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SWSLHD Research News

Fairfield Hospital staff recent publications

Congratulations to Fairfield Hospital staff on their recently published articles

Featured Research

Brady, B., Sidhu, B., Jennings, M., Boland, R., Hassett, G., Chipchase, L., Tang, C., Yaacoub, S., Pavlovic, N., Sayad, S., Andary, T., Ogul, S., & Naylor, J. (2023). The feasibility of implementing a cultural mentoring program alongside pain management and physical rehabilitation for chronic musculoskeletal conditions: results of a controlled before-and-after pilot study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 24(1), 47. 

BACKGROUNDCulturally diverse communities face barriers managing chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions including navigation challenges, sub-optimal healthcare provider engagement and difficulty adopting self-management behaviours.OBJECTIVESTo explore the feasibility and trends of effectiveness of implementing a cultural mentoring program alongside clinical service delivery.METHODSThis quasi-experimental controlled before-and-after multiple case study was conducted in three hospital-based services that provide treatment for patients with musculoskeletal pain. Two prospective cohorts, a pre-implementation and a post-implementation cohort, of adults with chronic musculoskeletal pain who attended during the 6-month recruitment phase, were eligible if they self-identified with one of the cultures prioritised for mentoring by the clinic. The pre-implementation cohort received routine care for up to 3-months, while the post-implementation cohort received up to 3-months of cultural mentoring integrated into routine care (3 to 10 sessions), provided by a consumer (n = 6) with lived experience. Feasibility measures (recruitment and completion rates, attendance, satisfaction), and trends of effectiveness (Patient Activation Measure and Health Literacy Questionnaire items one and six) were collated over 3-months for both cohorts. Outcomes were presented descriptively and analysed using Mann-Whitney U-tests for between-group comparisons. Translation and transcription of post-treatment semi-structured interviews allowed both cohorts' perspectives of treatment to be analysed using a Rapid Assessment Process.RESULTSThe cultural mentor program was feasible to implement in clinical services with comparable recruitment rates (66% pre-implementation; 61% post-implementation), adequate treatment attendance (75% pre-implementation; 89% post-implementation), high treatment satisfaction (97% pre-implementation; 96% post-implementation), and minimal participant drop-out (CONCLUSIONParticipant experiences and observations of improved patient activation provide support for the acceptability of the mentoring intervention integrated into routine care. These results support the feasibility of conducting a definitive trial, while also exploring issues of scalability and sustainability.


Brady, B., Sidhu, B., Jennings, M., Saberi, G., Tang, C., Hassett, G., Boland, Robert., Dennis, S., Ashton-James, C., Refshauge, K., Descallar, J., Lim, D., Said, C. M., Williams, G., Sayed, Samia., & Naylor, Justine M. (2023). The Natural Helper approach to culturally responsive disease management: protocol for a type 1 effectiveness-implementation cluster randomised controlled trial of a cultural mentor programme. BMJ Open, 13(1), e069120.

INTRODUCTION: Chronic disease is a leading cause of death and disability that disproportionately burdens culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. Self-management is a cornerstone of effective chronic disease management. However, research suggests that patients from CALD communities may be less likely to engage with self-management approaches. The Natural Helper Programme aims to facilitate patient engagement with self-management approaches (ie, 'activation') by embedding cultural mentors with lived experience of chronic disease into chronic disease clinics/programmes. The Natural Helper Trial will explore the effect of cultural mentors on patient activation, health self-efficacy, coping efforts and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) while also evaluating the implementation strategy. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A hybrid type-1 effectiveness-implementation cluster-randomised controlled trial (phase one) and a mixed-method controlled before-and-after cohort extension of the trial (phase 2). Hospital clinics in highly multicultural regions in Australia that provide healthcare for patients with chronic and/or complex conditions, will participate. A minimum of 16 chronic disease clinics (clusters) will be randomised to immediate (active arm) or delayed implementation (control arm). In phase 1, the active arm will receive a multifaceted strategy supporting them to embed cultural mentors in their services while the control arm continues with usual care. Each cluster will recruit an average of 15 patients, assessed at baseline and 6 months (n=240). In phase 2, clusters in the control arm will receive the implementation strategy and evaluate the intervention on an additional 15 patients per cluster, while sustainability in active arm clusters will be assessed qualitatively. Change in activation over 6 months, measured using the Patient Activation Measure will be the primary effectiveness outcome, while secondary effectiveness outcomes will explore changes in chronic disease self-efficacy, coping strategies and HRQoL. Secondary implementation outcomes will be collected from patient-participants, mentors and healthcare providers using validated questionnaires, customised surveys and interviews aligning with the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance framework to evaluate acceptability, reach, dose delivered, sustainability, cost-utility and healthcare provider determinants. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This trial has full ethical approval (2021/ETH12279). The results from this hybrid trial will be presented at scientific meetings and published in peer-reviewed journals. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ACTRN12622000697785.

Dr. David Graham

Sivakumar B, Graham D, Yang OO, Lawson R. Biomechanical Analysis of Abductor Pollicis Longus Lasso Suspensionplasty for Trapeziectomy. J Hand Surg Am. 2022 Jun;47(6):581.e1-581.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2021.06.012. 

Jolanta Swierczynski

Chow JSF, Barclay G, Harlum J, Swierczynski J, Jobburn K, Agar M; PEACH Program; PEACH Program Inter-District Executive Management Group. Palliative Care Home Support Packages (PEACH): a carer cross-sectional survey. BMJ Support Palliat Care. 2022 May;12(e1):e68-e74. doi: 10.1136/bmjspcare-2020-002294. 

Dr Ramanathan Lakshmanan

Sarangi RK, Rajamani A, Lakshmanan R, Srinivasan S, Arvind H. A Survey of Clinicians Regarding Goals of Care for Patients with Severe Comorbid Illnesses Hospitalized for an Acute Deterioration. Indian J Crit Care Med. 2022 Summer;26(4):457-463. doi: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-24166.