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Fonhus MS, Dalsbo TK, Johansen M, et al. Patient-mediated interventions to improve professional practice. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Sep 11;9:CD012472. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD012472.pub2. (Systematic review)
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Healthcare professionals are important contributors to healthcare quality and patient safety, but their performance does not always follow recommended clinical practice. There are many approaches to influencing practice among healthcare professionals. These approaches include audit and feedback, reminders, educational materials, educational outreach visits, educational meetings or conferences, use of local opinion leaders, financial incentives, and organisational interventions. In this review, we evaluated the effectiveness of patient-mediated interventions. These interventions are aimed at changing the performance of healthcare professionals through interactions with patients, or through information provided by or to patients. Examples of patient-mediated interventions include 1) patient-reported health information, 2) patient information, 3) patient education, 4) patient feedback about clinical practice, 5) patient decision aids, 6) patients, or patient representatives, being members of a committee or board, and 7) patient-led training or education of healthcare professionals.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the effectiveness of patient-mediated interventions on healthcare professionals' performance (adherence to clinical practice guidelines or recommendations for clinical practice).

SEARCH METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, Ovid in March 2018, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in March 2017, and ClinicalTrials.gov and the International Clinical Trials Registry (ICTRP) in September 2017, and OpenGrey, the Grey Literature Report and Google Scholar in October 2017. We also screened the reference lists of included studies and conducted cited reference searches for all included studies in October 2017.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised studies comparing patient-mediated interventions to either usual care or other interventions to improve professional practice.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently assessed studies for inclusion, extracted data and assessed risk of bias. We calculated the risk ratio (RR) for dichotomous outcomes using Mantel-Haenszel statistics and the random-effects model. For continuous outcomes, we calculated the mean difference (MD) using inverse variance statistics. Two review authors independently assessed the certainty of the evidence (GRADE).

MAIN RESULTS: We included 25 studies with a total of 12,268 patients. The number of healthcare professionals included in the studies ranged from 12 to 167 where this was reported. The included studies evaluated four types of patient-mediated interventions: 1) patient-reported health information interventions (for instance information obtained from patients about patients' own health, concerns or needs before a clinical encounter), 2) patient information interventions (for instance, where patients are informed about, or reminded to attend recommended care), 3) patient education interventions (intended to increase patients' knowledge about their condition and options of care, for instance), and 4) patient decision aids (where the patient is provided with information about treatment options including risks and benefits). For each type of patient-mediated intervention a separate meta-analysis was produced.Patient-reported health information interventions probably improve healthcare professionals' adherence to recommended clinical practice (moderate-certainty evidence). We found that for every 100 patients consulted or treated, 26 (95% CI 23 to 30) are in accordance with recommended clinical practice compared to 17 per 100 in the comparison group (no intervention or usual care). We are uncertain about the effect of patient-reported health information interventions on desirable patient health outcomes and patient satisfaction (very low-certainty evidence). Undesirable patient health outcomes and adverse events were not reported in the included studies and resource use was poorly reported.Patient information interventions may improve healthcare professionals' adherence to recommended clinical practice (low-certainty evidence). We found that for every 100 patients consulted or treated, 32 (95% CI 24 to 42) are in accordance with recommended clinical practice compared to 20 per 100 in the comparison group (no intervention or usual care). Patient information interventions may have little or no effect on desirable patient health outcomes and patient satisfaction (low-certainty evidence). We are uncertain about the effect of patient information interventions on undesirable patient health outcomes because the certainty of the evidence is very low. Adverse events and resource use were not reported in the included studies.Patient education interventions probably improve healthcare professionals' adherence to recommended clinical practice (moderate-certainty evidence). We found that for every 100 patients consulted or treated, 46 (95% CI 39 to 54) are in accordance with recommended clinical practice compared to 35 per 100 in the comparison group (no intervention or usual care). Patient education interventions may slightly increase the number of patients with desirable health outcomes (low-certainty evidence). Undesirable patient health outcomes, patient satisfaction, adverse events and resource use were not reported in the included studies.Patient decision aid interventions may have little or no effect on healthcare professionals' adherence to recommended clinical practice (low-certainty evidence). We found that for every 100 patients consulted or treated, 32 (95% CI 24 to 43) are in accordance with recommended clinical practice compared to 37 per 100 in the comparison group (usual care). Patient health outcomes, patient satisfaction, adverse events and resource use were not reported in the included studies.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: We found that two types of patient-mediated interventions, patient-reported health information and patient education, probably improve professional practice by increasing healthcare professionals' adherence to recommended clinical practice (moderate-certainty evidence). We consider the effect to be small to moderate. Other patient-mediated interventions, such as patient information may also improve professional practice (low-certainty evidence). Patient decision aids may make little or no difference to the number of healthcare professionals' adhering to recommended clinical practice (low-certainty evidence).The impact of these interventions on patient health and satisfaction, adverse events and resource use, is more uncertain mostly due to very low certainty evidence or lack of evidence.

Ratings
Original Articles included in this ReviewReviews that include this article
Discipline Area Score
Physician 5 / 7
Comments from MORE raters

Physician rater

There is growing interest in primary care on patient-focused interventions designed to improve "professional practice" ie on the quality of care that patient receive. This systematic review provides the most comprehensive review of evidence related to different types of these patient-focused interventions.

Physician rater

This well done review reinforces current practice. The effect size of the interventions is fairly large, reinforcing that these types of interventions have a modest benefit in patient care, but are not a panacea. Many delivery systems and payers in the US already recommend such interventions.

Physician rater

This review largely highlights absence of evidence with relatively few studies evaluating this important area; this could be the basis for recommending better work and evaluation in the area of patient supported health care research.
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