Ministry of Health Library Health Improvement and Innovation Digest

on 31 August

Issue 283 - 31 August 2023

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)

Equity of Māori access to the orthopaedic rehabilitation service of the Bay of Plenty: a cross-sectional survey
This study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, examined the access to the Bay of Plenty rehabilitation service for Indigenous Māori patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA).

Caregiver experiences of racism and child mental health outcomes: cross-sectional analysis from Aotearoa New Zealand
This study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, aimed to estimate the prevalence of vicarious racism experienced by children (0–14 years) in Aotearoa New Zealand and investigate the association between vicarious racism and diagnosed child mental health conditions.


Public Health (New Zealand)

Health, wellbeing and nutritional impacts after 2 years of free school meals in New Zealand
In 2020, a government-funded healthy school lunch program was introduced in a quarter of New Zealand schools, selected due to high levels of socio-economic barriers. This study, published in Health Promotion International, assesses the impact of the introduction of the school lunch program from family (whānau), student and school principal perspectives.

Promoting health in the digital environment: health policy experts' responses to on-demand delivery in Aotearoa New Zealand
Services offering on-demand delivery of unhealthy commodities, such as fast food, alcohol and smoking/vaping products have proliferated in recent years. It is well known that the built environment can be health promoting or harmful to health, but there has been less consideration of the digital environment. Increased availability and accessibility of these commodities may be associated with increased consumption, with harmful public health implications. Policy regulating the supply of these commodities was developed before the introduction of on-demand services and has not kept pace with the digital environment. This paper, published in Health Promotion International, reports on semi-structured interviews with health policy experts on the health harms of the uptake in on-demand delivery of food, alcohol and smoking/vaping products, along with their views on policies that might mitigate these harms.


Cancer Services (New Zealand)

Ethnic differences in the characteristics of patients with newly diagnosed lung cancer in the Te Manawa Taki region of New Zealand
Māori have three times the mortality from lung cancer compared with non‐Māori. The Te Manawa Taki region has a population of 900 000, of whom 30% are Māori. There is little understanding of the factors associated with developing and diagnosing lung cancer and ethnic differences in these characteristics. The aim of this study, published in the Internal Medicine Journal, was to explore the differences in the incidence and characteristics of patients with newly diagnosed lung cancer between Māori and non‐Māori.


Cancer Services (International)

Video Interventions for Reducing Health Inequity in Cancer Screening Programmes: a Systematic Review
Health equity can lead to disparities in cancer screening, treatment, and mortality. This systematic review, published in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, aims to identify and describe interventions that used video or DVD formats to reduce health inequity in cancer screening and review the effectiveness of such interventions in increasing screening rates compared to usual care conditions.


Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (New Zealand)

Newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes - does New Zealand General Practice adequately prepare patients to self-manage their Condition?
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) is predominantly managed in primary care, and patients need to be provided with appropriate knowledge and education to understand how to best self-manage their condition. For optimal T2D self-management, primary care teams should share this information from the time of diagnosis. This study, published in BMC Primary Care, explores how and when these resources are being provided to patients with T2D in New Zealand.

How does the clinical practice of Aotearoa New Zealand podiatrists align with international guidelines for the prevention of diabetes-related foot disease? A cross-sectional survey
Given the importance of preventive care for the lower limb in people with diabetes, and the absence of local guidelines in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ), the aim of this study, published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, was to determine the alignment of assessment and management used in the prevention of diabetes-related foot disease by NZ podiatrists to the international prevention guideline recommendations.


Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (International)

The effectiveness of mobile application for monitoring diabetes mellitus and hypertension in the adult and elderly population: systematic review and meta-analysis
Arterial Hypertension (AH) and Diabetes Mellitus (DM) are diseases that are getting worse all over the world. Linked to this advance, is the growing digital health market with numerous mobile health applications, which aim to help patients and professionals in the proper management of chronic diseases. The aim of this study, published in BMC Health Services Research, was to analyse, through a systematic review and meta-analysis, the effectiveness of using mobile health applications in monitoring AH and/or DM in the adult and elderly population.


Primary Health Care (International)

The paramedic–general practitioner relationship: a scoping review
This scoping review, published in the Australian Journal of Primary Health, explores the working ties between paramedics and general practitioners (GPs) to reduce unnecessary transport to emergency departments (EDs) and improve access to primary health care.


Primary Mental Health (New Zealand)

The community pillars project: engaging survivors as cross- cultural facilitators in Aotearoa/ New Zealand
Communities who have fled torture and persecution in their home countries can find it difficult to access services in new cultural settings. Past research has shown that it is helpful to provide cultural bridging services to form a connection between locally-trained professionals and newly relocated communities. This article, published in Torture, presents a case example of cultural bridging involving a pilot programme to train individuals with refugee-like backgrounds (including torture survivors, former refugees, forced migrants) to become Cross-Cultural Facilitators supporting mental health services for displaced communities.

The potential relationship between loot box spending, problem gambling, and obsessive-compulsive gamers
Loot boxes are digital containers of randomised rewards available in many video games. Individuals with problem gambling symptomatology spend more on loot boxes than individuals without such symptoms. This study, published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, investigated whether other psychopathological symptomatology, specifically symptoms of obsessive-compulsive behaviour and hoarding may also be associated with increased loot box spending.


Primary Mental Health (International)

Mental Health First Aid as a tool for improving mental health and well‐being
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a brief training programme developed in Australia in 2000; its aim is to improve mental health literacy and teach mental health first aid strategies. The course has been adapted for various contexts, but essentially covers the symptoms of various mental health disorders, along with associated mental health crisis situations. The programmes also teach trainees how to provide immediate help to people experiencing mental health difficulties, as well as how to signpost to professional services. It is theorised that improved knowledge will encourage the trainees to provide support, and encourage people to actively seek help, thereby leading to improvements in mental health. This Cochrane Review focuses on the effects of MHFA on the mental health and mental well‐being of individuals and communities in which MHFA training has been provided.


Smoking Cessation (New Zealand)

Addressing intergenerational inequity in tobacco-harm: What helps children of smokers to remain non-smokers?
Children of people who smoke are more likely to take up smoking themselves. In Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ), adolescent smoking declined dramatically between 2000 and 2016 despite limited change in parental smoking, demonstrating that the cycle can be broken. This study, published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, aimed to identify modifiable factors associated with never smoking in Year 10 students (14-15 years) who had at least one caregiver who smoked.


Smoking Cessation (International)

Immediate, Short-term, Medium-term, and Long-term effects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Smoking Cessation: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is increasingly being studied as a treatment for smoking cessation. However, its immediate, short-, and long-term effects have rarely been reviewed. This systematic review, published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of immediate, short-, medium-, and long-term smoking cessation rates in ACT and comparators.


Weight Management (International)

Extended brief interventions for weight management and obesity prevention in children: A rapid evidence review
Uptake of child weight management (CWM) support is typically low, and services are not available in all areas. Extended brief interventions (EBIs) have been proposed as an affordable way to provide enhanced support, at a level between one-off brief advice and intensive CWM programs. This rapid systematic review, published in Obesity Reviews, sought to synthesise evidence on the efficacy of EBIs for weight management and obesity prevention in children (2-18 years).


Health Sector Initiative

Country’s first Cardiac Pulsed Field Ablation procedure successfully completed at Waikato Hospital
In a national first, a Waikato Hospital cardiology team successfully completed a Pulsed Field Ablation (PFA) procedure to treat atrial fibrillation.


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