To determine to what extent FPs teach and use pneumatic otoscopy and to identify the chief influences on this behaviour.
Mixed-methods descriptive study conducted between March and May 2011.
The family medicine residency program at Laval University in Quebec city, Que.
Directors of the family medicine teaching units (FMTUs), teachers, and residents.
We used questionnaires to assess the availability of pneumatic otoscopy equipment in 12 FMTUs, current behaviour and behavioural intention among physicians (residents and teachers) to use or teach pneumatic otoscopy, and facilitators and barriers to these practices. We also conducted 2 focus groups to further explore the facilitators of and barriers to using pneumatic otoscopy. We used descriptive statistics for quantitative data, transcribed the qualitative material, and performed content analysis.
Eight of the 12 FMTUs reported having pneumatic otoscopy equipment. Four had it in all of their consulting rooms, and 2 formally taught it. Nine (4%) of 211 physicians reported regular use of pneumatic otoscopy. Mean (SD) intention to teach or use pneumatic otoscopy during the next year was low (2.4 [1.0] out of 5). Teachers identified improved diagnostic accuracy as the main facilitator both for use and for teaching, while residents identified recommendation by practice guidelines as the main facilitator for use. All physicians reported lack of availability of equipment as the main barrier to use. The main barrier to teaching pneumatic otoscopy reported by teachers was that they did not use it themselves. In focus groups, themes of consequences, capabilities, and socioprofessional influences were most dominant. Residents clearly identified role modeling by teachers as facilitating the use of pneumatic otoscopy.
Pneumatic otoscopy is minimally used and taught in the family medicine residency program studied. Interventions to increase its use should target identified underlying beliefs and facilitators of and barriers to its use and teaching.
While shared decision making (SDM) and adherence to clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) are important, some believe they are incompatible. This study explored the mutual influence between physicians’ intention to engage in SDM and their intention to follow CPGs.
Embedded within a clustered randomized trial to assess the impact of training physicians in SDM about using antibiotics to treat acute respiratory tract infections, this study evaluated physicians’ intentions to both engage in SDM and follow CPGs. A self-administered questionnaire based on the theory of planned behavior evaluated both behavioral intentions and their respective determinants (attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioral control) at study entry and exit. We used path analysis to explore the relationships between the intentions. We conducted statistical analyses using the maximum likelihood method and the variance-covariance matrix. Goodness of fit indices encompassed the chi-square statistic, the comparative fit index and the root mean square error of approximation.
We analyzed 244 responses at entry and 236 at exit. In the control group, at entry we observed that physicians’ intention to engage in SDM (r = 0, t = 0.03) did not affect their intention to follow CPGs; however, their intention to follow CPGs (r = −0.31 t = −2.82) did negatively influence their intention to engage in SDM. At exit, neither behavioral intention influenced the other. In the experimental group, at entry neither behavioral intention influenced the other; at exit, the intention to engage in SDM still did not influence the intention to use CPGs, although the intention to follow CPGs (r = −0.15 t = −2.02) slightly negatively influenced the intention to engage in SDM, but this was not clinically significant.
Physicians’ intention to engage in SDM does not affect their intention to adopt CPGs even after SDM training. Physicians’ intention to adopt CPGs had no clinically significant influence on intention to engage in SDM.
Few interventions have proven effective in reducing the overuse of antibiotics for acute respiratory infections. We evaluated the effect of DECISION+2, a shared decision-making training program, on the percentage of patients who decided to take antibiotics after consultation with a physician or resident.
We performed a randomized trial, clustered at the level of family practice teaching unit, with 2 study arms: DECISION+2 and control. The DECISION+2 training program included a 2-hour online tutorial followed by a 2-hour interactive seminar about shared decision-making. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients who decided to use antibiotics immediately after consultation. We also recorded patients’ perception that shared decision-making had occurred. Two weeks after the initial consultation, we assessed patients’ adherence to the decision, repeat consultation, decisional regret and quality of life.
We compared outcomes among 181 patients who consulted 77 physicians in 5 family practice teaching units in the DECISION+2 group, and 178 patients who consulted 72 physicians in 4 family practice teaching units in the control group. The percentage of patients who decided to use antibiotics after consultation was 52.2% in the control group and 27.2% in the DECISION+2 group (absolute difference 25.0%, adjusted relative risk 0.48, 95% confidence interval 0.34–0.68). DECISION+2 was associated with patients taking a more active role in decision-making (Z = 3.9, p < 0.001). Patient outcomes 2 weeks after consultation were similar in both groups.
