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  • Journal article
    Nurek M, Rayner C, Freyer A, Taylor S, Jaerte L, MacDermott N, Delaney BCet al., 2021,

    Recommendations for the recognition, diagnosis, and management of long COVID: a Delphi study

    , British Journal of General Practice, Vol: 71, Pages: E815-E825, ISSN: 0960-1643

    Background In the absence of research into therapies and care pathways for long COVID, guidance based on ‘emerging experience’ is needed.Aim To provide a rapid expert guide for GPs and long COVID clinical services.Design and setting A Delphi study was conducted with a panel of primary and secondary care doctors.Method Recommendations were generated relating to the investigation and management of long COVID. These were distributed online to a panel of UK doctors (any specialty) with an interest in, lived experience of, and/or experience treating long COVID. Over two rounds of Delphi testing, panellists indicated their agreement with each recommendation (using a five-point Likert scale) and provided comments. Recommendations eliciting a response of ‘strongly agree’, ‘agree’, or ‘neither agree nor disagree’ from 90% or more of responders were taken as showing consensus.Results Thirty-three clinicians representing 14 specialties reached consensus on 35 recommendations. Chiefly, GPs should consider long COVID in the presence of a wide range of presenting features (not limited to fatigue and breathlessness) and exclude differential diagnoses where appropriate. Detailed history and examination with baseline investigations should be conducted in primary care. Indications for further investigation and specific therapies (for myocarditis, postural tachycardia syndrome, mast cell disorder) include hypoxia/desaturation, chest pain, palpitations, and histamine-related symptoms. Rehabilitation should be individualised, with careful activity pacing (to avoid relapse) and multidisciplinary support.Conclusion Long COVID clinics should operate as part of an integrated care system, with GPs playing a key role in the multidisciplinary team. Holistic care pathways, investigation of specific complications, management of potential symptom clusters, and tailored rehabilitation are needed.

  • Journal article
    Neves AL, Jacome C, Taveira-Gomes T, Pereira AM, Almeida R, Amaral R, Alves-Correia M, Mendes S, Chaves-Loureiro C, Valerio M, Lopes C, Carvalho J, Mendes A, Ribeiro C, Prates S, Ferreira JA, Teixeira MF, Branco J, Santalha M, Vasconcelos MJ, Lozoya C, Santos N, Cardia F, Moreira AS, Taborda-Barata L, Pinto CS, Ferreira R, Silva PM, Ferreira TM, Camara R, Lobo R, Bordalo D, Guimaraes C, Santo ME, de Oliveira JF, Calix Augusto MJ, Gomes R, Vieira I, da Silva S, Marques M, Cardoso J, Morete A, Aroso M, Cruz AM, Nunes C, Camara R, Rodrigues N, Abreu C, Albuquerque AL, Vieira C, Santos C, Pascoa R, Chaves-Loureiro C, Alves A, Neves A, Marques JV, Reis B, Ferreira-Magalhaes M, Fonseca JAet al., 2021,

    Determinants of the use of health and fitness mobile apps by patients with asthma: secondary analysis of observational studies

    , Journal of Medical Internet Research, Vol: 23, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 1438-8871

    Background:Health and fitness apps have potential benefits to improve self-management and disease control among patients with asthma. However, inconsistent use rates have been reported across studies, regions, and health systems. A better understanding of the characteristics of users and nonusers is critical to design solutions that are effectively integrated in patients’ daily lives, and to ensure that these equitably reach out to different groups of patients, thus improving rather than entrenching health inequities.Objective:This study aimed to evaluate the use of general health and fitness apps by patients with asthma and to identify determinants of usage.Methods:A secondary analysis of the INSPIRERS observational studies was conducted using data from face-to-face visits. Patients with a diagnosis of asthma were included between November 2017 and August 2020. Individual-level data were collected, including age, gender, marital status, educational level, health status, presence of anxiety and depression, postcode, socioeconomic level, digital literacy, use of health services, and use of health and fitness apps. Multivariate logistic regression was used to model the probability of being a health and fitness app user. Statistical analysis was performed in R.Results:A total of 526 patients attended a face-to-face visit in the 49 recruiting centers and 514 had complete data. Most participants were ≤40 years old (66.4%), had at least 10 years of education (57.4%), and were in the 3 higher quintiles of the socioeconomic deprivation index (70.1%). The majority reported an overall good health status (visual analogue scale [VAS] score>70 in 93.1%) and the prevalence of anxiety and depression was 34.3% and 11.9%, respectively. The proportion of participants who reported using health and fitness mobile apps was 41.1% (n=211). Multivariate models revealed that single individuals and those with more than 10 years of education are more likely to use health and fitne

