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2.
BMJ Open ; 13(5): e068424, 2023 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20241291

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To describe and compare the initial clinical characteristics of a cohort of patients with suspected COVID-19 managed by general practitioners (GPs); to assess whether 3-month persistent symptoms were more frequent among confirmed cases than among no-COVID cases; and to identify factors predictive of persistent symptoms and adverse outcomes among confirmed cases. DESIGN AND SETTING: A comparative, prospective, multicentre cohort study in primary care in the Paris region of France. PARTICIPANTS: 521 patients aged ≥18 with suspected COVID-19 were enrolled between March and May 2020. OUTCOME MEASURES: Initial symptoms, COVID-19 status, persistent symptoms 3 months after inclusion and a composite criterion for potentially COVID-19-related events (hospitalisation, death, emergency department visits). The final COVID-19 status ('confirmed', 'no-COVID' and 'uncertain' cases) was determined by the GP after the receipt of the laboratory test results. RESULTS: 516 patients were analysed; 166 (32.2%) were classified into the 'confirmed COVID' group, 180 (34.9%) into the 'no-COVID' group and 170 (32.9%) in the 'uncertain COVID' group. Confirmed cases were more likely to have persistent symptoms than no-COVID cases (p=0.09); initial fever/feeling feverish and anosmia were independently associated with persistent symptoms. At 3 months, we observed 16 (9.8%) COVID-19-related hospital admissions, 3 (1.8%) intensive care unit admissions, 13 (37.1%) referrals to an emergency department and no death. Age >70 and/or at least one comorbidity (OR 6.53; 95% CI 1.13-37.84; p=0.036), abnormalities in a lung examination (15.39; 95% CI 1.61-146.77; p=0.057) and two or more systemic symptoms (38.61; 95% CI 2.30-647.40; p=0.011) were associated with the composite criterion. CONCLUSIONS: Although most patients with COVID-19 in primary care had mild disease with a benign course, almost one in six had persistent symptoms at 3 months. These symptoms were more frequent in the 'confirmed COVID' group. Our findings need to be confirmed in a prospective study with longer follow-up.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practice , Humans , Prospective Studies , Cohort Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , Family Practice
3.
Br J Gen Pract ; 73(732): e519-e527, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20235253

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Identifying and responding to patients affected by domestic violence and abuse (DVA) is vital in primary care. There may have been a rise in the reporting of DVA cases during the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown measures. Concurrently general practice adopted remote working that extended to training and education. IRIS (Identification and Referral to Improve Safety) is an example of an evidence-based UK healthcare training support and referral programme, focusing on DVA. IRIS transitioned to remote delivery during the pandemic. AIM: To understand the adaptations and impact of remote DVA training in IRIS-trained general practices by exploring perspectives of those delivering and receiving training. DESIGN AND SETTING: Qualitative interviews and observation of remote training of general practice teams in England were undertaken. METHOD: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 participants (three practice managers, three reception and administrative staff, eight general practice clinicians, and seven specialist DVA staff), alongside observation of eight remote training sessions. Analysis was conducted using a framework approach. RESULTS: Remote DVA training in UK general practice widened access to learners. However, it may have reduced learner engagement compared with face-to-face training and may challenge safeguarding of remote learners who are domestic abuse survivors. DVA training is integral to the partnership between general practice and specialist DVA services, and reduced engagement risks weakening this partnership. CONCLUSION: The authors recommend a hybrid DVA training model for general practice, including remote information delivery alongside a structured face-to-face element. This has broader relevance for other specialist services providing training and education in primary care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Domestic Violence , General Practice , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Domestic Violence/prevention & control
4.
J Med Internet Res ; 25: e47173, 2023 05 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2321741

