Author Interviews, Global Health, Opiods, Pain Research, Primary Care / 26.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50430" align="alignleft" width="133"]Marisha Burden, MD, FACP, SFHM Associate Professor of Medicine Division Head of Hospital Medicine University of Colorado School of Medicine Dr. Burden[/caption] Marisha Burden, MD, FACP, SFHM Associate Professor of Medicine Division Head of Hospital Medicine University of Colorado School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The United States has seen a marked increase in opioid prescribing since 2000 and while there has been a slight decline in prescribing since 2012, prescription rates for opioids still remain much higher than in the late 1990’s and are considerably higher when compared to other countries. The US continues to see opioid-related complications such as overdoses, hospitalizations, and deaths. Hospitalized patients frequently experience pain and opioid medications are often the mainstay for treatment of pain. Studies have suggested that receipt of opioid prescriptions at the time of hospital discharge may increase risk for long-term use.
Annals Thoracic Surgery, Author Interviews, Beth Israel Deaconess, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Geriatrics, Heart Disease, Primary Care / 23.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50354" align="alignleft" width="140"]Christina C. Wee, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Director , Obesity Research Program Division of General Medicine Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Program, BIDMC Deputy Editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine Dr. Wee[/caption] Christina C. Wee, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Director , Obesity Research Program Division of General Medicine Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Program, BIDMC Deputy Editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: New research is showing that for many people without diagnosed heart disease, the risk of bleeding may outweigh the benefits of taking a daily aspirin particularly in adults over 70 years of age.  The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology recently updated their guidelines and now explicitly recommend against aspirin use among those over the age of 70 who do not have existing heart disease or stroke. Our study found that in 2017,  a quarter of adults aged 40 years or older without cardiovascular disease – approximately 29 million people – reported taking daily aspirin for prevention of heart disease. Of these, some 6.6. million people did so without a physician's recommendation.
Author Interviews, Health Care Systems, Primary Care, University of Pennsylvania / 11.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50224" align="alignleft" width="200"]Molly Candon PhD Research Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Lecturer, Department of Health Care Management The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Co-Instructor, Health Services and Policy Research Methods II, MS in Health Policy Research Program, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania  Dr. Candon[/caption] Molly Candon PhD Research Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Lecturer, Department of Health Care Management The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Co-Instructor, Health Services and Policy Research Methods II, MS in Health Policy Research Program, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: A team of researchers (led by Karin Rhodes, MD and Dan Polsky, PhD) conducted a secret shopper study of thousands of primary care practices across 10 states, with trained callers simulating patients with Medicaid and requesting appointments. One of the outcome measures was whether an appointment was scheduled with a physician or Advanced Practitioner. Between 2012 and 2016, the share of appointments scheduled with Advanced Practitioners increased by five percentage points. 
Author Interviews, Outcomes & Safety, Primary Care / 28.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49386" align="alignleft" width="133"]Janice D. Walker, RN, MBABeth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Janice Walker[/caption] Janice D. Walker, RN, MBA Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In 2010-2011, we launched a pilot intervention in which a limited number of primary care doctors shared the notes they wrote about an office visit with their patients via secure online portals they accessed through their health systems; this practice became known as open notes (our program is called “OpenNotes”). We then surveyed patients and their primary care providers to get feedback on their experiences and published the results in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2012. After the study, the three large health systems that participated—Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, University of Washington Medicine in Seattle, and Geisinger in rural Pennsylvania—made open notes available across ambulatory specialties. In this paper, “OpenNotes After 7 Years: Patient Experiences with Ongoing Access to their Clinicians’ Outpatient Visit Notes," we wanted to examine the ongoing experiences and perceptions of patients who read ambulatory notes written by a broad range of doctors, nurses and other clinicians. We did this by surveying patients who had been seen in a hospital or community based practice, were registered on their patient portal, and had at least one note available to read in a recent 12-month period. The main measures include patient-reported behaviors and their perceptions concerning the benefits and risks of reading their visit notes.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, Primary Care, University of Michigan / 11.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49122" align="alignleft" width="140"]Kao-Ping Chua, M.D., Ph.D.Department of PediatricsSusan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research CenterUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor Dr. Kao-Ping Chua[/caption] Kao-Ping Chua, M.D., Ph.D. Department of Pediatrics Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Doctor and pharmacy shopping is a high-risk behavior in which patients obtain opioid prescriptions from multiple prescribers and fill them at multiple pharmacies. Because this behavior is associated with a high risk of overdose death, there have been many efforts to help clinicians detect doctor and pharmacy shopping among patients prescribed opioids. For example, 49 states have a prescription drug monitoring program that provides information on patients’ prior controlled substance prescriptions. In contrast, there has been little attention to the possibility that patients prescribed opioids may have family members who are engaged in opioid doctor and pharmacy shopping. Such family members may divert opioids prescribed to patients because of their access to these opioids.