  • Journal article
    Clarke J, Flott K, Crespo R, Ashrafian H, Fontana G, Benger J, Darzi A, Elkin Set al., 2021,

    Assessing the Safety of Home Oximetry for Covid-19: A multi-site retrospective observational study

    , BMJ Open, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 2044-6055

    Objectives To determine the safety and effectiveness of home oximetry monitoring pathways safe for Covid-19 patients in the English NHS.Design Retrospective, multi-site, observational study of home oximetry monitoring for patients with suspected or proven Covid-19 Setting This study analysed patient data from four Covid-19 home oximetry pilot sites in England across primary and secondary care settings.Participants A total of 1338 participants were enrolled in a home oximetry programme across four pilot sites. Participants were excluded if primary care data and oxygen saturations are rest at enrolment were not available. Data from 908 participants was included in the analysis. Interventions Home oximetry monitoring was provided to participants with a known or suspected diagnosis of Covid-19. Participants were enrolled following attendance to emergency departments, hospital admission or referral through primary care services. Results Of 908 patients enrolled into four different Covid-19 home oximetry programmes in England, 771 (84.9%) had oxygen saturations at rest of 95% or more, and 320 (35.2%) were under 65 years of age and without comorbidities. 52 (5.7%) presented to hospital and 28 (3.1%) died following enrolment, of which 14 (50%) had Covid-19 as a named cause of death. All-cause mortality was significantly higher in patients enrolled after admission to hospital (OR 8.70 [2.53-29.89]), compared to those enrolled in primary care. Patients enrolled after hospital discharge (OR 0.31 [0.15-0.68]) or emergency department presentation (OR 0.42 [0.20-0.89]) were significantly less likely to present to hospital than those enrolled in primary care. ConclusionsThis study find that home oximetry monitoring can be a safe pathway for Covid-19 patients; and indicates increases in risk to vulnerable groups and patients with oxygen saturations < 95% at enrolment, and in those enrolled on discharge from hospital. Findings from this evaluation have contributed to the national

  • Journal article
    Neves AL, Li E, Serafini A, Gimenez GL, Lingner H, Koskela T, Hoffman RD, Collins C, Petek D, Claveria A, Tsopra R, Irving G, Gusso G, O'Neill BG, Hoedebecke K, Espitia SM, Ungan M, Nessler K, Lazic V, Laranjo L, Ensieh M, Fernandez MJ, Ghafur S, Fontana G, Majeed A, Car J, Darzi Aet al., 2021,

    Evaluating the impact of COVID-19 on the adoption of virtual care in general practice in 20 countries (inSIGHT): rationale and study protocol

    , Journal of Medical Internet Research, Vol: 10, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 1438-8871

    Background: In recent decades, virtual care has emerged as a promising option to support primary care delivery. However, despite the potential, adoption rates remained low. With the outbreak of COVID-19, it has suddenly been pushed to the forefront of care delivery. As we progress into the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need and opportunity to review the impact remote care had in primary care settings and reassess its potential future role. This study aims to explore the perspectives of General Practitioners (GPs) / Family Doctors on a.) use of virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic; b.) perceived impact on quality and safety of care; c.) essential factors for high-quality and sustainable use of virtual care in the future. Methods: Online cross-sectional questionnaire of GPs, distributed across 20 countries. The survey was hosted in Qualtrics and distributed using email, social media, and the researchers’ personal contact networks. General Practitioners were eligible for the survey if they were working mainly in primary care during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Descriptive statistical analysis will be performed for quantitative variables, and relationships between the use of virtual care and perceptions on impact on quality and safety of care, and participants’ characteristics, may be explored. Qualitative data (free-text responses) will be analysed using framework analysis. Results: Data collection took place from June to September 2020. As of this manuscript’s submission, a total of 1,605 GP respondents participated in the questionnaire. Further data analysis is currently ongoing. Discussion: The study will provide a comprehensive overview of the availability of virtual care technologies, perceived impact on quality and safety of care and essential factors for high-quality future use. In addition, a description of the under

  • Journal article
    Neves AL, Li E, Gupta PP, Fontana G, Darzi Aet al., 2021,

    Virtual primary care in high-income countries during the COVID-19 pandemic: policy responses and lessons for the future