The shared decision-making program DECISION+2 enhanced patient participation in decision-making and led to fewer patients deciding to use antibiotics for acute respiratory infections. This reduction did not have a negative effect on patient outcomes 2 weeks after consultation.
ClinicalTrials.gov trial register no. NCT01116076.
Decision Boxes are summaries of the most important benefits and harms of health interventions provided to clinicians before they meet the patient, to prepare them to help patients make informed and value-based decisions. Our objective is to explore the barriers and facilitators to using Decision Boxes in clinical practice, more precisely factors stemming from (1) the Decision Boxes themselves, (2) the primary healthcare team (PHT), and (3) the primary care practice environment.
A two-phase mixed methods study will be conducted. Eight Decision Boxes relevant to primary care, and written in both English and in French, will be hosted on a website together with a tutorial to introduce the Decision Box. The Decision Boxes will be delivered as weekly emails over a span of eight weeks to clinicians of PHTs (family physicians, residents and nurses) in five primary care clinics located across two Canadian provinces. Using a web-questionnaire, clinicians will rate each Decision Box with the Information Assessment Method (cognitive impacts, relevance, usefulness, expected benefits) and with a questionnaire based on the Theory of Planned Behavior to study the determinants of clinicians’ intention to use what they learned from that Decision Box in their patient encounter (attitude, social norm, perceived behavioral control). Web-log data will be used to monitor clinicians’ access to the website. Following the 8-week intervention, we will conduct semi-structured group interviews with clinicians and individual interviews with clinic administrators to explore contextual factors influencing the use of the Decision Boxes. Data collected from questionnaires, focus groups and individual interviews will be combined to identify factors potentially influencing implementation of Decision Boxes in clinical practice by clinicians of PHTs.
This project will allow tailoring of Decision Boxes and their delivery to overcome the specific barriers identified by clinicians of PHTs to improve the implementation of shared decision making in this setting.
(3–10); Evidence-based practice; Continuing professional education; Risk communication; Patient-centered care; Counselling; Clinical topic summary; Decision support; Knowledge translation; Implementation science
This project engages patients and physicians in the development of Decision Boxes, short clinical topic summaries covering medical questions that have no single best answer. Decision Boxes aim to prepare the clinician to communicate the risks and benefits of the available options to the patient so they can make an informed decision together.
Seven researchers (including four practicing family physicians) selected 10 clinical topics relevant to primary care practice through a Delphi survey. We then developed two one-page prototypes on two of these topics: prostate cancer screening with the prostate-specific antigen test, and prenatal screening for trisomy 21 with the serum integrated test. We presented the prototypes to purposeful samples of family physicians distributed in two focus groups, and patients distributed in four focus groups. We used the User Experience Honeycomb to explore barriers and facilitators to the communication design used in Decision Boxes. All discussions were transcribed, and three researchers proceeded to thematic content analysis of the transcriptions. The coding scheme was first developed from the Honeycomb’s seven themes (valuable, usable, credible, useful, desirable, accessible, and findable), and included new themes suggested by the data. Prototypes were modified in light of our findings.
Three rounds were necessary for a majority of researchers to select 10 clinical topics. Fifteen physicians and 33 patients participated in the focus groups. Following analyses, three sections were added to the Decision Boxes: introduction, patient counseling, and references. The information was spread to two pages to try to make the Decision Boxes less busy and improve users’ first impression. To try to improve credibility, we gave more visibility to the research institutions involved in development. A statement on the boxes’ purpose and a flow chart representing the shared decision-making process were added with the intent of clarifying the tool’s purpose. Information about the risks and benefits according to risk levels was added to the Decision Boxes, to try to ease the adaptation of the information to individual patients.
Results will guide the development of the eight remaining Decision Boxes. A future study will evaluate the effect of Decision Boxes on the integration of evidence-based and shared decision making principles in clinical practice.
Evidence-based medicine; User experience; Risk communication; Usability; Patient-centered care; Counselling; Clinical topic summary; Decision support; Knowledge translation; Communication design
Shared decision-making is not widely implemented in healthcare. We aimed to set a research agenda about promoting shared decision-making through continuing professional development.
Thirty-six participants met for two days.
Participants suggested ways to improve an environmental scan that had inventoried 53 shared decision-making training programs from 14 countries. Their proposed research agenda included reaching an international consensus on shared decision-making competencies and creating a framework for accrediting continuing professional development initiatives in shared decision-making.
