the Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders, was to describe current clinical practice regarding initiation of insulin pump therapy in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes in New Zealand.


Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (International)

Prevention of of cardiovascular diseases in children and adolescents
The atherosclerotic alterations that are the basis of cardiovascular diseases can start already in childhood. For this reason the prevention of cardiovascular diseases should be undertaken very early both in the general population and, in a targeted manner, in subjects at cardiovascular risk. The purpose of this review, published in High Blood Pressure & Cardiovascular Prevention, is to indicate lines of intervention for cardiovascular prevention in children and adolescents.


Primary Health Care (New Zealand)

Barriers to pharmacist prescribing: a scoping review comparing the UK, New Zealand, Canadian and Australian experiences
Legislation supporting pharmacist prescribing (PP) has been implemented in the United Kingdom (UK), Canada and New Zealand (NZ); however, to date, Australian pharmacists have not been extended prescribing rights. The purpose of this review, published in the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, was to describe the barriers to pharmacist prescribing found in the literature from the UK, Canada, NZ and Australia, and examine the implications of these for the development of PP in Australia.


Primary Health Care (International)

Shared medical appointments and patient-centered experience: a mixed-methods systematic review
Shared medical appointments (SMAs), or group visits, are a healthcare delivery method with the potential to improve chronic disease management and preventive care. In this review, published in BMC Family Practice, the authors sought to better understand opportunities, barriers, and limitations to SMAs based on patient experience in the primary care context.

Testing the effectiveness of a general practice intervention to improve uptake of colorectal cancer screening: a randomised controlled trial
Uptake of screening through the Australian National Bowel Cancer Screening Program remains low. General practice guidelines support the general practitioners’ role to offer colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. This study, published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, tested the effect that an intervention including point-of-care faecal occult blood test (FOBT) provision, printed screening advice and GP endorsement has on self-reported FOBT uptake.


Primary Mental Health (New Zealand)

Māori men's experiences of rehabilitation in the Moana House therapeutic community in Aotearoa/New Zealand: a qualitative enquiry
In Aotearoa/New Zealand, culturally embedded rehabilitation programmes have been developed to reduce criminal offending among the indigenous Māori population. Currently, there is a lack of research investigating the experiences of these programmes from clients' perspectives. Published in the International Journal of Offender Therapy & Comparative Criminology, this study aimed to enhance understandings of the lived experiences of Māori men who were participating in a residential therapeutic community programme in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Pacific models of mental health service delivery in New Zealand: Part I: What do we know about Pacific mental health in New Zealand? A narrative review
Published in Australasian Psychiatry, the objective of this study was to update measures of mental disorders and service use in Pacific people living in New Zealand. A narrative review was conducted of available data on the prevalence of mental disorder, psychotropic drug prescribing and service use by Pacific people.


Increased Immunisation (New Zealand)

Comparison of vaccination coverage of four childhood vaccines in New Zealand and New York State
To ensure that children are vaccinated, different national governments use diverse strategies. Published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, the authors of this study compared childhood vaccination coverage rates between New York State and New Zealand as the vaccination strategies are different.


Better Help for Smokers to Quit (New Zealand)

'Smokefree 2025’ goal awareness and support among 14 and 15-year-olds: results from the 2018 Youth Insights Survey
In 2011, the New Zealand Government committed to an aspirational goal of making New Zealand a Smokefree nation by 2025, with the aim to reduce smoking prevalence to less than 5%. This brief report, published by the Health Promotion Agency, describes the awareness and support for the ‘Smokefree 2025’ goal among 14 and 15-year-olds who participated in the 2018 Youth Insights Survey (YIS). It also shows trends in awareness of the ‘Smokefree 2025’ goal by ethnicity between 2012 and 2018.