Author Interviews, Electronic Records, JAMA, Pediatrics, Primary Care / 07.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49055" align="alignleft" width="173"]Cari McCarty, PhDResearch Professor, UWInvestigator, Seattle Children’s Research Institute Dr. McCarty[/caption] Cari McCarty, PhD Research Professor, UW Investigator, Seattle Children’s Research Institute  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Adolescence is a time when teens begin to take charge of their health, but it is also a time when they can be prone to health risk behaviors, such as insufficient physical activity, poor sleep, and substance use. We were interested in whether using an electronic health risk screening tool in primary care settings could improve healthcare and health for adolescents.  The tool was designed to provide screening as well as motivational feedback directly to adolescents, in addition to clinical decision support for the healthcare clinician.  We conducted a trial with 300 adolescent patients where one group received the screening tool prior to their health checkup, and the other group received usual care.
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, JAMA, Pediatrics, Primary Care, Toxin Research, USPSTF / 23.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48777" align="alignleft" width="160"]Alex H. Krist, MD, MPHVice-Chairperson, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Professor of family medicine and population healt Virginia Commonwealth University Dr. Krist[/caption] Alex H. Krist, MD, MPH Vice-Chairperson, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Professor of family medicine and population healt Virginia Commonwealth University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Exposure to lead can have serious lifelong effects on the health and wellbeing of children. There is no safe level of lead exposure, so finding and removing any source of lead exposure is essential. In its review of the evidence, the Task Force found that more research is needed to determine what primary care clinicians can do to help prevent and treat the health problems that can result from lead exposure in childhood and pregnancy.
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Primary Care / 01.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47260" align="alignleft" width="106"]Diane M. Gibson, Ph.D. Executive Director – New York Federal Statistical Research Data Center, Baruch RDC Associate Professor – Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, Baruch College - CUNY Dr. Gibson[/caption] Diane M. Gibson, Ph.D. Executive Director – New York Federal Statistical Research Data Center, Baruch RDC Associate Professor – Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, Baruch College - CUNY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prior studies have found that screening for diabetic retinopathy in primary care settings using telemedicine increased screening rates among individuals with diabetes and among subgroups of individuals with diabetes who are at high risk of missing recommended eye exams.  In a previous paper I looked at how often U.S. adults with diabetes visited primary care and eye care providers for recommended diabetes preventive care services using a sample from the 2007-2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.  I found that while visits to eye care providers were often skipped, most adults with diabetes did visit primary care physicians.  I argued that these findings suggest that screening for diabetic retinopathy in primary care settings using telemedicine has the potential to fulfill unmet needs and reach most U.S. adults with diabetes. My brief report in JAMA Ophthalmology examines patterns of eye examination receipt and visits to primary care physicians among U.S. adults with diabetes using a sample from the 2016 National Health Interview Survey.  The report pays particular attention to individuals who are at high-risk of missing recommended eye exams. The study found that 87.7% of the sample of adults with diabetes visited a primary care physician in the past year and that, except for the uninsured subgroup, more than 78% of each high-risk subgroup visited a primary care provider in the past year. 
