• Exploring access to end of life care for ethnic minorities with end stage kidney disease through recruitment in action research

      Wilkinson, Emma; Randhawa, Gurch; Brown, Edwina; Gane, Maria Da Silva; Stoves, John; Warwick, Graham; Akhtar, Tahira; Magee, Regina; Sharman, Sue; Farrington, Ken (BioMed Central Ltd., 2016-07-11)
      Background: Variation in provision of palliative care in kidney services and practitioner concerns to provide equitable access led to the development of this study which focussed on the perspectives of South Asian patients and their care providers. As people with a South Asian background experience a higher risk of Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM) and end stage kidney failure (ESKF) compared to the majority population but wait longer for a transplant, there is a need for end of life care to be accessible for this group of patients. Furthermore because non English speakers and people at end of life are often excluded from research there is a dearth of research evidence with which to inform service improvement. This paper aims to explore issues relating to the process of recruitment of patients for a research project which contribute to our understanding of access to end of life care for ethnic minority patients in the kidney setting. Methods: The study employed an action research methodology with interviews and focus groups to capture and reflect on the process of engaging with South Asian patients about end of life care. Researchers and kidney care clinicians on four NHS sites in the UK recruited South Asian patients with ESKF who were requiring end of life care to take part in individual interviews; and other clinicians who provided care to South Asian kidney patients at end of life to take part in focus groups exploring end of life care issues. In action research planning, action and evaluation are interlinked and data were analysed with emergent themes fed back to care providers through the research cycle. Reflections on the process of patient recruitment generated focus group discussions about access which were analysed thematically and reported here. Results: Sixteen patients were recruited to interview and 45 different care providers took part in 14 focus groups across the sites. The process of recruiting patients to interview and subsequent focus group data highlighted some of the key issues concerning access to end of life care. These were: the identification of patients approaching end of life; and their awareness of end of life care; language barriers and informal carers' roles in mediating communication; and contrasting cultures in end of life kidney care. Conclusions: Reflection on the process of recruitment in this action research study provided insight into the complex scenario of end of life in kidney care. Some of the emerging issues such as the difficulty identifying patients are likely to be common across all patient groups, whilst others concerning language barriers and third party communication are more specific to ethnic minorities. A focus on South Asian ethnicity contributes to better understanding of patient perspectives and generic concepts as well as access to end of life kidney care for this group of patients in the UK. Action research was a useful methodology for achieving this and for informing future research to include informal carers and other ethnic groups.
    • The impact of telehealth remote patient monitoring on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials

      Lee, Puikwan; Greenfield, Geva; Pappas, Yannis; Imperial College London; University of Bedfordshire (BioMed Central Ltd., 2018-06-26)
      Background There is a growing body of evidence to support the use of telehealth in monitoring HbA1c levels in people living with type 2 diabetes. However, the overall magnitude of effect is yet unclear due to variable results reported in existing systematic reviews. The objective of this study is to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials to create an evidence-base for the effectiveness of telehealth interventions on glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes. Methods Electronic databases including The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, HMIC, and PsychINFO were searched to identify relevant systematic reviews published between 1990 and April 2016, supplemented by references search from the relevant reviews. Two independent reviewers selected and reviewed the eligible studies. Of the 3279 references retrieved, 4 systematic reviews reporting in total 29 unique studies relevant to our review were included. Both conventional pairwise meta-analyses and network meta-analyses were performed. Results Evidence from pooling four systematic reviews found that telehealth interventions produced a small but significant improvement in HbA1c levels compared with usual care (MD: -0.55, 95% CI: -0.73 to − 0.36). The greatest effect was seen in telephone-delivered interventions, followed by Internet blood glucose monitoring system interventions and lastly interventions involving automatic transmission of SMBG using a mobile phone or a telehealth unit. Conclusion Current evidence suggests that telehealth is effective in controlling HbA1c levels in people living with type 2 diabetes. However there is need for better quality primary studies as well as systematic reviews of RCTs in order to confidently conclude on the impact of telehealth on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes.
    • Patients' perception of using telehealth for type 2 diabetes management: a phenomenological study

