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BPJ 72 December 2015

Best Practice Journal

Upfront: Personal technology for health: curiosity or clinically useful?

There are approximately 165,000 health “apps” currently on the market for mobile phone users. A health app is an application that runs on a smart phone to provide information, advice and feedback on health, fitness or wellbeing. While this could provide useful motivation for lifestyle change for some, a major drawback of most health apps is that the content and design has no input from medical professionals, and therefore could result in detrimental health effects for some users, depending on how much they rely on the app. If a patient asks for advice about using a health app, or is already using an app, there are some key points that clinicians can work through with the patient to ensure that they are making the best decisions for their health and wellbeing. View Article

Travel consultation essentials: for departures and arrivals

Travel consultations involve assessing the risks that may occur during a journey and helping the traveller minimise them. This may include education, planning, vaccination, prophylaxis and as-required medicines. If the patient is taking medicines for a long-term condition ensure that they will have enough for the duration of the journey and are confident in making any dose adjustments that might be required due to changes in time zones. Treatment for overseas visitors to New Zealand can be complicated by eligibility issues for subsidised healthcare and a lack of medical history. View Article

Managing frequently encountered mental health problems in young people: non-pharmacological strategies

Young people experience a variety of mental health conditions. For patients with mild to moderate depression and anxiety, a stepped care approach is recommended where non-pharmacological treatments are trialled first, usually in primary care. Primary care is also often the first point of contact for young people with other mental health issues, such as eating disorders, self-harm, substance misuse or bullying. Approaches such as building strength and resiliency, and encouraging positive relationships and a healthy lifestyle can assist all young people to maintain good psychological health. Other strategies, such as, structured problem solving, motivational interviewing, self-help and online resources, can be offered where appropriate. View Article

Managing patients with type 2 diabetes: from lifestyle to insulin

The management of type 2 diabetes is multi-faceted. Following diagnosis, patients require education to self-manage their condition and make lifestyle changes. Glycaemic targets need to be selected that are appropriate for the individual. Management should be regularly reviewed with timely offers of treatment intensification, including initiation of insulin. However, good glycaemic control is only one factor that influences outcomes in people with type 2 diabetes. Recent evidence has reiterated the benefits of managing cardiovascular risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes. View Article

Using the NZF Interactions Checker

The New Zealand Formulary (NZF) contains a function that identifies potential drug interactions and their clinical significance. The Interactions Checker allows a user to search for potential interactions between any number of medicines, and between medicines and some other substances that are known to significantly interact, e.g. ethanol, tobacco, grapefruit and some complementary and Chinese herbal medicines. View Article

Correspondence: HbA1c testing; Accessing echocardiography; Intramuscular injections

The role of confirmatory HbA1c testing in diagnosing type 2 diabetes | The difficulties of accessing echocardiography in patients with heart failure | Best practice for the administration of intramuscular injections: is drawing back necessary or not? View Article

Peer Group Discussion

We look back at the key messages and practice points from selected articles in Best Practice Journals View Article