Full Systematic Reviews

iCAHE is actively involved in the production of Systematic Reviews for industry. For more details about what a systematic review entails, and how it differs from other reviews please click here. Below are a record of  our full systematic reviews by year. 

2016

Does Allied Health Quality of care make an impact on stroke patient’s length of stay and mortality in SA Health?  Work Bundle 2. Prepared for Department for Health and Ageing, South Australia

This project aimed to provide guidance for objectively measuring the impact of extended (seven days-a-week) allied health services in a manner that will inform strategic SA allied health planning processes. It was designed to evaluate the impact of quality indicator-compliant allied health (AH) services on length of stay (LOS) and mortality of stroke patients, and the marginal impact on these measures when patients were admitted during the weekend.

The findings suggest that higher compliance with evidence-based AH quality care indicators is associated with significantly reduced odds of dying in hospital, and more effective LOS. Increased compliance with quality indicators of AH-care quality for patients admitted during weekends could reduce their LOS by a half day. These findings are meaningful for the planning process towards increasing the level of compliance to indicators of AH care quality during weekend 

Self-monitoring of Blood Glucose in Non-insulin Treated Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review update. Prepared for the Australian Diabetes Educators Association.

A Systematic Review of published studies on self-monitoring of blood glucose in people with non-insulin treated type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) was undertaken to provide an update of the available research evidence on the effectiveness, appropriateness and meaningfulness of interventions. The research question was: What is the current best evidence of the effectiveness, appropriateness and meaningfulness of SMBG in people with type-2 diabetes who are not treated with insulin? Only primary studies published from March 2011 – December 2015 were included. 

2015

The Effectiveness and Appropriateness of Educational Strategies for Insulin Pump Therapy: A Systematic Review. Prepared for the Australian Diabetes Educators Association.

In June 2011, the ADEA published an updated systematic review combining evidence from January 1998 to March 2011 examining the effectiveness and appropriateness of the educational components of Insulin Pump Therapy (IPT). The objective of this report is to update the report and recommendations by incorporating new information from the literature published up until October 2015. This review will address the question: What are the most effective and appropriate methods of teaching adults or adolescents with type 1 diabetes to use insulin pump therapy (IPT)? 

Functional decline in community-dwelling older people and the Medicare 75+ Health Assessment. Final Report. Prepared for the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute, The Australian National University

This report outlines the findings of Stage 1 of the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI) 2014 funded project: Functional decline in community-dwelling older people and the Medicare 75+ Health Assessment. It encompasses two comprehensive systematic reviews of the literature regarding early measures of functional decline, and international primary care screening approaches and items for older people. The final report was completed in 2015. Prior to commencement, the Research Team, in consultation and with the approval of APHCRI, changed the original research proposal for the 2015 report, which can be found above. 

Engaging baby boomers with policy makers Results of a systematic review and proposed consumer engagement framework. Prepared for Office for the Ageing, Policy and Commissioning, Department of Health South Australia

Consumer engagement has been recognised as a fundamental component of health service delivery and policy development in the Australian health sector (Gregory 2007). Consumer engagement refers to the active participation of health consumers in their own healthcare and in health policy planning, service delivery and evaluation at service and agency levels (SA Health 2013). Involvement of consumers in planning of health care policies can lead to more accessible and acceptable health services, and improve health and quality of life (Nilsen et al 2013). It can also have a significant positive impact on the quality and safety of health care and can lead to improved health outcomes and more equitable service provision (BNPCA 2003).

A key question confronting the Office for the Ageing is how to engage effectively with baby boomers on health issues related to ageing. The Office is committed to ensuring the methods and practice of consumer engagement, particularly baby boomers, is guided by current best practice. This rapid review aimed to address the following questions:

  1. What approaches or strategies have been used by policy makers to effectively engage baby boomers on issues related to ageing?
  2. What outcomes have been reported for these strategies or approaches?
  3. What are the barriers to effective engagement of baby boomers with policy makers?
  4. What strategies or incentives can be used to ensure that boomers become engaged with policy makers?