      Lee, Puikwan; Greenfield, Geva; Pappas, Yannis (BioMed Central Ltd., 2018-07-13)
      BACKGROUND: There is a growing body of evidence that supports the uses of telehealth to monitor and manage people with diabetes at a distance. Despite this, the uptake of telehealth has been low. The objective of this study is to explore patients' perceptions of using telehealth for type 2 diabetes management. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 10 patients from the NHS Newham area in London, UK. Data were collected using recorded semi-structured interviews. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and the analysis was guided by the phenomenological analysis approach. RESULTS: We identified three main themes for facilitating positive patient experience or acceptance of telehealth and these included: technology consideration, service perceptions and empowerment. All patients asserted that they were pleased with the technology and many also proclaimed that they could not see themselves being without it. Moreover, very few negative views were reported with respect to the use of telehealth. CONCLUSION: The patients' perceived telehealth as a potential to enhance their quality of life, allow them to live independently at home as well as help them take and be in more control over their own health state. The findings of this study therefore supports the use of telehealth for the routine care of people with type 2 diabetes. However, one must interpret the results with caution due to limitations identified in the sample.
    • Quality improvements in diabetes care, how holistic have they been? a case-study from the United Kingdom

      Wilkinson, Emma; Randhawa, Gurch; Singh, Maninder; University of Bedfordshire (BioMed Central Ltd., 2014-04-01)
      Aims: As quality in diabetes care includes patient centred support for self-management, investigating patients’ experiences upon diagnosis can help improve access to this element of care among diverse populations. This research explored this care in the context of recent national quality improvement initiatives which support self-management. Methods: South Asian and White European patients over 16 years with a recent (< 1 year) diagnosis of diabetes were recruited from 18 General Practitioner (GP) practices in three UK locations - Luton, West London and Leicester. A semi-structured qualitative interview was conducted with 47 patients. Results: Twenty one out of 47 (45%) reported unmet support and information needs at diagnosis. Although there was a small proportion of participants (8 out of 47, 17% of all respondents) who felt they did not require any help or support with managing their diabetes because their GP had provided comprehensive and efficient care, there was an equal number who voiced a negative view of the care they had received to date. This concerned information giving, support and communication, suggesting that recently implemented national quality improvement interventions may not have been successful in improving all aspects of diabetes care, particularly those encouraging self-management. The emerging analysis led to consideration of concordance as an important concept through which to understand inequalities and improve access to quality diabetes care. In order to encourage self-management from the start, care providers need to be cognisant that patients are not homogeneous and be responsive to their different information needs and emotional responses to diagnosis. Conclusions: In order to support self-management and deliver patient centred care in diverse populations, care providers will need to be adaptable to individual needs around diagnosis.
    • Who uses NHS health checks? Investigating the impact of ethnicity and gender and method of invitation on uptake of NHS health checks

      Cook, Erica Jane; Sharp, Chloe; Randhawa, Gurch; Guppy, Andy; Gangotra, Raj; Cox, Jonathon (BioMed Central Ltd., 2016-09-01)
      Background NHS Health Checks is a national risk assessment prevention programme for all individuals aged 40-74 that reside in England. Through the systematic assessment of an individual’s ten year disease risk, this programme aims to provide early identification and subsequent management of this risk. However, there is limited evidence on how socio-demographic factors impact on uptake and what influence the invitation method has on uptake to this programme. Methods NHS Health Check data from April 2013 to March 2014 was analysed (N = 50,485) for all 30 GP Practices in Luton, a culturally diverse town in England, UK. Data was collected for age, ethnicity, uptake (attendance and non attendance) and invitation method (letter written, verbal face-to-face, telephone). Actual usage of NHS Health Checks was determined for each ethnic group of the population and compared using Chi-square analysis. Results The overall uptake rate for Luton was 44 %, markedly lower that the set target of 50–75 %. The findings revealed a variation of uptake in relation to age, gender, level of deprivation. Ethnicity and gender variations were also found, with ‘White British’ ‘Black Caribbean’ and ‘Indian’ patients most likely to take up a NHS Health Check. However, patients from ‘Any Other White Background’ and ‘Black African’ were significantly less likely to uptake an NHS Health Check compared to all other ethnic groups. Ethnicity and gender differences were also noted in relation to invitation method. Conclusions The findings revealed that different invitation methods were effective for different ethnic and gender groups. Therefore, it is suggested that established protocols of invitation are specifically designed for maximizing the response rate for each population group. Future research should now focus on uncovering the barriers to uptake in particular culturally diverse population groups to determine how public health teams can better engage with these communities.