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1.  The INCENTIVE protocol: an evaluation of the organisation and delivery of NHS dental healthcare to patients—innovation in the commissioning of primary dental care service delivery and organisation in the UK 
BMJ Open  2014;4(9):e005931.
In England, in 2006, new dental contracts devolved commissioning of dental services locally to Primary Care Trusts to meet the needs of their local population. The new national General Dental Services contracts (nGDS) were based on payment for Units of Dental Activity (UDAs) awarded in three treatment bands based on complexity of care. Recently, contract currency in UK dentistry is evolving from UDAs based on volume and case complexity towards ‘blended contracts’ that include incentives linked with key performance indicators such as quality and improved health outcome. Overall, evidence of the effectiveness of incentive-driven contracting of health providers is still emerging. The INCENTIVE Study aims to evaluate a blended contract model (incentive-driven) compared to traditional nGDS contracts on dental service delivery in practices in West Yorkshire, England.
Methods and analysis
The INCENTIVE model uses a mixed methods approach to comprehensively evaluate a new incentive-driven model of NHS dental service delivery. The study includes 6 dental surgeries located across three newly commissioned dental practices (blended contract) and three existing traditional practices (nGDS contracts). The newly commissioned practices have been matched to traditional practices by deprivation index, age profile, ethnicity, size of practice and taking on new patients. The study consists of three interlinked work packages: a qualitative study to explore stakeholder perspectives of the new service delivery model; an effectiveness study to assess the INCENTIVE model in reducing the risk of and amount of dental disease and enhance oral health-related quality of life in patients; and an economic study to assess cost-effectiveness of the INCENTIVE model in relation to clinical status and oral health-related quality of life.
Ethics and dissemination
The study has been approved by NRES Committee London, Bromley. The results of this study will be disseminated at national and international conferences and in international journals.
PMCID: PMC4166246  PMID: 25231492
3.  Cost-effectiveness of total hip arthroplasty versus resurfacing arthroplasty: economic evaluation alongside a clinical trial 
BMJ Open  2012;2(5):e001162.
To report on the relative cost-effectiveness of total hip arthroplasty and resurfacing arthroplasty (replacement of articular surface of femoral head only) in patients with severe arthritis suitable for hip joint resurfacing arthroplasty.
Cost-effectiveness analysis on an intention-to-treat basis of a single-centre, single-blind randomised controlled trial of 126 adult patients within 12 months of treatment. Missing data were imputed using multiple imputations with differences in baseline quality of life and gender adjusted using regression techniques.
A large teaching hospital trust in the UK.
A total of 126 adult patients with severe arthritis of the hip joint suitable for a resurfacing arthroplasty of the hip.
Data were received for 126 patients, 4 of whom did not provide any resource use data. For the remainder, data were imputed for costs or quality of life in at least one time point (baseline, 3, 6 months and 1 year) for 18 patients. Patients in the resurfacing arm had higher quality of life at 12 months (0.795 vs 0.727) and received 0.032 more QALYs within the first 12 months postoperation. At an additional cost of £564, resurfacing arthroplasty offers benefits at £17 451 per QALY within the first 12 months of treatment. When covariates are considered, the health economic case is stronger in men than in women.
Resurfacing arthroplasty appears to offer very short-term efficiency benefits over total hip arthroplasty within a selected patient group. The short-term follow-up in this trial should be noted, particularly in light of the concerns raised regarding adverse reactions to metal debris from metal-on-metal bearing surfaces in the longer term. Longer-term follow-up of resurfacing arthroplasty patients and decision analytic modelling is also advised.
Trial registration
Current controlled Trials ISRCTN33354155. UKCRN 4093.
PMCID: PMC3488749  PMID: 23065450
Orthopaedic & trauma surgery < SURGERY
4.  Do incentives, reminders or reduced burden improve healthcare professional response rates in postal questionnaires? two randomised controlled trials 
Healthcare professional response rates to postal questionnaires are declining and this may threaten the validity and generalisability of their findings. Methods to improve response rates do incur costs (resources) and increase the cost of research projects. The aim of these randomised controlled trials (RCTs) was to assess whether 1) incentives, 2) type of reminder and/or 3) reduced response burden improve response rates; and to assess the cost implications of such additional effective interventions.
Two RCTs were conducted. In RCT A general dental practitioners (dentists) in Scotland were randomised to receive either an incentive; an abridged questionnaire or a full length questionnaire. In RCT B non-responders to a postal questionnaire sent to general medical practitioners (GPs) in the UK were firstly randomised to receive a second full length questionnaire as a reminder or a postcard reminder. Continued non-responders from RCT B were then randomised within their first randomisation to receive a third full length or an abridged questionnaire reminder. The cost-effectiveness of interventions that effectively increased response rates was assessed as a secondary outcome.