Variability in shared decision-making training programs showcases the need for quality assurance frameworks.
Applying evidence is one of the most challenging steps of evidence-based clinical practice. Healthcare professionals have difficulty interpreting evidence and translating it to patients. Decision boxes are summaries of the most important benefits and harms of diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive health interventions provided to healthcare professionals before they meet the patient. Our hypothesis is that Decision boxes will prepare clinicians to help patients make informed value-based decisions. By acting as primers, the boxes will enhance the application of evidence-based practices and increase shared decision making during the clinical encounter. The objectives of this study are to provide a framework for developing Decision boxes and testing their value to users.
We will begin by developing Decision box prototypes for 10 clinical conditions or topics based on a review of the research on risk communication. We will present two prototypes to purposeful samples of 16 family physicians distributed in two focus groups, and 32 patients distributed in four focus groups. We will use the User Experience Model framework to explore users' perceptions of the content and format of each prototype. All discussions will be transcribed, and two researchers will independently perform a hybrid deductive/inductive thematic qualitative analysis of the data. The coding scheme will be developed a priori from the User Experience Model's seven themes (valuable, usable, credible, useful, desirable, accessible and findable), and will include new themes suggested by the data (inductive analysis). Key findings will be triangulated using additional publications on the design of tools to improve risk communication. All 10 Decision boxes will be modified in light of our findings.
This study will produce a robust framework for developing and testing Decision boxes that will serve healthcare professionals and patients alike. It is the first step in the development and implementation of a new tool that should facilitate decision making in clinical practice.
Continuing professional development (CPD) is one of the principal means by which health professionals (i.e. primary care physicians and specialists) maintain, improve, and broaden the knowledge and skills required for optimal patient care and safety. However, the lack of a widely accepted instrument to assess the impact of CPD activities on clinical practice thwarts researchers' comparisons of the effectiveness of CPD activities. Using an integrated model for the study of healthcare professionals' behaviour, our objective is to develop a theory-based, valid, reliable global instrument to assess the impact of accredited CPD activities on clinical practice.
Phase 1: We will analyze the instruments identified in a systematic review of factors influencing health professionals' behaviours using criteria that reflect the literature on measurement development and CPD decision makers' priorities. The outcome of this phase will be an inventory of instruments based on social cognitive theories. Phase 2: Working from this inventory, the most relevant instruments and their related items for assessing the concepts listed in the integrated model will be selected. Through an e-Delphi process, we will verify whether these instruments are acceptable, what aspects need revision, and whether important items are missing and should be added. The outcome of this phase will be a new global instrument integrating the most relevant tools to fit our integrated model of healthcare professionals' behaviour. Phase 3: Two data collections are planned: (1) a test-retest of the new instrument, including item analysis, to assess its reliability and (2) a study using the instrument before and after CPD activities with a randomly selected control group to explore the instrument's mere-measurement effect. Phase 4: We will conduct individual interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders to identify anticipated barriers and enablers for implementing the new instrument in CPD practice. Phase 5: Drawing on the results from the previous phases, we will use consensus-building methods to develop with the decision makers a plan to implement the new instrument.
This project proposes to give stakeholders a theory-based global instrument to validly and reliably measure the impacts of CPD activities on clinical practice, thus laying the groundwork for more targeted and effective knowledge-translation interventions in the future.
To explore ways to reduce the overuse of antibiotics for acute respiratory infections (ARIs), we conducted a pilot clustered randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate DECISION+, a training program in shared decision making (SDM) for family physicians (FPs). This pilot project demonstrated the feasibility of conducting a large clustered RCT and showed that DECISION+ reduced the proportion of patients who decided to use antibiotics immediately after consulting their physician. Consequently, the objective of this study is to evaluate, in patients consulting for ARIs, if exposure of physicians to a modified version of DECISION+, DECISION+2, would reduce the proportion of patients who decide to use antibiotics immediately after consulting their physician.