ABSTRACT

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, video consultation was introduced in general practice in many countries around the world as a solution to provide remote health care to patients. It was assumed that video consultation would find widespread adoption in post-COVID-19 general practice. However, adoption rates remain low across countries in Northern Europe, suggesting that barriers to its use exist among general practitioners and other practice staff. In this viewpoint, we take a comparative approach, reflecting on similarities and differences in implementation conditions of video consultations in 5 Northern European countries' general practice settings that might have created barriers to its use within general practice. We convened at a cross-disciplinary seminar in May 2022 with researchers and clinicians from 5 Northern European countries with expertise in digital care in general practice, and this viewpoint emerged out of dialogues from that seminar. We have reflected on barriers across general practice settings in our countries, such as lacking technological and financial support for general practitioners, that we feel are critical for adoption of video consultation in the coming years. Furthermore, there is a need to further investigate the contribution of cultural elements, such as professional norms and values, to adoption. This viewpoint may inform policy work to ensure that a sustainable level of video consultation use can be reached in the future, one that reflects the reality of general practice settings rather than policy optimism.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practice , Telemedicine , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Europe , Physician-Patient Relations
5.
Rev Med Suisse ; 18(805): 2233-2235, 2022 11 23.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2323261
6.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 9: e44944, 2023 05 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2320168

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on primary care service delivery with an increased use of remote consultations. With general practice delivering record numbers of appointments and rising concerns around access, funding, and staffing in the UK National Health Service, we assessed contemporary trends in consultation rate and modes (ie, face-to-face versus remote). OBJECTIVE: This paper describes trends in consultation rates in general practice in England for key demographics before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We explore the use of remote and face-to-face consultations with regard to socioeconomic deprivation to understand the possible effect of changes in consultation modes on health inequalities. METHODS: We did a retrospective analysis of 9,429,919 consultations by general practitioners, nurses, or other health care professionals between March 2018 and February 2022 for patients registered at 397 general practices in England. We used routine electronic health records from Clinical Practice Research Datalink Aurum with linkage to national data sets. Negative binomial models were used to predict consultation rates and modes (ie, remote versus face-to-face) by age, sex, and socioeconomic deprivation over time. RESULTS: Overall consultation rates increased by 15% from 4.92 in 2018-2019 to 5.66 in 2021-2022 with some fluctuation during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The breakdown into face-to-face and remote consultations shows that the pandemic precipitated a rapid increase in remote consultations across all groups, but the extent varies by age. Consultation rates increased with increasing levels of deprivation. Socioeconomic differences in consultation rates, adjusted for sex and age, halved during the pandemic (from 0.36 to 0.18, indicating more consultations in the most deprived), effectively narrowing relative differences between deprivation quintiles. This trend remains when stratified by sex, but the difference across deprivation quintiles is smaller for men. The most deprived saw a relatively larger increase in remote and decrease in face-to-face consultation rates compared to the least deprived. CONCLUSIONS: The substantial increases in consultation rates observed in this study imply an increased pressure on general practice. The narrowing of consultation rates between deprivation quintiles is cause for concern, given ample evidence that health needs are greater in more deprived areas.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practice , Male , Humans , Retrospective Studies , State Medicine , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Referral and Consultation
7.
Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy ; 18(1): 26, 2023 05 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2320096

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Ask-Advise-Connect (AAC) approach can help primary care providers to increase the number of people who attempt to quit smoking and enrol into cessation counselling. We implemented AAC in Dutch general practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study we describe how AAC was received in Dutch general practice and assess which factors played a role in the implementation. METHODS: A mixed-methods approach was used to evaluate the implementation of AAC. Implementation took place between late 2020 and early 2022 among 106 Dutch primary care providers (general practitioners (GPs), practice nurses and doctor's assistants). Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through four online questionnaires. A descriptive analysis was conducted on the quantitative data. The qualitative data (consisting of answers to open-ended questions) were inductively analysed using axial codes. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research was used to structure and interpret findings. RESULTS: During the study, most participants felt motivated (84-92%) and able (80-94%) to apply AAC. At the end of the study, most participants reported that the AAC approach is easy to apply (89%) and provides advantages (74%). Routine implementation of the approach was, however, experienced to be difficult. More GPs (30-48%) experienced barriers in the implementation compared to practice nurses and doctor's assistants (7-9%). The qualitative analysis showed that especially external factors, such as a lack of time or priority to discuss smoking due to the COVID-19 pandemic, negatively influenced implementation of AAC. CONCLUSIONS: Although AAC was mostly positively received in Dutch general practice, implementation turned out to be challenging, especially for GPs. Lack of time to discuss smoking was a major barrier in the implementation. Future efforts should focus on providing additional implementation support to GPs, for example with the use of e-health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practice , Smoking Cessation , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/prevention & control , Smoking/epidemiology
8.
Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes ; 178: 64-74, 2023 May.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2314184