There was no evidence that an incentive (52% versus 43%, Risk Difference (RD) -8.8 (95%CI −22.5, 4.8); or abridged questionnaire (46% versus 43%, RD −2.9 (95%CI −16.5, 10.7); statistically significantly improved dentist response rates compared to a full length questionnaire in RCT A. In RCT B there was no evidence that a full questionnaire reminder statistically significantly improved response rates compared to a postcard reminder (10.4% versus 7.3%, RD 3 (95%CI −0.1, 6.8). At a second reminder stage, GPs sent the abridged questionnaire responded more often (14.8% versus 7.2%, RD −7.7 (95%CI −12.8, -2.6). GPs who received a postcard reminder followed by an abridged questionnaire were most likely to respond (19.8% versus 6.3%, RD 8.1%, and 9.1% for full/postcard/full, three full or full/full/abridged questionnaire respectively). An abridged questionnaire containing fewer questions following a postcard reminder was the only cost-effective strategy for increasing the response rate (£15.99 per response).
When expecting or facing a low response rate to postal questionnaires, researchers should carefully identify the most efficient way to boost their response rate. In these studies, an abridged questionnaire containing fewer questions following a postcard reminder was the only cost-effective strategy. An increase in response rates may be explained by a combination of the number and type of contacts. Increasing the sampling frame may be more cost-effective than interventions to prompt non-responders. However, this may not strengthen the validity and generalisability of the survey findings and affect the representativeness of the sample.
PMCID: PMC3508866  PMID: 22891875
5.  UK DRAFFT - A randomised controlled trial of percutaneous fixation with kirschner wires versus volar locking-plate fixation in the treatment of adult patients with a dorsally displaced fracture of the distal radius 
Fractures of the distal radius are extremely common injuries in adults. However, the optimal management remains controversial. In general, fractures of the distal radius are treated non-operatively if the bone fragments can be held in anatomical alignment by a plaster cast or orthotic. However, if this is not possible, then operative fixation is required. There are several operative options but the two most common in the UK, are Kirschner-wire fixation (K-wires) and volar plate fixation using fixed-angle screws (locking-plates). The primary aim of this trial is to determine if there is a difference in the Patient-Reported Wrist Evaluation one year following K-wire fixation versus locking-plate fixation for adult patients with a dorsally-displaced fracture of the distal radius.
All adult patients with an acute, dorsally-displaced fracture of the distal radius, requiring operative fixation are potentially eligible to take part in this study. A total of 390 consenting patients will be randomly allocated to either K-wire fixation or locking-plate fixation. The surgery will be performed in trauma units across the UK using the preferred technique of the treating surgeon. Data regarding wrist function, quality of life, complications and costs will be collected at six weeks and three, six and twelve months following the injury. The primary outcome measure will be wrist function with a parallel economic analysis.
This pragmatic, multi-centre trial is due to deliver results in December 2013.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN31379280
UKCRN portfolio ID 8956
PMCID: PMC3182964  PMID: 21914196
6.  Effectiveness of emergency care practitioners working within existing emergency service models of care 
Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ  2007;24(4):239-243.
An emergency care practitioner (ECP) is a generic practitioner drawn mainly from paramedic and nursing backgrounds. ECPs receive formal training and extended clinical skills to equip them to work as an integral part of the healthcare team working within and across traditional boundaries of emergency and unplanned care. Currently, ECPs are working in different healthcare settings in the UK.
(1) To evaluate appropriateness, satisfaction and cost of ECPs compared with the usual service available in the same healthcare setting, (2) to increase understanding of what effect, if any, ECPs are having on delivery of health services locally and (3) to evaluate whether ECP working yields cost savings.
Using a mixed‐methods approach, data were collected quantitatively and qualitatively from three different types of health provider setting where ECPs are operational, in three areas of England. Data were collected by sending two questionnaires to each patient eligible to be seen by an ECP, at 3 and 28 days after presentation; telephone interviews were conducted with a sample of staff that included ECPs, other health professionals and stakeholders (eg, managers) in each of the three settings; and routine data were analysed to provide a perspective on costs.
After adjusting for age, sex, presenting complaint and service model, some differences in the processes of care between the ECPs and the usual providers in the three settings were observed. Overall, ECPs carried out fewer investigations, provided more treatments and were more likely to discharge patients home than the usual providers. Patients were satisfied with the care received from ECPs, and this was consistent across the three different settings. It was found that ECPs are working in different settings across traditional professional boundaries and are having an impact on reconfiguring how those services are delivered locally. Costs information (based on one site only) indicated that ECP care may be cost effective in that model of ECP working.