The study is a multi-center, two-arm, parallel clustered RCT. The 12 family practice teaching units (FPTUs) in the network of the Department of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine of Université Laval will be randomized to a DECISION+2 intervention group (experimental group) or to a no-intervention control group. These FPTUs will recruit patients consulting family physicians and residents in family medicine enrolled in the study. There will be two data collection periods: pre-intervention (baseline) including 175 patients with ARIs in each study arm, and post-intervention including 175 patients with ARIs in each study arm (total n = 700). The primary outcome will be the proportion of patients reporting a decision to use antibiotics immediately after consulting their physician. Secondary outcome measures include: 1) physicians and patients' decisional conflict; 2) the agreement between the parties' decisional conflict scores; and 3) perception of patients and physicians that SDM occurred. Also in patients, at 2 weeks follow-up, adherence to the decision, consultation for the same reason, decisional regret, and quality of life will be assessed. Finally, in both patients and physicians, intention to engage in SDM in future clinical encounters will be assessed. Intention-to-treat analyses will be applied and account for the nested design of the trial will be taken into consideration.
DECISION+2 has the potential to reduce antibiotics use for ARIs by priming physicians and patients to share decisional process and empowering patients to make informed, value-based decisions.
The misuse and limited effectiveness of antibiotics for acute respiratory infections (ARIs) are well documented, and current approaches targeting physicians or patients to improve appropriate use have had limited effect. Shared decision-making could be a promising strategy to improve appropriate antibiotic use for ARIs, but very little is known about its implementation processes and outcomes in clinical settings. In this matter, pilot studies have played a key role in health science research over the past years in providing information for the planning, justification, and/or refinement of larger studies. The objective of our study was to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the study design, procedures, and intervention of the DECISION+ program, a continuing medical education program in shared decision-making among family physicians and their patients on the optimal use of antibiotics for treating ARIs in primary care.
A pilot clustered randomised trial was conducted. Family medicine groups (FMGs) were randomly assigned, to either the DECISION+ program, which included three 3-hour workshops over a four- to six-month period, or a control group that had a delayed exposure to the program.
Among 21 FMGs contacted, 5 (24%) agreed to participate in the pilot study. A total of 39 family physicians (18 in the two experimental and 21 in the three control FMGs) and their 544 patients consulting for an ARI were recruited. The proportion of recruited family physicians who participated in all three workshops was 46% (50% for the experimental group and 43% for the control group), and the overall mean level of satisfaction regarding the workshops was 94%.
This trial, while aiming to demonstrate the feasibility and acceptability of conducting a larger study, has identified important opportunities for improving the design of a definitive trial. This pilot trial is informative for researchers and clinicians interested in designing and/or conducting studies with FMGs regarding training of physicians in shared decision-making.
In North America, acute respiratory infections are the main reason for doctors' visits in primary care. Family physicians and their patients overuse antibiotics for treating acute respiratory infections. In a pilot clustered randomized trial, we showed that DECISION+, a continuing medical education program in shared decision making, has the potential to reduce the overuse of antibiotics for treating acute respiratory infections. DECISION+ learning activities consisted of three interactive sessions of three hours each, reminders at the point of care, and feedback to doctors on their agreement with patients about comfort with the decision whether to use antibiotics. The objective of this study is to identify the barriers and facilitators to physicians' participation in DECISION+ with the goal of disseminating DECISION+ on a larger scale.
This descriptive study will use mixed methods and retrospective and prospective components. All analyses will be based on an adapted version of the Ottawa Model of Research Use. First, we will use qualitative methods to analyze the following retrospective data from the pilot study: the logbooks of eight research assistants, the transcriptions of 15 training sessions, and 27 participant evaluations of the DECISION+ training sessions. Second, we will collect prospective data in semi-structured focus groups composed of family physicians to identify barriers and facilitators to the dissemination of a future training program similar to DECISION+. All 39 family physicians exposed to DECISION+ during the pilot project will be eligible to participate. We will use a self-administered questionnaire based on Azjen's Theory of Planned Behaviour to assess participants' intention to take part in future training programs similar to DECISION+.
Barriers and facilitators identified in this project will guide modifications to DECISION+, a continuing medical education program in shared decision making regarding the use of antibiotics in acute respiratory infections, to facilitate its dissemination in primary care on a large scale. Our results should help continuing medical educators develop a continuing medical education program in shared decision making for other clinically relevant topics. This will help optimize clinical decisions in primary care.
Shared decision making (SDM) is a process by which a healthcare choice is made jointly by the healthcare professional and the patient. SDM is the essential element of patient-centered care, a core concept of primary care. However, SDM is seldom translated into primary practice. Continuing professional development (CPD) is the principal means by which healthcare professionals continue to gain, improve, and broaden the knowledge and skills required for patient-centered care. Our international collaboration seeks to improve the knowledge base of CPD that targets translating SDM into the clinical practice of primary care in diverse healthcare systems.
Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), our project is to form an international, interdisciplinary research team composed of health services researchers, physicians, nurses, psychologists, dietitians, CPD decision makers and others who will study how CPD causes SDM to be practiced in primary care. We will perform an environmental scan to create an inventory of CPD programs and related activities for translating SDM into clinical practice. These programs will be critically assessed and compared according to their strengths and limitations. We will use the empirical data that results from the environmental scan and the critical appraisal to identify knowledge gaps and generate a research agenda during a two-day workshop to be held in Quebec City. We will ask CPD stakeholders to validate these knowledge gaps and the research agenda.
This project will analyse existing CPD programs and related activities for translating SDM into the practice of primary care. Because this international collaboration will develop and identify various factors influencing SDM, the project could shed new light on how SDM is implemented in primary care.
The electronic health record (EHR) is an important application of information and communication technologies to the healthcare sector. EHR implementation is expected to produce benefits for patients, professionals, organisations, and the population as a whole. These benefits cannot be achieved without the adoption of EHR by healthcare professionals. Nevertheless, the influence of individual and organisational factors in determining EHR adoption is still unclear. This study aims to assess the unique contribution of individual and organisational factors on EHR adoption in healthcare settings, as well as possible interrelations between these factors.
A prospective study will be conducted. A stratified random sampling method will be used to select 50 healthcare organisations in the Quebec City Health Region (Canada). At the individual level, a sample of 15 to 30 health professionals will be chosen within each organisation depending on its size. A semi-structured questionnaire will be administered to two key informants in each organisation to collect organisational data. A composite adoption score of EHR adoption will be developed based on a Delphi process and will be used as the outcome variable. Twelve to eighteen months after the first contact, depending on the pace of EHR implementation, key informants and clinicians will be contacted once again to monitor the evolution of EHR adoption. A multilevel regression model will be applied to identify the organisational and individual determinants of EHR adoption in clinical settings. Alternative analytical models would be applied if necessary.
The study will assess the contribution of organisational and individual factors, as well as their interactions, to the implementation of EHR in clinical settings.
These results will be very relevant for decision makers and managers who are facing the challenge of implementing EHR in the healthcare system. In addition, this research constitutes a major contribution to the field of knowledge transfer and implementation science.
Compliance with post-vasectomy semen analysis could be improved with the availability of a simple, rapid and accurate home test. SpermCheck Vasectomy®, a highly sensitive lateral flow immunochromatographic diagnostic device, was designed to detect extreme oligospermia or azoospermia in men after vasectomy. We report the results of clinical and consumer testing of SpermCheck.
Materials and Methods
A prospective, noncomparative observational study assessed the ability of SpermCheck Vasectomy to predict post-vasectomy sperm counts obtained using a hemacytometer procedure based on standard World Health Organization methodology. Consumer studies evaluated ease of use.
A cohort of 144 post-vasectomy semen samples was tested in the clinical trial. SpermCheck was 96% accurate in predicting whether sperm counts were greater or less than a threshold of 250,000 sperm per ml, a level associated with little or no risk of pregnancy. Sensitivity was 93% (95% CI 79% to 98%) and specificity was 97% (91% to 99%). The positive predictive value of the test was 93% (79% to 98%), and most importantly the negative predictive value was 97% (91% to 99%). The test gave a positive result 100% of the time at sperm concentrations of 385,000/ml or greater. Consumer studies with 109 lay volunteers showed that SpermCheck was easy to use. Volunteers obtained the correct or expected test result in every case and the correct response rate on a 20 question survey about the test was 97%.
SpermCheck Vasectomy, a simple and reliable immunodiagnostic test that can provide evidence of vasectomy success or failure, offers a useful alternative to improve compliance with post-vasectomy sperm monitoring. It is currently the only Food and Drug Administration approved test for this purpose.
vasectomy; spermatozoa; cytology; sperm count; instrumentation
While the evidence suggests that the way physicians provide information to patients is crucial in helping patients decide upon a course of action, the field of knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) is silent about how the physician and the patient influence each other during clinical interactions and decision-making. Consequently, based on a novel relationship-centered model, EXACKTE2 (EXploiting the clinicAl Consultation as a Knowledge Transfer and Exchange Environment), this study proposes to assess how patients and physicians influence each other in consultations.