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The coronavirus pandemic did not only result in changes in the provision and utilization of health care services in general practice but also in an increased workload for physicians and medical practice assistants. The VeCo practice study retrospectively explores the experiences of both professional groups two years after the start of the pandemic. METHODS: In March and April 2022, general practitioners and medical practice assistants in the three German federal states of Berlin, Brandenburg and Thuringia were asked to complete a paper-based questionnaire. RESULTS: 657 general practitioners and 762 medical practice assistants completed the questionnaire. Both professional groups agreed to statements indicating a reduction in regular health care provisions. Nevertheless, 74% of the physicians and 82.9% of the medical practice assistants considered the health care provided to their patients during the pandemic as good. This was only possible through considerable additional effort and stress. While more than half of both groups reported that work was still enjoyable, three quarters of both groups stated that the challenges arising from the pandemic outstripped their capacity. Both groups would like to receive more recognition from society (medical practice assistants 93.2%, general practitioners 85.3%) and from their patients (87.7% and 69.9%, respectively). DISCUSSION: General practitioners and medical practice assistants reduced regular health care provision but were still able to maintain a good quality of care for their patients during the pandemic. It became clear that more appreciation and adequate financial compensation are necessary to ensure long-term sustainability of GP care. CONCLUSION: The subjective view of general practitioners and medical practice assistants on their health care provision shows that appreciation and adequate financial renumeration, particularly when working under most difficult conditions, are necessary to increase the attractiveness of a career in general practice, for both physicians and medical practice assistants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practice , General Practitioners , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , Germany , Surveys and Questionnaires
9.
BMJ Open ; 13(5): e069997, 2023 05 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2314171

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To validate a rapid serological test (RST) for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies used in seroprevalence studies in healthcare providers, including primary healthcare providers (PHCPs) in Belgium. DESIGN: A phase III validation study of the RST (OrientGene) within a prospective cohort study. SETTING: Primary care in Belgium. PARTICIPANTS: Any general practitioner (GP) working in primary care in Belgium and any other PHCP from the same GP practice who physically manages patients were eligible in the seroprevalence study. For the validation study, all participants who tested positive (376) on the RST at the first testing timepoint (T1) and a random sample of those who tested negative (790) and unclear (24) were included. INTERVENTION: At T2, 4 weeks later, PHCPs performed the RST with fingerprick blood (index test) immediately after providing a serum sample to be analysed for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G antibodies using a two-out-of-three assay (reference test). PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: The RST accuracy was estimated using inverse probability weighting to correct for missing reference test data, and considering unclear RST results as negative for the sensitivity and positive for the specificity. Using these conservative estimates, the true seroprevalence was estimated both for T2 and RST-based prevalence values found in a cohort study with PHCPs in Belgium. RESULTS: 1073 paired tests (403 positive on the reference test) were included. A sensitivity of 73% (a specificity of 92%) was found considering unclear RST results as negative (positive). For an RST-based prevalence at T1 (13.9), T2 (24.9) and T7 (70.21), the true prevalence was estimated to be 9.1%, 25.9% and 95.7%, respectively. CONCLUSION: The RST sensitivity (73%) and specificity (92%) make an RST-based seroprevalence below (above) 23% overestimate (underestimate) the true seroprevalence. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT04779424.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practice , Humans , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Cohort Studies , Prospective Studies , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Testing
10.
PLoS One ; 18(4): e0279413, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2294351

