37 results found
El Asmar ML, Dharmayat K, Vallejo-Vaz AJ, et al., 2021, Effect of computerised, knowledge-based, clinical decision support systems on patient-reported and clinical outcomes of patients with chronic disease managed in primary care settings: a systematic review, BMJ Open, ISSN: 2044-6055
Chirambo GB, Thompson M, Hardy V, et al., 2021, Effectiveness of smartphone-based community case management on the urgent referral, reconsultation, and hospitalization of children aged under 5 years in Malawi: cluster-randomized, stepped-wedge trial, Journal of Medical Internet Research, Vol: 23, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 1438-8871
Background: Integrated community case management (CCM) has led to reductions in child mortality in Malawi from illnesses such as malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea. However, adherence to CCM guidelines is often poor, potentially leading to inappropriate clinical decisions and poor outcomes. We determined the impact of an electronic version of a smartphone-based CCM (eCCM) application on referral, re-consultation and hospitalization rates of children presenting to village clinics in Malawi. Methods: A stepped-wedge cluster-randomized trial compared paper-based CCM (control) with and without use of an eCCM app on smartphones from November 2016 to February 2017. A total of 102 village clinics from two districts in Northern Malawi were assigned to one of six clusters which were randomized to the sequencing of crossover from the control to the intervention phases, as well as the duration of exposure in each phase. Children ≥2 months to <5 years presenting with acute illness were enrolled consecutively by Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs). The primary outcome of urgent referrals to higher-level facilities was evaluated using multi-level mixed effects models. A logistic regression model with random effect of cluster and fixed effect for each step was fitted. Adjustment for potential confounders included baseline factors, such as patient’s age, sex, and geographical location of village clinics. Calendar time was adjusted for in the analysis. Results: A total of 6965 children were recruited, 3421 in the control and 3544 in the intervention phase. After adjusting for calendar time, children in the intervention phase were more likely to be urgently referred to a higher-level health facility compared with children in the control phase (OR 2.02, 95% CI 1.27-3.23; p<0.01). Overall, children in the intervention arm had lower odds of attending a repeat HSA consultation (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.34-0.59; p<0.01) or hospital admission (OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.62-0.90; p<
Watkinson F, Dharmayat K, Mastellos N, 2021, A mixed-method service evaluation of health information exchange in England: technology acceptance and barriers and facilitators to adoption, BMC Health Services Research, Vol: 21, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 1472-6963
Background The need for information exchange and integrated care has stimulated the development of interoperability solutions that bring together patient data across the health and care system to enable effective information sharing. Health Information Exchange (HIE) solutions have been shown to be effective in supporting patient care, however, user adoption often varies among users and care settings. This service evaluation aimed to measure user acceptance of HIE and explore barriers and facilitators to its wider uptake. Methods A mixed-method study design was used. A questionnaire was developed using the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology and administered to HIE users to assess technology acceptance. Pearson Chi² tests were used to examine differences in acceptance between user groups and care settings. Web-based, semi-structured interviews were conducted drawing on the Normalisation Process Theory to explore barriers and facilitators to adoption. Interview data were analysed thematically using the Framework Approach. Results A total of 105 HIE users completed the survey and another 12 participated in the interviews. Significant differences were found in HIE acceptance between users groups and care settings, with high adopters demonstrating higher acceptance and social care users showing lower acceptance. Participants identified several drivers to adoption, including increased information accessibility, better care coordination, informed decision-making, improved patient care, reduced duplication of procedures, and time and cost savings. However, they also highlighted a number of barriers, such as lack of awareness about the solution and its value, suboptimal communication strategies, inadequate training and lack of resources for knowledge dissemination, absence of champions to support the implementation, lack of end-user involvement in the implementation and evaluation of HIE, unclear accountability and responsibility for the overall success
Rajani N, Mastellos N, Filippidis F, 2021, Self-efficacy and motivation to quit of smokers seeking to quit: quantitative assessment of smoking cessation mobile apps, JMIR mHealth and uHealth, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2291-5222
Background: Decreasing trends in the number of individuals accessing face-to-face support are leaving a significant gap in the treatment options for smokers seeking to quit. Face-to-face behavioral support and other interventions attempt to target psychological factors such as the self-efficacy and motivation to quit of smokers, as these factors are associated with an increased likelihood of making quit attempts and successfully quitting. Although digital interventions, such as smoking cessation mobile apps, could provide a promising avenue to bridge the growing treatment gap, little is known about their impact on psychological factors that are vital for smoking cessation.Objective: This study aims to better understand the possible impact of smoking cessation mobile apps on important factors for successful cessation, such as self-efficacy and motivation to quit. Our aim is to assess the self-efficacy and motivation to quit levels of smokers before and after the use of smoking cessation mobile apps.Methods: Smokers seeking to quit were recruited to participate in a 4-week app-based study. After screening, eligible participants were asked to use a mobile app (Kwit or Quit Genius). The smoking self-efficacy questionnaire and the motivation to stop smoking scale were used to measure the self-efficacy and motivation to quit, respectively. Both were assessed at baseline (before app use), midstudy (2 weeks after app use), and end-study (4 weeks after app use). Paired sample two-tailed t tests were used to investigate whether differences in self-efficacy and motivation between study time points were statistically significant. Linear regression models investigated associations between change in self-efficacy and change in motivation to quit before and after app use with age, gender, and nicotine dependence.Results: A total of 116 participants completed the study, with the majority being male (71/116, 61.2%), employed (76/116, 65.6%), single (77/116, 66.4%), and highly educat
Rajani N, Mastellos N, Filippidis F, 2021, Impact of gamification on the self-efficacy and motivation to quit of smokers: an observational study of two gamified smoking cessation mobile apps, JMIR Serious Games, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2291-9279