Author Interviews, Hospital Readmissions, JAMA, Primary Care / 28.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Dawn Wiest, 7-day pledge after hospital admissionDawn Wiest, PhD Director, Action Research & Evaluation Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Understanding the role of care transitions after hospitalization in reducing avoidable readmissions, the Camden Coalition launched the 7-Day Pledge in 2014 in partnership with primary care practices in Camden, NJ to address patient and provider barriers to timely post-discharge primary care follow-up. To evaluate whether our program was associated with lower hospital readmissions, we used all-payer hospital claims data from five regional health systems. We compared readmissions for patients who had a primary care follow-up within seven days with similar patients who had a later or no follow-up using propensity score matching.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Primary Care / 10.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46878" align="alignleft" width="142"]Ying Xue, DNSc, RN Associate Professor University of Rochester School of Nursing Rochester NY 14642 Dr. Ying Xue[/caption] Ying Xue, DNSc, RN Associate Professor University of Rochester School of Nursing Rochester NY 14642 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Shortages of primary care physicians have been a national concern, and forecasts project worsening trends in the future.1 The shortfall of primary care physicians is particularly severe in rural and other underserved communities, and some evidence indicates that the shortage of primary care physicians is due to maldistribution rather than insufficient supply.2 Nurse practitioners (NPs) constitute the largest and fastest growing group of non-physician primary care providers. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) estimated that the number of primary care NPs will grow 93% from 2013 to 2025, and a projected shortage of 23,640 full-time equivalent primary care physicians in 2025 could be effectively mitigated with better utilization of NPs and physician assistants.1 As the primary care physician shortage persists, examination of trends in the distribution of primary care NP supply, particularly in relation to populations most in need, will inform strategies to strengthen primary care capacity. However, such evidence is limited, particularly in combination with physician workforce trends. We thus characterized the temporal trends in the distribution of primary care NPs in low-income and rural areas compared with the distribution of primary care physicians.
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cocaine, Opiods, Primary Care / 03.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46771" align="alignleft" width="184"]Sarah M. Bagley MD, MSc Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics Director, CATALYST Clinic Boston University School of Medicine/Boston Medical Center Boston, MA Dr. Bagley[/caption] Sarah M. Bagley MD, MSc Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics Director, CATALYST Clinic Boston University School of Medicine/Boston Medical Center Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Urine drug testing is a routine part of the management of primary care patients with opioid use disorder treated with medications such as buprenorphine. In addition, most providers also ask patients about recent drug use. The point of this study was to see the agreement between the urine drug testing and what patients told a nurse and whether that changed the longer a patient was in treatment. We found that truthful disclosure of opioid and cocaine use increased with time in treatment and that urine drug tests are a useful tool to monitor patients. 
Alcohol, Author Interviews, CDC, JAMA, Primary Care, USPSTF / 20.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46135" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr. Carol Mangione M.D., M.S.P.H., F.A.C.P Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Division Chief of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research Professor of Medicine. Barbara A. Levey, MD, and Gerald S. Levey, MD Endowed chair in medicine David Geffen School of Medicine University of California Dr. Mangione[/caption] Dr. Carol Mangione M.D., M.S.P.H., F.A.C.P Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Division Chief of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research Professor of Medicine. Barbara A. Levey, MD, and Gerald S. Levey, MD Endowed chair in medicine David Geffen School of Medicine University of California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Unhealthy alcohol use is relatively common and is increasing among U.S. adults. Alcohol use is the third leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. and contributes to more than 88,000 deaths per year. In pregnancy, it also leads to birth defects and developmental problems in children. The Task Force found that screening tests and brief counseling interventions can help detect and reduce unhealthy alcohol use among adults, and in turn help prevent negative consequences related to alcohol use. For adolescents ages 12 to 17, clinicians should use their best judgment when deciding whether or not to screen and refer their patients to counseling, until we have better studies available.
