Is an educational intervention effective in improving the diagnosis and management of suspected ectopic pregnancy in a tertiary referral hospital in South Africa

Wipplinger, Petro (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2010-12)

Thesis (MMed (Obstetrics and Gynaecology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Study objective: To investigate whether an educational intervention in the Gynaecology Department of Tygerberg Hospital (TBH) was effective in improving the accuracy of the diagnosis and appropriateness of treatment options offered to women with suspected Ectopic Pregnancy (EP). Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional before-and-after study was performed, including 335 consecutive patients with suspected EP before (1/3 - 30/6/2008) and after (1/9 - 31/12/2008) “the intervention”. From the gynaecological admissions register all pregnant patients with symptoms potentially compatible with EP were selected and these were cross referenced with beta-hCG requests, entries in the theatre register for surgery for possible EP and methotrexate prescriptions for EP in these time periods. “The intervention” consisted of a formal lecture presented to the registrars and consultants regarding the latest evidence-based guidelines concerning the diagnosis and management of EP. An algorithm based on this information was introduced in the emergency unit and ultrasound unit together with a prescribed ultrasound reporting form containing all the pertinent information required to follow the algorithm. Clinical decisions were left to the registrar and consultant on duty. Primary outcomes: Time from presentation to treatment, number and appropriateness of special investigations, surgical procedures or medical management. Secondary outcomes: Number of in-patient days and visits, adherence to the algorithm. Results: There was a non-significant trend towards improved reporting of the uterine content and significantly less reports of definite signs of an intrauterine pregnancy (IUP) (p<0.001, RR 0.46, 95% CI 0.31-0.70) due to stricter ultrasound criteria being followed. There was a significant change in the spectrum of uterine findings (p=0.001), the spectrum of adnexal findings (p=0.006) and the spectrum of free fluid noted (p=0.05). There was a reduction in the total number of beta-hCG levels requested at presentation (patients with no beta-hCG: 24 vs 34, p=0.05, RR 1.60, 95% CI 0.99-2.59) with a significant reduction in the number of inappropriate beta-hCG requests (77 vs 40, p<0.001, RR 0.60, 95% CI 0.43-0.81). There was a significant difference in the spread of the number of beta-hCG tests per patient with less repeat tests in the study group (p=0.021). Significantly less manual vacuum aspirations (MVAs) were performed (47 vs 21, p=0.003, RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.32-0.81) but there was no change in the other treatment modalities offered nor in the time from presentation to treatment, number of visits or in-patient days. Adherence to the algorithm was poor (59 %). Conclusions: Except for a significant decrease in the MVAs performed, with possibly less interrupted early intrauterine pregnancies, the improvement in the use of special investigations after “the intervention” did not translate into fewer inappropriate diagnoses and management. This could be due to frequent non-adherence to the algorithm, and widespread implementation of the algorithm as well as continuous audits would be necessary before a future study could be attempted to assess the efficacy of the algorithm.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Studiedoelwit: Die hoofdoel van hierdie studie is om te ondersoek of „n opvoedkundige intervensie in die Ginekologiese afdeling van Tygerberg Hospitaal (TBH) doeltreffend sou wees in die verbetering van die akkuraatheid van diagnose en die gepastheid van behandelingsopsies wat aan vroue gebied word met „n vermoedelike ektopiese swangerskap (ES). Metodes: „n Retrospektiewe, kruisdeursnee voor-en-na studie rakende 335 opeenvolgende pasiënte wat ‟n vermoedelike ES het voor (1/3/2008 – 30/6/2008) en na (1/9/2008 – 31/12/2008) “die intervensie”. Swanger pasiënte is uit die ginekologiese toelatingsregister geselekteer indien hulle simptome gehad het wat moontlik verbind kon word met ES. Hulle is kruisverwys met die beta-hCG‟s aangevra, inskrywings in die teaterregister vir chirurgie vir moontlike ES en ginekologie-pasiënte wat metotrexate vir ES binne hierdie tydperke ontvang het. “Die intervensie” het bestaan uit „n formele lesing aan die kliniese assistente en konsultante ten opsigte van die jongste bewysgebaseerde riglyne rakende die diagnose en hantering van ES. „n Algoritme gegrond op hierdie inligting is in die noodeenheid en ultraklank-afdeling ten toon gestel asook „n voorgeskrewe ultraklank rapporteringsvorm met al die toepaslike inligting wat vereis word om die algoritme te volg. Kliniese besluite is aan die kliniese assistent en konsultant aan diens oorgelaat. Primêre uitkomste: Tydsduur vanaf aanmelding tot behandeling, aantal en gepastheid van spesiale ondersoeke, chirurgiese prosedures en mediese hantering. Sekondêre uitkomste: Die aantal binnepasiëntdae en besoeke, nakoming van die algoritme. Resultate: Daar was „n nie-betekenisvolle neiging tot beter rapportering van die uteriene-inhoud en betekenisvol minder rapportering van definitiewe tekens van „n intra-uteriene swangerskap (IUS) (p<0.001, RR 0.46, 95% CI 0.31-0.70) as gevolg van strenger ultraklankstandaarde gevolg. Daar was „n betekenisvolle verandering in die spektrum van uteriene bevindinge (p=0.001), die spektrum van die adneksale bevindinge (p=0.006) en die spektrum van die vrye vog aangeteken (p=0.05). Daar was „n vermindering in die totale aantal beta-hCG-vlakke aangevra met aanmelding (pasiënte met geen hCG: 24 vs 34, p=0.05, RR 1.60, 95% CI 0.99-2.59) met „n betekenisvolle vermindering in die aantal onvanpaste beta-hCGs aangevra (77 vs 40, p<0.001, RR0.60, 95% CI 0.43-0.81). Daar was „n betekenisvolle verskil in die verspreiding van die aantal beta-hCG-toetse per pasiënt, met minder herhalende toetse in die studiegroep (p=0.021). Betekenisvol minder manuele vakuum aspirasies (MVAs) is uitgevoer (47 vs 21, p=0.003, RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.32-0.81), maar geen verskil in ander behandelingsmodaliteite is aangebied nie, asook geen verskil in die tydsduur vanaf aanmelding, die aantal besoeke of die aantal binnepatiëntdae nie. Nakoming van die algoritme was swak (59%). Gevolgtrekkings: Behalwe vir „n betekenisvolle afname in die MVAs uitgevoer, met moontlik minder onderbroke vroeë IUS, het die verbetering in die gebruik van spesiale ondersoeke ná “die intervensie” nie minder onvanpaste diagnoses en hantering tot gevolg gehad nie. Dit kan die gevolg wees van gereelde nie-nakoming van die algoritme, en uitgebreide implementering van die algoritme asook voortdurende oudits sal nodig wees voor „n verdere studie aangepak kan word om die doeltreffendheid van die algoritme te bepaal.

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