Background: The proportion of smokers making quit attempts and the proportion of smokers successfully quitting have been decreasing over the past few years. Previous studies have shown that smokers with high self-efficacy and motivation to quit have an increased likelihood of quitting and staying quit. Consequently, further research on strategies that can improve the self-efficacy and motivation of smokers seeking to quit could lead to substantially higher cessation rates. Some studies have found that gamification can positively impact the cognitive components of behavioral change, including self-efficacy and motivation. However, the impact of gamification in the context of smoking cessation and mobile health has been sparsely investigated.Objective: This study aims to examine the association between perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and frequency of use of gamification features embedded in smoking cessation apps on self-efficacy and motivation to quit smoking.Methods: Participants were assigned to use 1 of the 2 mobile apps for a duration of 4 weeks. App-based questionnaires were provided to participants before app use and 2 weeks and 4 weeks after they started using the app. Gamification was quantitatively operationalized based on the Cugelman gamification framework and concepts from the technology acceptance model. The mean values of perceived frequency, ease of use, and usefulness of gamification features were calculated at midstudy and end-study. Two linear regression models were used to investigate the impact of gamification on self-efficacy and motivation to quit.Results: A total of 116 participants completed the study. The mean self-efficacy increased from 37.38 (SD 13.3) to 42.47 (SD 11.5) points and motivation to quit increased from 5.94 (SD 1.4) to 6.32 (SD 1.7) points after app use. Goal setting was perceived to be the most useful gamification feature, whereas sharing was perceived to be the least useful. Participants self-reported that they u
Chirambo GB, Muula AS, Thompson M, et al., 2021, End-user perspectives of two mHealth decision support tools: Electronic Community Case Management in Northern Malawi, International Journal of Medical Informatics, Vol: 145, ISSN: 1386-5056
BackgroundThe introduction of a paper-based Community Case Management (CCM) in Malawi has contributed to a reduction of child morbidity and mortality rates. In addition, the introduction of electronic Community Case Management (eCCM) (smartphones with built in CCM apps) may help to reduce the under-five mortality rates even further.PurposeIt is not uncommon for Apps with a similar area of interest to develop different features to assist the end users. Such differences between Apps may have a significant role to play in its overall adoption and integration. The purpose of this research was to explore end users perspectives of two eCCM decision support tools developed and implemented by the Supporting LIFE project (SL eCCM App) and D-Tree International’s (Mangologic eCCM App)in Northern Malawi.MethodsA mixed methods approach was applied, involving a survey of 109 users (106 Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs), and 3 Integrated Management of Childhood Il6lnesses (IMCI) coordinators). This was followed up with semi-structured interviews with 34 respondents (31 HSAs, and 3 IMCI coordinators). Quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS version 20 where descriptive statistics and Chi-Squared tests were generated. Qualitative data were analyzed based on thematic analysis.ResultsParticipants reported that both Apps could assist the HSAs in the management of childhood illnesses. However, usability differed between the two apps where the Supporting LIFE eCCM App was found to be easier to use (61%) compared to the Mangologic eCCM App (4%). Both Apps were perceived to provide credible and accurate information.ConclusionIt is essential that the quality of the data within Mobile Health (mHealth) Apps is high, however even Apps with excellent levels of data quality may not succeed if the overall usability of the App is low. Therefore it is essential that the Apps has high levels of data quality, usability and credibility. The results of this study will help inform mobile Hea
Dharmayat K, Woringer M, Mastellos N, et al., 2020, Investigation of Cardiovascular Health and Risk Factors Among the Diverse and Contemporary Population in London (the TOGETHER Study): Protocol for Linking Longitudinal Medical Records., JMIR Res Protoc, Vol: 9, ISSN: 1929-0748
BACKGROUND: Global trends in cardiovascular disease (CVD) exhibit considerable interregional and interethnic differences, which in turn affect long-term CVD risk across diverse populations. An in-depth understanding of the interplay between ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and CVD risk factors and mortality in a contemporaneous population is crucial to informing health policy and resource allocation aimed at mitigating long-term CVD risk. Generating bespoke large-scale and reliable data with sufficient numbers of events is expensive and time-consuming but can be circumvented through utilization and linkage of data routinely collected in electronic health records (EHR). OBJECTIVE: We aimed to characterize the burden of CVD risk factors across different ethnicities, age groups, and socioeconomic groups, and study CVD incidence and mortality by EHR linkage in London. METHODS: The proposed study will initially be a cross-sectional observational study unfolding into prospective CVD ascertainment through longitudinal follow-up involving linked data. The government-funded National Health System (NHS) Health Check program provides an opportunity for the systematic collation of CVD risk factors on a large scale. NHS Health Check data on approximately 200,000 individuals will be extracted from consenting general practices across London that use the Egton Medical Information Systems (EMIS) EHR software. Data will be analyzed using appropriate statistical techniques to (1) determine the cross-sectional burden of CVD risk factors and their prospective association with CVD outcomes, (2) validate existing prediction tools in diverse populations, and (3) develop bespoke risk prediction tools across diverse ethnic groups. RESULTS: Enrollment began in January 2019 and is ongoing with initial results to be published mid-2021. CONCLUSIONS: There is an urgent need for more real-life population health studies based on analyses of routine health data available in EHRs. Findings from our s
<jats:p> This article provides an analysis of the skills that health professionals and patients employ in reaching diagnosis and decision-making in telemedicine consultations. As governmental priorities continue to emphasize patient involvement in the management of their disease, there is an increasing need to accurately capture the provider–patient interactions in clinical encounters. Drawing on conversation analysis of 10 video-mediated consultations in 3 National Health Service settings in England, this study examines the interaction between patients, General Practitioner (GPs), nurses, and consultants during diagnosis and decision-making, with the aim to identify the range of skills that participants use in the process and capture the interprofessional communication and patient involvement in the diagnosis and decision-making phases of telemedicine consultations. The analysis shows that teleconsultations enhance collaborative working among professionals and enable GPs and nurses to develop their skills and actively participate in diagnosis and decision-making by contributing primary care–specific knowledge to the consultation. However, interprofessional interaction may result in limited patient involvement in decision-making. The findings of this study can be used to inform training programs in telemedicine that focus on the development of effective skills for professionals and the provision of information to patients. </jats:p>
