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International exchanges in primary care - learning from thy neighbour

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Eugene TangORCiD


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This systematic review describes how international exchange programmes in primary care have been received and evaluated. Electronic databases (MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, EBM reviews, CAB abstracts and PubMED) were searched to identify articles where the main focus of the study was exchanges undertaken in primary care/family medicine until March 2016. Articles were included if they (i) discussed participant exchanges in primary care; (ii) presented associated outcome data—this included (a) individual/group experience of exchange; (b) mechanism of exchange and (c) observations during the exchange. A narrative synthesis was performed of the heterogeneous data identified. Twenty-nine studies were included. Exchange locations varied across the world with the largest number in Europe. Participants came from a range of backgrounds including medical students, nurses, General Practitioners (GP), GP trainees (GPTs) and visiting scholars/professors. Exchange duration ranged from 3 days to 2 years. Key themes were identified from analysis of the studies with illustrative quotes from the included studies provided. Four key areas were discussed in relation to exchange experience: learning opportunities and new knowledge; comparative observation; knowledge gained and translational learning. Primary care international exchanges provide a rich source of cross-country learning. This review identified that exchange participants benefit both personally and professionally, equipping them with translatable skills to improve the care provided to their patients.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bridgwood B, Park J, Hawcroft C, Kay N, Tang E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Family Practice

Year: 2018

Volume: 35

Issue: 3

Pages: 247-252

Print publication date: 23/05/2018

Online publication date: 14/10/2017

Acceptance date: 15/09/2017

ISSN (print): 0263-2136

ISSN (electronic): 1460-2229

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/fampra/cmx101


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