Editors picks

BMJ Open: August Editor’s Picks

File:The harrowing tales of Female Genital Mutilation-Cutting (12344890033).jpg

Each month the editorial team at BMJ Open will be selecting highlights from our recently published articles. We hope you enjoy our August highlights. You can access all the material published in August here

When are interventions justified? Attitudes towards female genital cutting

Sometimes baseline data can reveal that implementing an intervention is unnecessary and, perhaps, unethical. In a study from Wahlburg and colleagues looking at attitudes to female genital cutting (FGC) in Somali migrants in Sweden, baseline data revealed that the majority–including those newly arrived–were opposed to all forms of FGC with increased opposition over time after migration. The researchers determined that it would be unethical to carry out their planned intervention, designed to change attitudes to FGC, given that the change was already occurring.

Clinical decision support systems: Are they trustworthy?

Using the best evidence to inform clinical decisions remains a challenge. Rapid response clinical decision support systems represent an attractive option, but their trustworthiness is unknown. Izcovich and colleagues use PubMed clinical queries and Epistemonikos based on the GRADE approach to answer 100 clinical questions and compared it to a gold standard. The approach proved feasible and provided appropriate guidance for most questions.

What contributes to psychological distress in doctors?

Doctors can experience high levels of psychological distress–a concept that includes stress, burnout, depression, and anxiety. Using a qualitative study design, Tallentire and colleagues explore the specific workplace stressors that contribute to psychological distress. Key themes include work overload, long hours, uncertainty about the role, and relationships with colleagues.

Telehealth and patient satisfaction

Telehealth incorporates technology into diverse modes of delivery such as videoconferencing, mobile applications, and secure messaging. However, when using technology, it is important to listen to patients “to help guard against the implementation of technology merely for its convenience or shiny appeal”. By conducting a systematic review, Kruse and colleagues investigate what patients believe to be the most satisfying modes of telehealth.

NHS Health Check programme: What works, and what can be improved?

NHS Health Checks are a public health service in the UK designed to identify early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or dementia in individuals aged 40-74. In a systematic review and qualitative synthesis of the literature, Usher-Smith and colleagues investigate patients’ experiences of the service, finding that, while patients are broadly supportive, there are key areas with room for improvement; for example, providing more proactive support for lifestyle change.

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