Ministry of Health Library Health Improvement and Innovation Digest

on 2 December

Issue 243 - 2 December 2021

Welcome to the fortnightly Health Improvement and Innovation Digest. The Digest has links to key evidence of interest, with access to new content arranged by topic.

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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.


Health Equity (New Zealand)

Addressing equity: a 10-year review of strabismus surgery in 0–19-year-olds in the New Zealand public health system
This study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, aimed to identify the relationship between the incidence of strabismus surgery, ethnicity and socioeconomic deprivation in the New Zealand public health system. Secondary outcomes explored the association between re-operation rate for surgical failures, ethnicity and socioeconomic deprivation.

Barriers and facilitators for Māori in accessing hospital services in Aotearoa New Zealand
This paper, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, reports the findings of a literature review to answer the research question, “What are the barriers and facilitators of access to hospital services for Māori?”


Health Equity (International)

Health Inequities in LGBT People and Nursing Interventions to Reduce Them: A Systematic Review
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people present poorer mental and physical health results compared to the heterosexual and cisgender population. There are barriers in the healthcare system that increase these health inequities. The objective of this review, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, was to synthesise the available evidence on how nurses can intervene in reducing health inequities in LGBT people, identifying their specific health needs and describing their experiences and perceptions of the barriers they face in the healthcare system.

Health equity audits: a systematic review of the effectiveness
The purpose of this systematic review, published in BMJ Open, was to explore whether health equity audits (HEAs) are effective in improving the equity of service provision and reducing health inequalities.


Quality Improvement (New Zealand)

National quality improvement indicators project: an initial descriptive study
Anaesthesia Quality Improvement New Zealand developed a set of five quality improvement indicators pertaining to postoperative nausea and vomiting, pain, respiratory distress, hypothermia and a prolonged post-anaesthesia care unit stay. This study, published in Anaesthesia and Intensive care, sought to assess the proportion of eligible institutions that were able to measure and provide data on these indicators, produce an initial national estimate of these, and a measure of variability in the quality improvement indicators across hospitals in New Zealand.


Quality Improvement (International)

Reducing medication errors for adults in hospital settings
The objective of this Cochrane Review was to determine the effectiveness of interventions to reduce medication errors in adults in hospital settings.

Early warning systems and rapid response systems for the prevention of patient deterioration on acute adult hospital wards
Early warning systems (EWS) and rapid response systems (RRS) have been implemented internationally in acute hospitals to facilitate early recognition, referral and response to patient deterioration as a solution to address suboptimal ward‐based care. EWS and RRS facilitate healthcare decision‐making using checklists and provide structure to organisational practices through governance and clinical audit. However, it is unclear whether these systems improve patient outcomes.  The objective of this Cochrane Review was to determine the effect of EWS and RRS implementation on adults who deteriorate on acute hospital wards compared to people receiving hospital care without EWS and RRS in place.


Cancer Services (International)

Barriers and facilitators to accessing cancer care for people with significant mental health difficulties: A qualitative review and narrative synthesis
Inequities in cancer care contribute to higher rates of cancer mortality for individuals with significant mental health difficulties (SMHD) compared to the general population. The aim of the current systematic review, published in Psycho-Oncology, was to identify, appraise and synthesise qualitative evidence of patient and clinician/system barriers and facilitators to cancer screening and treatment for individuals with SMHD.

Interventions to improve early cancer diagnosis of symptomatic individuals: a scoping review
The objective of this review, published in BMJ Open, was to summarise the current evidence regarding interventions for accurate and timely cancer diagnosis among symptomatic individuals.


Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (New Zealand)

He Pikinga Waiora Kimi Ora lifestyle programme: case study of a successful community-based Indigenous diabetes intervention
The aim of this study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, was to co-design and implement a whānau-centred, community-based lifestyle programme (Kimi Ora) intended to ensure no worsening of HbA1c and to improve wellbeing for Māori whānau and communities with diabetes or pre-diabetes.


Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (International)

The effectiveness of quality improvement collaboratives in improving stroke care and the facilitators and barriers to their implementation: a systematic review
To successfully reduce the negative impacts of stroke, high-quality health and care practices are needed across the entire stroke care pathway. These practices are not always shared across organisations. Quality improvement collaboratives (QICs) offer a unique opportunity for key stakeholders from different organisations to share, learn and ‘take home’ best practice examples, to support local improvement efforts. This systematic review, published in Implementation Science, assessed the effectiveness of QICs in improving stroke care and explored the facilitators and barriers to implementing this approach.

Information provision for stroke survivors and their carers
A stroke is a sudden loss of brain function caused by lack of blood supply. Stroke can lead to death or physical and cognitive impairment and can have long lasting psychological and social implications. Research shows that stroke survivors and their families are dissatisfied with the information provided and have a poor understanding of stroke and associated issues. The primary objective of this Cochrane Review was to assess the effects of active or passive information provision for stroke survivors  or their identified carers. 


