Family history is an important risk factor for many common chronic diseases, but it remains underutilised for diagnostic assessment and disease prevention in routine primary care.
To develop and validate a brief self-completed family history questionnaire (FHQ) for systematic primary care assessment for family history of diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer.
Design and setting
Two-stage diagnostic validation study in 10 general practices in eastern England.
Participants aged 18–50 years were identified via random sampling from electronic searches of general practice records. Participants completed a FHQ then had a three-generational ‘gold standard’ pedigree taken, to determine disease risk category. In stage 1, the FHQ comprised 12 items; in stage 2 the shorter 6-item FHQ was validated against the same ‘gold standard’.
There were 1147 participants (stage 1: 618; stage 2: 529). Overall, 32% were at increased risk of one or more marker conditions (diabetes 18.9%, ischaemic heart disease 13.3%, breast cancer 6.2%, colorectal cancer 2.2%). The shorter 6-item FHQ performed very well for all four conditions: pooled data from both stages show diabetes, sensitivity = 98%, specificity = 94%; ischaemic heart disease, sensitivity = 93%, specificity = 81%; breast cancer, sensitivity = 81%, specificity = 83%; colorectal cancer, sensitivity = 96%, specificity = 88%, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.90 for males and 0.89 for females.
This brief self-completed FHQ shows good diagnostic accuracy for identifying people at higher risk of four common chronic diseases. It could be used in routine primary care to identify patients who would be most likely to benefit from a more detailed pedigree and risk assessment, and consequent management strategies.
breast cancer; colorectal cancer; ischaemic heart disease; diabetes mellitus, type 2; family history; primary health care; risk assessment
GPs need to recognise significant pigmented skin lesions, given rising UK incidence rates for malignant melanoma. The 7-point checklist (7PCL) has been recommended by NICE (2005) for routine use in UK general practice to identify clinically significant lesions which require urgent referral.
To validate the Original and Weighted versions of the 7PCL in the primary care setting.
Design and setting
Diagnostic validation study, using data from a SIAscopic diagnostic aid randomised controlled trial in eastern England.
Adults presenting in general practice with a pigmented skin lesion that could not be immediately diagnosed as benign were recruited into the trial. Reference standard diagnoses were histology or dermatology expert opinion; 7PCL scores were calculated blinded to the reference diagnosis. A case was defined as a clinically significant lesion for primary care referral to secondary care (total 1436 lesions: 225 cases, 1211 controls); or melanoma (36).
For diagnosing clinically significant lesions there was a difference between the performance of the Original and Weighted 7PCLs (respectively, area under curve: 0.66, 0.69, difference = 0.03, P<0.001). For the identification of melanoma, similar differences were found. Increasing the Weighted 7PCL’s cut-off score from recommended 3 to 4 improved detection of clinically significant lesions in primary care: sensitivity 73.3%, specificity 57.1%, positive predictive value 24.1%, negative predictive value 92.0%, while maintaining high sensitivity of 91.7% and moderate specificity of 53.4% for melanoma.
The Original and Weighted 7PCLs both performed well in a primary care setting to identify clinically significant lesions as well as melanoma. The Weighted 7PCL, with a revised cut-off score of 4 from 3, performs slightly better and could be applied in general practice to support the recognition of clinically significant lesions and therefore the early identification of melanoma.
diagnostic techniques and procedures; general practice; melanoma; pigmented skin lesions
The aim of this study was to assess whether or not a theory-based behaviour change intervention delivered by trained and quality-assured lifestyle facilitators can achieve and maintain improvements in physical activity, dietary change, medication adherence and smoking cessation in people with recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes.
An explanatory randomised controlled trial was conducted in 34 general practices in Eastern England (Anglo–Danish–Dutch Study of Intensive Treatment in People with Screen Detected Diabetes in Primary Care-Plus [ADDITION-Plus]). In all, 478 patients meeting eligibility criteria (age 40 to 69 years with recently diagnosed screen or clinically detected diabetes) were individually randomised to receive either intensive treatment (n = 239) or intensive treatment plus a theory-based behaviour change intervention led by a facilitator external to the general practice team (n = 239). Randomisation was central and independent using a partial minimisation procedure to balance stratifiers between treatment arms. Facilitators taught patients skills to facilitate change in and maintenance of key health behaviours, including goal setting, self-monitoring and building habits. Primary outcomes included physical activity energy expenditure (individually calibrated heart rate monitoring and movement sensing), change in objectively measured fruit and vegetable intake (plasma vitamin C), medication adherence (plasma drug levels) and smoking status (plasma cotinine levels) at 1 year. Measurements, data entry and laboratory analysis were conducted with staff unaware of participants’ study group allocation.
Of 475 participants still alive, 444 (93%; intervention group 95%, comparison group 92%) attended 1-year follow-up. There were no significant differences between groups in physical activity (difference: +1.50 kJ kg−1 day−1; 95% CI −1.74, 4.74), plasma vitamin C (difference: −3.84 μmol/l; 95% CI −8.07, 0.38), smoking (OR 1.37; 95% CI 0.77, 2.43) and plasma drug levels (difference in metformin levels: −119.5 μmol/l; 95% CI −335.0, 95.9). Cardiovascular risk factors and self-reported behaviour improved in both groups with no significant differences between groups.
