The latest in the CaHRU and Lincoln Institute for Health Improvement Science and Research Methods seminar series was given by Professor Siriwardena on ‘Quality Improvement Collaboratives (QICs): theory design and effects on 28 February 2018. The CaHRU team have led three large scale collaboratives over the past 12 years, including Resources for Effective Sleep Treatment (REST), the Ambulance Services Cardiovascular Quality Initiative (ASCQI) and most recently Scaling up PINCER (a pharmacist and information technology intervention to reduce potential clinically important prescribing errors in general practice.
QICs are an organised, multifaceted approach to quality improvement involving five essential features: a specified topic; clinical experts and experts in quality improvement provide ideas and support for improvement; multi-professional teams from multiple sites participate; using a model for improvement (measurement, change, feedback); and a collaborative process involves series of structured activities. The talk described how QICs have been used to implement healthcare interventions at scale and referred to a recent systematic review suggesting that over 4 out of 5 reported improvement in one or more outcomes although the quality of studies was variably poor.
QICs were described in terms of their common features: a logic model and theory of change; the complex (pragmatic) contexts of the intervention, setting and participants; and the variation in effects and changes that the intervention can or will undergo during the process of the collaborative. It was proposed that there were different types of collaborative based on their purpose which could be for intervention development, increasing reliability of evidence based processes, or scaling up evidence based complex interventions. It was argued that reviews of QICs should consider these different purposes when describing the outcomes and effects of QICs.
By Professor Niro Siriwardena[su_document url=”https://communityandhealth.dev.lincoln.ac.uk/files/2018/03/QICs_Siriwardena.pdf” width=”660″ responsive=”no”]Multi-morbidity, goal-oriented care, the community and equity[/su_document]
This year’s British Sleep Society (BSS) conference, held in Brighton at the Hilton Metropole, featured an invited presentation from Prof Niro Siriwardena, director of CaHRU, entitled ‘Tribulations and trials in primary care insomnia’.
After a welcome to the conference by Professor Mary Morell, President of the BSS, the opening keynote was given by Professor Franco Cappuccio, from the University of Warwick on the topic of ‘Healthy sleep’. This was followed by the opening session of the conference on ‘Sleep and health’ chaired by Professor Graham Law, secretary of the BSS and a member of CaHRU. This session included three presentations. The first was on ‘Sleep and chronic pain: moving from association to causation?’ give by Dr John McBeth, Reader at the University of Manchester. He described the bidirectional relationship between chronic pain and sleep, with pain giving rise to insomnia and sleep disturbance exacerbating or even causing pain. Studies had shown that treating insomnia in people with chronic pain, for example due to fibromyalgia led to improvements in wellbeing and quality of life but no improvement in pain.
Prof Siriwardena next talked about how he had initially developed an interest in the problem of insomnia through initial research into use of sleeping tablets by general practitioners. ‘Tribulations and trials in primary care insomnia’ went on to describe the studies that showed that hypnotic drugs like benzodiazepines and z-drugs though often prescribed for insomnia did more harm than good, and that primary care trials of cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) showed positive effects. He went on to describe the work on the Resources for Effective Sleep Treatment (REST) project, a quality improvement project which successfully implemented CBT-I in general practice which led to reduced hypnotic prescribing in those practices. Because of the low uptake of CBT-I in primary care, there was increasing evidence that online or self-help CBT-I was effective with similar effect sizes to face-to-face individual or group therapy. Finally he presented the evidence on short behavioural therapies such as sleep restriction therapy including a forthcoming HTA funded trial led by Oxford University’s Simon Kyle and involving the Universities of Manchester (Peter Bower) and Lincoln (Niro Siriwardena).
The final talk in the session was Dr Eleanor Scott, Senior Lecturer at Leeds University and Consultant Diabetologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, who spoke on Sleep and metabolic health, describing the relationship between insomnia and diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. This was followed by Dr Jason Rihel,of University College London discussing his work on sleep in zebrafish and Dr Claire Sexton of Oxford University on her work on sleep related to dementia. Brighton was an excellent setting for a well-attended BSS conference.
The research seeks to improve treatment for people suffering with sleep problems by promoting a range of treatment options beyond just sleeping tablets and has led to a series of peer-reviewed and highly cited publications in journals such as the British Journal of General Practice, Health Expectations, Sleep, Biomed Central Family Practice, and the British Medical Journal. Subsequent research has also been undertaken in collaboration with other institutions including Universities of Glasgow, Connecticut and Ghent and also Harvard and Oxford Universities.
The project led to its own REST project website (http://restproject.org.uk/) in 2011 and a REST e-learning programme for primary care professionals on how to manage insomnia using non-drug therapy which has been accessed almost 12,000 times by 10,000 users in over 150 countries with over 5,000 users in the UK alone. REST was showcased as one of three impact case studies submitted from CaHRU to REF2014.