Towards evidence-based health care reform.
Health care reform in Europe is discussed in the light of the Ljubljana Charter, with particular reference to progress made in Estonia and Lithuania. (+info)
Investigating fatigue of less than 6 months' duration. Guidelines for family physicians.
OBJECTIVE: To develop an evidence-based systematic approach to assessment of adult patients who present to family physicians complaining of fatigue of less than 6 months' duration. The guidelines present investigative options, making explicit what should be considered in all cases and what should be considered only in specific situations. They aim to provide physicians with an approach that, to the extent possible, is based on evidence so that time and cost are minimized and detection and management of the cause of the fatigue are optimized. QUALITY OF EVIDENCE: MEDLINE was searched from 1966 to 1997 using the key words "family practice" and "fatigue." Articles about chronic fatigue syndrome were excluded. Articles with level 3 evidence were found, but no randomized trials, cohort studies, or case-control studies were found. Articles looking specifically at the epidemiology, demographics, investigations, and diagnoses of patients with fatigue were chosen. Articles based on studies at referral and specialty centres were given less weight than those based on studies in family physicians' offices. MAIN MESSAGE: Adherence to these guidelines will decrease the cost of investigating the symptom of fatigue and optimize diagnosis and management. This needs to be proved in practice, however, and with research that produces level 1 and 2 evidence. CONCLUSIONS: Adults presenting with fatigue of less than 6 months' duration should be assessed for psychosocial causes and should have a focused history and physical examination to determine whether further investigations should be done. The guidelines outline investigations to be considered. The elderly require special consideration. These guidelines have group validation, but they need to be tested by more physicians in various locations and types of practices. (+info)
Infective endocarditis and dentistry: outcome-based research.
Antibiotic prophylaxis for prevention of infective endocarditis has long been recommended for patients receiving dental care. Two studies of patients with endocarditis found limited risk associated with dental treatment. It is imperative that guidelines for therapy be based on outcome studies and on evidence of safety, efficacy and cost effectiveness. (+info)
A design model for computer-based guideline implementation based on information management services.
Clinical practice guidelines must be implemented effectively if they are to influence the behavior of clinicians. The authors describe a model for computer-based guideline implementation that identifies eight information management services needed to integrate guideline-based decision support with clinical workflow. Recommendation services determine appropriate activities in specific clinical circumstances. Documentation services involve data capture. Registration services integrate demographic and administrative data. Explanation services enhance the credibility of automated recommendations by providing supportive evidence and rating the quality of evidence. Calculation services measure time intervals, suggest medication dosages, and perform other computational tasks. Communication services employ standards for information transfer and provide data security. Effective presentation services facilitate understanding of complex data, clarify trends, and format written materials (including prescriptions) for patients. Aggregation services associate outcomes with specific guideline interventions. The authors provide examples of the eight services that make up the model from five evidence-based practice parameters developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. (+info)
Maternity Care Guidelines checklist. To assist physicians in implementing CPGs.
PROBLEM BEING ADDRESSED: Implementing the recommended clinical practice guidelines for prenatal care can be difficult for busy practitioners because the guidelines are numerous and continually being revised. OBJECTIVE OF PROGRAM: To develop a checklist outlining the current recommended activities for prenatal care to assist practitioners in providing evidence-based interventions to pregnant women. MAIN COMPONENTS OF PROGRAM: We reviewed guidelines for prenatal care from the Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health Examination (CTFPHE) and from the report of the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). We searched MEDLINE for interventions commonly performed in pregnancy, but not reviewed by either task force. Interventions graded A or B are listed in bold type on the checklist. Interventions graded C by either task force or recommended by organizations not necessarily using the same rigorous criteria are listed in plain type. Recommended interventions are displayed along a time line under three headings: clinical maneuvers, investigations, and issues for discussion. Pilot testing by 12 practising physicians and 12 family practice residents showed that most respondents thought the checklist very useful. CONCLUSIONS: Providing a one-page checklist summarizing recommended clinical maneuvers, investigations, and topics for discussion should help physicians with implementing the many clinical practice guidelines for prenatal care. (+info)
Achieving 'best practice' in health promotion: improving the fit between research and practice.
This paper is based on the proposition that transfer of knowledge between researchers and practitioners concerning effective health promotion interventions is less than optimal. It considers how evidence concerning effectiveness in health promotion is established through research, and how such evidence is applied by practitioners and policy makers in deciding what to do and what to fund when addressing public health problems. From this examination it is concluded that there are too few rewards for researchers which encourage research with potential for widespread application and systematic development of promising interventions to a stage of field dissemination. Alternatively, practitioners often find themselves in the position of tackling a public health problem where evidence of efficacy is either lacking, or has to be considered alongside a desire to respond to expressed community needs, or the need to respond to political imperative. Several different approaches to improving the fit between research and practice are proposed, and they include improved education and training for practitioners, outcomes focussed program planning, and a more structured approach to rewarding research development and dissemination. (+info)
Evidence for success in health promotion: suggestions for improvement.
This paper argues that health promotion needs to develop an approach to evaluation and effectiveness that values qualitative methodologies. It posits the idea that qualitative research could learn from the experience of quantitative researchers and promote more useful ways of measuring effectiveness by the use of intermediate and indirect indicators. It refers to a European-wide project designed to gather information on the effectiveness of health promotion interventions. This project discovered that there was a need for an instrument that allowed qualitative intervention methodologies to be assessed in the same way as quantitative methods. (+info)
What proportion of primary psychiatric interventions are based on evidence from randomised controlled trials?
OBJECTIVES: To estimate the proportion of psychiatric inpatients receiving primary interventions based on randomised controlled trials or systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials. DESIGN: Retrospective survey. SETTING: Acute adult general psychiatric ward. SUBJECTS: All patients admitted to the ward during a 28 day period. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary interventions were classified according to whether or not they were supported by evidence from randomised controlled trials or systematic reviews. RESULTS: The primary interventions received by 26/40 (65%; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 51% to 79%) of patients admitted during the period were based on randomised trials or systematic reviews. CONCLUSIONS: When patients were used as the denominator, most primary interventions given in acute general psychiatry were based on experimental evidence. The evidence was difficult to locate; there is an urgent need for systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials in this area. (+info)