For patients with recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes receiving intensive treatment in UK primary care, a facilitator-led individually tailored behaviour change intervention did not improve objectively measured health behaviours or cardiovascular risk factors over 1 year.
The trial is supported by the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, National Health Service R&D support funding (including the Primary Care Research and Diabetes Research Networks) and National Institute of Health Research under its Programme Grants for Applied Research scheme. The Primary Care Unit is supported by NIHR Research funds. Bio-Rad provided equipment for HbA1c testing during the screening phase.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-014-3236-6) contains peer-reviewed but unedited supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.
ADDITION-Plus; Diabetes; General practice; Health behaviour; Randomised trial
A diet rich in fruit, vegetables and dietary fibre and low in fat is associated with reduced risk of chronic disease. This review aimed to estimate the effectiveness of interventions to promote healthy diet for primary prevention among participants attending primary care.
A systematic review of trials using individual or cluster randomisation of interventions delivered in primary care to promote dietary change over 12 months in healthy participants free from chronic disease or defined high risk states. Outcomes were change in fruit and vegetable intake, consumption of total fat and fibre and changes in serum cholesterol concentration.
Ten studies were included with 12,414 participants. The design and delivery of interventions were diverse with respect to grounding in behavioural theory and intervention intensity. A meta-analysis of three studies showed an increase in fruit consumption of 0.25 (0.01 to 0.49) servings per day, with an increase in vegetable consumption of 0.25 (0.06 to 0.44) serving per day. A further three studies that reported on fruit and vegetable consumption together showed a pooled increment of 0.50 (0.13 to 0.87) servings per day. The pooled effect on consumption of dietary fibre, from four studies, was estimated to be 1.97 (0.43 to 3.52) gm fibre per day. Data from five studies showed a mean decrease in total fat intake of 5.2% of total energy (1.5 to 8.8%). Data from three studies showed a mean decrease in serum cholesterol of 0.10 (-0.19 to 0.00) mmol/L.
Presently-reported interventions to promote healthy diet for primary prevention in primary care, which illustrate a diverse range of intervention methods, may yield small beneficial changes in consumption of fruit, vegetables, fibre and fat over 12 months. The present results do not exclude the possibility that more effective intervention strategies might be developed.
Diet; Health promotion; Primary care; Systematic review; Meta-analysis
Multimorbidity is the co-occurrence of long-term conditions. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of long-term conditions including type 2 diabetes and depression.
To quantify the association between body mass index (BMI) category and multimorbidity in a large cohort registered in primary care.
The sample comprised primary care electronic health records of adults aged ≥30 years, sampled from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink between 2005 and 2011. Multimorbidity was defined as the co-occurrence of ≥2 of 11 conditions affecting seven organ systems. Age- and sex-standardized prevalence of multimorbidity was estimated by BMI category. Adjusted odds ratios associating BMI with additional morbidity were estimated adjusting for socioeconomic deprivation and smoking.
The sample comprised 300 006 adults. After excluding participants with BMI never recorded, data were analysed for 223 089 (74%) contributing 1 374 109 person–years. In normal weight men, the standardized prevalence of multimorbidity was 23%, rising to 27% in overweight, 33% in category I obesity, 38% in category II and 44% in category III obesity. In women, the corresponding values were 28%, 34%, 41%, 45% and 51%. In category III obesity, the adjusted odds, relative to normal BMI, were 2.24 (2.13–2.36) for a first condition; 2.63 (2.51–2.76) for a second condition and 3.09 (2.92–3.28) for three or more conditions. In a cross-sectional analysis, 32% of multimorbidity was attributable to overweight and obesity.
Multiple morbidity is highly associated with increasing BMI category and obesity, highlighting the potential for targeted primary and secondary prevention interventions in primary care.
Cardiovascular diseases; comorbidity; diabetes mellitus; family practice; obesity; primary health care.
Discovery of novel immune biomarkers for monitoring of disease prognosis and response to therapy in immune-mediated inflammatory diseases is an important unmet clinical need. Here, we establish a novel framework for immunological biomarker discovery, comparing a conventional (liquid) flow cytometry platform (CFP) and a unique lyoplate-based flow cytometry platform (LFP) in combination with advanced computational data analysis. We demonstrate that LFP had higher sensitivity compared to CFP, with increased detection of cytokines (IFN-γ and IL-10) and activation markers (Foxp3 and CD25). Fluorescent intensity of cells stained with lyophilized antibodies was increased compared to cells stained with liquid antibodies. LFP, using a plate loader, allowed medium-throughput processing of samples with comparable intra- and inter-assay variability between platforms. Automated computational analysis identified novel immunophenotypes that were not detected with manual analysis. Our results establish a new flow cytometry platform for standardized and rapid immunological biomarker discovery with wide application to immune-mediated diseases.
People with Type 2 diabetes face various psycho-social, self-management and clinical care issues and evidence is mixed whether support from others with diabetes, ‘peer support’, can help. We now describe a 2 month pilot study of different peer support interventions.
The intervention was informed by formative evaluation using semi-structured interviews with health professionals, community support groups and observation of diabetes education and support groups. Invitations to participate were mailed from 4 general practices and included a survey of barriers to care. Participants were randomized by practice to receive individual, group, combined (both individual and group) or no peer support. Evaluation included ethnographic observation, semi-structured interviews and questionnaires at baseline and post-intervention.
