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Making research relevant to the primary health care team

Lookup NU author(s): Dr David Whitford, Professor Tim Van Zwanenberg OBE


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There is, as yet, no strong culture of research in primary care and much of the existing research is conceived and undertaken by people outside primary care. The poor implementation of research findings may, in part, be owing to the fact that those delivering the service are not involved in asking or answering questions that are relevant to their practice. This paper reports how three practices constructed a research agenda based on the unanswered questions of their primary care teams. The research questions prioritised by the teams tended towards patient behaviour and service organisation rather than clinical issues. This contrasts with national research priorities. The process has contributed towards the development of a culture of enquiry among team members. Other primary care teams may benefit from a similar approach. National research priority setting in primary care should take more account of the unanswered questions of primary care teams.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Whitford DL, Jelley DI, Gandy S, Southern A, van Zwanenberg T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of General Practice

Year: 2000

Volume: 50

Issue: 456

Pages: 573-576

ISSN (print): 0960-1643

ISSN (electronic): 1478-5242

Publisher: Royal College of General Practitioners