Author Interviews, Primary Care, Respiratory, Telemedicine / 02.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44849" align="alignleft" width="150"]Dr. Kathryn A. Martinez PhD MPH CanSORT Cancer Surveillance and Outcomes Research Team Cleveland Clinic Dr Martinez[/caption] Dr. Kathryn A. Martinez PhD MPH CanSORT Cancer Surveillance and Outcomes Research Team Cleveland Clinic MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Most upper respiratory infections are viral and therefore should not be treated with antibiotics. Despite this, physicians commonly prescribe them for these conditions. Patients often expect antibiotics for respiratory tract infections.  As a result, physicians may find it easier to give patients what they want rather than explain to them why antibiotics aren’t needed. We hypothesized it also might be more time consuming for physicians to explain to patients why they don’t need antibiotics, which creates a further incentive to prescribe them. To explore this potential phenomenon, we used data from a large direct to consumer telemedicine system to assess differences in medical encounter length by prescription outcome for patients diagnosed with respiratory tract infections. We found that encounters resulting in antibiotics were 0.33 minutes shorter than those that resulted in no prescriptions, supporting our hypothesis that prescribing an antibiotic takes less time than prescribing nothing.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Kaiser Permanente, Primary Care / 17.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44565" align="alignleft" width="150"]Richard W. Grant MD MPH Research Scientist III, Kaiser Permanente Division of Resarch Adjunct Associate Professor, UCSF Dept Biostatistics & Epidemiology Director, Kaiser Permanente Delivery Science Fellowship Program Co-Director, NIDDK Diabetes Translational Research post-doctoral training program Dr. Grant[/caption] Richard W. Grant MD MPH Research Scientist III, Kaiser Permanente Division of Resarch Adjunct Associate Professor, UCSF Dept Biostatistics & Epidemiology Director, Kaiser Permanente Delivery Science Fellowship Program Co-Director, NIDDK Diabetes Translational Research post-doctoral training program MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Primary care in the United States is in a state of crisis, with fewer trainees entering the field and more current primary care doctors leaving due to professional burnout. Changes in the practice of primary care, including the many burdens related to EHR documentation, has been identified as a major source of physician burnout. There are ongoing efforts to reduce physician burnout by improving the work environment. One innovation has been the use of medical scribes in the exam room who are trained to enter narrative notes based on the patient-provider interview. To date, there have only been a handful of small studies that have looked at the impact of medical scribes on the provider’s experience of providing care.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology, Primary Care, University of Michigan / 11.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44400" align="alignleft" width="142"]Joshua Ehrlich, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences University of Michigan Dr. Ehrlich[/caption] Joshua Ehrlich, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences University of Michigan  MedicalResearch.com: --Describe the “important role” that primary care providers play in promoting eye health? Response: Primary care is the entryway into the health system for many individuals. The poll suggests that when primary care providers discuss vision with their patients, they are more likely to get eye exams. It also suggests that primary care providers are having these conversations most often with those who have certain risk factors for eye disease, such as diabetes or a family history of vision problems, as well as those with fewer economic resources. Promoting these kinds of conversations could bolster this trend, increasing the number of diabetics and other high risk individuals who get appropriate eye care.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, JAMA, Melanoma, Primary Care, University of Pittsburgh / 18.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_34201" align="alignleft" width="200"]Laura Korb Ferris, MD, PhD Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute Director of Clinical Trials, Department of Dermatology University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Dr. Laura K. Ferris[/caption] Laura K. Ferris MD, PhD Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute Director of Clinical Trials, UPMC Department of Dermatology University of Pittsburgh MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Dermatology is one of the greatest utilizers of physician extenders, including physician assistants (PAs) in medicine. The scope of practice of PAs has also expanded over time from a role in assisting the dermatologist to taking a more independent role and many PAs now do skin cancer screening examinations and make independent decisions about which lesions are suspicious for skin cancer and need to be biopsied. Our main findings were that, overall, in comparison to board-certified dermatologists, PAs were more likely to perform biopsies of benign lesions. For every melanoma that they found, PAs biopsied 39 benign lesions whereas dermatologists biopsied 25. In addition, PAs were less likely than dermatologists to diagnose melanoma in situ, the earliest and most curable, but also hardest to identify and diagnose, form of melanoma. However, PAs had a similar rate of diagnosing the more clinically-obvious forms of skin cancer, including invasive melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, JAMA, Primary Care / 16.