From theoretically informed to theoretically informative improvement research

A new BMJ Quality and Safety editorial by Dr Roman Kislov, Senior Research Fellow at the Alliance Manchester Business School, has highlighted CLAHRC work as an example of successful engagement with management theory by researchers.

Dr Kislov’s research focus is the processes and practices of knowledge mobilisation, and his editorial highlights our recent paper on how different NHS Boards implement a quality improvement intervention – the QUASER guide.

He cites the paper as “an example of successfully deployed theoretically informative approach, highlighting some practical tips for researchers who aspire to move from merely applying theory towards entering into dialogue with it and, through doing so, refining its assumptions.

Read the editorial

Engaging with theory: from theoretically informed to theoretically informative improvement research

Repeated calls have been made for the increased use of theory in designing and evaluating improvement and implementation interventions.1-4 The benefits are argued to include identifying contextual influences on quality improvement (QI), supporting the generalisability of findings and anticipating how future phenomena might unfold.2 5 Most importantly, the ability of

Read the iQUASER paper

Explaining organisational responses to a board-level quality improvement intervention: findings from an evaluation in six providers in the English National Health Service

Background Healthcare systems worldwide are concerned with strengthening board-level governance of quality. We applied Lozeau, Langley and Denis’ typology (transformation, customisation, loose coupling and corruption) to describe and explain the organisational response to an improvement intervention in six hospital boards in England.

Read our BITE sized summary of the iQUASER paper

Dr Elena Pizzo

Elena is a Senior Health Economics. She holds a PhD in Economics and Management from Padua University, a Master degree in Economics and Management of Health Care Services from Ferrara University and a first degree in Economics from Padua University.

Prior to coming to UCL she was a Research Associate at the Imperial College Business School, working on the economic evaluation of the Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for Northwest London.

She previously held a research post at the Department of Economics, Ferrara University, where she collaborated to a multi-year research project and undertook an economic evaluation of a Regional Colorectal Cancer Screening Program.

Requests for emergency contraception could be an important sign of abuse

Women who experience domestic violence and abuse (DVA) are more than twice as likely to seek emergency contraception as other women, according to a study by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)-funded researchers at the University of Bristol and Queen Mary University of London, suggesting that requests for emergency contraception could be an important sign of abuse.

In the study, published in the British Journal of General Practice today, the researchers analysed medical records of over 200,000 women of reproductive age registered with a GP and found that those who had a record of DVA were 2.06 times more likely to have a consultation for emergency contraception compared to other women, rising to 2.8 times for women aged 25-39.

The researchers also found some evidence that abused women are more likely to seek emergency contraception repeatedly.

DVA is a major public health problem, with devastating consequences for the women who experience it and great financial cost to the NHS. It is known to have a significant impact on women’s reproductive health, including an increased risk of unintended pregnancy and abortion, as abusive and controlling partners coerce women to have unprotected sex or rape them.

Although emergency hormonal contraceptive, also known as the morning-after pill, is available from pharmacies, women can also get it from their GP. Up to a third of all emergency contraceptives are prescribed by GPs.

The researchers are calling for this new evidence to be included in existing DVA training programmes for GPs and sexual health practitioners, and for the training to be extended to community pharmacists, to help them identify and refer women who have experienced DVA on to specialist support services. Such programmes are recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as part of a multi-sector response to DVA.

Joni Jackson, Research Associate from the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research (CLAHRC) West and co-lead author of the study, said:

We found a strong positive association between exposure to domestic violence and abuse and requests for emergency contraception. Our findings are in line with evidence from studies in other countries suggesting that women experiencing DVA use more emergency contraception than other women. GPs, pharmacists and sexual health practitioners are at the frontline responding to these requests, with community pharmacists dispensing 50% of all emergency contraceptive pills. This presents an important opportunity to identify women experiencing DVA, signpost them to appropriate support services, and potentially save lives.”

Dr Natalia Lewis, from the Centre for Academic Primary Care at the University of Bristol and co-lead author, said:

The negative impact of domestic violence and abuse on health results in higher use of healthcare services by abused women compared to the general population. This means that healthcare services are an important point of contact for DVA victims and survivors. We have already seen improvements in GPs’ ability to identify and refer women experiencing DVA through the success of the IRIS (Identification and Referral to Improve Safety) programme. IRIS has recently been adapted for sexual and reproductive health services. Our findings support the case for adapting the IRIS intervention to the community pharmacy setting, although more research is needed to explore if and how this could be done.”

The research was supported by NIHR CLAHRC West and CLAHRC North Thames.

Papers:

Exposure to domestic violence and abuse and consultations for emergency contraception: nested case-control study in a UK primary care dataset. Joni Jackson, Natalia V Lewis, Gene S Feder, Penny Whiting, Timothy Jones, John Macleod, Maria Theresa Redaniel. British Journal of General Practice. 4 December 2018.