2014

Systematic Review of literature of conservative interventions for whiplash associated disorders: A consumer orientated report : Prepared for Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine University of Queensland

The purpose of review is to determine the best available evidence for conservative interventions specific to WAD, Grade II and III. The overall objective was to determine effectiveness of conservative interventions for patients with WAD (Grade II and III) across a range of outcomes. The evidence grading system for this report utilised a customised framework of evidence grading which used a composite of hierarchy of evidence and key constructs of methodological quality of the study.

A review of the evidence on barriers and enablers to improving the knowledge and experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer and their families. Prepared for Cancer Australia.  

The objective of this systematic literature review was to synthesise the evidence on barriers and enablers to improving the knowledge and experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer and their families. This review also examined approaches or strategies that have been used to improve the knowledge and experience in this population including key success factors associated with effective interventions. Some of the review questions include:

 What are the barriers and enablers to improving the knowledge and experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer and their families?

  1. What existing strategies or approaches are currently in place to improve their knowledge and experience, and what are their outcomes?
  2. What is the evidence of effectiveness of interventions and approaches for improving their knowledge and experience following a cancer diagnosis?
  3. What are the key features or characteristics (such as parameters) of effective interventions and approaches (i.e. key success factors)?
  4. What are the barriers (e.g. health literacy) to the effectiveness and uptake of interventions aimed at improving the experience and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer?
  5. What innovative and/or technological approaches have been used to effectively engage Indigenous Australians?
  6. What are the literature and knowledge gaps in improving the experiences and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer and their families? 

Understanding the impact of bushfire on people with chronic diseases - A systematic review. Prepared for the Australian Diabetes Educators Association

Bushfire is an inevitable occurrence in Australia. Climate change indicates that Australia is likely to become hotter and drier in the future, and therefore episodes of bushfire weather is expected to become more frequent (Lucas et al. 2007). A study which examined the potential impact of climate change on fire weather at 17 sites in southeast Australia indicated that the number of ‘very high’ and ‘extreme’ fire danger days could increase up to 4-25% by 2020 and 15-70% by 2050 (Hennessy et al. 2005). These events have raised concerns about the adverse health impacts of bushfire exposure.

 The objective of this rapid review was to critically examine the literature to understand the impact of bushfire on people with chronic disease. Specific review questions included:

  1. Describe the impact of bushfires on people with chronic diseases Identify the chronic
  2. Disease that put people at greater risk during bushfires
  3. Identify strategies for reducing the impact of bushfires on people with chronic diseases 

2013

Traumatic Brain Injury Review: A systematic review of the evidence for paediatric traumatic brain injury, and for adults with mild traumatic brain injury. A technical report prepared for New Zealand’s ACC Traumatic Brain Injury Strategy.

This report provides a comprehensive review of the currently available secondary evidence (guidelines and systematic reviews) to inform the ACC Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Strategy. This review focuses on two areas identified as gaps in current understanding:

  1. Paediatric TBI (0-15 years)
  2. Adults with mild TBI

ACC research had provided subsection questions for each of these focus areas, making a total of 20 search questions to be addressed by this evidentiary review.

1. Paediatric TBI (0-15 years): Consider the issues specific to paediatric TBI throughout their developmental milestones and the continuum of care.

  • 1.1 Initial acute care
  • 1.2 In-patient and out-patient rehabilitation
  • 1.3 Transitions of care
  • 1.4 Cognitive, Educational and training issues
  • 1.5 Community integration
  • 1.6 Challenging behaviour
  • 1.7 Growth and developmental issues
  • 1.8 Ongoing follow-up care and monitoring
  • 1.9 Needs of carers

2. Mild TBI: Consider the specific issues relevant to mild TBI in adults

  • 2.1 Screening for and early identification of mild TBI
  • 2.2 Initial acute care of those with a mild TBI
  • 2.3 Initial advice and outpatient rehabilitation
  • 2.4 Employment participation
  • 2.5 Community reintegration
  • 2.6 Substance abuse
  • 2.7 Depression
  • 2.8 Challenging behaviour
  • 2.9 Long-term impact and needs of mild TBI person
  • 2.10 Persistent symptoms and Issues specific to mild TBI: fatigue, headaches, pain
  • 2.11 Aging with mild TBI

