Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Publication
    Interventions to Optimise Mental Health Outcomes During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Scoping Review
    Adverse mental health has been a major consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. This review examines interventions to enhance mental health outcomes and well-being of populations during COVID-19. Four electronic databases (MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Embase, and CINAHL) were searched following Arskey and O’Malley’s six-staged scoping review process. Twenty studies were included in the review. Various study populations were included to ensure greater generalisability of results. Interventions informing treatment of mental health concerns during COVID-19 were included and classified into (a) prevention of poor mental health, (b) therapeutic interventions, and (c) other interventions. Preventative strategies (n = 16) included public health education, modified social media use, technology-based interventions, physical activity, policy adaptations, and therapeutic interventions. Treatment strategies (n = 7) included adapting existing treatment and the creation new treatment programmes and platforms. While current evidence is promising, future research should focus on novel effective interventions to address mental health issues during the pandemic.
      333Scopus© Citations 11
  • Publication
    Psychosocial Interventions for Problem Alcohol Use in Primary Care Settings (PINTA): Baseline Feasibility Data
    Objective: Many individuals receiving methadone maintenance receive their treatment through their primary care provider. As many also drink alcohol excessively, there is a need to address alcohol use to improve health outcomes for these individuals. We examined problem alcohol use and its treatment among people attending primary care for methadone maintenance treatment, using baseline data from a feasibility study of an evidence-based complex intervention to improve care. Methods: Data on addiction care processes were collected by (1) reviewing clinical records (n = 129) of people who attended 16 general practices for methadone maintenance treatment and (2) administering structured questionnaires to both patients (n = 106) and general practitioners (GPs) (n = 15). Results: Clinical records indicated that 24 patients (19%) were screened for problem alcohol use in the 12 months prior to data collection, with problem alcohol use identified in 14 (58% of those screened, 11% of the full sample). Of those who had positive screening results for problem alcohol use, five received a brief intervention by a GP and none were referred to specialist treatment. Scores on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) revealed the prevalence of hazardous, harmful, and dependent drinking to be 25% (n = 26), 6% (n = 6), and 16% (n = 17), respectively. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for the proportion of patients with negative AUDITs was 0.038 (SE = 0.01). The ICCs for screening, brief intervention, and/or referral to treatment (SBIRT) were 0.16 (SE = 0.014), −0.06 (SE = 0.017), and 0.22 (SE = 0.026), respectively. Only 12 (11.3%) AUDIT questionnaires concurred with corresponding clinical records that a patient had any/no problem alcohol use. Regular use of primary care was evident, as 25% had visited their GP more than 12 times during the past 3 months. Conclusions: Comparing clinical records with patients’ experience of SBIRT can shed light on the process of care. Alcohol screening in people who attend primary care for substance use treatment is not routinely conducted. Interventions that enhance the care of problem alcohol use among this high-risk group are a priority.
      574Scopus© Citations 10
  • Publication
    Commentary on Zeremski et al. (2016): Improvements in HCV-related Knowledge Among Substance Users on Opioid Agonist Therapy After an Educational Intervention
    Zeremski et al highlight how improving patients’ knowledge about Hepatitis C virus (HCV) care can enhance adherence to treatment plans and improved treatment outcomes (Zeremski et al. 2016). In this regard we believe that patients’ knowledge of HCV care can best be optimised through community based approaches to HCV treatment as supported by recent findings from Wade et al and Grebely et al (Wade et al. 2015, Grebely et al. 2016).
      260Scopus© Citations 1
  • Publication
    Digital network of writers helps to foster spirit of collaboration: Letter to the editor
    (Royal College of Nursing, 2015-07-29) ; ; ;
    Nurse Liz Charalambous has shown how a Facebook group can help boost writing (careers, June 3). We would like to take this idea one step further and argue that, contrary to a commonly held notion, 'too many cooks do not spoil the broth' when it comes to group writing. Instead, this approach fosters collaboration between writers, as Ms Charalambous suggests, and which has also been our experience.
      164Scopus© Citations 1
  • Publication
    Enhancing GP care of mental health disorders post-Covid 19: A scoping review of interventions
    An abundance of literature is being published reporting the negative mental health sequelae of the COVID-19 pandemic. This surge in mental health problems will likely present to primary care over the coming months. Initiatives are being proposed nationally and internationally to tackle this problem. It is of utmost importance for general practitioners to have interventions in place which can improve care of these mental illnesses. This research aims to undertake a scoping review of the literature to examine interventions which could be implemented in general practice post COVID-19 to improve care of mental health disorders arising from the pandemic.
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  • Publication
    Feasibility of alcohol screening among people receiving Opioid treatment in primary care
    Background: Identifying and treating problem alcohol use among people who also use illicit drugs is a challenge. Primary care is well placed to address this challenge but there are several barriers which may prevent this occurring. The objective of this study was to determine if a complex intervention designed to support screening and brief intervention for problem alcohol use among people receiving opioid agonist treatment is feasible and acceptable to healthcare providers and their patients in a primary care setting. Methods: A randomised, controlled, pre-and-post design measured feasibility and acceptability of alcohol screening based on recruitment and retention rates among patients and practices. Efficacy was measured by screening and brief intervention rates and the proportion of patients with problem alcohol use. Results: Of 149 practices that were invited, 19 (12.8 %) agreed to participate. At follow up, 13 (81.3 %) practices with 81 (62.8 %) patients were retained. Alcohol screening rates in the intervention group were higher at follow up than in the control group (53 % versus 26 %) as were brief intervention rates (47 % versus 19 %). Four (18 %) people reduced their problem drinking (measured by AUDIT-C), compared to two (7 %) in the control group. Conclusions: Alcohol screening among people receiving opioid agonist treatment in primary care seems feasible. A definitive trial is needed. Such a trial would require over sampling and greater support for participating practices to allow for challenges in recruitment of patients and practices.
      254Scopus© Citations 10
  • Publication
    Study Protocol: Prospective, observational, cohort study of COVID-19 in General Practice (North Dublin COVID-19 Cohort [‘ANTICIPATE’] Study)
    Background: It is accepted that COVID-19 will have considerable long-term consequences, especially on people’s mental and physical health and wellbeing. Although the impacts on local communities have been immense, there remains little data on long term outcomes among patients with COVID-19 who were managed in general practice and primary care. This study seeks to address this knowledge gap by examining how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the medium and long-term health and wellbeing of patients attending general practice, especially their mental health and wellbeing. Methods: The study will be conducted at 12 general practices in the catchment area of the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, i.e. the North Dublin area, an area which has experienced an especially high COVID-19 incidence. Practices will be recruited from the professional networks of the research team. A member of the general practice team will be asked to identify patients of the practice who attended the practice after 16/3/20 with a confirmed or presumptive diagnosis of COVID-19 infection. Potential participants will be provided with information on the study by the clinical team. Data will be collected on those patients who consent to participate by means of an interviewer-administered questionnaire and review of clinical records. Data will be collected on health (especially mental health) and wellbeing, quality of life, health behaviours, health service utilisation, and wider impacts of COVID-19 at recruitment and at two follow up time points (6, 12 months). Deliverables: The project involves collaboration with Ireland’s Health Service Executive, Ireland East Hospital Group, and the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin. The study is funded by the Health Research Board. Findings will inform health policies that attenuate the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on population mental health and health generally.
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