Use of emergency contraception among women with experience of domestic violence and abuse: a systematic review. Natalia V Lewis, Theresa HM Moore, Gene S Feder, John Macleod, Penny Whiting. BMC Family Practice. 26 September 2018.

CLAHRC research has Europe-wide impact

Dr Werner Leber, an East London GP with a passion for driving earlier identification and diagnosis of HIV, has seen his work recognised by the European agency responsible for the continent’s defences against infectious disease – the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Dr Leber (above) is a practising GP in Tower Hamlets as well as being an NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Primary Care. His work with the CLAHRC, based at the Queen Mary University of London, aims to improve the identification and management of people with HIV.

Werner’s research among East London’s GP practices will now have a Europe-wide impact after being highlighted as good practice by the ECDC in its first integrated European hepatitis B virus (HBV) hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV testing guidance. The trial is summarised on page 71 of the guidance.

“The results support the hypothesis that an education programme promoting rapid HIV testing in general practice leads to increased and earlier HIV diagnosis.”

Public health guidance on HIV, hepatitis B and C testing in the EU/EEA;
An integrated approach
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, 2018

The project consortium and a panel of experts highlighted work published by Dr Leber and his team – Promotion of rapid testing for HIV in primary care (RHIVA2): a cluster-randomised controlled trial as a case study to support the published evidence and advice for implementation for the new guidance.

Read the RHIVA2 case study as a stand-alone document.

In this trial in Hackney, general practices were randomly assigned to offer either opt-out rapid HIV testing to newly registering adults or continuing usual care. The study found that promotion of opt-out rapid testing in general practice led to an increased rate of diagnosis, and might increase early detection, of HIV.

In developing the guidance the ECDC looked for excellent examples of HBV, HCV and HIV testing services across EU/EEA Member States, reviewing the latest evidence and putting out two published calls for submissions of good practice.

Promotion of rapid testing for HIV in primary care (RHIVA2): a cluster-randomised controlled trial
Lancet HIV. 2015 Jun;2(6):e229-35. doi: 10.1016/S2352-3018(15)00059-4. Epub 2015 Apr 28.
Leber W, McMullen H, Anderson J, Marlin N, Santos AC, Bremner S, Boomla K, Kerry S, Millett D, Mguni S, Creighton S, Figueroa J, Ashcroft R, Hart G, Delpech V, Brown A,
Rooney G, Sampson M, Martineau A, Terris-Prestholt F, Griffiths C

What do hospitals need for a board-level quality improvement intervention to work?

Healthcare systems around the world are becoming more concerned with strengthening board level governance of quality. In England, national healthcare regulators are developing approaches, resources and interventions aimed at supporting senior hospital leaders in their role in the governance of quality.

New CLAHRC research investigates the organisational response to an improvement intervention in six hospital boards across England. The research, published in a new BMJ paper and BITE-sized summary shows the results a 30-month period of fieldwork, involving interviewing NHS board members, observing board meetings and analysing relevant documentation.

The findings will be relevant to NHS Boards, the staff and clinicians they lead and all those in the NHS working to improve the quality and safety of care.

As well as researchers, the results will be of interest to policymakers, regulators, knowledge mobilisation organisations and thinkers on boards and leadership across all sectors.

Read the iQUASER paper

Explaining organisational responses to a board-level quality improvement intervention: findings from an evaluation in six providers in the English National Health Service

Background Healthcare systems worldwide are concerned with strengthening board-level governance of quality. We applied Lozeau, Langley and Denis’ typology (transformation, customisation, loose coupling and corruption) to describe and explain the organisational response to an improvement intervention in six hospital boards in England.

Read a BMJ editorial highlighting the paper as “an example of an empirical study that successfully enters into dialogue with management theory

Engaging with theory: from theoretically informed to theoretically informative improvement research

Repeated calls have been made for the increased use of theory in designing and evaluating improvement and implementation interventions.1-4 The benefits are argued to include identifying contextual influences on quality improvement (QI), supporting the generalisability of findings and anticipating how future phenomena might unfold.2 5 Most importantly, the ability of

Read our “need to know” summary

What do hospitals need for a board-level quality improvement
intervention to work?

One to one specialling and sitters in acute care hospitals; reviewing the evidence

One to one nursing, or specialling is a way of caring for patients by providing continuous observation (by “sitters”) for an individual for a period of time during acute physical or mental illness.

Some patients need more than a general level of observation on a ward, often with the primary aim of reducing risk and protecting the patient.

Our review, published in a BITE, examined published evidence on the topic of specialling and sitters, aiming to identify the challenges and concerns relating to the cost effectiveness and quality of care.