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  • 6 January 2015 to 5 September 2015
  • Project No: 208
  • Funding round: FR 8
  • Health services and policy

The proposal seeks to collect recordings of ‘live’ primary care encounters, plus related data about their immediate and intermediate outcomes, to be stored as a shared resource for a group of primary care researchers. The main advantage would be to reduce the same kinds of data being collected by separate research teams to be used only once. This would reduce the research burden on patients and staff; disruption to patient flow through practices; and the costs of research projects. Instead, the data collected and stored can be used by a number of different researchers to answer a number of different questions. Two important steps are proposed: firstly consulting with local patient representatives, GPs, and primary care researchers to identify ethical, practical and legal barriers to collecting, storing and sharing this kind of data and potential ways to overcome these; and secondly an initial research project to test the process and demonstrate the analytic potential of the data collected. The test project will record 240 patient visits to GPs across 12 different neighbourhoods in Bristol as well as collecting practice, GP and patient survey data relating to that visit that will be safety stored for future re-use in accordance with agreed protocols. The initial question to be answered with this data is whether the different ways in which GPs recommend medical and nonmedical treatments during the medical visit might affect how able patients feel afterwards to help themselves, and whether this in turn affects whether they do actually follow these recommendations or not. The team comprise the lead researcher who has expertise in the detailed analysis of talk between GPs and patients; two academic GPs, one with extensive experience of primary care research and both with previous experience in collecting recordings of patient visits to GPs in Bristol; and a medical statistician who will advise on testing for associations between patient and GP characteristics, communication in the medical visit and survey outcomes. The costs requested are minimal and include data collection, researcher time, payment to patients for their time and expenses, and payment to practices to cover the time spent facilitating data collection. The output of the test project will be evidence-based advice for GPs on how best to improve adherence rates for their patients. This may contribute to better patient self-management following medical visits thus improving health outcomes and saving the NHS money.

Evidence synthesis working group

The collaboration will be conducting 18 high impact systematic reviews, under four workstreams.

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