    , European Journal of General Practice, Vol: 27, Pages: 241-247, ISSN: 1381-4788

    Background: Telemedicine, once defined merely as the treatment of certain conditions remotely, has now often been supplanted in use by broader terms such as ‘virtual care’, in recognition of its increasing capability to deliver a diverse range of healthcare services from afar. With the unexpected onset of COVID-19, virtual care (e.g., telephone, video, online) has become essential to facilitating the continuation of primary care globally. Over several short weeks, existing healthcare policies have adapted quickly and empowered clinicians to use digital means to fulfil a wide range of clinical responsibilities which until then, have required face-to-face consultations. Objective: This paper aims to explore the virtual care policies and guidance material published during the initial months of the pandemic and examine their potential limitations and impact on transforming the delivery of primary care in high-income countries. Methods: A rapid review of publicly available national policies guiding the use of virtual care in General Practice was conducted. Documents were included if issued in the first six months of the pandemic (March to August of 2020) and focused primarily on high-income countries. Documents must have been issued by a national health authority, accreditation body, or professional organisation, and directly refer to the delivery of primary care. Results: We extracted six areas of relevance: primary care transformation during COVID-19, the continued delivery of preventative care, the delivery of acute care, remote triaging, funding & reimbursement, and security standards.Conclusion: Virtual care use in primary care saw a transformative change during the pandemic. However, despite the advances in the various governmental guidance offered, much work remains in addressing the shortcomings exposed during COVID-19 and strengthening viable policies so as to better incorporate novel technologies into the modern primary care clinical

  • Journal article
    Neves AL, Pereira Rodrigues P, Mulla A, Glampson B, Willis T, Mayer Eet al., 2021,

    Using electronic health records to develop and validate a machine learning tool to predict type 2 diabetes outcomes: a study protocol

    , BMJ Open, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-5, ISSN: 2044-6055

    Introduction: Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, myocardial infarction, stroke and lower limb amputation. We are still unable, however, to accurately predict or identify which patients are at a higher risk of deterioration. Most risk stratification tools do not account for novel factors such as socio-demographic determinants, self-management ability, or access to healthcare. Additionally, most tools are based in clinical trials, with limited external generalisability.Objective: The aim of this work is to design and validate a machine learning-based tool to identify patients with T2DM at high risk of clinical deterioration, based on a comprehensive set of patient level characteristics retrieved from a population health linked dataset.Sample and design: Retrospective cohort study of patients with diagnosis of T2DM on Jan 1st, 2015, with a 5-year follow-up. Anonymised electronic health care records from the Whole System Integrated Care (WSIC) database will be used. Preliminary outcomes: Outcome variables of clinical deterioration will include retinopathy, chronic renal disease, myocardial infarction, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, or death. Predictor variables will include sociodemographic and geographic data, patients’ ability to self-manage disease, clinical and metabolic parameters and healthcare service usage. Prognostic models will be defined using multi-dependence Bayesian networks (BN). The derivation cohort, comprising 80% of the patients, will be used to define the prognostic models. Model parameters will be internally validated by comparing the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) in the derivation cohort with those calculated from a leave-one-out and a 10 times 2-fold cross-validation. Ethics and dissemination: The study has received approvals from the Information Governance Committee at the Whole Systems Integrated Care. Results will be made available to people with type 2 diabetes

  • Journal article
    Shaw A, O'Brien N, Flott K, Leatherman S, Neves AL, Durkin Met al., 2021,

    The urgent need to identify and evaluate patient safety interventions in fragile, conflict-affected and vulnerable settings

    , Journal of Global Health, Vol: 11, ISSN: 2047-2978
  • Journal article
    Li E, Clarke J, Neves AL, Ashrafian H, Darzi Aet al., 2021,

    Electronic health records, interoperability, and patient safety in health systems of high-income countries: a systematic review protocol

    , BMJ Open, Vol: 11, ISSN: 2044-6055

    Introduction The availability and routine use of electronic health records (EHRs) have become commonplace in healthcare systems of many high-income countries. While there is an ever-growing body ofliterature pertaining to EHR use, evidence surrounding the importance of EHR interoperability and its impact on patient safety remains less clear. There is therefore a need and opportunity to evaluate the evidence available regarding this relationship so as to better inform health informatics development and policies in the years to come. This systematic review aims to evaluate the impact of EHR interoperability on patient safety in health systems of high-income countries. Methods and analysis A systematic literature review will be conducted via a computerised search through four databases: PubMed, Embase, HMIC, and PsycInfo for relevant articles published between 2010 and 2020. Outcomes of interest will include: impact on patient safety, and the broader effects on health systems. Quality of the randomised quantitative studies will be assessed using Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool. Non-randomised papers will be evaluated with the Risk of Bias In Non Randomised Studies - of Interventions (ROBINS-I) tool. Drummond’s Checklist will be utilised for publications pertaining to economic evaluation. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) quality appraisal checklist will be used to assess qualitative studies. A narrative synthesis will be conducted for included studies, and the body of evidence will be summarised in a summary of findings table. Ethics and dissemination This review will summarise published studies with non-identifiable data and thus does not require ethical approval. Findings will be disseminated through preprints, open access peer reviewed publication, and conference presentations