We will employ a cross-sectional study design involving 300 pairs of patients and family physicians from two primary care practice-based research networks. The consultation between patient and physician will be audio-taped and transcribed. Following the consultation, patients and physicians will complete a set of questionnaires based on the EXACKTE2 model. All questionnaires will be similar for patients and physicians. These questionnaires will assess the key concepts of our proposed model based on the essential elements of shared decision-making (SDM): definition and explanation of problem; presentation of options; discussion of pros and cons; clarification of patient values and preferences; discussion of patient ability and self-efficacy; presentation of doctor knowledge and recommendation; and checking and clarifying understanding. Patients will be contacted by phone two weeks later and asked to complete questionnaires on decisional regret and quality of life. The analysis will be conducted to compare the key concepts in the EXACKTE2 model between patients and physicians. It will also allow the assessment of how patients and physicians influence each other in consultations.
Our proposed model, EXACKTE2, is aimed at advancing the science of KTE based on a relationship process when decision-making has to take place. It fosters a new KTE paradigm by putting forward a relationship-centered perspective and has the potential to reveal unknown mechanisms that underline effective KTE in clinical contexts. This will result in better understanding of the mechanisms that may promote a new generation of knowledge transfer strategies.
E-health is increasingly valued for supporting: 1) access to quality health care services for all citizens; 2) information flow and exchange; 3) integrated health care services and 4) interprofessional collaboration. Nevertheless, several questions remain on the factors allowing an optimal integration of e-health in health care policies, organisations and practices. An evidence-based integrated strategy would maximise the efficacy and efficiency of e-health implementation. However, decisions regarding e-health applications are usually not evidence-based, which can lead to a sub-optimal use of these technologies. This study aims at understanding factors influencing the application of scientific knowledge for an optimal implementation of e-health in the health care system.
A three-year multi-method study is being conducted in the Province of Quebec (Canada). Decision-making at each decisional level (political, organisational and clinical) are analysed based on specific approaches. At the political level, critical incidents analysis is being used. This method will identify how decisions regarding the implementation of e-health could be influenced or not by scientific knowledge. Then, interviews with key-decision-makers will look at how knowledge was actually used to support their decisions, and what factors influenced its use. At the organisational level, e-health projects are being analysed as case studies in order to explore the use of scientific knowledge to support decision-making during the implementation of the technology. Interviews with promoters, managers and clinicians will be carried out in order to identify factors influencing the production and application of scientific knowledge. At the clinical level, questionnaires are being distributed to clinicians involved in e-health projects in order to analyse factors influencing knowledge application in their decision-making. Finally, a triangulation of the results will be done using mixed methodologies to allow a transversal analysis of the results at each of the decisional levels.
This study will identify factors influencing the use of scientific evidence and other types of knowledge by decision-makers involved in planning, financing, implementing and evaluating e-health projects.
These results will be highly relevant to inform decision-makers who wish to optimise the implementation of e-health in the Quebec health care system. This study is extremely relevant given the context of major transformations in the health care system where e-health becomes a must.
There is considerable interest today in shared decision-making (SDM), defined as a decision-making process jointly shared by patients and their health care provider. However, the data show that SDM has not been broadly adopted yet. Consequently, the main goal of this proposal is to bring together the resources and the expertise needed to develop an interdisciplinary and international research team on the implementation of SDM in clinical practice using a theory-based dyadic perspective.
Participants include researchers from Canada, US, UK, and Netherlands, representing medicine, nursing, psychology, community health and epidemiology. In order to develop a collaborative research network that takes advantage of the expertise of the team members, the following research activities are planned: 1) establish networking and on-going communication through internet-based forum, conference calls, and a bi-weekly e-bulletin; 2) hold a two-day workshop with two key experts (one in theoretical underpinnings of behavioral change, and a second in dyadic data analysis), and invite all investigators to present their views on the challenges related to the implementation of SDM in clinical practices; 3) conduct a secondary analyses of existing dyadic datasets to ensure that discussion among team members is grounded in empirical data; 4) build capacity with involvement of graduate students in the workshop and online forum; and 5) elaborate a position paper and an international multi-site study protocol.
This study protocol aims to inform researchers, educators, and clinicians interested in improving their understanding of effective strategies to implement shared decision-making in clinical practice using a theory-based dyadic perspective.
