Clinician Use of Primary Care Research Reports

William R Phillips, Elizabeth Sturgiss, Angela Yang, Paul Glasziou, Tim Olde Hartman, Aaron Orkin, Grant M Russell, Chris van Weel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: To assess how primary care practitioners use reports of general health care (GHC) and primary care (PC) research and how well reports deliver what they need to inform clinical practice.

METHODS: International, interprofessional online survey, 2019, of primary care clinicians who see patients at least half time. Respondents used frequency scales to report how often they access both GHC and PC research and how frequently reports meet needs. Free-text short comments recorded comments and suggestions.

RESULTS: Survey yielded 252 respondents across 29 nations, 55% (121) women, including 88% (195) physicians, nurses 5% (11), and physician assistants 3% (7). Practitioners read research reports frequently but find they usually fail to meet their needs. For PC research, 33% (77) accessed original reports in academic journals weekly or daily, and 36% found reports meet needs "frequently" or "always." They access reports of GHC research slightly more often but find them somewhat less useful.

CONCLUSIONS: PC practitioners access original research in academic journals frequently but find reports meet information needs less than half the time. PC research reflects the unique PC setting and so reporting has distinct focus, needs, and challenges. Practitioners desire improved reporting of study context, interventions, relationships, generalizability, and implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-660
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2021


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