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: During the COVID-19 pandemic, general practitioners (GPs) continued to be a main point of contact for patients. For GP practices, it was and still is a challenge to meet constantly changing requirements due to the various phases of the pandemic. The aim of the study is to explore retrospectively the subjective experience with supply and utilization of health care services from the perspective of general practitioners, medical practice assistants and patients, in particular regarding instances of underutilization of services for non-Covid related conditions, adjustments due to the pandemic, and the appropriateness of care. METHODS: The study is carried out within the RESPoNsE research practice network in three of Germany's federal states: Berlin, Brandenburg, and Thuringia (RESPoNsE-Research practice network east). The study follows a convergent mixed method design, and consists of the following sections: a) two anonymous paper-based questionnaires filled out by GPs and medical practice assistants (MPAs), at an interval of 12 to 18 months; b) in-depth qualitative interviews conducted among a subgroup of GPs and MPAs; c) anonymous paper-based questionnaires among patients of participating practices. The idea for the study was derived from discussions with the practice advisory board of the RESPoNsE network. The themes and issues to be explored in the surveys and interviews are developed and discussed in the practice advisory board, the patient advisory board, and with interested MPAs. The questionnaires will be analyzed descriptively, exploring the effect of demographic variables. Qualitative content analysis is used to analyze the data from the interviews and focus groups. DISCUSSION: The study focuses on the conditions of GP care during the COVID-19 pandemic. A broad insight is provided as GPs and MPAs, as well as patients, are involved. It provides the opportunity to express needs and concerns. The results can support future discussions on lessons learned from the pandemic and necessary changes in health care delivery. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Trial registration at the German Clinical Trials Register: DRKS00028095.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practice , General Practitioners , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care
11.
Aust J Prim Health ; 29(2): 175-185, 2023 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2293480

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds often have unmet healthcare coordination needs. We aimed to evaluate the acceptability, utilisation and perceived benefits of the Mater CALD Health Coordinator Service (M-CHooSe), a pilot, nurse-led, general practice co-located, healthcare coordination service for patients from CALD backgrounds. METHODS: M-CHooSe began in March 2020 at five Brisbane (Queensland) sites. Process and service user data were collected over 12months at one site. A survey evaluated primary healthcare professionals' perceived benefits of the service. Another survey of M-CHooSe nurses examined indicators of service complexity. RESULTS: In total, 206 individuals accessed M-CHooSe over the 12-month period. Commonly delivered services included health service advocacy, chart reviews and health system navigation, including addressing social determinants. M-CHooSe nurses reported frequently performing tasks such as following up with external health services and performing health and social care system coordination. M-CHooSe benefits reported by primary healthcare professionals included better patient access to external health services and improved patient understanding of their conditions and treatments. CONCLUSION: Patients were accepting of referrals to M-CHooSE. Primary healthcare professionals also reported a variety of benefits to themselves and their patients because of M-CHooSe. M-ChooSe highlights the potential of a healthcare coordination service for multicultural patients to improve healthcare equity, accessibility, and system efficiency. This project demonstrates the potential value of coordination services to increase patient access and uptake of existing health and social care services for modern Australian communities, thus improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our health system. Further investigations, including user experience, opinions and cost analyses, will be required to confirm the promising benefits of embedding M-CHooSe into usual care.


Subject(s)
General Practice , Maternal Health Services , Female , Pregnancy , Humans , Australia , Nurse's Role , Health Services Accessibility
12.
Br J Gen Pract ; 73(727): e124-e132, 2023 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2300105

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: People with advanced cancer frequently use the GP out-of-hours (GPOOH) service. Considerable amounts of routine GPOOH data are uncoded. Therefore, these data are omitted from existing healthcare datasets. AIM: To conduct a free-text analysis of a GPOOH dataset, to identify reasons for attendance and care delivered through GPOOH to people with advanced cancer. DESIGN AND SETTING: An analysis of a GPOOH healthcare dataset was undertaken. It contained all coded and free- text information for 5749 attendances from a cohort of 2443 people who died from cancer in Tayside, Scotland, from 2013-2015. METHOD: Random sampling methods selected 575 consultations for free-text analysis. Each consultation was analysed by two independent reviewers to determine the following: assigned presenting complaints; key and additional palliative care symptoms recorded in free text; evidence of anticipatory care planning; and free-text recording of dispensed medications. Inter-rater reliability concordance was established through Kappa testing. RESULTS: More than half of all coded reasons for attendance (n = 293; 51.0%) were 'other' or 'missing'. Free-text analysis demonstrated that nearly half (n = 284; 49.4%) of GPOOH attendances by people with advanced cancer were for pain or palliative care. More than half of GPOOH attendances (n = 325; 56.5%) recorded at least one key or additional palliative care symptom in free text, with the commonest being breathlessness, vomiting, cough, and nausea. Anticipatory care planning was poorly recorded in both coded and uncoded records. Uncoded medications were dispensed in more than one- quarter of GPOOH consultations. CONCLUSION: GPOOH delivers a substantial amount of pain management and palliative care, much of which is uncoded. Therefore, it is unrecognised and under-reported in existing large healthcare data analyses.