Quezada Yamamoto H, Dubois E, Mastellos N, et al., 2019, Primary care integration of sexual and reproductive health services for chlamydia testing across WHO-Europe: a systematic review, BMJ Open, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2044-6055
Objective To identify current uptake of chlamydia testing (UCT) as a sexual and reproductive health service (SRHS) integrated in primary care settings of the WHO European region, with the aim to shape policy and quality of care.Design Systematic review for studies published from January 2001 to May 2018 in any European language.Data sources OVID Medline, EMBASE, Maternal and Infant Care and Global Health.Eligibility criteria Published studies, which involved women or men, adolescents or adults, reporting a UCT indicator in a primary care within a WHO European region country. Study designs considered were: randomised control trials (RCTs), quasi-experimental, observational (eg, cohort, case–control, cross-sectional) and mixed-methods studies as well as case reports.Data extraction and synthesis Two independent reviewers screened the sources and validated the selection process. The BRIGGS Critical Appraisal Checklist for Analytical Cross-Sectional Studies, the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool 2011 and Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklists were considered for quality and risk of bias assessment.Results 24 studies were finally included, of which 15 were cross-sectional, 4 cohort, 2 RCTs, 2 case–control studies and 1 mixed-methods study. A majority of the evidence cites the UK model, followed by the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Belgium only. Acceptability if offered test in primary healthcare (PHC) ranged from 55% to 81.4% in women and from 9.5% to 70.6% when both genders were reported together. Men may have a lower UCT compared with women. When both genders were reported together, the lowest acceptability was 9.5% in the Netherlands. Denmark presented the highest percentage of eligible people who tested in a PHC setting (87.3%).Conclusions Different health systems may influence UCT in PHC. The regional use of a common testing rate indicator is suggested to homogenise reporting. There is very little evidence on integration of SRHS such as chla
Dharmayat K, Tran T, Hardy V, et al., 2019, Sustainability of ‘mHealth’ interventions in sub-Saharan Africa: a stakeholder analysis of an electronic community case management project in Malawi, Malawi Medical Journal, Vol: 31, Pages: 177-183, ISSN: 1995-7270
BackgroundThe global health community as well as the funding agencies are currently engaged in ensuring a greater focus on worthwhile research-based programmes are sustainable. Despite its importance, few studies have analysed the sustainability of global health interventions. In this paper, we aim to explore the barriers and facilitators for the wider implementation and sustainability of a mobile health (mHealth) intervention (Supporting LIFE Community Case Management programme) in Malawi, Africa.MethodsBetween January to March 2017, a qualitative approach was employed involving 13 in-depth semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders across all levels of healthcare provision in Malawi to explore their perceptions on the implementation and sustainability of the mHealth programme. Data were analysed thematically by two reviewers. ResultsThe findings indicate that, overall, the programme was successful in achieving its goals. However, absence of monetary resources, the limited visibility outside the healthcare sector, the lack of integration with community-based and nationwide programmes, services and information and communication technologies, and the limited local capacity in relation to the maintenance, further development, and management of the programme present challenges to its wider implementation and sustainability.ConclusionsFuture developments should be aligned with the strategic goals and interests of the Ministry of Health and engage with national and international stakeholders to develop shared goals and strategies for nationwide scale-up. They should also focus on building local capacity through training of trainers and ensure that training methods and guidelines are appropriately accredited based on national policies. These findings provide a framework for a variety of stakeholders who are engaged in sustaining mHealth programmes in resource-poor settings and can be used to inform evidence based policy in utilising technology for healthcare deliver
Rajani NB, Weth D, Mastellos N, et al., 2019, Use of gamification strategies and tactics in mobile applications for smoking cessation: a review of the UK mobile app market., BMJ Open, Vol: 9
OBJECTIVE: Mobile phone-based interventions have been proven to be effective tools for smoking cessation, at least in the short term. Gamification, that is, the use of game-design elements in a non-game context, has been associated with increased engagement and motivation, critical success factors for long-term success of mobile Health solutions. However, to date, no app review has examined the use of gamification in smoking cessation mobile apps. Our review aims to examine and quantify the use of gamification strategies (broad principles) and tactics (on-screen features) among existing mobile apps for smoking cessation in the UK. METHODS: The UK Android and iOS markets were searched in February 2018 to identify smoking cessation apps. 125 Android and 15 iOS apps were tested independently by two reviewers for primary functionalities, adherence to Five A smoking cessation guidelines, and adoption of gamification strategies and tactics. We examined differences between platforms with χ2 tests. Correlation coefficients were calculated to explore the relationship between adherence to guidelines and gamification. RESULTS: The most common functionality of the 140 mobile apps we reviewed allowed users to track the days since/until the quit date (86.4%). The most popular gamification strategy across both platforms was performance feedback (91.4%). The majority of apps adopted a medium level of gamification strategies (55.0%) and tactics (64.3%). Few adopted high levels of gamification strategies (6.4%) or tactics (5.0%). No statistically significant differences between the two platforms were found regarding level of gamification (p>0.05) and weak correlations were found between adherence to Five A's and gamification strategies (r=0.38) and tactics (r=0.26). CONCLUSION: The findings of this review show that a high level of gamification is adopted by a small minority of smoking cessation apps in the UK. Further exploration of the use of gamification in smoking cessation
