Ministry of Health Library Health Improvement and Innovation Digest

on 22 December

Issue 267 - 22 December 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.

You can forward this newsletter to others who may be interested in receiving it. They can register and subscribe here. You can also access other recent issues of the digest here.

If you have any queries, please email us at

Thank you for reading the Health Improvement and Innovation Digest this year. Our next issue will be sent on the 19th of January 2023. Wishing you all the best over the holidays!


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)

Ngā whakāro hauora Māori o te karu: Māori thoughts and considerations surrounding eye health
Evidence indicates that disparities in ocular health outcomes between Māori and non-Māori are pervasive in the New Zealand health system. Evidence shows the cause of these inequities is often multifactorial; due to factors such as colonisation, ongoing marginalisation, racism, socioeconomic status, poverty and culturally unsafe practice between health professionals and Māori patients. This project, published in Clinical & Experimental Optometry, used kaupapa Māori methodology to identify the perceptions of Māori surrounding ocular healthcare within a Māori context in Aotearoa New Zealand.


Cancer Services (International)

Breast Cancer Disparities and the Digital Divide
Socioeconomically disadvantaged populations and minority groups suffer from high breast cancer mortality, a disparity caused by decreased access to specialty care, lower treatment adherence, co-morbidities, and genetic predisposition for biologically aggressive breast tumour subtypes. Telehealth has the potential to mitigate breast cancer disparities by increasing access to specialty care and health information. However, unequal access to high-speed/broadband internet service and telehealth itself magnifies breast cancer disparities in vulnerable populations. This review, published in Current Breast Cancer Reports, evaluates the impact of the digital divide on breast cancer outcomes, as well as strategies for leveraging telehealth to reduce breast cancer disparities.

Does self-sampling for human papilloma virus testing have the potential to increase cervical cancer screening? An updated meta-analysis of observational studies and randomized clinical trials
This meta-analysis, published in Frontiers in Public Health, examined the effectiveness of HPV self-sampling proposal on cervical cancer screening (CCS) uptake when compared with an invitation to have a clinician to collect the sample.


Primary Health Care (New Zealand)

Family‐centred interventions for Indigenous early childhood well‐being by primary healthcare services
Primary healthcare, particularly Indigenous‐led services, are well placed to deliver services that reflect the needs of Indigenous children and their families. The objective of this Cochrane Review was to evaluate the benefits and harms of family‐centred interventions delivered by primary healthcare services in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA on a range of physical, psychosocial, and behavioural outcomes of Indigenous children (aged from conception to less than five years), parents, and families.


Primary Mental Health (New Zealand)

Culture, church, and collective: a qualitative study about gambling harm prevention and reduction in Aotearoa/New Zealand-a Tongan male perspective
In New Zealand, Pacific people continue to be more at risk of gambling harm than the general population, despite increasing public health efforts and treatment service provisions introduced to address this social and health issue. This study, published in Harm Reduction Journal, explored why the delivery of the prevailing gambling-focussed programmes was not influencing Pacific gambling behaviours.

Unmet need for gender-affirming care as a social determinant of mental health inequities for transgender youth in Aotearoa/New Zealand
Past studies have demonstrated better mental health and well-being among transgender youth who had accessed gender-affirming care. However, few existing studies have assessed unmet need for gender-affirming care as a social determinant of mental health inequities. This study, published in the Journal of Public Health, explores this issue.


Primary Mental Health (International)

Social Return on Investment (SROI) of mental health related interventions—A scoping review
There is a growing recognition of the need to effectively assess the social value of public health interventions through a wider, comprehensive approach, capturing their social, economic and environmental benefits, outcomes and impacts. Social Return on Investment (SROI) is a methodological approach which incorporates all three aspects for evaluating interventions. Mental health problems are one of the leading causes of ill health and disability worldwide. This study, published in the Frontiers in Public Health, aims to map existing evidence on the social value of mental health interventions that uses the SROI methodology.


Smoking Cessation (International)

Effectiveness and acceptability of conversational agents for smoking cessation: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Conversational agents (computer programs that use artificial intelligence to simulate a conversation with users through natural language) have evolved considerably in recent years to support healthcare by providing autonomous, interactive, and accessible services, making them potentially useful for supporting smoking cessation. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis, published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, was to provide an overarching evaluation of their effectiveness and acceptability to inform future development and adoption.


Oral Health (International)

Scoping review on the role of social media in oral health promotion
This review, published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, was conducted to assess the role of social media in oral health promotion by reviewing the perspectives and evaluation methods of previous related studies.


Disability Services (International)

An investigation of Reablement or restorative homecare interventions and outcome effects: A systematic review of randomised control trials
The effect of Reablement, a multi-faceted intervention is unclear, specifically, which interventions improve outcomes. This Systematic Review, published in Health & Social Care in the Community, evaluates randomised controlled trials (RCTs) describing Reablement investigating the population, interventions, who delivered them, the effect and sustainability of outcomes.


Key Ministry of Health Publications

Developing the future Ministry of Health – Our strategy and strategic intentions, 2022 to 2026
This document sets the strategy for the future role of Manatū Hauora in the context of the Government’s health reforms in July 2022.

Clinical Rehabilitation Guideline for People with Long COVID (Coronavirus Disease) in Aotearoa New Zealand
This guideline is intended to provide clinical guidance on long COVID conditions in both children and adults in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Demographic Report of Disabled People Accessing Manatū Hauora (the Ministry of Health) Disability Support Services
This report provides information about disabled people who access a range of disability support services funded by the Ministry of Health. The information in this report relates to people who accessed disability support services in the financial year from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 inclusive (2019/20).


Health Sector Initiative

Drone technology set to provide valuable support to the delivery of health care services on the West Coast
Swoop Aero is set to launch New Zealand’s first integrated drone logistics network in partnership with Te Whatu Ora in early 2023. The network will connect Greymouth and Westport, providing integrated drone logistics. Initially, the project which is funded through Te Whatu Ora-Led Improvement Sustainability Funding will concentrate on the collection of pathology samples from Westport for rapid processing in Greymouth.


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.

Back to blog entries

Areas of Interest