• Development of a World Health Organization mental health in schools programme in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

      Hamoda, Hesham M.; Hoover, Sharon; Bostic, Jeff; Rahman, Atif; Saaed, Khalid (World Health Organization, 2022-03-01)
      Background: Schools provide an exceptional opportunity for mental health promotion and intervention. Aims: To describe the development of a World Health Organization (WHO) mental health in schools programme in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Methods: Two tenets guided development of the mental health in schools programme: (1) it used a multitiered system of support framework that includes 3 tiers of interventions (universal, early and targeted); and (2) interventions that must be feasible for implementation by non-mental health professionals. Results: The WHO mental health in schools programme manual is organized into a background section, followed by 3 modules: social–emotional childhood development; mental health promoting schools (promotion and prevention); and addressing student mental health problems in your classroom, including specific classroom strategies and case examples. Conclusion: Developing an appropriate curriculum that is sensitive to the needs of individual countries requires involvement of those familiar with schooling in those countries. It should include mental health priorities and practices that promote mental health, and coalesce school staff, parents and community members in support of their children. © World Health Organization (WHO) 2022.
    • Effects and Implementation of a Mindfulness and Relaxation App for Patients With Cancer: Mixed Methods Feasibility Study

      Mikolasek, Michael; Witt, Claudia Margitta; Barth, Jürgen (JMIR Publications, 2021-01-13)
      Background: Cancer diagnosis and cancer treatment can cause high levels of distress, which is often not sufficiently addressed in standard medical care. Therefore, a variety of supportive nonpharmacological treatments have been suggested to reduce distress in patients with cancer. However, not all patients use these interventions because of limited access or lack of awareness. To overcome these barriers, mobile health may be a promising way to deliver the respective supportive treatments. Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects and implementation of a mindfulness and relaxation app intervention for patients with cancer as well as patients’ adherence to such an intervention. Methods: In this observational feasibility study with a mixed methods approach, patients with cancer were recruited through the web and through hospitals in Switzerland. All enrolled patients received access to a mindfulness and relaxation app. Patients completed self-reported outcomes (general health, health-related quality of life, anxiety, depression, distress, mindfulness, and fear of progression) at baseline and at weeks 4, 10, and 20. The frequency of app exercise usage was gathered directly through the app to assess the adherence of patients. In addition, we conducted interviews with 5 health professionals for their thoughts on the implementation of the app intervention in standard medical care. We analyzed patients’ self-reported outcomes using linear mixed models (LMMs) and qualitative data with content analysis. Results: A total of 100 patients with cancer (74 female) with a mean age of 53.2 years (SD 11.6) participated in the study, of which 25 patients used the app regularly until week 20. LMM analyses revealed improvements in anxiety (P=.04), distress (P<.001), fatigue (P=.01), sleep disturbance (P=.02), quality of life (P=.03), and mindfulness (P<.001) over the course of 20 weeks. Further LMM analyses revealed a larger improvement in distress (P<.001), a moderate improvement in anxiety (P=.001), and a larger improvement in depression (P=.03) in patients with high levels of symptoms at baseline in the respective domains. The interviews revealed that the health professionals perceived the app as a helpful addition to standard care. They also made suggestions for improvements, which could facilitate the implementation of and adherence to such an app. Conclusions: This study indicates that a mindfulness and relaxation app for patients with cancer can be a feasible and effective way to deliver a self-care intervention, especially for highly distressed patients. Future studies should investigate if the appeal of the app can be increased with more content, and the effectiveness of such an intervention needs to be tested in a randomized controlled trial.
    • Factors Influencing Implementation of Blood Transfusion Recommendations in Pediatric Critical Care Units.