Rajani NB, Weth D, Mastellos N, et al., 2019, Adherence of popular smoking cessation mobile applications to evidence-based guidelines., BMC Public Health, Vol: 19
BACKGROUND: Smoking remains one of the major preventable causes of chronic diseases. Considering the promising evidence on the effectiveness of mobile technology for health behaviour change, along with the increasing adoption of smartphones, this review aims to systematically assess the adherence of popular mobile apps for smoking cessation to evidence-based guidelines. METHODS: The United Kingdom Android and iOS markets were searched in February 2018 to identify smoking cessation apps. After screening, 125 Android and 15 iOS apps were tested independently by two reviewers for adherence to the National Institute of Care and Excellence (NICE) Smoking Cessation Guidelines for Self-Help Materials and the Five A Guidelines for Smoking Cessation. Pearson chi square tests were run to examine differences between the two operating systems. RESULTS: A majority of apps across both operating systems had low adherence (fulfils 1-2 out of 5 guidelines) to the Five A Guidelines (65.7%) and low adherence (fulfils 1-3 out of 9 guidelines) to the NICE Smoking Cessation Guidelines for Self-Help Materials (63.6%). Only 15% of mobile apps provided information about the benefits of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), and even fewer provided information regarding types of NRT products (7.1%) or how to use them (2.1%). In addition, only a minority of apps arrange follow-up appointments or provide additional support to help smokers quit. CONCLUSION: Similar to previous mobile app reviews dating back to 2014, our findings show that most mobile apps do not follow existing smoking cessation treatment guidelines, indicating little change regarding the availability of evidence-based mobile apps for smoking cessation in the UK market. Smokers seeking to quit, tobacco control policy makers and software developers need to work together to develop apps that are in line with the latest clinical guidelines and strategies to maximise effectiveness.
Bene BA, OConnor S, Mastellos N, et al., 2019, Impact of mobile health applications on self-management in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: protocol of a systematic review, BMJ Open, Vol: 9, Pages: e025714-e025714, ISSN: 2044-6055
<jats:sec><jats:title>Introduction</jats:title><jats:p>The emergence of mobile health (mHealth) solutions, particularly mHealth applications (apps), has shown promise in self-management of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). While majority of the previous systematic reviews have focused on the effectiveness of mHealth apps in improving treatment outcomes in patients with T2DM, there is a need to also understand how mHealth apps influence self-management of T2DM. This is crucial to ensure improvement in the design and use of mHealth apps for T2DM. This protocol describes how a systematic review will be conducted to determine in which way(s) mHealth apps might impact on self-management of T2DM.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Methods</jats:title><jats:p>The following electronic databases will be searched from inception to April 2019: PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Global Health, PsycINFO, CINAHL, The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Scopus, Web of Science, ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global, Health Management Information Consortium database, Google Scholar and ClinicalTrials.gov. The Cochrane risk of bias tool will be used to assess methodological quality. The primary outcome measures to be assessed will be ‘change in blood glucose’. The secondary outcomes measures will be ‘changes in cardiovascular risk markers’ (including blood pressure, body mass index and blood lipids), and self-management practices. Others will include: health-related quality of life, economic data, social support, harms (eg, death or complications leading to hospital admissions or emergency unit attendances), death from any cause, anxiety or depression and adverse events (eg, hypoglycaemic episodes).</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Ethics and dissemination</jats:title><jats:p>This study will not involve the collecti
Doherty K, Marcano-Belisario J, Cohn M, et al., 2019, Engagement with Mental Health Screening on Mobile Devices, CHI '19: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Publisher: ACM
Ide N, Hardy V, Chirambo G, et al., 2019, People Welcomed This Innovation with Two Hands: A Qualitative Report of an mHealth Intervention for Community Case Management in Malawi., Ann Glob Health, Vol: 85
INTRODUCTION: Community Case Management (CCM) aims to improve health outcomes among children under five with malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia, but its effectiveness in Malawi is limited by inconsistent standards of delivery characteristic of paper-based interventions. This may lead to negative impacts on child health outcomes and inefficient use of health system resources. This study evaluated the acceptability and impact of the Supporting LIFE Community Case Management App (SL eCCM App) by Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) and caregivers in two districts of Northern Malawi. METHODS: Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with HSAs and caregivers as part of a nested study within a larger trial. We used deductive and inductive approaches during data analysis. Relevant constructs were identified from the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research and combined with emerging concepts from the data. The Framework Method was used to chart and explore data, leading to the development of themes. RESULTS: Seventeen HSAs and 28 caregivers were interviewed. Participants were generally enthusiastic about the SL eCCM App. Nearly all HSAs expressed a preference for the App over routine paper-based CCM. Most HSAs claimed the App was more reliable and less error prone, facilitated more accurate diagnoses and treatment recommendations, and enhanced professional confidence and respect in the community. Some HSAs believed additional features would improve usability of the App, others identified mobile network or electricity shortages as barriers. Not all caregivers understood the purpose of the App, but most welcomed it as a health and technological advancement. CONCLUSION: The SL eCCM App is acceptable to both HSAs and caregivers, and in most cases, preferred, as it was believed to foster improvements in CCM delivery. Our findings suggest that mobile health interventions for CCM, such as the SL eCCM App, may have potential to improve the effectiv
Radha M, de Groot K, Rajani N, et al., 2019, Estimating blood pressure trends and the nocturnal dip from photoplethysmography., Physiol Meas, Vol: 40
