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1.  Addressing the evidence to practice gap for complex interventions in primary care: a systematic review of reviews protocol 
BMJ Open  2014;4(6):e005548.
Getting the results of research implemented into routine healthcare is often a challenge. The disconnect between the development and implementation of evidence into practice is called the ‘second translational gap’ and is particularly apparent in primary care. To address this gap, we plan to identify, summarise and synthesise currently available evidence by undertaking a systematic review of reviews to: (1) explore barriers and facilitators of implementation of research evidence or complex interventions, and (2) assess the effectiveness of strategies in facilitating implementation of complex interventions in primary care.
Methods and analysis
This is a protocol for a systematic review of reviews. We will search MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, CINAHL and PsycINFO up until December 2013. We will check reference lists of included studies for further studies. Two authors will independently screen the titles and abstracts identified from the search; any discrepancies will be resolved by discussion and consensus. Full-text papers will be obtained and relevant reviews will be selected against inclusion criteria. Eligible reviews have to be based on predominantly primary care in developed countries and examine either factors to implementation or, the effectiveness of strategies to optimise implementation. Data from eligible reviews will be extracted using standardised data abstraction forms. For barriers and facilitators, data will be synthesised using an interpretative meta-synthesis approach. For implementation strategies, findings will be summarised and described narratively and synthesised using a framework approach. All findings will be reported in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines.
Ethics and dissemination
Ethical approval is not required. The review findings will inform the work of the design and implementation of future studies and will be of interest to a wide audience including health professionals, researchers, health service or commissioning managers and policymakers.
Trial registration number
Protocol registration number (PROSPERO CRD42014009410).
PMCID: PMC4067819  PMID: 24958212
Primary Care; Public Health
2.  Consent processes in cluster-randomised trials in residential facilities for older adults: a systematic review of reporting practices and proposed guidelines 
BMJ Open  2013;3(7):e003057.
To assess the quality of reported consent processes of cluster-randomised trials conducted in residential facilities for older people and to explore whether the focus on improving the general conduct and reporting of cluster-randomised trials influenced the quality of conduct and reporting of ethical processes in these trials.
Systematic review of cluster-randomised trials reports, published up to the end of 2010.
Data sources
National Library of Medicine (Medline) via PubMed, hand-searches of BMJ, Journal of the American Medical Association, BMC Health Services Research, Age and Ageing and Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, reference search in Web of Knowledge and consultation with experts.
Eligibility for selecting studies
Published cluster-randomised trials where the unit of randomisation is a part or the whole of a residential facility for older people, without language or year of publication restrictions.
We included 73 trials. Authors reported ethical approval in 59, obtaining individual consent in 51, and using proxies for this consent in 37, but the process to assess residents’ capacity to consent was clearly reported in only eight. We rated only six trials high for the quality of consent processes. We considered that individual informed consent could have been waived legitimately in 14  of 22 trials not reporting obtaining consent. The proportions reporting ethical approval and quality of consent processes were higher in recent trials.
Recently published international recommendations regarding ethical conduct in cluster-randomised trials are much needed. In relation to consent processes when cognitively impaired individuals are included in these trials, we provide a six-point checklist and recommend the minimum information to be reported. Those who lack capacity in trials with complex designs should be afforded the same care in relation to consent as competent adults in trials with simpler designs.
PMCID: PMC3710983  PMID: 23836761
Medical ethics; Statistics & research methods; Geriatric medicine
3.  Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a novel, group self-management course for adults with chronic musculoskeletal pain: study protocol for a multicentre, randomised controlled trial (COPERS) 
BMJ Open  2013;3(1):e002492.
Chronic musculoskeletal pain is a common condition that often responds poorly to treatment. Self-management courses have been advocated as a non-drug pain management technique, although evidence for their effectiveness is equivocal. We designed and piloted a self-management course based on evidence for effectiveness for specific course components and characteristics.