Primary Health Care (New Zealand)

'Be nice to us, we're still learning': an online survey of young people in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, about unmet need for sexual health care and improving access to services
Young people need equitable access to high-quality sexual and reproductive health care to enjoy good sexual health. This online survey, published in Sexual Health, explores the unmet need for sexual health care and sought views on access to sexual health care of people aged 15-24years in a defined region of New Zealand.

Navigating the health system during COVID-19: primary care perspectives on delayed patient care
The primary care response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has required significant changes to the delivery of healthcare by general practices. This study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, explores the experiences of New Zealand general practice teams in their perception of delayed patient care during the early stages of the pandemic.


Increased Immunisation (International)

Factors that influence parents' and informal caregivers' views and practices regarding routine childhood vaccination: a qualitative evidence synthesis
Childhood vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent serious illnesses and deaths in children. However, worldwide, many children do not receive all recommended vaccinations, for several potential reasons. The objective of this Cochrane Review was to explore parents’ and informal caregivers’ views and practices regarding routine childhood vaccination, and the factors influencing acceptance, hesitancy, or nonacceptance of routine childhood vaccination.

Does Seeing What Others Do Through Social Media Influence Vaccine Uptake and Help in the Herd Immunity Through Vaccination? A Cross-Sectional Analysis
Widespread acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination is the next major step in fighting the pandemic. However, significant variations are observed in the willingness to take the vaccination by citizens across different countries. Arguably, differences in vaccination intentions will be influenced by beliefs around vaccines to influence health. Often perceptions of what others are doing and the information available guide individuals' behaviours for vaccination. This is more so in the digital age with the influence of the internet and media. This study, published in Frontiers in Public Health, aims to determine the factors that impact willingness to vaccinate for COVID-19.

Addressing Myths and Vaccine Hesitancy: A Randomized Trial
Evidence on repeating vaccination misinformation or "myths" in debunking text is inconclusive; repeating myths may unintentionally increase agreement with myths or help discredit myths. In this study, published in Pediatrics, we aimed to compare the effect of repeating vaccination myths and other text-based debunking strategies on parents’ agreement with myths and their intention to vaccinate their children.


Weight Management (International)

The nudge strategies for weight loss in adults with obesity and overweight: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Obesity and overweight conditions have become major health challenges worldwide. The exploration of effective weight loss strategies is essential. Nudges are currently advancing approaches that represent a new and better method for changing the behaviours of people. However, the effectiveness of nudge interventions on weight loss in overweight people who may be obese has not been synthesized in a systematic manner. In this study, published in Health Policy, a systematic literature search was performed.

The effectiveness of e-health interventions for the treatment of overweight or obesity in children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis
The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis, published in Obesity Reviews, was to examine the effectiveness of e-health interventions for the treatment of children and adolescents with overweight or obesity.


Disability Services (International)

Health and wellbeing outcomes and social prescribing pathways in community-based support for autistic adults: A systematic mapping review of reviews
Adults on the autism spectrum are affected by health disparities which significantly reduce life expectancy and experience barriers to accessing healthcare. Social prescribing is a holistic approach that diverts patients from primary care to health-enhancing activities in communities. However, there has been a lack of research attention to how autistic people navigate the social prescribing pathway and the ability of these approaches to address existing disparities. This mapping review, published in Health & Social Care in the Community, aimed to synthesise features of non-medical, community-based interventions for autistic adults to assess their suitability for a social prescribing approach.


Key Ministry of Health Publications

Mental health and wellbeing year in review
The Mental Health and Addiction Year in Review outlines the progress made by the Ministry of Health in the second year of delivering to He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction and the Budget 19’s mental health, wellbeing and addiction initiatives.

Annual Update of Key Results 2020/21: New Zealand Health Survey
The Annual Data Explorer presents results from the 2020/21 New Zealand Health Survey, with comparisons to earlier surveys where possible. Results are available by gender, age group, ethnic group, neighbourhood deprivation and disability status.

Whakamaua Quantitative Dashboard: Year one (baseline)
This publication is an interactive web tool showing a statistical overview of the 13 initial quantitative measures for Whakamaua: the Māori Health Action Plan 2020–2025. The quantitative measures presented in this report are designed to provide a broad view of the current state of system performance against our four objectives, rather than to reflect progress on any individual action in Whakamaua. Achieving these objectives will make a significant contribution to realising the plan’s high-level outcomes for Māori health and wellbeing.

Primary Maternity Services Notice 2021 – Guide
This document provides a guide to the Primary Maternity Services Notice 2021, to assist authorised providers to understand the Notice and how it has changed from the 2007 version.


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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