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Doctors” by Tele Jane is licensed under CC BY 2.0Doug Einstadter, MD, MPH Center for Health Care Research and Policy MetroHealth System and Case Western Reserve University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Despite the recognized importance of blood pressure (BP) control for those with hypertension, based on national surveys only 54% of patients with hypertension seen in primary care have their BP controlled to less than 140/90 mm Hg. Blood pressure measurement error is a major cause of poor BP control. Reducing measurement error has the potential to avoid overtreatment, including side effects from medications which would be intensified or started due to a falsely elevated blood pressure. One way to reduce measurement error is to repeat the BP measurement during an office visit. The American Heart Association recommends repeating a blood pressure at the same clinic visit with at least 1 minute separating BP readings, but due to time constraints or lack of evidence for the value of repeat measurement, busy primary care practices often measure BP only once. Repeating the BP at the same office visit when the initial blood pressure measurement is high has the potential to improve clinical decision-making regarding BP treatment. Several studies have described the effect of a repeat BP measurement in the inpatient setting, but there are little data available to characterize the effect of repeating blood pressure measurement in an outpatient primary care setting.
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, Primary Care / 15.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anna Scandinaro Medical student Penn State College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Dr. Usman Hameed, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, and Dr. Dellasega wrote a previous paper called "What is irritability?" which examined the idea and concept of what irritability in school aged children can encompass. After considering possible definitions of irritability, we wanted to see how the concept manifested in clinical practice, especially with the controversy around the new diagnosis of Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) in the DSM 5. The main findings of this study are that primary care providers (PCP)​identified a need for more training and education in how to assess irritability in pediatric and adolescent populations. In contrast, the child and adolescent psychiatrists we interviewed thought more triage from PCPs who care for school aged children with irritability would be helpful. 
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Infections, Mental Health Research, Primary Care, Roche / 14.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40568" align="alignleft" width="150"]James W. Antoon, MD, PhD, FAAP Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics University of Illinois at Chicago Associate Medical Director, Pediatric Inpatient Unit Children's Hospital, University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System Chicago, IL 60612  Dr. Antoon[/caption] James W. Antoon, MD, PhD, FAAP Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics University of Illinois at Chicago Associate Medical Director, Pediatric Inpatient Unit Children's Hospital, University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System Chicago, IL 60612  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Oseltamivir, commonly known as Tamiflu, is the only commercially available medication FDA approved to treat the flu.  Since the 2009 H1N1 flu epidemic pediatric prescriptions for Tamiflu have soared.  In the United States, about 40% of Tamiflu prescriptions are given to children less than 16 years of age.  Following reports of abnormal behavior, such as hallucinations, self-injury and suicide attempts in adolescents on Tamiflu, the FDA placed a new warning about these neuropsychiatric symptoms on the drug label.  Whenever the FDA puts out label warning about a drug, doctors and the public take notice. Whether Tamiflu truly causes these side effects is unclear.  For this study we chose to focus on the most consequential of those reports: suicide. The potential link between a drug and suicide is a particularly difficult topic to study for a number of reasons. There are things that happen together or at the same time that can influence someone to attempt suicide and it is very difficult to know which thing is actually having an affect. In our study, other things that can influence suicide are socioeconomic status, mental health, trauma, abuse, among others.  Separating the effects of these confounders can be difficult. It is also possible that the disease itself, which in this case is the flu, causes the effect of suicide. Finally, and luckily, suicide is rare. Our database had 12 million children per year and over five year 21,000 attempted suicide. Of those, only 251 were taking Tamiflu. To get past these issues, we took advantage of a growing drug safety research collaboration between the Departments of Pediatrics and Pharmacy at our institution.  Previous studies have compared those on Tamiflu to those not on Tamiflu to see if there are more side effects in the Tamiflu group.  Our team utilized a novel study method called a case-crossover design. What’s different about this study is that we used each patient as their own comparison.  In other words, we compared each patient to themselves rather than a different group of people.  We essentially studied how patients behaved when the Tamiflu was in their system compared to other l periods where they were not on Tamiflu.  This allowed use to account for the personal differences noted above like mental health and socioeconomic status.   We also compared those children with flu who got Tamiflu and those with flu who did not get Tamiflu to see if the infection itself could be associated with increased suicide. After accounting for all these variables, we did not find any an association between Tamiflu exposure and suicide. Our findings suggest that Tamiflu does NOT increase the risk of suicide in children or teenagers.