OBJECTIVE: Evaluate a method for the estimation of the nocturnal systolic blood pressure (SBP) dip from 24 h blood pressure trends using a wrist-worn photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor and a deep neural network in free-living individuals, comparing the deep neural network to traditional machine learning and non-machine learning baselines. APPROACH: A wrist-worn PPG sensor was worn by 106 healthy individuals for 226 d during which 5111 reference values for blood pressure (BP) were obtained with a 24 h ambulatory BP monitor and matched with the PPG sensor data. Features based on heart rate variability and pulse morphology were extracted from the PPG waveforms. Long- and short term memory (LSTM) networks, dense networks, random forests and linear regression models were trained and evaluated in their capability of tracking trends in BP, as well as the estimation of the SBP dip. MAIN RESULTS: Best performance for estimating the SBP dip were obtained with a deep LSTM neural network with a root mean squared error (RMSE) of 3.12 [Formula: see text] 2.20 [Formula: see text] mmHg and a correlation of 0.69 [Formula: see text]. This dip was derived from trend estimates of BP which had an RMSE of 8.22 [Formula: see text] 1.49 mmHg for systolic and 6.55 [Formula: see text] 1.39 mmHg for diastolic BP (DBP). While other models had similar performance for the tracking of relative BP, they did not perform as well as the LSTM for the SBP dip. SIGNIFICANCE: The work provides first evidence for the unobtrusive estimation of the nocturnal SBP dip, a highly prognostic clinical parameter. It is also the first to evaluate unobtrusive BP measurement in a large data set of unconstrained 24 h measurements in free-living individuals and provides evidence for the utility of LSTM models in this domain.
Maron E, Baldwin DS, Balõtšev R, et al., 2019, Manifesto for an international digital mental health network, Digital Psychiatry, Vol: 2, Pages: 14-24
Mastellos N, Tran T, Dharmayat K, et al., 2018, Training community healthcare workers on the use of information and communication technologies: a randomised controlled trial of traditional versus blended learning in Malawi, Africa., BMC Med Educ, Vol: 18
BACKGROUND: Despite the increasing uptake of information and communication technologies (ICT) within healthcare services across developing countries, community healthcare workers (CHWs) have limited knowledge to fully utilise computerised clinical systems and mobile apps. The 'Introduction to Information and Communication Technology and eHealth' course was developed with the aim to provide CHWs in Malawi, Africa, with basic knowledge and computer skills to use digital solutions in healthcare delivery. The course was delivered using a traditional and a blended learning approach. METHODS: Two questionnaires were developed and tested for face validity and reliability in a pilot course with 20 CHWs. Those were designed to measure CHWs' knowledge of and attitudes towards the use of ICT, before and after each course, as well as their satisfaction with each learning approach. Following validation, a randomised controlled trial was conducted to assess the effectiveness of the two learning approaches. A total of 40 CHWs were recruited, stratified by position, gender and computer experience, and allocated to the traditional or blended learning group using block randomisation. Participants completed the baseline and follow-up questionnaires before and after each course to assess the impact of each learning approach on their knowledge, attitudes, and satisfaction. Per-item, pre-post and between-group, mean differences for each approach were calculated using paired and unpaired t-tests, respectively. Per-item, between-group, satisfaction scores were compared using unpaired t-tests. RESULTS: Scores across all scales improved after attending the traditional and blended learning courses. Self-rated ICT knowledge was significantly improved in both groups with significant differences between groups in seven domains. However, actual ICT knowledge scores were similar across groups. There were no significant differences between groups in attitudinal gains. Satisfaction with the course w
Chirambo GB, Hardy VE, Heavin C, et al., 2018, Perceptions of a mobile health intervention for Community Case Management in Malawi: Opportunities and challenges for Health Surveillance Assistants in a community setting., Malawi Med J, Vol: 30, Pages: 6-12
Background: Improved availability of mobile phones in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) offer an opportunity to improve delivery of Community Case Management (CCM). Despite enthusiasm for introducing mHealth into healthcare across LMICs, end-user attitudes towards mHealth solutions for CCM are limited. We aimed to explore Health Surveillance Assistants' (HSAs) perceptions of the Supporting LIFE electronic CCM Application (SL eCCM App) and their experiences incorporating it as part of their clinical practice. Methods: This exploratory qualitative study was part of a mixed methods feasibility study investigating whether children under-5 presenting to village clinics could be followed-up to collect patient outcome data. The convenience sample of 12 HSAs enrolled into the feasibility study participated in semi-structured interviews, which were conducted at village clinics after HSAs had field-tested the SL eCCM App over a 10-day period. Interviews explored HSAs perceptions of the SL eCCM App and their experiences in using the App in addition to paper CCM to assess and treat acutely unwell children. Open coding was used to label emerging concepts, which were iteratively defined and developed into six key themes. Results: HSAs' perceived enhanced clinical decision-making, quality of CCM delivery, and work efficiency as opportunities associated with using the SL eCCM App. HSAs believed the inability to retrieve patient records,, cumbersome duplicate assessments/data entry study procedures, and inconsistencies between the SL eCCM App and paper-based CCM guidelines as challenges to implementation. Adding features to the App, such as, permitting communication between colleagues/supervisors, drug stock-out reporting, and community assessments, were identified as potentially supporting HSAs' many roles in the community. Conclusion: This study identified opportunities and challenges associated with using the SL eCCM App in Malawi. This information can be used to inform fu
Cohn M, Mastellos N, Doherty K, et al., 2017, Tablet computers for implementing NICE antenatal mental health guidelines, Sowerby eHealth Symposium 2017, London, UK
Introduction: Perinatal depression can affect up to 20% of women during pregnancy or within a year of giving birth. Early identification of depressive symptoms is possible, but requires repeated interactions with the health system. We developed a smartphone app that reduces the need for frequent physical visits by enabling depression screening at home. We aim to assess the feasibility for using the app to measure severity of depressive symptoms among pregnant women.Methods: We used a parallel, randomised control trial study design. Participants were recruited from antenatal clinics and general practices across 10 NHS trusts. Following baseline screening, participants in arm one were required to complete the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) monthly, while in arm two twice a month along with an Ecological Momentary Assessment and other contextual information. Follow-ups will continue for 6 months. Alerts were generated and communicated to the clinical team if a participant scored high on the EPDS.Results: 341 participants were recruited and, of those, 251 installed the app. Abnormal baseline scores and alerts have been followed up by a multidisciplinary team. Preliminary results will be presented.Conclusion: The use of mobile apps can aid toward the early detection and treatment of perinatal depression, while easing the demands on physicians and other health professionals.