Subject(s)
After-Hours Care , General Practice , Neoplasms , Humans , Reproducibility of Results , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/therapy , Family Practice
13.
BMJ Open ; 13(4): e069017, 2023 04 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2299330

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The new structured medication review (SMR) service was introduced into the National Health Service in England during the COVID-19 pandemic, following a major expansion of clinical pharmacists within new formations known as primary care networks (PCNs). The aim of the SMR is to tackle problematic polypharmacy through comprehensive, personalised medication reviews involving shared decision-making. Investigation of clinical pharmacists' perceptions of training needs and skills acquisition issues for person-centred consultation practice will help better understand their readiness for these new roles. DESIGN: A longitudinal interview and observational study in general practice. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A longitudinal study of 10 newly recruited clinical pharmacists interviewed three times, plus a single interview with 10 pharmacists recruited earlier and already established in general practice, across 20 newly forming PCNs in England. Observation of a compulsory 2-day history taking and consultation skills workshop. ANALYSIS: A modified framework method supported a constructionist thematic analysis. RESULTS: Remote working during the pandemic limited opportunities for patient-facing contact. Pharmacists new to their role in general practice were predominantly concerned with improving clinical knowledge and competence. Most said they already practiced person-centred care, using this terminology to describe transactional medicines-focused practice. Pharmacists rarely received direct feedback on consultation practice to calibrate perceptions of their own competence in person-centred communication, including shared decision-making skills. Training thus provided knowledge delivery with limited opportunities for actual skills acquisition. Pharmacists had difficulty translating abstract consultation principles into specific consultation practices. CONCLUSION: SMRs were introduced when the dedicated workforce was largely new and being trained. Addressing problematic polypharmacy requires structural and organisational interventions to enhance the communication skills of clinical pharmacists (and other health professionals), and their use in practice. The development of person-centred consultation skills requires much more substantial support than has so far been provided for clinical pharmacists.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practice , Humans , Pharmacists , Pandemics , Longitudinal Studies , State Medicine , Attitude of Health Personnel , Referral and Consultation
14.
BMC Med Educ ; 23(1): 182, 2023 Mar 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2277226

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Position transition training for general practitioners in Zhejiang Province started in 2017 and has since been held once a year. By the beginning of 2022, four training sessions were completed. The purpose of this survey was to establish the current situation of trainees after their graduation and provide reference for the evaluation of the training effect. METHODS: Of the 738 trainees who completed the training, 253 were contacted and followed up. A self-designed questionnaire was used to conduct the survey through online filling in. The content included questions to elucidate the following information: whereabouts after the training, registration as a general practitioner, undertaken general practice teaching and scientific research work, current occupational environment, improvement of post competence after receiving position transition training, willingness to complete survey, willingness to participate in future training programs, etc. RESULTS: A number of 253 valid questionnaires were collected with a recovery rate of 100%. Notably, 93.68% of the participants successfully completed their training and obtained the Training Certificate of General Practitioners. Further, 83.4% were registered as general practitioners, 82.94% of which added on the basis of the original registered scope of practice. Currently, most of them work in primary health care institutions, primarily occupied with medical treatment, chronic disease management, COVID-19 prevention and control, health education, and prevention and health care. Of them, 27.01% were currently undertaking teaching work, and only 3.32% of them were conducting scientific research work related to general practice. The overall satisfaction of the trainees in the three theoretical training bases was above 90%, with no statistically significant difference among them (P > 0.05). Importantly, 84.11% of the followed-up personnel hoped to continue to participate in similar training in the future to improve their general practitioner core competences. CONCLUSION: The position transition training in Zhejiang Province has achieved good results, but the details of training and the implementation of policies in individual regions need to be improved. Most of the graduates were willing to continue their education, especially in general practitioners with special interests.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practice , General Practitioners , Humans , General Practitioners/education , Follow-Up Studies , General Practice/education , Surveys and Questionnaires
15.
BMC Prim Care ; 24(1): 78, 2023 03 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2257322

