Table 1

Extraordinary potential of primary care research

Innovative and pragmatic study designs and topics


Ground breaking observational research

Discovering the infective nature incubation period of Hepatitis A [31]

"Stable" prospective cohort studies

Screening for Hypertension [32]

"Stable" retrospective cohort studies

Natural history of Hypertension[33]

Large cross-sectional databases

Developing a cardiovascular risk assessment tool that is more relevant for the UK population [34]

"Pragmatic" Cluster randomised controlled trials

Secondary prevention of CHD [35]

"Pragmatic" systematic reviews

Effect of guidelines on clinical practice [36] ; Usage of computers in consultations [37]; Role of antibiotics in sore throat [38]

"Pragmatic" factorial design

Laboratory test reminders [39]

Primary qualitative research

Chronic care models in primary care [40]; Experience of acute illness [41]

Secondary qualitative research: meta-synthesis

Perception of family history in chronic disease [42]; diabetes and diabetes care [43]

Robust economic evaluation alongside trials

Hospital at home [44]; Endoscopy for dyspepsia [45]

Process evaluation of randomised trials and complex interventions

Self management of inflammatory bowel disease [46]; Integrated heart care [47]

Complexity theory in understanding chronic illness

Lived experience of diabetes in the community [48]

Guideline evaluation & implementation; translational research

Trial of asthma guidelines [49]; Critical features of the implementation of clinical guidelines [50]

Tackling inequalities

Tuberculosis screening [51]

Evaluating primary prevention

Exercise program in primary care [52]

Early intervention in the natural history of medical conditions

Bell's palsy [53]; Conjunctivitis [54]

Furler et al. BMC Family Practice 2008 9:52   doi:10.1186/1471-2296-9-52

Open Data