Ministry of Health Library Health Improvement and Innovation Digest

on 19 December

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Ministry of Health Library

Health Improvement and Innovation Digest

Issue 206 - 19 December 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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Thank you for reading the Health Improvement and Innovation Digest this year. Our next issue will be sent on the 16th of January 2020. Wishing you all the best over the holidays!

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.


Māori Innovation

Cultural identity, leadership and well-being: how indigenous storytelling contributed to well-being in a New Zealand provincial rugby team
The purpose of the article, published in Public Health, was to explore the application and interpretation of indigenous stories introduced in 2015-2017 in relation to the identity and leadership (well-being elements) of players and coaches of a men's provincial rugby team in Aotearoa/New Zealand (NZ).


Health Equity (New Zealand)

A systematic review of pharmacist-led medicines review services in New Zealand - is there equity for Māori older adults?
Pharmacist involvement in medicines reviews for older adults can improve prescribing and reduce adverse drug reactions. Māori experience poorer health outcomes than non-Māori resulting, in part, from inequitable access to and quality of medicine-related care. Despite international data showing benefit, it is unclear whether pharmacist-led medicines review services can improve outcomes for Māori older adults. This systematic review, published in Research in Social & Administrative Pharmacy, aims to describe pharmacist-led medicines review services for community-dwelling adults in New Zealand, assess effectiveness of these interventions and identify their effect on health equity for Māori and older adults.


Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (International)

Association of health literacy and diabetes self-management: a systematic review
The purpose of this review, published in the Australian Journal of Primary Health, is to summarise the existing evidence about the association of health literacy with type 2 diabetes mellitus self-management.

Does Nut Consumption Reduce Mortality and/or Risk of Cardiometabolic Disease? An Updated Review Based on Meta-Analyses
This study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, aimed to determine if nut consumption decreases mortality and/or the risk of cardiometabolic diseases based on updated meta-analyses of epidemiological and intervention studies


Primary Health Care (New Zealand)

Barriers to the prescription of LARCs in general practice in New Zealand—a qualitative research study
New Zealand has a high rate of unplanned pregnancy but a low rate of uptake of long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs), the most effective forms of contraception. This study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, aims to determine some of the barriers faced by general practitioners in New Zealand who wish to offer LARCs to their patients.


Primary Health Care (International)

Community pharmacy interventions for health promotion: effects on professional practice and health outcomes
Community pharmacies are an easily accessible and cost‐effective platform for delivering health care worldwide, and the range of services provided has undergone rapid expansion in recent years. Thus, in addition to dispensing medication, pharmacy workers within community pharmacies now give advice on a range of health‐promoting behaviours that aim to improve health and to optimise the management of long‐term conditions. However, it remains uncertain whether these health‐promotion interventions can change the professional practice of pharmacy workers, improve health behaviours and outcomes for pharmacy users and have the potential to address health inequalities. The objective of this Cochrane Review was to assess the effectiveness and safety of health‐promotion interventions to change community pharmacy workers' professional practice and improve outcomes for users of community pharmacies.


Primary Mental Health (International)

Psychosocial interventions for people with both severe mental illness and substance misuse
Even low levels of substance misuse by people with a severe mental illness can have detrimental effects. The objective of this Cochrane Review was to assess the effects of psychosocial interventions for reduction in substance use in people with a serious mental illness compared with standard care.

The role of relapse prevention for depression in collaborative care: A systematic review
Relapse (the re-emergence of depression symptoms before full recovery) is common in depression and relapse prevention strategies are not well researched in primary care settings. Collaborative care is effective for treating acute phase depression but little is known about the use of relapse prevention strategies in collaborative care. This systematic review, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, was to identify and characterise relapse prevention strategies in the context of collaborative care.


Increased Immunisation (International)

Effectiveness of email-based reminders to increase vaccine uptake: a systematic review
In times of vaccine hesitancy and decreasing immunization coverage, it is crucial to exploit the potential of digital solutions to support immunization programmes and ultimately increase vaccine uptake. Scant evidence exists on the impact of email-based immunization reminders. In particular, while email communication is exponentially increasing at the global level, its use for health communication is still sporadic and limited data exists on its application to immunization programmes. The objective of this study, published in Vaccine, is to systematically retrieve and critically appraise the available literature on the effectiveness of email-based reminders to increase vaccine uptake, with the ultimate aim to inform and encourage its integration in the implementation of immunization programmes.


Better Help for Smokers to Quit (International)

Individual-level behavioural smoking cessation interventions tailored for disadvantaged socioeconomic position: a systematic review and meta-regression
Socioeconomic inequalities in smoking cessation have led to development of interventions that are specifically tailored for smokers from disadvantaged groups. This study, published in the Lancet Public Health, aimed to assess whether the effectiveness of interventions for disadvantaged groups is moderated by tailoring for socioeconomic position.


Weight Management (International)

Educational weight loss interventions in obese and overweight adults with type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta‐analysis of randomized controlled trials
The worldwide prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus is increasing, with most individuals with the disease being overweight or obese. Weight loss can reduce disease‐related morbidity and mortality, and weight losses of 10–15 kg have been shown to reverse type 2 diabetes. This review, published in Diabetic Medicine, aimed to determine the effectiveness of community‐based educational interventions for weight loss in type 2 diabetes.


Childhood Obesity (New Zealand)

Acceptability of early childhood obesity prediction models to New Zealand families
While prediction models can estimate an infant’s risk of developing obesity at a later point in early childhood, caregiver receptiveness to such information is largely unknown. This study, published in PLoS One, aimed to assess the acceptability of these models to New Zealand caregivers.


Oral Health (International)

The effectiveness of behavioral interventions to improve oral health in adolescents at different periods of follow-up: A systematic review and meta-analysis
The aim of this review, published in Patient Education and Counseling, was to examine the effectiveness of behavioural interventions at different follow-up periods to improve adolescents' oral health.

Interventions with pregnant women, new mothers and other primary caregivers for preventing early childhood caries
Dental caries is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood and is associated with adverse health and economic consequences for infants and their families. Socioeconomically disadvantaged children have a higher risk of early childhood caries (ECC). The objective of this Cochrane Review was to assess the effects of interventions with pregnant women, new mothers or other primary caregivers of infants in the first year of life, for preventing ECC (from birth to six years of age).


Key Ministry of Health Publications

Hearing and Responding to the Stories of Survivors of Surgical Mesh
This report, commissioned by the Ministry of Health from Victoria University’s Diana Unwin Chair in Restorative Justice, summarises the themes that emerged from a restorative process to hear from New Zealand men and women affected by surgical mesh.


District Health Board Initiative

Social Workers making a difference for patients and whanau
Helping the most vulnerable negotiate their way through a hospital stay is a key driver for the Middlemore-based Acute Allied Health Medical Social Work Service. The unit are part of a multi-disciplinary team that work across the hospital to minimise barriers and ensure patients and their families are supported.


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 - Manatū Hauora
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Wellington, 6011
New Zealand

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