COPERS (coping with persistent pain, effectiveness research into self-management) is a pragmatic randomised controlled trial testing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an intensive, group, cognitive behavioural-based, theoretically informed and manualised self-management course for chronic pain patients against a control of best usual care: a pain education booklet and a relaxation CD. The course lasts for 15 h, spread over 3 days, with a –2 h follow-up session 2 weeks later. We aim to recruit 685 participants with chronic musculoskeletal pain from primary, intermediate and secondary care services in two UK regions. The study is powered to show a standardised mean difference of 0.3 in the primary outcome, pain-related disability. Secondary outcomes include generic health-related quality of life, healthcare utilisation, pain self-efficacy, coping, depression, anxiety and social engagement. Outcomes are measured at 6 and 12 months postrandomisation. Pain self-efficacy is measured at 3 months to assess whether change mediates clinical effect.
Ethics approval was given by Cambridgeshire Ethics 11/EE/046. This trial will provide robust data on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an evidence-based, group self-management programme for chronic musculoskeletal pain. The published outcomes will help to inform future policy and practice around such self-management courses, both nationally and internationally.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3563130  PMID: 23358564
Randomised Controlled Trial; Protocol; Chronic Pain; Self Management
4.  The Olympic Regeneration in East London (ORiEL) study: protocol for a prospective controlled quasi-experiment to evaluate the impact of urban regeneration on young people and their families 
BMJ Open  2012;2(4):e001840.
Recent systematic reviews suggest that there is a dearth of evidence on the effectiveness of large-scale urban regeneration programmes in improving health and well-being and alleviating health inequalities. The development of the Olympic Park in Stratford for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games provides the opportunity to take advantage of a natural experiment to examine the impact of large-scale urban regeneration on the health and well-being of young people and their families.
Design and methods
A prospective school-based survey of adolescents (11–12 years) with parent data collected through face-to-face interviews at home. Adolescents will be recruited from six randomly selected schools in an area receiving large-scale urban regeneration (London Borough of Newham) and compared with adolescents in 18 schools in three comparison areas with no equivalent regeneration (London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Barking & Dagenham). Baseline data will be completed prior to the start of the London Olympics (July 2012) with follow-up at 6 and 18 months postintervention. Primary outcomes are: pre–post change in adolescent and parent mental health and well-being, physical activity and parental employment status. Secondary outcomes include: pre–post change in social cohesion, smoking, alcohol use, diet and body mass index. The study will account for individual and environmental contextual effects in evaluating changes to identified outcomes. A nested longitudinal qualitative study will explore families’ experiences of regeneration in order to unpack the process by which regeneration impacts on health and well-being.
Ethics and dissemination
The study has approval from Queen Mary University of London Ethics Committee (QMREC2011/40), the Association of Directors of Children's Services (RGE110927) and the London Boroughs Research Governance Framework (CERGF113). Fieldworkers have had advanced Criminal Records Bureau clearance. Findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications, national and international conferences, through participating schools and the study website (
PMCID: PMC3432843  PMID: 22936822
5.  Cost-effectiveness of Identification and Referral to Improve Safety (IRIS), a domestic violence training and support programme for primary care: a modelling study based on a randomised controlled trial 
BMJ Open  2012;2(3):e001008.
The Identification and Referral to Improve Safety (IRIS) cluster randomised controlled trial tested the effectiveness of a training and support intervention to improve the response of primary care to women experiencing domestic violence (DV). The aim of this study is to estimate the cost-effectiveness of this intervention.
Markov model-based cost-effectiveness analysis.
General practices in two urban areas in the UK.
Simulated female individuals from the general UK population who were registered at general practices, aged 16 years and older.
General practices received staff training, prompts to ask women about DV embedded in the electronic medical record, a care pathway including referral to a specialist DV agency and continuing contact from that agency. The trial compared the rate of referrals of women with specialist DV agencies from 24 general practices that received the IRIS programme with 24 general practices not receiving the programme. The trial did not measure outcomes for women beyond the intermediate outcome of referral to specialist agencies. The Markov model extrapolated the trial results to estimate the long-term healthcare and societal costs and benefits using data from other trials and epidemiological studies.
The intervention would produce societal cost savings per woman registered in the general practice of UK£37 (95% CI £178 saved to a cost of £136) over 1 year. The incremental quality-adjusted life-year was estimated to be 0.0010 (95% CI −0.0157 to 0.0101) per woman. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis found 78% of model replications under a willingness to pay threshold of £20 000 per quality-adjusted life-year.