In North America, although it varies according to the specific type of acute respiratory infections (ARI), use of antibiotics is estimated to be well above the expected prevalence of bacterial infections. The objective of this pilot clustered randomized controlled trial (RCT) is to assess the feasibility of a larger clustered RCT aiming at evaluating the impact of DECISION+, a continuing professional development (CPD) program in shared decision making, on the optimal use of antibiotics in the context of ARI.
This pilot study is a cluster RCT conducted with family physicians from Family Medicine Groups (FMG) in the Quebec City area, Canada. Participating FMG are randomised to an immediate DECISION+ group, a CPD program in shared decision making, (experimental group), or a delayed DECISION+ group (control group). Data collection involves recruiting five patients consulting for ARI per physician from both study groups before (Phase 1) and after (Phase 2) exposure of the experimental group to the DECISION+ program, and after exposure of the control group to the DECISION+ program (Phase 3). The primary outcome measures to assess the feasibility of a larger RCT include: 1) proportion of contacted FMG that agree to participate; 2) proportion of recruited physicians who participate in the DECISION+ program; 3) level of satisfaction of physicians regarding DECISION+; and 4) proportion of missing data in each data collection phase. Levels of agreement of the patient-physician dyad on the Decisional Conflict Scale and physicians' prescription profile for ARI are performed as secondary outcome measures.
This study protocol is informative for researchers and clinicians interested in designing and/or conducting clustered RCT with FMG regarding training of physicians in shared decision making.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00354315
Our understanding of early post-vasectomy recanalization is limited to histopathological studies. The objective of this study was to estimate the frequency and to describe semen analysis patterns of early recanalization after vasectomy.
Charts displaying serial post-vasectomy semen analyses were created using the semen analysis results from 826 and 389 men participating in a randomized trial of fascial interposition (FI) and an observational study of cautery, respectively. In the FI trial, participants were randomly allocated to vas occlusion by ligation and excision with or without FI. In the cautery study, sites used their usual cautery occlusion technique, two with and two without FI. Presumed early recanalization was based on the assessment of individual semen analysis charts by three independent reviewers. Discrepancies were resolved by consensus.
Presumed early recanalization was characterized by a very low sperm concentration within two weeks after vasectomy followed by return to large numbers of sperm over the next few weeks. The overall proportion of men with presumed early recanalization was 13% (95% CI 12%–15%). The risk was highest with ligation and excision without FI (25%) and lowest for thermal cautery with FI (0%). The highest proportion of presumed early recanalization was observed among men classified as vasectomy failures.
Early recanalization, occurring within the first weeks after vasectomy, is more common than generally recognized. Its frequency depends on the occlusion technique performed.
Simple ligation of the vas with suture material and excision of a small vas segment is believed to be the most common vasectomy occlusion technique performed in low-resource settings. Ligation and excision (LE) is associated with a risk of occlusion and contraceptive failure which can be reduced by performing fascial interposition (FI) along with LE. Combining FI with intra luminal thermal cautery could be even more effective. The objective of this study was to determine the surgical vasectomy techniques currently used in five Asian countries and to evaluate the facilitating and limiting factors to introduction and assessment of FI and thermal cautery in these countries.
Between December 2003 and February 2004, 3 to 6 major vasectomy centers from Cambodia, Thailand, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh were visited and interviews with 5 to 11 key informants in each country were conducted. Vasectomy techniques performed in each center were observed. Vasectomy techniques using hand-held, battery-driven cautery devices and FI were demonstrated and performed under supervision by local providers. Information about interest and open-mindedness regarding the use of thermal cautery and/or FI was gathered.
The use of vasectomy was marginal in Thailand and Cambodia. In India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, vasectomy was supported by national reproductive health programs. Most vasectomies were performed using the No-Scalpel Vasectomy (NSV) technique and simple LE. The addition of FI to LE, although largely known, was seldom performed. The main reasons reported were: 1) insufficient surgical skills, 2) time needed to perform the technique, and 3) technique not being mandatory according to country standards. Thermal cautery devices for vasectomy were not available in any selected countries. Pilot hands-on assessment showed that the technique could be safely and effectively performed by Asian providers. However, in addition to provision of supplies, introducing cautery with FI could be associated with the same barriers encountered when introducing FI in combination with LE.
Further studies assessing the effectiveness, safety, and feasibility of implementation are needed before thermal cautery combined with FI is introduced in Asia on a large scale. Until thermal cautery is introduced in a country, vasectomy providers should practice LE with FI to maximize effectiveness of vasectomy procedure.