• The effectiveness of interventions to improve laboratory requesting patterns among primary care physicians: a systematic review

      Cadogan, Sharon L; Browne, John P; Bradley, Colin P; Cahill, Mary R (2015-12-05)
      Abstract Background Laboratory testing is an integral part of day-to-day primary care practice, with approximately 30 % of patient encounters resulting in a request. However, research suggests that a large proportion of requests does not benefit patient care and is avoidable. The aim of this systematic review was to comprehensively search the literature for studies evaluating the effectiveness of interventions to improve primary care physician use of laboratory tests. Methods A search of PubMed, Cochrane Library, Embase and Scopus (from inception to 09/02/14) was conducted. The following study designs were considered: systematic reviews, randomised controlled trials (RCTs), controlled clinical trials (CCTs), controlled before and after studies (CBAs) and interrupted time series analysis (ITSs). Studies were quality appraised using a modified version of the Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) checklist. The population of interest was primary care physicians. Interventions were considered if they aimed to improve laboratory testing in primary care. The outcome of interest was a volume of laboratory tests. Results In total, 6,166 titles and abstracts were reviewed, followed by 87 full texts. Of these, 11 papers were eligible for inclusion in the systematic review. This included four RCTs, six CBAs and one ITS study. The types of interventions examined included education, feedback, guidelines, education with feedback, feedback with guidelines and changing order forms. The quality of included studies varied with seven studies deemed to have a low risk of bias, three with unclear risk of bias and one with high risk of bias. All but one study found significant reductions in the volume of tests following the intervention, with effect sizes ranging from 1.2 to 60 %. Due to heterogeneity, meta-analysis was not performed. Conclusions Interventions such as educational strategies, feedback and changing test order forms may improve the efficient use of laboratory tests in primary care; however, the level of evidence is quite low and the quality is poor. The reproducibility of findings from different laboratories is also difficult to ascertain from the literature. Some standardisation of both interventions and outcome measures is required to enable formal meta-analysis.
    • The effectiveness of interventions to improve laboratory requesting patterns among primary care physicians: a systematic review

      Cadogan, Sharon L; Browne, John P; Bradley, Colin P; Cahill, Mary R (2015-12-05)
      Abstract Background Laboratory testing is an integral part of day-to-day primary care practice, with approximately 30 % of patient encounters resulting in a request. However, research suggests that a large proportion of requests does not benefit patient care and is avoidable. The aim of this systematic review was to comprehensively search the literature for studies evaluating the effectiveness of interventions to improve primary care physician use of laboratory tests. Methods A search of PubMed, Cochrane Library, Embase and Scopus (from inception to 09/02/14) was conducted. The following study designs were considered: systematic reviews, randomised controlled trials (RCTs), controlled clinical trials (CCTs), controlled before and after studies (CBAs) and interrupted time series analysis (ITSs). Studies were quality appraised using a modified version of the Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) checklist. The population of interest was primary care physicians. Interventions were considered if they aimed to improve laboratory testing in primary care. The outcome of interest was a volume of laboratory tests. Results In total, 6,166 titles and abstracts were reviewed, followed by 87 full texts. Of these, 11 papers were eligible for inclusion in the systematic review. This included four RCTs, six CBAs and one ITS study. The types of interventions examined included education, feedback, guidelines, education with feedback, feedback with guidelines and changing order forms. The quality of included studies varied with seven studies deemed to have a low risk of bias, three with unclear risk of bias and one with high risk of bias. All but one study found significant reductions in the volume of tests following the intervention, with effect sizes ranging from 1.2 to 60 %. Due to heterogeneity, meta-analysis was not performed. Conclusions Interventions such as educational strategies, feedback and changing test order forms may improve the efficient use of laboratory tests in primary care; however, the level of evidence is quite low and the quality is poor. The reproducibility of findings from different laboratories is also difficult to ascertain from the literature. Some standardisation of both interventions and outcome measures is required to enable formal meta-analysis.
    • The effects of individual, family and environmental factors on physical activity levels in children: a cross-sectional study

      Cadogan, Sharon L; Keane, Eimear; Kearney, Patricia M (2014-04-21)
      Abstract Background Physical activity plays an important role in optimising physical and mental health during childhood, adolescence, and throughout adult life. This study aims to identify individual, family and environmental factors that determine physical activity levels in a population sample of children in Ireland. Methods Cross-sectional analysis of the first wave (2008) of the nationally representative Growing Up in Ireland study. A two-stage clustered sampling method was used where national schools served as the primary sampling unit (response rate: 82%) and age eligible children from participating schools were the secondary units (response rate: 57%). Parent reported child physical activity levels and potential covariates (parent and child reported) include favourite hobby, total screen time, sports participation and child body mass index (measured by trained researcher). Univariate and multivariate multinomial logistic regression (forward block entry) examined the association between individual, family and environmental level factors and physical activity levels. Results The children (N = 8,568) were classified as achieving low (25%), moderate (20%) or high (55%) physical activity levels. In the fully adjusted model, male gender (OR 1.64 [95% CI: 1.34-2.01]), having an active favourite hobby (OR 1.65 [95% CI: 1.31-2.08]) and membership of sports or fitness team (OR 1.90 [95% CI: 1.48-2.45]) were significantly associated with being in the high physical activity group. Exceeding two hours total screen time (OR 0.66 [95% CI: 0.52-0.85]), being overweight (OR 0.41 [95%CI: 0.27-0.61]; or obese (OR 0.68 [95%CI: 0.54-0.86]) were significantly associated with decreased odds of being in the high physical activity group. Conclusions Individual level factors appear to predict PA levels when considered in the multiple domains. Future research should aim to use more robust objective measures to explore the usefulness of the interconnect that exists across these domains. In particular how the family and environmental settings could be useful facilitators for consistent individual level factors such as sports participation.