Of 1,101 invited, 15% expressed an interest in participating in the pilot. Sufficient numbers volunteered to become peer supporters, although 50% of these (8/16) withdrew. Those in the pilot were similar to other patients, but were less likely to feel they knew enough about diabetes (60.8% vs 44.6% p = 0.035) and less likely to be happy with the diabetes education/care to date (75.4% vs 55.4% p = 0.013). Key issues identified were the need to recruit peer supporters directly rather than through clinicians, to address participant diabetes educational needs early and the potential for group sessions to have lower participation rates than 1:1 sessions.
Recruitment to a full trial of peer support within the existing study design is feasible with some amendments. Attendance emerged as a key issue needing close monitoring and additional intervention during the trial.
Diabetes; Peer support; Complex intervention; Self-management
The increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes poses a major public health challenge. Population-based screening and early treatment for type 2 diabetes could reduce this growing burden. However, uncertainty persists around the benefits of screening for type 2 diabetes. We assessed the effect of a population-based stepwise screening programme on mortality.
In a pragmatic parallel group, cluster-randomised trial, 33 general practices in eastern England were randomly assigned by the method of minimisation in an unbalanced design to: screening followed by intensive multifactorial treatment for people diagnosed with diabetes (n=15); screening plus routine care of diabetes according to national guidelines (n=13); and a no-screening control group (n=5). The study population consisted of 20 184 individuals aged 40–69 years (mean 58 years), at high risk of prevalent undiagnosed diabetes, on the basis of a previously validated risk score. In screening practices, individuals were invited to a stepwise programme including random capillary blood glucose and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) tests, a fasting capillary blood glucose test, and a confirmatory oral glucose tolerance test. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality. All participants were flagged for mortality surveillance by the England and Wales Office of National Statistics. Analysis was by intention-to-screen and compared all-cause mortality rates between screening and control groups. This study is registered, number ISRCTN86769081.
Of 16 047 high-risk individuals in screening practices, 15 089 (94%) were invited for screening during 2001–06, 11 737 (73%) attended, and 466 (3%) were diagnosed with diabetes. 4137 control individuals were followed up. During 184 057 person-years of follow up (median duration 9·6 years [IQR 8·9–9·9]), there were 1532 deaths in the screening practices and 377 in control practices (mortality hazard ratio [HR] 1·06, 95% CI 0·90–1·25). We noted no significant reduction in cardiovascular (HR 1·02, 95% CI 0·75–1·38), cancer (1·08, 0·90–1·30), or diabetes-related mortality (1·26, 0·75–2·10) associated with invitation to screening.
In this large UK sample, screening for type 2 diabetes in patients at increased risk was not associated with a reduction in all-cause, cardiovascular, or diabetes-related mortality within 10 years. The benefits of screening might be smaller than expected and restricted to individuals with detectable disease.
Wellcome Trust; UK Medical Research Council; National Health Service research and development support; UK National Institute for Health Research; University of Aarhus, Denmark; Bio-Rad.
The behavioural impact of pharmacogenomics is untested. We tested two hypotheses concerning the behavioural impact of informing smokers their oral dose of NRT is tailored to analysis of DNA.
Methods and Findings
We conducted an RCT with smokers in smoking cessation clinics (N = 633). In combination with NRT patch, participants were informed that their doses of oral NRT were based either on their mu-opioid receptor (OPRM1) genotype, or their nicotine dependence questionnaire score (phenotype). The proportion of prescribed NRT consumed in the first 28 days following quitting was not significantly different between groups: (68.5% of prescribed NRT consumed in genotype vs 63.6%, phenotype group, difference = 5.0%, 95% CI −0.9,10.8, p = 0.098). Motivation to make another quit attempt among those (n = 331) not abstinent at six months was not significantly different between groups (p = 0.23). Abstinence at 28 days was not different between groups (p = 0.67); at six months was greater in genotype than phenotype group (13.7% vs 7.9%, difference = 5.8%, 95% CI 1.0,10.7, p = 0.018).
Informing smokers their oral dose of NRT was tailored to genotype not phenotype had a small, statistically non-significant effect on 28-day adherence to NRT. Among those still smoking at six months, there was no evidence that saying NRT was tailored to genotype adversely affected motivation to make another quit attempt. Higher abstinence rate at six months in the genotype arm requires investigation.
Failure to take medication reduces the effectiveness of treatment leading to increased morbidity and mortality. We evaluated the efficacy of a consultation-based intervention to support objectively-assessed adherence to oral glucose lowering medication (OGLM) compared to usual care among people with type 2 diabetes.
This was a parallel group randomised trial in adult patients with type 2 diabetes and HbA1c≥7.5% (58 mmol/mol), prescribed at least one OGLM. Participants were allocated to a clinic nurse delivered, innovative consultation-based intervention to strengthen patient motivation to take OGLM regularly and support medicine taking through action-plans, or to usual care. The primary outcome was the percentage of days on which the prescribed dose of medication was taken, measured objectively over 12 weeks with an electronic medication-monitoring device (TrackCap, Aardex, Switzerland). The primary analysis was intention-to-treat.