  • Journal article
    Chan C, Sounderajah V, Daniels E, Acharya A, Clarke J, Yalamanchili S, Normahani P, Markar S, Ashrafian H, Darzi Aet al., 2021,

    The reliability and quality of YouTube videos as a source of public health information regarding COVID-19 vaccination: cross-sectional study

    , JMIR Public Health and Surveillance, Vol: 7, ISSN: 2369-2960

    Background: Recent emergency authorization and rollout of COVID-19 vaccines by regulatory bodies has generated global attention. As the most popular video-sharing platform globally, YouTube is a potent medium for the dissemination of key public health information. Understanding the nature of available content regarding COVID-19 vaccination on this widely used platform is of substantial public health interest.Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the reliability and quality of information on COVID-19 vaccination in YouTube videos.Methods: In this cross-sectional study, the phrases “coronavirus vaccine” and “COVID-19 vaccine” were searched on the UK version of YouTube on December 10, 2020. The 200 most viewed videos of each search were extracted and screened for relevance and English language. Video content and characteristics were extracted and independently rated against Health on the Net Foundation Code of Conduct and DISCERN quality criteria for consumer health information by 2 authors.Results: Forty-eight videos, with a combined total view count of 30,100,561, were included in the analysis. Topics addressed comprised the following: vaccine science (n=18, 58%), vaccine trials (n=28, 58%), side effects (n=23, 48%), efficacy (n=17, 35%), and manufacturing (n=8, 17%). Ten (21%) videos encouraged continued public health measures. Only 2 (4.2%) videos made nonfactual claims. The content of 47 (98%) videos was scored to have low (n=27, 56%) or moderate (n=20, 42%) adherence to Health on the Net Foundation Code of Conduct principles. Median overall DISCERN score per channel type ranged from 40.3 (IQR 34.8-47.0) to 64.3 (IQR 58.5-66.3). Educational channels produced by both medical and nonmedical professionals achieved significantly higher DISCERN scores than those of other categories. The highest median DISCERN scores were achieved by educational videos produced by medical professionals (64.3, IQR 58.5-66.3) and the lowest median scores by indep

  • Journal article
    Cabral C, Curtis K, Curcin V, Dominguez J, Prasad V, Schilder A, Turner N, Wilkes S, Taylor J, Gallagher S, Little P, Delaney B, Moore M, Hay AD, Horwood Jet al., 2021,

    Challenges to implementing electronic trial data collection in primary care: a qualitative study

    , BMC Family Practice, Vol: 22, ISSN: 1471-2296

    BackgroundWithin-consultation recruitment to primary care trials is challenging. Ensuring procedures are efficient and self-explanatory is the key to optimising recruitment. Trial recruitment software that integrates with the electronic health record to support and partially automate procedures is becoming more common. If it works well, such software can support greater participation and more efficient trial designs. An innovative electronic trial recruitment and outcomes software was designed to support recruitment to the Runny Ear randomised controlled trial, comparing topical, oral and delayed antibiotic treatment for acute otitis media with discharge in children. A qualitative evaluation investigated the views and experiences of primary care staff using this trial software.MethodsStaff were purposively sampled in relation to site, role and whether the practice successfully recruited patients. In-depth interviews were conducted using a flexible topic guide, audio recorded and transcribed. Data were analysed thematically.ResultsSixteen staff were interviewed, including GPs, practice managers, information technology (IT) leads and research staff. GPs wanted trial software that automatically captures patient data. However, the experience of getting the software to work within the limited and complex IT infrastructure of primary care was frustrating and time consuming. Installation was reliant on practice level IT expertise, which varied between practices. Although most had external IT support, this rarely included supported for research IT. Arrangements for approving new software varied across practices and often, but not always, required authorisation from Clinical Commissioning Groups.ConclusionsPrimary care IT systems are not solely under the control of individual practices or CCGs or the National Health Service. Rather they are part of a complex system that spans all three and is influenced by semi-autonomous stakeholders operating at different levels. This led

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