Reproductive and sexual health issues amongst servicewomen and veterans of the armed forces – A Systematic Review. A technical report prepared for the Adelaide Plastic Surgery Associates

In order to underpin health care policies and practices with research evidence, the first step involves mapping the current research evidence base around a topic of interest. An important component of evidence mapping involves a systematic approach to accessing and collating research evidence. A systematic approach is integral in this process as it eliminates bias, promotes transparency and ensures replicability of the review processes. Evidence-mapping is therefore an efficient, rigorous and timely approach in understanding the current research evidence base around a topic of interest. This evidence-mapping report centres on reproductive and sexual health issues amongst servicewomen and veterans of the armed forces

This evidence-mapping review sought to answer the following questions:

  1. What are the reproductive and sexual health issues faced by servicewomen and female veterans of the armed forces?
  2. What are the current evidence gaps on the impact of participation in the armed forces on female reproductive and sexual health? 

Functional decline in community-dwelling older people and the Medicare 75+ Health Assessment.  Technical Report 1: A Systematic Review.  Prepared for the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute, Australian National University. 

This is the Final Report prepared for an Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI) 2014 funded project: Functional decline in community-dwelling older people and the Medicare 75+ Health Assessment. The overall aim of this research was to improve the sensitivity and timing of identification of FD in community-dwelling older people, focusing on primary care settings, so that older people’s entry onto the trajectory of FD could be prevented or slowed sufficiently early, to be effective in supporting them to live independently for as long as they desired in the community home of their choice. This Final Report brings together salient methods and findings of Project Stages 1, 2 and 3 (provided for reference in Appendices 1-3). The final Report makes recommendations for policy and practice in relation to the 75+ Health Assessment (HA) and the context in which it is most effectively delivered.

Strengthening the Orthoptic Workforce, ACT Health Directorate: A Systematic Review of the Role, Effectiveness & Training of Orthoptists. A technical report prepared for the ACT Health Directorate

This review of Australian and international literature identified that orthoptists working in the ACT could expand their current practice to include a broader range of conditions and undertake a broader range of tasks, without the need to expand scope of practice. This review sought to answer the following questions:

  1. What is the role of orthoptists in managing patients with eye disease?
  2. Are there advanced practice, extended practice or assistant/ support roles for orthoptists?
  3. What is the evidence regarding the effectiveness of orthoptic roles in terms of process, cost and health outcomes?
  4. How is orthoptic practice described and organized?
  5. What training and supervision is reported for orthoptists? 

The Role of Advanced Allied Health Assistants: A Systematic Review. A technical report prepared for the ACT Health Directorate

This systematic review aimed to better understand the role of A/AHA, the training they receive, and their effectiveness, as well as any workforce issues regarding the implementation of these roles. This systematic review aimed to answer the following questions:

  1. What is the scope of practice of advanced allied health assistants (A/AHA)? 
  2. What client groups do A/AHA work with?
  3. What settings do A/AHA work in?
  4. What training is available for A/AHA?
  5. How effective are A/AHA roles in terms of health, cost and process outcomes?
  6. What are the workforce issues for A/AHA?

Building a complexity competent workforce project: Evidence informed development of a tool to screen for decline. A technical report prepared for the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network

Early identification and subsequent timely intervention older people has been reported as effective in improving health outcomes, as appropriate and timely community services can be put in place to Facilitate ongoing independent community living. Many risk factors for decline are potentially modifiable with community support interventions, or comprehensive geriatric assessment and management which target those most likely to benefit. It is in this context, support workers and allied health assistants can play a vital role in early detection of decline in elderly people. While support workers and allied health assistants could play an important role the early detection and timely intervention for decline, they need to be supported with adequate training, establishing competencies, support mechanisms (such are supervision and mentoring) and tools to detect decline. Provision of tools to detect decline may enable support workers and allied health assistants to accurately detect those elderly people who may be at risk of decline.

iCAHE performed a two stage investigation: a rapid review followed by tool development. The aim of this rapid review was to identify currently available tools from the literature which can be used by assist support workers and allied health assistants to accurately detect decline in older people.

Areas of study and research

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