211 patients were randomised between July 1, 2006 and November 30, 2008 in 13 British general practices (primary care clinics). Primary outcome data were available for 194 participants (91.9%). Mean (sd) percentage of adherent days was 77.4% (26.3) in the intervention group and 69.0% (30.8) in standard care (mean difference between groups 8.4%, 95% confidence interval 0.2% to 16.7%, p = 0.044). There was no significant adverse impact on functional status or treatment satisfaction.
This well-specified, theory based intervention delivered in a single session of 30 min in primary care increased objectively measured medication adherence, with no adverse effect on treatment satisfaction. These findings justify a definitive trial of this approach to improving medication adherence over a longer period of time, with clinical and cost-effectiveness outcomes to inform clinical practice.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN30522359
Adherence; Brief intervention; Diabetes
The national Cancer Reform Strategy recommends delivering care closer to home whenever possible. Cancer drug treatment has traditionally been administered to patients in specialist hospital-based facilities. Technological developments mean that nowadays, most treatment can be delivered in the out-patient setting. Increasing demand, care quality improvements and patient choice have stimulated interest in delivering some treatment to patients in the community, however, formal evaluation of delivering cancer treatment in different community settings is lacking. This randomised trial compares delivery of cancer treatment in the hospital with delivery in two different community settings: the patient's home and general practice (GP) surgeries.
Patients due to receive a minimum 12 week course of standard intravenous cancer treatment at two hospitals in the Anglia Cancer Network are randomised on a 1:1:1 basis to receive treatment in the hospital day unit (control arm), or their own home, or their choice of one of three neighbouring GP surgeries. Overall patient care, treatment prescribing and clinical review is undertaken according to standard local practice. All treatment is dispensed by the local hospital pharmacy and treatment is delivered by the hospital chemotherapy nurses. At four time points during the 12 week study period, information is collected from patients, nursing staff, primary and secondary care teams to address the primary end point, patient-perceived benefits (using the emotional function domain of the EORTC QLQC30 patient questionnaire), as well as secondary end points: patient satisfaction, safety and health economics.
The Outreach trial is the first randomised controlled trial conducted which compares delivery of out-patient based intravenous cancer treatment in two different community settings with standard hospital based treatment. Results of this study may better inform all key stakeholders regarding potential costs and benefits of transferring clinical services from hospital to the community.
Trial registration number
cancer treatment; chemotherapy; community care; care closer to home; out-patient service delivery
Breathlessness in advanced disease causes significant distress to patients and carers and presents management challenges to health care professionals. The Breathlessness Intervention Service (BIS) seeks to improve the care of breathless patients with advanced disease (regardless of cause) through the use of evidence-based practice and working with other healthcare providers. BIS delivers a complex intervention (of non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatments) via a multi-professional team. BIS is being continuously developed and its impact evaluated using the MRC's framework for complex interventions (PreClinical, Phase I and Phase II completed). This paper presents the protocol for Phase III.
Phase III comprises a pragmatic, fast-track, single-blind randomised controlled trial of BIS versus standard care. Due to differing disease trajectories, the service uses two broad service models: one for patients with malignant disease (intervention delivered over two weeks) and one for patients with non-malignant disease (intervention delivered over four weeks). The Phase III trial therefore consists of two sub-protocols: one for patients with malignant conditions (four week protocol) and one for patients with non-malignant conditions (eight week protocol). Mixed method interviews are conducted with patients and their lay carers at three to five measurement points depending on randomisation and sub-protocol. Qualitative interviews are conducted with referring and non-referring health care professionals (malignant disease protocol only). The primary outcome measure is 'patient distress due to breathlessness' measured on a numerical rating scale (0-10). The trial includes economic evaluation. Analysis will be on an intention to treat basis.
This is the first evaluation of a breathlessness intervention for advanced disease to have followed the MRC framework and one of the first palliative care trials to use fast track methodology and single-blinding. The results will provide evidence of the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the service, informing its longer term development and implementation of the model in other centres nationally and internationally. It adds to methodological developments in palliative care research where complex interventions are common but evidence sparse.
The increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes poses both clinical and public health challenges. Cost-effective approaches to prevent progression of the disease in primary care are needed. Evidence suggests that intensive multifactorial interventions including medication and behaviour change can significantly reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality among patients with established type 2 diabetes, and that patient education in self-management can improve short-term outcomes. However, existing studies cannot isolate the effects of behavioural interventions promoting self-care from other aspects of intensive primary care management. The ADDITION-Plus trial was designed to address these issues among recently diagnosed patients in primary care over one year.
ADDITION-Plus is an explanatory randomised controlled trial of a facilitator-led, theory-based behaviour change intervention tailored to individuals with recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes. 34 practices in the East Anglia region participated. 478 patients with diabetes were individually randomised to receive (i) intensive treatment alone (n = 239), or (ii) intensive treatment plus the facilitator-led individual behaviour change intervention (n = 239). Facilitators taught patients key skills to facilitate change and maintenance of key behaviours (physical activity, dietary change, medication adherence and smoking), including goal setting, action planning, self-monitoring and building habits. The intervention was delivered over one year at the participant's surgery and included a one-hour introductory meeting followed by six 30-minute meetings and four brief telephone calls. Primary endpoints are physical activity energy expenditure (assessed by individually calibrated heart rate monitoring and movement sensing), change in objectively measured dietary intake (plasma vitamin C), medication adherence (plasma drug levels), and smoking status (plasma cotinine levels) at one year. We will undertake an intention-to-treat analysis of the effect of the intervention on these measures, an assessment of cost-effectiveness, and analyse predictors of behaviour change in the cohort.
