Ministry of Health Library Health Improvement and Innovation Digest

on 4 March

Issue 247 - 3 March 2022

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)

Outcomes for Māori and European patients admitted to New Zealand intensive care units between 2009 and 2018
The aim of this article, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, was to describe characteristics and outcomes of Māori and European patients admitted to New Zealand intensive care units (ICUs) between 2009 and 2018.

The Impact of Transport on Population Health and Health Equity for Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand: A Prospective Burden of Disease Study
The land transport system influences health via a range of pathways. This study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, aimed to quantify the amount and distribution of health loss caused by the current land transport system in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ) through the pathways of road injury, air pollution and physical inactivity.


Health Equity (International)

Challenges and strategies for promoting health equity in virtual care: findings and policy directions from a scoping review of reviews
This scoping review, published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, sought to understand and synthesize review-level evidence on the challenges associated with accessibility of virtual care among underserved population groups and to identify strategies that can improve access to, uptake of, and engagement with virtual care for these populations.

Barriers, frameworks, and mitigating strategies influencing the dissemination and implementation of health promotion interventions in indigenous communities: a scoping review
Many Indigenous communities across the USA and Canada experience a disproportionate burden of health disparities. Effective programs and interventions are essential to build protective skills for different age groups to improve health outcomes. Understanding the relevant barriers and facilitators to the successful dissemination, implementation, and retention of evidence-based interventions and/or evidence-informed programs in Indigenous communities can help guide their dissemination. The aim of this scoping review, published in Implementation Science, was to identify common barriers to dissemination and implementation (D&I) and effective mitigating frameworks and strategies used to successfully disseminate and implement evidence-based interventions and/or evidence-informed programs in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (NH/PI), and Canadian Indigenous communities.


Hospital Productivity (International)

Discharge planning from hospital
Discharge planning is a routine feature of health systems in many countries that aims to reduce delayed discharge from hospital, and improve the co‐ordination of services following discharge from hospital and reduce the risk of hospital readmission. The objective of this Cochrane Review was to assess the effectiveness of planning the discharge of individual patients moving from hospital. 


Cancer Services (New Zealand)

Gynaecological cancer pathway for faster cancer treatment: a repeat clinical audit
This clinical audit, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, aimed to review cancer management pathways for patients with gynaecological cancers in Northland in order to evaluate whether there has been an improvement compared to previous audit periods and look for differences between ethnicities.


Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (International)

Effects of a gluten‐reduced or gluten‐free diet for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are a major cause of disability and the leading cause of death worldwide. To reduce mortality and morbidity, prevention strategies such as following an optimal diet are crucial. In recent years, low‐gluten and gluten‐free diets have gained strong popularity in the general population. However, study results on the benefits of a gluten‐reduced or gluten‐free diet are conflicting, and it is unclear whether a gluten‐reduced diet has an effect on the primary prevention of CVD. The objective of this Cochrane Review was to determine the effects of a gluten‐reduced or gluten‐free diet for the primary prevention of CVD in the general population. 


Primary Health Care (New Zealand)

Consequences of barriers to primary health care for children in Aotearoa New Zealand
Inequities in the provision of accessible primary health care contribute to poor health outcomes and health inequity. This study, published in SSM - Population Health, evaluated inequities in the prevalence and consequences of barriers that children face in seeing a general practitioner (GP) in Aotearoa New Zealand.


Weight Management (New Zealand)

Relationships between physical function, body composition and metabolic health in Pacific Island youth
The Pacific Islands Families (PIF) study is a birth cohort study designed to increase knowledge about the growth and development of Pacific children living in Auckland, New Zealand. Adolescence is a critical time of growth and development, yet the roles of physical function and body composition in metabolic health at this life stage are not clear. This study, published in PloS One, aimed to investigate associations between measures of physical function (the 6-minute-walk-test (6MWT)), heart rate changes before and after the 6MWT, handgrip strength, body composition including appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASMM) measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and biomarkers of metabolic health from a fasting blood sample.


Weight Management (International)

Family-based treatment of children with severe obesity in a public healthcare setting: Results from a randomized controlled trial
The aim of this study, published in Clinical Obesity, was to compare the effectiveness of family-based behavioural social facilitation treatment (FBSFT) versus treatment as usual (TAU) in children with severe obesity.


Disability Services (International)

Digital Health Paradox: International Policy Perspectives to Address Increased Health Inequalities for People Living With Disabilities
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the uptake of digital health worldwide and highlighted many benefits of these innovations. However, it also stressed the magnitude of inequalities regarding accessing digital health. Using a scoping review, this article, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, explores the potential benefits of digital technologies for the global population, with particular reference to people living with disabilities, using the autism community as a case study.


Key Ministry of Health Publications

Health and Independence Report 2020
This report presents the latest data on measures of health, causes of health loss, and determinants of health.

Nursing Safe Staffing Review and Report on the Review of the Care Capacity Demand Management (CCDM) Programme
This Nursing Safe Staffing Review and Report on the Review of the Care Capacity Demand Management (CCDM) Programme reviews the implementation, effectiveness and impact of the CCDM Programme.


Ministry of Health Consultations & Events

Proposed warning and advisory statement relating to the harm of opioid abuse, misuse, and dependence
This Medsafe consultation proposes a new warning and advisory statement for the opioid class of medicines. The statement would be included in the Label Statements Database (LSD), which lists the warning and advisory statements that are required on medicines and related products package labels. This consultation closes on the 4th of April 2022.

ACT-NOW Data Standard
The Anti-Cancer Therapy – Nationally Organised Workstreams (ACT-NOW) programme was launched in 2018 with the aim to develop a detailed database of information on patients receiving systemic anti-cancer therapy across New Zealand. ACT-NOW engages with the medical oncology, haematology, pharmacist and nursing communities to identify and reduce variation, enhance equity of access and support resource planning. The first phase of the ACT-NOW project requires the development of national data and regimen definitions to create a solid foundation for the subsequent capture of meaningful and comparable data at the national level. This consultation closes on the 31st of March 2022. 


District Health Board Initiative

Tamariki Week aims to increase 5–11-year-old vaccinations in Southern
The week starting Monday 21st of February saw a uniquely Southern event that was designed to boost protection for five- to 11-year-olds and their whānau/families.


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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Areas of Interest