Hardy V, O'Connor Y, Heavin C, et al., 2017, The added value of a mobile application of Community Case Management on referral, re-consultation and hospitalization rates of children aged under 5 years in two districts in Northern Malawi: study protocol for a pragmatic, stepped-wedge cluster-randomized controlled trial., Trials, Vol: 18
BACKGROUND: There is evidence to suggest that frontline community health workers in Malawi are under-referring children to higher-level facilities. Integrating a digitized version of paper-based methods of Community Case Management (CCM) could strengthen delivery, increasing urgent referral rates and preventing unnecessary re-consultations and hospital admissions. This trial aims to evaluate the added value of the Supporting LIFE electronic Community Case Management Application (SL eCCM App) compared to paper-based CCM on urgent referral, re-consultation and hospitalization rates, in two districts in Northern Malawi. METHODS/DESIGN: This is a pragmatic, stepped-wedge cluster-randomized trial assessing the added value of the SL eCCM App on urgent referral, re-consultation and hospitalization rates of children aged 2 months and older to up to 5 years, within 7 days of the index visit. One hundred and two health surveillance assistants (HSAs) were stratified into six clusters based on geographical location, and clusters randomized to the timing of crossover to the intervention using simple, computer-generated randomization. Training workshops were conducted prior to the control (paper-CCM) and intervention (paper-CCM + SL eCCM App) in assigned clusters. Neither participants nor study personnel were blinded to allocation. Outcome measures were determined by abstraction of clinical data from patient records 2 weeks after recruitment. A nested qualitative study explored perceptions of adherence to urgent referral recommendations and a cost evaluation determined the financial and time-related costs to caregivers of subsequent health care utilization. The trial was conducted between July 2016 and February 2017. DISCUSSION: This is the first large-scale trial evaluating the value of adding a mobile application of CCM to the assessment of children aged under 5 years. The trial will generate evidence on the potential use of mobi
Ethier J-F, Curcin V, McGilchrist MM, et al., 2017, eSource for clinical trials: Implementation and evaluation of a standards-based approach in a real world trial., Int J Med Inform, Vol: 106, Pages: 17-24
OBJECTIVE: The Learning Health System (LHS) requires integration of research into routine practice. 'eSource' or embedding clinical trial functionalities into routine electronic health record (EHR) systems has long been put forward as a solution to the rising costs of research. We aimed to create and validate an eSource solution that would be readily extensible as part of a LHS. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The EU FP7 TRANSFoRm project's approach is based on dual modelling, using the Clinical Research Information Model (CRIM) and the Clinical Data Integration Model of meaning (CDIM) to bridge the gap between clinical and research data structures, using the CDISC Operational Data Model (ODM) standard. Validation against GCP requirements was conducted in a clinical site, and a cluster randomised evaluation by site nested into a live clinical trial. RESULTS: Using the form definition element of ODM, we linked precisely modelled data queries to data elements, constrained against CDIM concepts, to enable automated patient identification for specific protocols and pre-population of electronic case report forms (e-CRF). Both control and eSource sites recruited better than expected with no significant difference. Completeness of clinical forms was significantly improved by eSource, but Patient Related Outcome Measures (PROMs) were less well completed on smartphones than paper in this population. DISCUSSION: The TRANSFoRm approach provides an ontologically-based approach to eSource in a low-resource, heterogeneous, highly distributed environment, that allows precise prospective mapping of data elements in the EHR. CONCLUSION: Further studies using this approach to CDISC should optimise the delivery of PROMS, whilst building a sustainable infrastructure for eSource with research networks, trials units and EHR vendors.