The IRIS programme is likely to be cost-effective and possibly cost saving from a societal perspective. Better data on the trajectory of abuse and the effect of advocacy are needed for a more robust model.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials, ISRCTN74012786.
Article summary
Article focus
The aim of this study was to assess the cost-effectiveness of the IRIS training and support intervention for primary care clinicians from the UK societal and NHS perspectives.
Key messages
The intervention is likely to be cost saving from a societal perspective with a high likelihood of being under a £20 000 per quality-adjusted life-year willingness to pay threshold.
Strengths and limitations of this study
We have minimised bias in estimating the effect size of the IRIS programme by basing it on a randomised controlled trial.
By using epidemiological and cost data external to the trial, we were able to extrapolate from directly measured trial outcomes (DV disclosure and referral rates) to quality of life, health and economic outcomes.
The uncertainty of the transition probabilities based on assumptions was addressed by probabilistic sensitivity analysis, contributing to the robustness of the model.
Important limitations of that data are the paucity of longitudinal studies measuring the trajectory of abuse and uncertainty about the effect of DV advocacy for women not living in a refuge or shelter.
PMCID: PMC3383977  PMID: 22730555
6.  Is access to specialist assessment of chest pain equitable by age, gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic status? An enhanced ecological analysis 
BMJ Open  2012;2(3):e001025.
To determine whether access to rapid access chest pain clinics of people with recent onset symptoms is equitable by age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity and gender, according to need.
Retrospective cohort study with ecological analysis.
Patients referred from primary care to five rapid access chest pain clinics in secondary care, across England.
Of 8647 patients aged ≥35 years referred to chest pain clinics with new-onset stable chest pain but no known cardiac history, 7570 with documented census ward codes, age, gender and ethnicity comprised the study group. Patients excluded were those with missing date of birth, gender or ethnicity (n=782) and those with missing census ward codes (n=295).
Outcome measures
Effects of age, gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic status on clinic attendance were calculated as attendance rate ratios, with number of attendances as the outcome and resident population-years as the exposure in each stratum, using Poisson regression. Attendance rate ratios were then compared with coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality ratios to determine whether attendance was equitable according to need.
Adjusted attendance rate ratios for patients aged >65 years were similar to younger patients (1.1, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.16), despite population CHD mortality rate ratios nearly 15 times higher in the older age group. Women had lower attendance rate ratios (0.81, 95% CI 0.77 to 0.84) and also lower population CHD mortality rate ratios compared with men. South Asians had higher attendance rates (1.67, 95% CI 1.57 to 1.77) compared with whites and had a higher standardised CHD mortality ratio of 1.46 (95% CI 1.41 to 1.51). Although univariable analysis showed that the most deprived patients (quintile 5) had an attendance rate twice that of less deprived quintiles, the adjusted analysis showed their attendance to be 13% lower (0.87, 95% CI 0.81 to 0.94) despite a higher population CHD mortality rate.
There is evidence of underutilisation of chest pain clinics by older people and those from lower socioeconomic status. More robust and patient focused administrative pathways need to be developed to detect inequity, correction of which has the potential to substantially reduce coronary mortality.
Article summary
Article focus
Is access to chest pain clinics of people with recent onset symptoms equitable according to local need and consistent with national policy.
Key messages
Need for evaluation in chest pain clinics will vary according to the variable incidence of heart disease in different age, gender, socioeconomic and ethnic groups.
There is evidence of underutilisation of chest pain clinics by older people and those from lower socioeconomic status.
Strengths and limitations of this study
Large, diverse and unselected patient population with uniformly collected patient-level data, allowing robust comparisons between demographic and clinical groups.
Ecological fallacy with respect to age and sex has been avoided by applying an enhanced ecological analysis.
Need to use census wards, not postcodes, as the smallest geographical areas for which mortality and demographic data were available.
Ethnicity was not based on self-ascription.
PMCID: PMC3378943  PMID: 22700834

Results 1-6 (6)