Better Help for Smokers to Quit (International)

What works in smoking cessation interventions for cancer survivors? A meta-analysis
Published in Health Psychology, the authors of this study conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials designed to promote smoking cessation among cancer survivors to (a) assess how effective interventions are at increasing quit rates, and (b) determine which intervention strategies are associated with effect sizes


Weight Management (New Zealand)

Exploration of Māori household experiences of food insecurity
The authors of this study, published in Nutrition & Dietetics, explored how food insecurity was experienced in Māori households and how this can affect hauora (well-being).


Weight Management (International)

Obesity prevention and the role of hospital and community-based health services: a scoping review
The purpose of this study, published in BMC Health Services Research, was to examine what the published literature indicates about the role of hospital and community based health services in adult obesity prevention in order to map the evidence and identify gaps in existing research.


Childhood Obesity (International)

Impact of active video games on body mass index in children and adolescents: systematic review and meta-analysis evaluating the quality of primary studies
Published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the authors sought to study the impact of active video games on Body Mass Index (BMI) in children and adolescents.

School-based interventions in low socioeconomic settings to reduce obesity outcomes among preschoolers: a scoping review
Pediatric obesity continues to grow globally, specifically in low-socioeconomic rural areas. Published in Nutrients, this scoping review aimed to examine the literature to study the effectiveness of the school-based interventions in low socioeconomic settings on adiposity-related outcomes among preschoolers.

Effectiveness of early care and education center-based interventions for improving cardiovascular fitness in early childhood: a systematic review and meta-analysis
This systematic review and meta-analysis, published in Preventive Medicine, examined the literature on early care and education center (ECEC)-based physical activity interventions to identify ecologic environmental factors that improve cardiovascular fitness (CVF) in preschool-aged children.


Oral Health (International)

Impact of a novel oral health promotion program on routine oral hygiene among socioeconomically disadvantaged smokers: results from a randomized semi-pragmatic trial
Smokers are at high risk of oral disease and report sub-optimal oral hygiene. Improving smokers’ oral hygiene could reduce their future disease risk. The purpose of this study, published in Translational Behavioral Medicine, was to assess the effects of a novel, multi-modal oral health promotion program (Oral Health 4 Life; OH4L) targeted to socioeconomically disadvantaged smokers and delivered through state-funded tobacco quitlines.


Key Ministry of Health Publications

Medicinal Cannabis Scheme consultation
The Ministry of Health has opened public consultation on the proposals for the medicinal cannabis regulations needed to support the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme. Consultation closes Wednesday 7 August 2019 at 5 pm.

Suicide Facts: 2016 data (provisional)
This 2016 data is provisional. In New Zealand, a death is only officially classified as suicide by the coroner on completion of the coroner’s inquiry. Only those deaths determined as ‘intentionally self-inflicted’ after the inquiry will receive a final verdict of suicide.

Gambling behaviours and associated risk factors for 17 year old Pacific youth
This study, by the Auckland University of Technology, Gambling and Addictions Research Centre, is a component of the Pacific Islands Families Study, which is a longitudinal cohort study of a birth cohort of 1,398 Pacific infants who were recruited into the study from a South Auckland hospital in 2000. In 2017, the cohort children were 17 years old and an extensive set of gambling-related questions was included in their survey.  Six hundred and thirty-two youth were surveyed.

SPGeTTI: A Smartphone-Based Problem Gambling Evaluation And Technology Testing Initiative
This study, by the National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI), Auckland UniServices Ltd, aimed to test the effectiveness of a smart phone app to support people with a gambling problem to promote abstinence or avoid relapse, in particular for those using electronic gambling machines (EGMs or pokies). The research is an example of the Ministry investing in research exploring the use of new technology to promote gambling harm minimisation.

Evaluation report: The Sorted Whānau Financial Capability pilot
This report, by Malatest International, is an evaluation of the Sorted Whānau programme. The programme was developed by Raukura Hauora O Tainui (Raukura), the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) and Malatest International (Malatest). It is based on emerging evidence that financial literacy, education and understanding may encourage improved financial decision-making and longer-term behaviour change for harmful gamblers and those affected by harmful 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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