Author Interviews, Primary Care, Prostate Cancer / 14.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40554" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr. Jason Profetto, MD, CCFP Family and Academic Medicine Chair, Clinical Skills Undergraduate Medical Education McMaster University Dr. Jason Profetto[/caption] Dr. Jason Profetto, MD, CCFP Family and Academic Medicine Chair, Clinical Skills Undergraduate Medical Education McMaster University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: The main reason that prompted me to investigate the issue of digital rectal exams in primary care for prostate screening was that it appeared to be rather dogmatic practice (continually practiced by many despite updated data suggesting a lack of benefit).  I was very curious to see if there was any data that suggested the digital rectal exams was indeed a useful indicator in primary practice (ie. Family Medicine) in detecting prostate cancer in asymptomatic men.  Intuitively, I didn’t believe the DRE was accurate mainly because in medical school it’s generally under-represented in clinical skills teaching and poorly taught and assessed (not just in Ontario, but also Canada).  As a result, it seemed bizarre to me that this specific clinical skills was being used as a routine measure in family medicine to screen for prostate cancer.  Also, for me this was a big issue as many men in my practice were used to having yearly “rectal exams” done and I thought it was time to really take a closer look at the research to see whether or not we can support this practice. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: The main findings suggest that the digital rectal exam is not helpful/accurate in detecting prostate cancer in asymptomatic men in family practice or primary care.
Author Interviews, Primary Care, Pulmonary Disease / 15.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_38964" align="alignleft" width="107"]Dr Jennifer K Quint MSc PhD FHEA FRCP Clinical Senior Lecturer Respiratory Epidemiology Respiratory Epidemiology, Occupational Medicine and Public Health National Heart and Lung Institute Imperial College London Dr. Quint[/caption] Dr Jennifer K Quint MSc PhD FHEA FRCP Clinical Senior Lecturer Respiratory Epidemiology Respiratory Epidemiology, Occupational Medicine and Public Health National Heart and Lung Institute Imperial College London  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We were commissioned by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in the UK to undertake a piece of work to show the value of pulmonary rehabilitation in reducing exacerbations in COPD patients so that they could create a web based tool that would show cost savings if GPs actually referred people for pulmonary rehabilitation. Previous systematic reviews have found that pulmonary rehab can reduce hospital admissions but those groups are often small and not very generalizable so we decided to look at what happens in a primary care COPD population. Our main finding is that people who are eligible for referral are not being referred  - less than 10% eligible were actually referred.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Primary Care, University of Pennsylvania / 14.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_38167" align="alignleft" width="180"]Molly Candon, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research University of Pennsylvania Dr. Candon[/caption] Molly Candon, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We conducted a secret shopper study in 2012, 2014, and 2016 in which simulated Medicaid patients called primary care practices and attempted to schedule an appointment. When Medicaid fees were increased to Medicare levels in 2013 and 2014, primary care appointment availability increased. Once the federally-funded program ended in 2015, most states returned to lower fees. As expected, provider participation in Medicaid declined as well.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Emergency Care, Health Care Systems, Hospital Readmissions, Primary Care / 03.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37314" align="alignleft" width="134"]Roberta Capp MD Assistant Professor Director for Care Transitions in the Department of Emergency Medicine University of Colorado School of Medicine Medical Director of Colorado Access Medicaid Aurora Colorado Dr. Capp[/caption] Roberta Capp MD Assistant Professor Director for Care Transitions in the Department of Emergency Medicine University of Colorado School of Medicine Medical Director of Colorado Access Medicaid Aurora Colorado     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Medicaid clients are at highest risk for utilizing the hospital system due to barriers in accessing outpatient services and social determinants. We have found that providing care management services improves primary care utilization, which leads to better chronic disease management and reductions in emergency department use and hospital admissions.