The ADDITION-Plus trial will establish the medium-term effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of adding an externally facilitated intervention tailored to support change in multiple behaviours among intensively-treated individuals with recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes in primary care. Results will inform policy recommendations concerning the management of patients early in the course of diabetes. Findings will also improve understanding of the factors influencing change in multiple behaviours, and their association with health outcomes.
Estimates of the risk of developing Crohn's disease (CD) can be made using DNA testing for mutations in the NOD2 (CARD15) gene, family history, and smoking status. Smoking doubles the risk of CD, a risk that is reduced by stopping. CD therefore serves as a timely and novel paradigm within which to assess the utility of predictive genetic testing to motivate behaviour change to reduce the risk of disease. The aim of the study is to describe the impact upon stopping smoking of communicating a risk of developing CD that incorporates DNA analysis. We will test the following main hypothesis:
Smokers who are first degree relatives (FDRs) of CD probands are more likely to make smoking cessation attempts following communication of risk estimates of developing CD that incorporate DNA analysis, compared with an equivalent communication that does not incorporate DNA analysis.
A parallel groups randomised controlled trial in which smokers who are FDRs of probands with CD are randomly allocated in families to undergo one of two types of assessment of risk for developing CD based on either:
i. DNA analysis, family history of CD and smoking status, or
ii. Family history of CD and smoking status
The primary outcome is stopping smoking for 24 hours or longer in the six months following provision of risk information. The secondary outcomes are seven-day smoking abstinence at one week and six month follow-ups. Randomisation of 470 smoking FDRs of CD probands, with 400 followed up (85%), provides 80% power to detect a difference in the primary outcome of 14% between randomised arms, at the 5% significance level.
This trial provides one of the strongest tests to date of the impact of communicating DNA-based risk assessment on risk-reducing behaviour change. Specific issues regarding the choice of trial design are discussed.
The behavioural impact of pharmacogenomics is untested; informing smokers of genetic test results for responsiveness to smoking cessation medication may increase adherence to this medication. The objective of this trial is to estimate the impact upon adherence to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) of informing smokers that their oral dose of NRT has been tailored to a DNA analysis. Hypotheses to be tested are as follows:
I Adherence to NRT is greater among smokers informed that their oral dose of NRT is tailored to an analysis of DNA (genotype), compared to one tailored to nicotine dependence questionnaire score (phenotype).
II Amongst smokers who fail to quit at six months, motivation to make another quit attempt is lower when informed that their oral dose of NRT was tailored to genotype rather than phenotype.
An open label, parallel groups randomised trial in which 630 adult smokers (smoking 10 or more cigarettes daily) using National Health Service (NHS) stop smoking services in primary care are randomly allocated to one of two groups:
i. NRT oral dose tailored by DNA analysis (OPRM1 gene) (genotype), or
ii. NRT oral dose tailored by nicotine dependence questionnaire score (phenotype)
The primary outcome is proportion of prescribed NRT consumed in the first 28 days following an initial quit attempt, with the secondary outcome being motivation to make another quit attempt, amongst smokers not abstinent at six months. Other outcomes include adherence to NRT in the first seven days and biochemically validated smoking abstinence at six months. The primary outcome will be collected on 630 smokers allowing sufficient power to detect a 7.5% difference in mean proportion of NRT consumed using a two-tailed test at the 5% level of significance between groups. The proportion of all NRT consumed in the first four weeks of quitting will be compared between arms using an independent samples t-test and by estimating the 95% confidence interval for observed between-arm difference in mean NRT consumption (Hypothesis I). Motivation to make another quit attempt will be compared between arms in those failing to quit by six months (Hypothesis II).
This is the first clinical trial evaluating the behavioural impact on adherence of prescribing medication using genetic rather than phenotypic information. Specific issues regarding the choice of design for trials of interventions of this kind are discussed.
Funder: Medical Research Council (MRC)
Grant number: G0500274
Date trial stated: June 2007
Expected end date: December 2009
Expected reporting date: December 2010
This paper explores whether and how the behavioral impact of genotype disclosure can be disentangled from the impact of numerical risk estimates generated by genetic tests. Secondary data analyses are presented from a randomized controlled trial of 162 first-degree relatives of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. Each participant received a lifetime risk estimate of AD. Control group estimates were based on age, gender, family history, and assumed ε4-negative apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype; intervention group estimates were based upon the first three variables plus true APOE genotype, which was also disclosed. AD-specific self-reported behavior change (diet, exercise, and medication use) was assessed at 12 months. Behavior change was significantly more likely with increasing risk estimates, and also more likely, but not significantly so, in ε4-positive intervention group participants (53% changed behavior) than in control group participants (31%). Intervention group participants receiving ε4-negative genotype feedback (24% changed behavior) and control group participants had similar rates of behavior change and risk estimates, the latter allowing assessment of the independent effects of genotype disclosure. However, collinearity between risk estimates and ε4-positive genotypes, which engender high-risk estimates, prevented assessment of the independent effect of the disclosure of an ε4 genotype. Novel study designs are proposed to determine whether genotype disclosure has an impact upon behavior beyond that of numerical risk estimates.