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Reporting of domestic violence and abuse (DVA) increased globally during the pandemic. General Practice has a central role in identifying and supporting those affected by DVA. Pandemic associated changes in UK primary care included remote initial contacts with primary care and predominantly remote consulting. This paper explores general practice's adaptation to DVA care during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Remote semi-structured interviews were conducted by telephone with staff from six localities in England and Wales where the Identification and Referral to Improve Safety (IRIS) primary care DVA programme is commissioned.  We conducted interviews between April 2021 and February 2022 with three practice managers, three reception and administrative staff, eight general practice clinicians and seven specialist DVA staff. Patient and public involvement and engagement (PPI&E) advisers with lived experience of DVA guided the project. Together we developed recommendations for primary care teams based on our findings. RESULTS: We present our findings within four themes, representing primary care adaptations in delivering DVA care: 1. Making general practice accessible for DVA care: staff adapted telephone triaging processes for appointments and promoted availability of DVA support online. 2. General practice team-working to identify DVA: practices developed new approaches of collaboration, including whole team adaptations to information processing and communication 3. Adapting to remote consultations about DVA: teams were required to adapt to challenges including concerns about safety, privacy, and developing trust remotely. 4. Experiences of onward referrals for specialist DVA support: support from specialist services was effective and largely unchanged during the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Disruption caused by pandemic restrictions revealed how team dynamics and interactions before, during and after clinical consultations contribute to identifying and supporting patients experiencing DVA. Remote assessment complicates access to and delivery of DVA care. This has implications for all primary and secondary care settings, within the NHS and internationally, which are vital to consider in both practice and policy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Domestic Violence , General Practice , Remote Consultation , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology
16.
BMC Geriatr ; 23(1): 111, 2023 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2256116

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Opioid use is common among adults 65 years and older, while long-term use of opioids remains controversial and poses risks of drug dependence and other adverse events. The acute disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has created new challenges and barriers to healthcare access, particularly for long-term care residents. Australia had a relatively low incidence and deaths due to COVID-19 during the first year of the pandemic compared to most OECD countries. In this context, we examined opioid prescribing rates and their dosage in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) before (2019) and during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020) from March to December in Australia. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort using general practice electronic health records. This includes 17,304 RACF residents aged 65 years and over from 361 general practices in New South Wales and Victoria. Number of opioid prescriptions and percentage of opioids over 50 mg/day of oral morphine equivalent (OME) were described. Multivariate generalized estimating equations were applied to estimate odds ratios [aORs (95% confidence intervals)] for 1) opioids prescribed per consultation and 2) prescription opioids over 50 mg/day OME. RESULTS: In 2020 among 11,154 residents, 22.8% of 90,897 total prescriptions were opioids, and of the opioids, 11.3% were over 50 mg/day OME. In 2019 among 10,506 residents, 18.8% of 71,829 total prescriptions were opioids, of which 10.3% were over 50 mg/day OME. Year [2020 vs. 2019: aOR (95% CI):1.50 (1.44, 1.56); 1.29 (1.15, 1.46)] and regionality [rural/regional vs. metropolitan: 1.37 (1.26, 1.49); 1.40 (1.14, 1.71)] were associated with higher odds of prescription opioids and OME > 50 mg/day, respectively. Similar results were found when limited to the same residents (n = 7,340) recorded in both years. CONCLUSIONS: Higher prescription rates of opioids were observed during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 than in 2019 in Australian RACFs. The higher odds of prescription opioids and higher dosing in rural/regional than metropolitan areas indicate a widening of the gap in the quality of pain management during the pandemic. Our findings contribute to the limited data that indicate increased opioid prescriptions in long-term care facilities, likely to continue while COVID-19 pandemic restrictions remain.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practice , Aged , Humans , Analgesics, Opioid/adverse effects , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Practice Patterns, Physicians' , Drug Prescriptions , SARS-CoV-2 , Victoria
17.
Rural Remote Health ; 23(1): 8111, 2023 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2254804