Care provided by ECPs appears to reduce the need for subsequent referral to other emergency and unscheduled care services in a large proportion of cases. We found no evidence that the care provided by an ECP was less appropriate than the care by the usual providers for the same type of health problem.
PMCID: PMC2658226  PMID: 17384374
7.  A randomised controlled trial of total hip arthroplasty versus resurfacing arthroplasty in the treatment of young patients with arthritis of the hip joint 
Hip replacement (arthroplasty) surgery is a highly successful treatment for patients with severe symptomatic arthritis of the hip joint. For older patients, several designs of Total Hip Arthroplasty have shown excellent results in terms of both function and value for money. However, in younger more active patients, there is approximately a 50% failure rate at 25 years for traditional implants. Hip resurfacing is a relatively new arthroplasty technique. In a recent review of the literature on resurfacing arthroplasty it was concluded that the short-term functional results appear promising but some potential early disadvantages were identified, including the risk of femoral neck fracture and collapse of the head of the femur. The aim of the current study is to assess whether there is a difference in functional hip scores at one year post-operation between Total Hip Arthroplasty and Resurfacing Arthroplasty. Secondary aims include assessment of complication rates for both procedures as well cost effectiveness.
All patients medically fit for surgery and deemed suitable for a resurfacing arthroplasty are eligible to take part in this study. A randomisation sequence will be produced and administered independently. After consenting, all patients will be clinically reviewed and hip function, quality of life and physical activity level will be assessed through questionnaires. The allocated surgery will then be performed with the preferred technique of the surgeon. Six weeks post-operation hip function will be assessed and complications recorded. Three, six and 12 months post-operation hip function, quality of life and physical activity level will be assessed. Additional information about patients' out-of-pocket expenses will also be collected.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN33354155
UKCLRN portfolio ID 4093
PMCID: PMC2826290  PMID: 20074324
8.  Total hip arthroplasty versus resurfacing arthroplasty in the treatment of patients with arthritis of the hip joint: single centre, parallel group, assessor blinded, randomised controlled trial 
Objectives To compare the clinical and cost effectiveness of total hip arthroplasty with resurfacing arthroplasty in patients with severe arthritis of the hip.
Design Single centre, two arm, parallel group, assessor blinded, randomised controlled trial with 1:1 treatment allocation.
Setting One large teaching hospital in the United Kingdom.
Participants 126 patients older than 18 years with severe arthritis of the hip joint, suitable for resurfacing arthroplasty of the hip. Patients were excluded if they were considered to be unable to adhere to trial procedures or complete questionnaires.
Interventions Total hip arthroplasty (replacement of entire femoral head and neck); hip resurfacing arthroplasty (replacement of the articular surface of femoral head only, femoral neck remains intact). Both procedures replaced the articular surface of the acetabulum.
Main outcome measures Hip function at 12 months after surgery, assessed using the Oxford hip score and Harris hip score. Secondary outcomes were quality of life, disability rating, physical activity level, complications, and cost effectiveness.
Results 60 patients were randomly assigned to hip resurfacing arthroplasty and 66 to total hip arthroplasty. Intention to treat analysis showed no evidence for a difference in hip function between treatment groups at 12 months (t test, P=0.242 and P=0.070 for Oxford hip score and Harris hip score, respectively); 95% of follow-up data was available for analysis. Mean Oxford hip score was 40.4 (95% confidence interval 37.9 to 42.9) in the resurfacing group and 38.2 (35.3 to 41.0) in the total arthroplasty group (estimated treatment effect size 2.23 (−1.52 to 5.98)). Mean Harris hip score was 88.4 (84.4 to 92.4) in the resurfacing group and 82.3 (77.2 to 87.5) in the total arthroplasty group (6.04 (−0.51 to 12.58)). Although we saw no evidence of a difference, we cannot definitively exclude clinically meaningful differences in hip function in the short term. Overall complication rates did not differ between treatment groups (P=0.291). However, we saw more wound complications in the total arthroplasty group (P=0.056) and more thromboembolic events in the resurfacing group (P=0.049).
Conclusions No evidence of a difference in hip function was seen in patients with severe arthritis of the hip, one year after receiving a total hip arthroplasty versus resurfacing arthroplasty. The long term effects of these interventions remain uncertain.
Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN33354155, UKCRN 4093.
PMCID: PMC3330050  PMID: 22517930

Results 1-8 (8)