Objective To compare the effect of an invitation promoting informed choice for screening with a standard invitation on attendance and motivation to engage in preventive action.
Design Randomised controlled trial.
Setting Four English general practices.
Participants 1272 people aged 40-69 years, at risk for diabetes, identified from practice registers using a validated risk score and invited to attend for screening.
Intervention Intervention was a previously validated invitation to inform the decision to attend screening, presenting diabetes as a serious potential problem, and providing details of possible costs and benefits of screening and treatment in text and pie charts. This was compared with a brief, standard invitation simply describing diabetes as a serious potential problem.
Main outcome measures The primary end point was attendance for screening. The secondary outcome measures were intention to make changes to lifestyle and satisfaction with decisions made among attenders.
Results The primary end point was analysed for all 1272 participants. 55.8% (353/633) of those in the informed choice group attended for screening, compared with 57.6% (368/639) in the standard invitation group (mean difference −1.8%, 95% confidence interval −7.3% to 3.6%; P=0.51). Attendance was lower among the more deprived group (most deprived third 47.5% v least deprived third 64.3%; P<0.001). Interaction between deprivation and effect of invitation type on attendance was not significant. Among attenders, intention to change behaviour was strong and unaffected by invitation type.
Conclusions Providing information to support choice did not adversely affect attendance for screening for diabetes. Those from more socially deprived groups were, however, less likely to attend, regardless of the type of invitation received. Further attention to invitation content alone is unlikely to achieve equity in uptake of preventive services.
Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN 73125647.
Suspicious pigmented lesions are a common presenting problem in general practice consultations; while the majority are benign a small minority are melanomas. Differentiating melanomas from other pigmented lesions in primary care is challenging: currently, 95% of all lesions referred to a UK specialist are benign. The MoleMate system is a new diagnostic aid, incorporating a hand-held SIAscopy scanner with a primary care diagnostic algorithm. This trial tests the hypothesis that adding the MoleMate system to current best primary care practice will increase the proportion of appropriate referrals of suspicious pigmented lesions to secondary care compared with current best practice alone.
The MoleMate UK Trial is a primary care based multi-centre randomised controlled trial, with randomisation at patient level using a validated block randomisation method for two age groups (45 years and under; 46 years and over). We aim to recruit adult patients seen in general practice with a pigmented skin lesion that cannot immediately be diagnosed as benign and the patient reassured. The trial has a 'two parallel groups' design, comparing 'best practice' with 'best practice' plus the MoleMate system in the intervention group. The primary outcome is the positive predictive value (PPV) of referral defined as the proportion of referred lesions seen by secondary care experts that are considered 'clinically significant' (i.e. biopsied or monitored). Secondary outcomes include: the sensitivity, specificity and negative predictive value (NPV) of the decision not to refer; clinical outcomes (melanoma thickness, 5 year melanoma incidence and mortality); clinician outcomes (Index of Suspicion, confidence, learning effects); patient outcomes (satisfaction, general and cancer-specific worry), and cost-utility.
The MoleMate UK Trial tests a new technology designed to improve the management of suspicious pigmented lesions in primary care. If effective, the MoleMate system could reduce the burden on skin cancer clinics of patients with benign pigmented skin lesions, and improve patient care in general practice.
To explore the prevalence of lipid abnormalities and their relationship with albumin excretion and microalbuminuria in adolescents with type 1 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
The study population comprised 895 young subjects with type 1 diabetes (490 males); median age at the baseline assessment was 14.5 years (range 10–21.1), and median diabetes duration was 4.8 years (0.2–17). A total of 2,194 nonfasting blood samples were collected longitudinally for determination of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, TG, and non-HDL cholesterol. Additional annually collected data on anthropometric parameters, A1C, and albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) were available.
Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and non-HDL cholesterol were higher in females than in males (all P < 0.001). A significant proportion of subjects presented sustained lipid abnormalities during follow-up: total cholesterol >5.2 mmol/l (18.6%), non-HDL cholesterol >3.4 mmol/l (25.9%), TG >1.7 mmol/l (20.1%), and LDL cholesterol >3.4 mmol/l (9.6%). Age and duration were significantly related to all lipid parameters (P < 0.001); A1C was independently related to all parameters (P < 0.001) except HDL cholesterol, whereas BMI SD scores were related to all parameters (P < 0.05) except total cholesterol. Total cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol were independently related to longitudinal changes in ACR (B coefficient ± SE): 0.03 ± 0.01/1 mmol/l, P = 0.009, and 0.32 ± 0.014/1 mmol/l, P = 0.02, respectively. Overall mean total cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol were higher in microalbuminuria positive (n = 115) than in normoalbuminuric subjects (n = 780): total cholesterol 4.7 ± 1.2 vs. 4.5 ± 0.8 mmol/l (P = 0.04) and non-HDL cholesterol 3.2 ± 1.2 vs. 2.9 ± 0.8 mmol/l (P = 0.03).
