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author:("tinel, Iris")
1.  Collaborative treatment of late-life depression in primary care (GermanIMPACT): study protocol of a cluster-randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2014;15(1):351.
Background
Depression is not a normal side effect of aging, however it is one of the most prevalent mental health issues in later life, imposing a tremendous burden on patients, their families, and the healthcare system. We describe the experimental implementation of a collaborative, stepped-care model for the treatment of late-life depression (GermanIMPACT trial) in the German primary care context. GermanIMPACT was developed as an adaptation of a successful and widely used American model. The aim of the study is to evaluate the model’s applicability to the German primary care setting and its cost-effectiveness.
Methods/Design
The study will be conducted as a cluster-randomized controlled trial comparing the development of depressive symptoms in primary care patients who either receive treatment as usual (control arm) or treatment according to the GermanIMPACT model (intervention arm). In two German cities (Freiburg and Hamburg), a total of 60 general practice offices will be selected and randomized. Each general practice office will be asked to enroll five patients into the trial who are 60 years of age or older and who show moderate depressive symptoms in the scope of a diagnosed depressive episode, recurrent depressive disorder, or dysthymia. General practices in the control arm will provide treatment as usual; general practices in the intervention arm will work closely with a specially trained care manager and a supervising mental health specialist. Evidence-based elements of the treatment plan manual include patient education, identification and integration of positive activities into the daily routine, relapse prevention, and training of problem-solving techniques as needed. The intervention period per patient will be one year. Data will be collected at baseline, 6, and 12 months. Primary outcome is the patient-reported change of depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire, PHQ-9). Secondary outcomes include measures of quality of life, anxiety, depression-related behavior, problem-solving skills, resilience, and an overall economic evaluation of the program.
Discussion
The GermanIMPACT trial will provide evidence about the effectiveness, feasibility, and cost-effectiveness of collaborative stepped care in treating late-life depression in German primary care. Positive results will be a first step toward integrating specialized depression care managers into the primary care setting.
Trial registration
German Clinical Trials Register: DRKS00003589 (September 2012).
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-15-351
PMCID: PMC4247596  PMID: 25195020
Collaborative care; Late-life depression; Stepped care
2.  Shared decision-making in antihypertensive therapy: a cluster randomised controlled trial 
BMC Family Practice  2013;14:135.
Background
Hypertension is one of the key factors causing cardiovascular diseases. A substantial proportion of treated hypertensive patients do not reach recommended target blood pressure values. Shared decision making (SDM) is to enhance the active role of patients. As until now there exists little information on the effects of SDM training in antihypertensive therapy, we tested the effect of an SDM training programme for general practitioners (GPs). Our hypotheses are that this SDM training (1) enhances the participation of patients and (2) leads to an enhanced decrease in blood pressure (BP) values, compared to patients receiving usual care without prior SDM training for GPs.
Methods
The study was conducted as a cluster randomised controlled trial (cRCT) with GP practices in Southwest Germany. Each GP practice included patients with treated but uncontrolled hypertension and/or with relevant comorbidity. After baseline assessment (T0) GP practices were randomly allocated into an intervention and a control arm. GPs of the intervention group took part in the SDM training. GPs of the control group treated their patients as usual. The intervention was blinded to the patients. Primary endpoints on patient level were (1) change of patients’ perceived participation (SDM-Q-9) and (2) change of systolic BP (24h-mean). Secondary endpoints were changes of (1) diastolic BP (24h-mean), (2) patients’ knowledge about hypertension, (3) adherence (MARS-D), and (4) cardiovascular risk score (CVR).
Results
In total 1357 patients from 36 general practices were screened for blood pressure control by ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM). Thereof 1120 patients remained in the study because of uncontrolled (but treated) hypertension and/or a relevant comorbidity. At T0 the intervention group involved 17 GP practices with 552 patients and the control group 19 GP practices with 568 patients. The effectiveness analysis could not demonstrate a significant or relevant effect of the SDM training on any of the endpoints.
Conclusion
The study hypothesis that the SDM training enhanced patients’ perceived participation and lowered their BP could not be confirmed. Further research is needed to examine the impact of patient participation on the treatment of hypertension in primary care.
Trial registration
German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS): DRKS00000125
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-14-135
PMCID: PMC3847233  PMID: 24024587
Hypertension; Shared decision-making; Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring; Educational training; Primary care; Family medicine; Cluster randomised controlled trial
3.  Implementation of shared decision making by physician training to optimise hypertension treatment. Study protocol of a cluster-RCT 
Background
Hypertension is one of the key factors causing cardiovascular diseases which make up the most frequent cause of death in industrialised nations. However about 60% of hypertensive patients in Germany treated with antihypertensives do not reach the recommended target blood pressure. The involvement of patients in medical decision making fulfils not only an ethical imperative but, furthermore, has the potential of higher treatment success. One concept to enhance the active role of patients is shared decision making. Until now there exists little information on the effects of shared decision making trainings for general practitioners on patient participation and on lowering blood pressure in hypertensive patients.
Methods/Design
In a cluster-randomised controlled trial 1800 patients receiving antihypertensives will be screened with 24 h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in their general practitioners’ practices. Only patients who have not reached their blood pressure target (approximately 1200) will remain in the study (T1 – T3). General practitioners of the intervention group will take part in a shared decision making-training after baseline assessment (T0). General practitioners of the control group will treat their patients as usual. Primary endpoints are change of systolic blood pressure and change of patients’ perceived participation. Secondary endpoints are changes of diastolic blood pressure, knowledge, medical adherence and cardiovascular risk. Data analysis will be performed with mixed effects models.
Discussion
The hypothesis underlying this study is that shared decision making, realised by a shared decision making training for general practitioners, activates patients, facilitates patients’ empowerment and contributes to a better hypertension control. This study is the first one that tests this hypothesis with a (cluster-) randomised trial and a large sample size.
Trial registration
WHO International Clinical Trials: http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/Trial.aspx?TrialID=DRKS00000125
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-12-73
PMCID: PMC3467178  PMID: 22966894
Arterial hypertension; Cardiovascular diseases; Cardiovascular risk; Shared decision making; Educational training; Blood pressure control; Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring; Adherence; Primary care; Family medicine

Results 1-3 (3)