Alakhrass H, Mastellos N, O'Donoghue JM, et al., 2017, Health-Related Twitter Messages for Diabetes Prevention in the Saudi Arabian Population, EUSPR 2017: 8th EUSPR Conference and Members Meeting 2017, Vienna, Austria
Type 2 diabetes is a severe chronic metabolic disorder, and Saudi Arabia currently suffers from high rates of undiagnosed diabetes. The Saudi Arabians are also high-intensity users of social media, especially Twitter. There are limited barriers to healthcare access to government clinics in Saudi Arabia, but the population is unaware of the necessity to prevent or diagnose diabetes. The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health has implemented the National Diabetes Prevention and Control Program (NDPCP) and the Wake Up! public education campaign as a way to promote diagnosis and early intervention in diabetes, but has not used Twitter as part of the campaign. This project aims to assess the feasibility of using Twitter to successfully promote diabetic screening among patients at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in Saudi Arabia. The objectives of this research are to: 1) develop a targeted social media model for the Wake Up! Campaign using Twitter, 2) compare the screening rates for diabetes in Saudi Arabia before and after the Twitter campaign intervention, 3) measure users’ engagement and satisfaction with the Wake Up! Twitter Campaign, and 4) explore stakeholders’ engagement, experience and satisfaction with the Wake Up! Twitter Campaign. Three substudies will be conducted to assess how effective Twitter is at motivating Saudi Arabians to undergo screening for diabetes. Substudy 1 will compare rates of positive diabetes screening at two clinics in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province; Substudy 2 will be an anonymous survey of Twitter users who engaged with the Wake Up! Twitter Campaign; and Substudy 3 will consist of interviews conducted with stakeholders to solicit feedback on the Wake Up! Twitter Campaign. The campaign will be launched in the summer of 2017, and is anticipated to run for 18 months.
Andersson B, Wu JT-S, O'Donoghue J, et al., 2017, Enhancing information quality as part of the disease surveillance system in Malawi, Africa: reflections on a mHealth intervention, ISD 2017 : 26th International Conference on Information Systems Development, Publisher: ISD
Public health surveillance and response to disease outbreaks is still a hurdle in many developing countries across sub-Saharan Africa. Pivotal in disease surveillance and response is the reliance on valid information, hence, the need for information which has high Information quality characteristics. A key issue with disease surveillance systems, stem from the diverse range of data sources with various levels of information quality that may affect the trustworthiness of the information. However, with the increasing diffusion of mobile phone technologies, there are opportunities to improve IQ. The aim of this study was to assess the information quality in data collected through a smartphone application the usefulness of such technologies in disease surveillance. Based on qualitative data from interviews, workshop and system specifications, it was found that information quality improves with the use of smartphone applications but aspects such as user competence, must be addressed to maximize the benefits of using mobile technologies for disease surveillance.
Posadzki P, Mastellos N, Ryan R, et al., 2016, Automated telephone communication systems for preventive healthcare and management of long-term conditions., Cochrane Database Syst Rev, Vol: 12
BACKGROUND: Automated telephone communication systems (ATCS) can deliver voice messages and collect health-related information from patients using either their telephone's touch-tone keypad or voice recognition software. ATCS can supplement or replace telephone contact between health professionals and patients. There are four different types of ATCS: unidirectional (one-way, non-interactive voice communication), interactive voice response (IVR) systems, ATCS with additional functions such as access to an expert to request advice (ATCS Plus) and multimodal ATCS, where the calls are delivered as part of a multicomponent intervention. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of ATCS for preventing disease and managing long-term conditions on behavioural change, clinical, process, cognitive, patient-centred and adverse outcomes. SEARCH METHODS: We searched 10 electronic databases (the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials; MEDLINE; Embase; PsycINFO; CINAHL; Global Health; WHOLIS; LILACS; Web of Science; and ASSIA); three grey literature sources (Dissertation Abstracts, Index to Theses, Australasian Digital Theses); and two trial registries (www.controlled-trials.com; www.clinicaltrials.gov) for papers published between 1980 and June 2015. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised, cluster- and quasi-randomised trials, interrupted time series and controlled before-and-after studies comparing ATCS interventions, with any control or another ATCS type were eligible for inclusion. Studies in all settings, for all consumers/carers, in any preventive healthcare or long term condition management role were eligible. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We used standard Cochrane methods to select and extract data and to appraise eligible studies. MAIN RESULTS: We included 132 trials (N = 4,669,689). Studies spanned across several clinical areas, assessing many comparisons based on evaluation of different ATCS types and variable comparison groups. Forty-one studies evaluated ATCS for delivering p
van Velthoven MH, Mastellos N, Majeed A, et al., 2016, Feasibility of extracting data from electronic medical records for research: an international comparative study., BMC Med Inform Decis Mak, Vol: 16
BACKGROUND: Electronic medical records (EMR) offer a major potential for secondary use of data for research which can improve the safety, quality and efficiency of healthcare. They also enable the measurement of disease burden at the population level. However, the extent to which this is feasible in different countries is not well known. This study aimed to: 1) assess information governance procedures for extracting data from EMR in 16 countries; and 2) explore the extent of EMR adoption and the quality and consistency of EMR data in 7 countries, using management of diabetes type 2 patients as an exemplar. METHODS: We included 16 countries from Australia, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe to the Americas. We undertook a multi-method approach including both an online literature review and structured interviews with 59 stakeholders, including 25 physicians, 23 academics, 7 EMR providers, and 4 information commissioners. Data were analysed and synthesised thematically considering the most relevant issues. RESULTS: We found that procedures for information governance, levels of adoption and data quality varied across the countries studied. The required time and ease of obtaining approval also varies widely. While some countries seem ready for secondary uses of data from EMR, in other countries several barriers were found, including limited experience with using EMR data for research, lack of standard policies and procedures, bureaucracy, confidentiality, data security concerns, technical issues and costs. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first international comparative study to shed light on the feasibility of extracting EMR data across a number of countries. The study will inform future discussions and development of policies that aim to accelerate the adoption of EMR systems in high and middle income countries and seize the rich potential for secondary use of data arising from the use of EMR solutions.