In this longitudinal study of adolescents with type 1 diabetes, sustained lipid abnormalities were related to age, duration, BMI, and A1C. Furthermore, ACR was related to both total cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol, indicating a potential role in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy.
Objective To assess whether receiving a negative test result at primary care based stepwise diabetes screening results in false reassurance.
Design Parallel group cohort study embedded in a randomised controlled trial.
Setting 15 practices (10 screening, 5 control) in the ADDITION (Cambridge) trial.
Participants 5334 adults (aged 40-69) in the top quarter for risk of having undiagnosed type 2 diabetes (964 controls and 4370 screening attenders).
Main outcome measures Perceived personal and comparative risk of diabetes, intentions for behavioural change, and self rated health measured after an initial random blood glucose test and at 3-6 and 12-15 months later (equivalent time points for controls).
Results A linear mixed effects model with control for clustering by practice found no significant differences between controls and people who screened negative for diabetes in perceived personal risk, behavioural intentions, or self rated health after the first appointment or at 3-6 months or 12-15 months later. After the initial test, people who screened negative reported significantly (but slightly) lower perceived comparative risk (mean difference −0.16, 95% confidence interval −0.30 to −0.02; P=0.04) than the control group at the equivalent time point; no differences were evident at 3-6 and 12-15 months.
Conclusions A negative test result at diabetes screening does not seem to promote false reassurance, whether this is expressed as lower perceived risk, lower intentions for health related behavioural change, or higher self rated health. Implementing a widespread programme of primary care based stepwise screening for type 2 diabetes is unlikely to cause an adverse shift in the population distribution of plasma glucose and cardiovascular risk resulting from an increase in unhealthy behaviours arising from false reassurance among people who screen negative.
Trial registration Current controlled trials ISRCTN99175498.
The increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes poses a major public health challenge. Population-based screening and early treatment for type 2 diabetes could reduce this growing burden. However, the benefits of such a strategy remain uncertain.
Methods and design
The ADDITION-Cambridge study aims to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of (i) a stepwise screening strategy for type 2 diabetes; and (ii) intensive multifactorial treatment for people with screen-detected diabetes in primary care. 63 practices in the East Anglia region participated. Three undertook the pilot study, 33 were allocated to three groups: no screening (control), screening followed by intensive treatment (IT) and screening plus routine care (RC) in an unbalanced (1:3:3) randomisation. The remaining 27 practices were randomly allocated to IT and RC. A risk score incorporating routine practice data was used to identify people aged 40–69 years at high-risk of undiagnosed diabetes. In the screening practices, high-risk individuals were invited to take part in a stepwise screening programme. In the IT group, diabetes treatment is optimised through guidelines, target-led multifactorial treatment, audit, feedback, and academic detailing for practice teams, alongside provision of educational materials for newly diagnosed participants. Primary endpoints are modelled cardiovascular risk at one year, and cardiovascular mortality and morbidity at five years after diagnosis of diabetes. Secondary endpoints include all-cause mortality, development of renal and visual impairment, peripheral neuropathy, health service costs, self-reported quality of life, functional status and health utility. Impact of the screening programme at the population level is also assessed through measures of mortality, cardiovascular morbidity, health status and health service use among high-risk individuals.
ADDITION-Cambridge is conducted in a defined high-risk group accessible through primary care. It addresses the feasibility of population-based screening for diabetes, as well as the benefits and costs of screening and intensive multifactorial treatment early in the disease trajectory. The intensive treatment algorithm is based on evidence from studies including individuals with clinically diagnosed diabetes and the education materials are informed by psychological theory. ADDITION-Cambridge will provide timely evidence concerning the benefits of early intensive treatment and will inform policy decisions concerning screening for type 2 diabetes.
Current Controlled trials ISRCTN86769081
Screening invitations have traditionally been brief, providing information only about population benefits. Presenting information about the limited individual benefits and potential harms of screening to inform choice may reduce attendance, particularly in the more socially deprived. At the same time, amongst those who attend, it might increase motivation to change behavior to reduce risks. This trial assesses the impact on attendance and motivation to change behavior of an invitation that facilitates informed choices about participating in diabetes screening in general practice. Three hypotheses are tested:
1. Attendance at screening for diabetes is lower following an informed choice compared with a standard invitation.
2. There is an interaction between the type of invitation and social deprivation: attendance following an informed choice compared with a standard invitation is lower in those who are more rather than less socially deprived.
3. Amongst those who attend for screening, intentions to change behavior to reduce risks of complications in those subsequently diagnosed with diabetes are stronger following an informed choice invitation compared with a standard invitation.
1500 people aged 40–69 years without known diabetes but at high risk are identified from four general practice registers in the east of England. 1200 participants are randomized by households to receive one of two invitations to attend for diabetes screening at their general practices. The intervention invitation is designed to facilitate informed choices, and comprises detailed information and a decision aid. A comparison invitation is based on those currently in use. Screening involves a finger-prick blood glucose test. The primary outcome is attendance for diabetes screening. The secondary outcome is intention to change health related behaviors in those attenders diagnosed with diabetes. A sample size of 1200 ensures 90% power to detect a 10% difference in attendance between arms, and in an estimated 780 attenders, 80% power to detect a 0.2 sd difference in intention between arms.