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: During the COVID-19 pandemic, GP training day release was redirected from face-to-face to an online setting. With this study, our aim was to assess trainee experiences of online small group learning and to make recommendations with regards to future GP training. METHODS: A qualitative study using the Delphi survey technique, approved by the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) Ethics Committee. A series of three sequential online questionnaires were sent to our trainee cohort in all 14 training schemes in Ireland. The first questionnaire explored GP trainee experiences and key themes were generated. Subsequent questionnaires were developed using these themes, with second and third round questionnaires establishing consensus on these experiences. RESULTS: In total, 64 GP trainees responded. Each training scheme was represented. Response rates for round 1 and 2 were 76% and 56% respectively, with round 3 currently underway. Trainees felt that online teaching was convenient, reduced commuting costs, and provided peer support. They also reported loss in unstructured discussion, practical teaching sessions and relationship building. Seven key themes were generated: future format of GP training; accessibility and flexibility; teaching experience; provision of GP training; support and collegiality; educational experience; and technical problems. There is a consensus that some online teaching should be retained for the future. DISCUSSION: Online teaching provided a continuation in training that was more convenient and accessible but affected social interactions and relationship building amongst trainees. Future online sessions could be utilised in a hybrid model of teaching going forward.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practice , General Practitioners , Humans , General Practitioners/education , Ireland , Delphi Technique , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires , General Practice/education
19.
Br J Gen Pract ; 73(730): e364-e373, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2253376

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, general practice in Australia underwent a rapid transition, including the roll-out of population-wide telehealth, with uncertain impacts on GP use and costs. AIM: To describe how use and costs of GP services changed in 2020 - following the COVID-19 pandemic and introduction of telehealth - compared with 2019, and how this varied across population subgroups. DESIGN AND SETTING: Linked-data analysis of whole-population data for Australia. METHOD: Multi-Agency Data Integration Project data for ∼19 million individuals from the 2016 census were linked to Medicare data for 2019-2020. Regression models were used to compare age- and sex-adjusted GP use and out-of-pocket costs over time, overall, and by sociodemographic characteristics. RESULTS: Of the population, 85.5% visited a GP in Q2-Q4 2020, compared with 89.5% in the same period of 2019. The mean number of face-to-face GP services per quarter declined, while telehealth services increased; overall use of GP services in Q4 2020 was similar to, or higher than, that of Q4 2019 for most groups. The proportion of total GP services by telehealth stabilised at 23.5% in Q4 2020. However, individuals aged 3-14 years, ≥70 years, and those with limited English proficiency used fewer GP services in 2020 compared with 2019, with a lower proportion by telehealth, compared with the rest of the population. Mean out-of-pocket costs per service were lower across all subgroups in 2020 compared with 2019. CONCLUSION: The introduction of widespread telehealth maintained the use of GP services during the COVID-19 pandemic and minimised out-of-pocket costs, but not for all population subgroups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practice , Telemedicine , Humans , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , National Health Programs , Pandemics
20.
BMC Prim Care ; 24(1): 23, 2023 01 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2259314

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Electronic clinical decision support tools (eCDS) are increasingly available to assist General Practitioners (GP) with the diagnosis and management of a range of health conditions. It is unclear whether the use of eCDS tools has an impact on GP workload. This scoping review aimed to identify the available evidence on the use of eCDS tools by health professionals in general practice in relation to their impact on workload and workflow. METHODS: A scoping review was carried out using the Arksey and O'Malley methodological framework. The search strategy was developed iteratively, with three main aspects: general practice/primary care contexts, risk assessment/decision support tools, and workload-related factors. Three databases were searched in 2019, and updated in 2021, covering articles published since 2009: Medline (Ovid), HMIC (Ovid) and Web of Science (TR). Double screening was completed by two reviewers, and data extracted from included articles were analysed. RESULTS: The search resulted in 5,594 references, leading to 95 full articles, referring to 87 studies, after screening. Of these, 36 studies were based in the USA, 21 in the UK and 11 in Australia. A further 18 originated from Canada or Europe, with the remaining studies conducted in New Zealand, South Africa and Malaysia. Studies examined the use of eCDS tools and reported some findings related to their impact on workload, including on consultation duration. Most studies were qualitative and exploratory in nature, reporting health professionals' subjective perceptions of consultation duration as opposed to objectively-measured time spent using tools or consultation durations. Other workload-related findings included impacts on cognitive workload, "workflow" and dialogue with patients, and clinicians' experience of "alert fatigue". CONCLUSIONS: The published literature on the impact of eCDS tools in general practice showed that limited efforts have focused on investigating the impact of such tools on workload and workflow. To gain an understanding of this area, further research, including quantitative measurement of consultation durations, would be useful to inform the future design and implementation of eCDS tools.


Subject(s)
Decision Support Systems, Clinical , General Practice , General Practitioners , Humans , Family Practice , Referral and Consultation , Workload , Workflow
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