O'Connor Y, Hardy V, Thompson M, et al., 2016, The Importance of form field validation: lessons learnt from a feasibility study of an mHealth application in Malawi, Africa., 20th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (PACIS) 2016
Measuring adherence to clinical guidelines using mobile health (mHealth) technologies when form field validation is enforced or turned on could potentially be viewed as skewing the dataset, leading to 100% adherence to the clinical rule base. In theory, healthcare providers should fully abide by clinical guidelines, whether in paper or digital format, to ensure that the patient receives appropriate care. However, what happens when mHealth form field validation is turned off? As part of a feasibility study in Malawi, Africa, we explored this phenomenon. Switching off validation on the mHealth artefact served its purpose within the context of a feasibility study where a parallel paper-based clinical assessment process remained in place. The design of this technical artefact with the turnkey validation feature afforded us the opportunity to turn validation on and off seamlessly. Ultimately, from an ethical, clinical and technical perspective the optimum approach is to ensure that form field validation is switched on. With form field validation on adherence to the clinical guidelines is enforced which minimises incomplete assessment and the potential for suboptimal clinical decisions that could adversely affect patient care.
Mastellos N, Bliźniuk G, Czopnik D, et al., 2016, Feasibility and acceptability of TRANSFoRm to improve clinical trial recruitment in primary care., Fam Pract, Vol: 33, Pages: 186-191
BACKGROUND: Recruitment of study participants is a challenging process for health professionals and patients. The Translational Medicine and Patient Safety in Europe (TRANSFoRm) clinical trial tools enable automated identification, recruitment and follow-up in clinical trials, potentially saving time, effort and costs for all parties involved. OBJECTIVES: This study evaluates the acceptability and feasibility of TRANSFoRm to improve clinical trial recruitment in primary care. METHODS: A feasibility study was conducted in three general practices in Poland. Participants were physicians and patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. Semi-structured interviews were held to obtain feedback about the usefulness, ease of use and overall experience with the TRANSFoRm tools and to identify potential usability issues. Data were analysed thematically. RESULTS: A total of 5 physicians and 10 patients participated in the study. Physicians were satisfied with the usefulness of the system, as it enabled easier and faster identification, recruitment and follow-up of patients compared with existing methods. Patients found the TRANSFoRm apps easy to use to report patient outcomes. However, they also felt that the apps may not be useful for patients with limited exposure to smartphone and web technologies. Two main usability issues were identified: physicians could not access the result of the randomization at the end of each visit, and participants could not locate the follow-up reminder email. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides new evidence on the acceptability and feasibility of TRANSFoRm to enable automated identification, recruitment and follow-up of study participants in primary care trials. It also helps to better understand and address users' requirements in eHealth-supported clinical research.
Tran T, Akram A, Mastellos N, et al., 2015, Engaging older individuals with CHARIOT, Cognitive Health in Ageing Register, 1st International Conference of Primary Care & Public Health Medicine
Dementia affects over 850,000 people in the UK (one in three people over the age of 65). Dementia is not an inevitable part of ageing, and the CHARIOT Register aims to facilitate the involvement of elderly people in dementia prevention research. The CHARIOT Register is a research register of cognitively healthy individuals between the ages of 60 and 85 who are interested and willing to participate in future studies in relation to dementia prevention. Recruitment to the CHARIOT Register is primarily conducted through primary care facilities. The CHARIOT register team approaches General Practices (GPs) throughout greater London to seek their cooperation in identifying eligible individuals. Eligible individuals are sent an invitation letter with an information sheet and consent form via post. Upon consenting to join the Register, their details are collected and securely stored in the CHARIOT Register. Participants are then invited to join studies focusing on the prevention of cognitive decline and dementia. The Register currently consists of 25,000+ individuals from 130 GPs. At present, three studies are being conducted with over 1,000 Register participants. In addition to being at the forefront of dementia prevention research, participants also benefit from regular newsletters with up-to-date information on current studies and new research.
Mastellos N, Andreasson A, Huckvale K, et al., 2015, A cluster randomised controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of eHealth-supported patient recruitment in primary care research: the TRANSFoRm study protocol., Implement Sci, Vol: 10
BACKGROUND: Opportunistic recruitment is a highly laborious and time-consuming process that is currently performed manually, increasing the workload of already busy practitioners and resulting in many studies failing to achieve their recruitment targets. The Translational Medicine and Patient Safety in Europe (TRANSFoRm) platform enables automated recruitment, data collection and follow-up of patients, potentially improving the efficiency, time and costs of clinical research. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of TRANSFoRm in improving patient recruitment and follow-up in primary care trials. METHODS/DESIGN: This multi-centre, parallel-arm cluster randomised controlled trial will compare TRANSFoRm-supported with standard opportunistic recruitment. Participants will be general practitioners and patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease from 40 primary care centres in five European countries. Randomisation will take place at the care centre level. The intervention arm will use the TRANSFoRm tools for recruitment, baseline data collection and follow-up. The control arm will use web-based case report forms and paper self-completed questionnaires. The primary outcome will be the proportion of eligible patients successfully recruited at the end of the 16-week recruitment period. Secondary outcomes will include the proportion of recruited patients with complete baseline and follow-up data and the proportion of participants withdrawn or lost to follow-up. The study will also include an economic evaluation and measures of technology acceptance and user experience. DISCUSSION: The study should shed light on the use of eHealth to improve the effectiveness of recruitment and follow-up in primary care research and provide an evidence base for future eHealth-supported recruitment initiatives. Reporting of results is expected in October 2015. TRIAL REGISTRATION: EudraCT: 2014-001314-25.
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