|University of Adelaide
|medical protocols, clinical trials; Evidence-based medicine; Lungs Diseases, Obstructive Treatment.; Patient participation
|Full text PDF:
Interventions are needed to improve health outcomes by increasing the practice of evidence based medicine ( EBM ). Patient mediated interventions have been little studied but hold promise : they target identified barriers to EBM and particular types of patient mediated intervention have shown success. Furthermore, consumers are now being given information about evidence but the effects of this on EBM have yet to be properly assessed. The aim of this study was to show whether informing patients about research evidence leads to improved application of that evidence in their medical care. The study trialed a relatively low cost manual, developed using current best practice, which summarised Cochrane Reviews of evidence. The study focused on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( COPD ), a high - cost, high - burden chronic disease, showing a large gap between evidence and clinical practice. The study comprised a controlled before - and - after trial and a process evaluation. The trial assessed the success of this manual in changing medical practice for three indicator treatments ( influenza vaccination, bone density testing and pulmonary rehabilitation ) and in changing patient quality of life, knowledge, communication with doctor, satisfaction with information and anxiety. Results were analysed by median split of socioeconomic disadvantage. At 3 months the manual was associated with lower anxiety for participants with lowest socioeconomic disadvantage. At 12 months the manual was associated with higher pulmonary rehabilitation enrolment for participants with greatest socioeconomic disadvantage. Other outcome measures showed no significant change. Limitations included loss of power from unexpectedly good baseline care and adjustments for baseline differences. The process evaluation showed that the manual was read more than a control pamphlet at both 3 and 12 months but a minority of manual recipients reported talking to their doctor about topics from the manual. Very little treatment change was reported. Patient attitudes to evidence and doctor / patient communication norms appeared to be barriers for this patient group. New protocols for the design of behavioural interventions provide a framework for overcoming these barriers in future interventions.