      Steffen, Katherine M; Spinella, Philip C; Holdsworth, Laura M; Ford, Mackenzie A; Lee, Grace M; Asch, Steven M; Proctor, Enola K; Doctor, Allan (Frontiers Media S.A., 2021-12-17)
      Purpose: Risks of red blood cell transfusion may outweigh benefits for many patients in Pediatric Intensive Care Units (PICUs). The Transfusion and Anemia eXpertise Initiative (TAXI) recommendations seek to limit unnecessary and potentially harmful transfusions, but use has been variable. We sought to identify barriers and facilitators to using the TAXI recommendations to inform implementation efforts. Materials and Methods: The integrated Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (iPARIHS) framework guided semi-structured interviews conducted in 8 U.S. ICUs; 50 providers in multiple ICU roles completed interviews. Adapted Framework analysis, a form of content analysis, used the iPARIHS innovation, recipient, context and facilitation constructs and subconstructs to categorize data and identify patterns as well as unique informative statements. Results: Providers perceived that the TAXI recommendations would reduce transfusion rates and practice variability, but adoption faced challenges posed by attitudes around transfusion and care in busy and complex units. Development of widespread buy-in and inclusion in implementation, integration into workflow, designating committed champions, and monitoring outcomes data were expected to enhance implementation. Conclusions: Targeted activities to create buy-in, educate, and plan for use are necessary for TAXI implementation. Recognition of contextual challenges posed by the PICU environment and an approach that adjusts for barriers may optimize adoption.
    • Improving Uptake of a National Web-Based Psychoeducational Workshop for Informal Caregivers of Veterans: Mixed Methods Implementation Evaluation.

      Yank, Veronica; Gale, Randall C; Nevedal, Andrea; Okwara, Leonore; Koenig, Christopher J; Trivedi, Ranak B; Dupke, Nancy J; Kabat, Margaret; Asch, Steven M (JMIR Publications Inc., 2021-01-07)
      Background: Although web-based psychoeducational programs may be an efficient, accessible, and scalable option for improving participant well-being, they seldom are sustained beyond trial publication. Implementation evaluations may help optimize program uptake, but few are performed. When the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) launched the web-based psychoeducational workshop Building Better Caregivers (BBC) for informal caregivers of veterans nationwide in 2013, the workshop did not enroll as many caregivers as anticipated. Objective: This study aims to identify the strengths and weaknesses of initial implementation, strategies likely to improve workshop uptake, whether the VA adopted these strategies, and whether workshop enrollment changed. Methods: We used mixed methods and the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS) implementation evaluation framework. In stage 1, we conducted semistructured interviews with caregivers, local staff, and regional and national VA leaders and surveys with caregivers and staff. We collected and analyzed survey and interview data concurrently and integrated the results to identify implementation strengths and weaknesses, and strategies likely to improve workshop uptake. In stage 2, we reinterviewed national leaders to determine whether the VA adopted recommended strategies and used national data to determine whether workshop enrollment changed over time. Results: A total of 54 caregivers (n=32, 59%), staff (n=13, 24%), and regional (n=5, 9%) and national (n=4, 7%) leaders were interviewed. We received survey responses from 72% (23/32) of caregivers and 77% (10/13) of local staff. In stage 1, survey and interview results were consistent across multiple PARIHS constructs. Although participants from low-enrollment centers reported fewer implementation strengths and more weaknesses, qualitative themes were consistent across high- and low-enrollment centers, and across caregiver, staff, and leadership respondent groups. Identified strengths included belief in a positive workshop impact and the use of some successful outreach approaches. Implementation weaknesses included missed opportunities to improve outreach and to better support local staff. From these, we identified and recommended new and enhanced implementation strategies-increased investment in outreach and marketing capabilities; tailoring outreach strategies to multiple stakeholder groups; use of campaigns that are personal, repeated, and detailed, and have diverse delivery options; recurrent training and mentoring for new staff; and comprehensive data management and reporting capabilities. In stage 2, we determined that the VA had adopted several of these strategies in 2016. In the 3 years before and after adoption, cumulative BBC enrollment increased from 2139 (2013-2015) to 4030 (2016-2018) caregivers. Conclusions: This study expands the limited implementation science literature on best practices to use when implementing web-based psychoeducational programs. We found that robust outreach and marketing strategies and support for local staff were critical to the implementation success of the BBC workshop. Other health systems may want to deploy these strategies when implementing their web-based programs.