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Geriatrics, Primary Care / 19.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37029" align="alignleft" width="117"]Matthew L. Maciejewski, PhD Professor in Medicine Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine Center for Health Services Research Primary Care Durham VA Medical Center Duke University Dr. Maciejewski[/caption] Matthew L. Maciejewski, PhD Professor in Medicine Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine Center for Health Services Research Primary Care Durham VA Medical Center Duke University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Treating diabetes requires balancing the risks of long-term harm from under-treatment with the short-term and long-term harm from potential over-treatment. Randomized trials have shown that the benefits of aggressive glycemic control only begin after at least 8 years of treatment. Yet, the harms of aggressive glycemic control –  hypoglycemia, cardiovascular events, cognitive impairment, fractures, and death – can happen at any time. In some older people, “deintensification” of diabetes treatment may be the safer route, because of the risks that come with too-low blood sugar. The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) specifically states that medications other than metformin should be avoided when an older patient’s hemoglobin A1c is less than 7.5%, because the risks of hypoglycemia are larger and the potential benefits of treatment are smaller for older adults with diabetes.  Most attention in prior work has focused on undertreatment of diabetes and there has been only limited investigation of patient characteristics associated with overtreatment of diabetes or severe hypoglycemia. Since the elderly are therefore at greatest risk of overtreatment and Medicare is the primary source of care of the elderly, we examined rates of overtreatment and deintensification of therapy for Medicare beneficiaries, and whether there were any disparities in these rates.  We found that almost 11 percent of Medicare participants with diabetes had very low blood sugar levels that suggested they were being over-treated. But only 14 percent of these patients had a reduction in blood sugar medication refills in the next six months.
Author Interviews, Education, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lifestyle & Health, Primary Care, UCLA / 28.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_36189" align="alignleft" width="133"]Carol M. Mangione, MD, MSPH, FACP Barbara A. Levey, MD, and Gerald S. Levey, MD Endowed chair in medicine David Geffen School of Medicine University of California, Los Angeles Professor of public health at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Dr. Mangione[/caption] Carol M. Mangione, MD, MSPH, FACP Barbara A. Levey, MD, and Gerald S. Levey, MD Endowed chair in medicine David Geffen School of Medicine University of California, Los Angeles Professor of public health at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Americans can experience several health benefits from consuming healthy foods and engaging in physical activity. The Task Force recommends that primary care professionals work together with their patients when making the decision to offer or refer adults who are not obese and do not have hypertension, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, or diabetes to behavior counseling to promote healthful diet and physical activity. Our focus was on the impact of a healthful diet and physical activity on cardiovascular risk because this condition is the leading cause of premature morbidity and mortality. The Task Force evaluates what the science tells us surrounding the potential benefits and harms of a particular preventive service. In this case, the Task Force found high quality evidence focusing on the impact a healthful diet and physical activity can have on a patient’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Relying on this evidence, the Task Force was able to conclude that there is a positive but small benefit of behavioral counseling to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Author Interviews, General Medicine, Primary Care / 26.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_36137" align="alignleft" width="155"]Christine D. Jones, MD, MS, Assistant professor Director of Care Transitions, Hospital Medicine Group University of Colorado School of Medicine Dr. Jones[/caption] Christine D. Jones, MD, MS Assistant professor Director of Care Transitions, Hospital Medicine Group University of Colorado School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background for this study is that referrals to home health care at hospital discharge have increased over recent years.  