The DICISION trial is a rigorous pragmatic denominator based clinical trial of an informed choice invitation to diabetes screening, which addresses some key limitations of previous trials.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN73125647
To assess the feasibility and uptake of a diabetes screening programme; to examine the effects of invitation to diabetes screening on anxiety, self-rated health and illness perceptions.
Randomised controlled trial in two general practices in Cambridgeshire. Individuals aged 40–69 without known diabetes were identified as being at high risk of having undiagnosed type 2 diabetes using patient records and a validated risk score (n = 1,280). 355 individuals were randomised in a 2 to 1 ratio into non-invited (n = 238) and invited (n = 116) groups. A stepwise screening programme confirmed the presence or absence of diabetes. Six weeks after the last contact (either test or invitation), a questionnaire was sent to all participants, including non-attenders and those who were not originally invited. Outcome measures included attendance, anxiety (short-form Spielberger State Anxiety Inventory-STAI), self-rated health and diabetes illness perceptions.
95 people (82% of those invited) attended for the initial capillary blood test. Six individuals were diagnosed with diabetes. Invited participants were more anxious than those not invited (37.6 vs. 34.1 STAI, p-value = 0.015), and those diagnosed with diabetes were considerably more anxious than those classified free of diabetes (46.7 vs. 37.0 STAI, p-value = 0.031). Non-attenders had a higher mean treatment control sub-scale (3.87 vs. 3.56, p-value = 0.016) and a lower mean emotional representation sub-scale (1.81 vs. 2.68, p-value = 0.001) than attenders. No differences in the other five illness perception sub-scales or self-rated health were found.
Screening for type 2 diabetes in primary care is feasible but may be associated with higher levels of short-term anxiety among invited compared with non-invited participants.
Although some interventions have been shown to improve adherence to medication for diabetes, results are not consistent. We have developed a theory-based intervention which we will evaluate in a well characterised population to test efficacy and guide future intervention development and trial design.
Methods and Design
The SAMS (Supported Adherence to Medication Study) trial is a primary care based multi-centre randomised controlled trial among 200 patients with type 2 diabetes and an HbA1c of 7.5% or above. It is designed to evaluate the efficacy of a two-component motivational intervention based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour and volitional action planning to support medication adherence compared with standard care. The intervention is delivered by practice nurses. Nurses were trained using a workshop approach with role play and supervised using assessment of tape-recorded consultations. The trial has a two parallel groups design with an unbalanced three-to-two individual randomisation eight weeks after recruitment with twelve week follow-up. The primary outcome is medication adherence measured using an electronic medication monitor over 12 weeks and expressed as the difference between intervention and control in mean percentage of days on which the correct number of medication doses is taken. Subgroup analyses will explore impact of number of medications taken, age, HbA1c, and self-reported adherence at baseline on outcomes. The study also measures the effect of dispensing medication to trial participants packaged in the electronic medication-monitoring device compared with conventional medication packaging. This will be achieved through one-to-one randomisation at recruitment to these conditions with assessment of the difference between groups in self-report of medication adherence and change in mean HbA1c from baseline to eight weeks. Anonymised demographic data are collected on non-respondents. Central randomisation is carried out independently of trial co-ordination and practices using minimisation to adjust for selected confounders.
The SAMS intervention and trial design address weaknesses of previous research by recruitment from a well-characterised population, definition of a feasible theory based intervention to support medication taking and careful measurement to estimate and interpret efficacy. The results will inform practice and the design of a cost-effectiveness trial [ISRCTN30522359].
Objectives To describe independent predictors for the development of
microalbuminuria and progression to macroalbuminuria in those with childhood
onset type 1 diabetes.
Design Prospective observational study with follow-up for 9.8 (SD
Setting Oxford regional prospective study.
Participants 527 participants with a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes at
mean age 8.8 (SD 4.0) years.
Main outcome measures Annual measurement of glycated haemoglobin
(HbA1c) and assessment of urinary albumin:creatinine ratio.
Results Cumulative prevalence of microalbuminuria was 25.7% (95%
confidence interval 21.3% to 30.1%) after 10 years of diabetes and 50.7% (40.5%
to 60.9%) after 19 years of diabetes and 5182 patient years of follow-up. The
only modifiable adjusted predictor for microalbuminuria was high
HbA1c concentrations (hazard ratio per 1% rise in HbA1c
1.39, 1.27 to 1.52). Blood pressure and history of smoking were not predictors.
Microalbuminuria was persistent in 48% of patients. Cumulative prevalence of
progression from microalbuminuria to macroalbuminuria was 13.9% (12.9% to
14.9%); progression occurred at a mean age of 18.5 (5.8) years. Although the
sample size was small, modifiable predictors of macroalbuminuria were higher
HbA1c levels and both persistent and intermittent
microalbuminuria (hazard ratios 1.42 (1.22 to 1.78), 27.72 (7.99 to 96.12), and
8.76 (2.44 to 31.44), respectively).
Conclusion In childhood onset type 1 diabetes, the only modifiable
predictors were poor glycaemic control for the development of microalbuminuria
and poor control and microalbuminuria (both persistent and intermittent) for
progression to macroalbuminuria. Risk for macroalbuminuria is similar to that
observed in cohorts with adult onset disease but as it occurs in young adult
life early intervention in normotensive adolescents might be needed to improve