Yet, care coordination including information exchange and communication is often suboptimal between the hospital and home health care and may contribute to medication list discrepancies and even hospital readmissions. We spoke with focus groups of home health nurses and our main findings were that improvements in key areas could care coordination after hospital discharge. Specific solutions included: 1) Clearly defining the accountability for home health orders after discharge between hospitalists and primary care providers 2) Changes to insurance requirements that currently only allow physicians to write home health orders so that nurse practitioners and physician assistants can also write home health orders 3) Enhancing access for home health agencies to hospital electronic health records and direct phone lines 4) Encouraging liaisons from home health agencies to meet patients in the hospital to align clinician and patient expectations 5) Direct coordination between home health nurses and clinicians or pharmacists to resolve medication discrepancies 6) Ensuring that detailed information about cognitive and behavioral health is included in information provided to home health from referring hospitals
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, Pain Research, Primary Care / 17.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_35965" align="alignleft" width="110"]Jane M. Liebschutz, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Medicine Section of General Internal Medicine Boston University School of Medicine Boston, Massachusetts Dr. Liebschutz[/caption] Jane M. Liebschutz, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Medicine Section of General Internal Medicine Boston University School of Medicine Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The number of patients receiving opioids for chronic pain has risen over the past 2 decades in the US, in parallel with an increase in opioid use disorder. The CDC and professional medical societies have created clinical guidelines to improve the safety of opioid prescribing, yet individual prescribers can find them onerous to implement. We developed an intervention to change clinical practice to support primary care physicians who prescribe the majority of opioids for chronic pain. The intervention included 4 elements- a nurse care manager to help assess, educate and monitor patients, an electronic registry to keep track of patient data and produce physician level reports, an individualized educational session for the physician by an opioid prescribing expert based on the physician-specific practice information and online resources to help with decision-making for opioid prescribing (www.mytopcare.org). We tested whether the intervention would improve adherence to guidelines, decrease opioid doses and decrease early refills, as a marker of potential prescription opioid misuse among 985 patients of 53 primary care clinicians in four primary care practices.
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Primary Care, Vaccine Studies / 14.07.2017

  MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_35932" align="alignleft" width="133"]Hughes Melton, MD, MBA, FAAFP AAFP Foundation president Dr. Melton[/caption] S. Hughes Melton, MD, MBA, FAAFP AAFP Foundation president MedicalResearch: What is the background for this initiative? What are the main vaccinations that teens should have?  Response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adolescents receive four immunizations – two of which are administered as multi-dose series – to help protect against meningococcal meningitis caused by serogroups A, C, W and Y; human papillomavirus (HPV); tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap); and influenza (flu).1 Despite these recommendations, millions of teens remain vulnerable to serious infectious disease.2,3 Family physicians are well equipped to immunize their patients against a host of common infectious diseases and improve public health. However, discussing teen vaccinations during annual appointments may present challenges due to other issues teens and their parents/guardians may be focused on at this age. The American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation (AAFP Foundation) launched Highlight on VACCINATIONS 4 TEENS to help remind family physicians and their care teams to make immunization a priority at these key appointments for teens.
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, JAMA, NYU, Primary Care / 22.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Benjamin Han, MD, MPH Assistant professor Departments of Medicine-Division of Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Care, and Population Health NYU Langone Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There are an increasing number of older adults being prescribed statins for primary prevention, but the evidence for the benefit for older adults is unclear. Our study finds that in the ALLHAT-LLT clinical trial, there were no benefits in either all-cause mortality or cardiovascular outcomes for older adults who did not have any evidence of cardiovascular disease at baseline.