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Health and Community Sciences

Primary Care Key Literature

Across the UK, considerable primary care-based research is conducted by GP practices and their teams. The focus of the research relates to applied clinical medicine, and to research investigating the organisation and delivery of care, including important topics such as access, availability, workload, GP workforce, quality of care, etc. Much of the funding to support this research comes from the UK’s National Institute of Health Research (budget £1.2billion) or from major research funders such as MRC, Wellcome, or major research charities (such as Diabetes UK, Cancer Research UK, or British Heart Foundation).

On this page, we've summarised some key papers from UK-based primary care research from recent years. A number of these derive from the Exeter team, but our intent here is to focus on primary care research more widely. This webpage incorporates the presentation of a number of studies which have been drawn from primary care. Have a look, therefore, at some high quality research emanating from academic primary care within this Medical School and from elsewhere in the UK. Papers have been drawn from a variety of sources, but have been selected to provide you with the opportunity to look at a number of research designs, for example, systematic reviews, cohort studies, randomised clinical trials, qualitative research. Each study involves a variety of analytical approaches, and each study provides an opportunity to explore the nature of scientific evidence as it applies to primary care and health services research.

John Campbell, Professor of General Practice and Primary Care

Clinical Trials

Telephone triage for management of same-day consultation requests in general practice (the ESTEEM trial): a cluster-randomised controlled trial and cost-consequence analysis Campbell et al 2014

Early treatment with prednisolone or acyclovir in Bell's palsy Sullivan et al 2007

Chloramphenicol treatment for acute infective conjunctivitis in children in primary care: a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial Mant et al 2005

Implementation of self management support for long term conditions in routine primary care settings: cluster randomised controlled trial Rogers et al 2013

Extended and standard duration weight-loss programme referrals for adults in primary care (WRAP): An RCT  Aveyard et al 2017

Effect of self-monitoring and medication self-titration on systolic blood pressure in hypertensive patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease: the TASMIN-SR randomised clinical trial McManus et al 2014

Diet or diet plus physical activity versus usual care in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes: the Early ACTID randomised controlled trial Peters et al 2011

Systematic review and meta-analysis

Association of a difference in systolic blood pressure between arms with vascular disease and mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis  Clark et al 2012


Understanding high and low patient experience scores in primary care: analysis of patients' survey data for general practices and individual doctors  Campbell et al 2014

Continuity of care with doctors - a matter of life and death? A systematic review of continuity of care and mortality Pereira Gray et al 2018

Childhood urinary tract infection in primary care: a prospective observational study of prevalence, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery Butler et al 2015

Risk Assessment

Preferences for cancer investigations: a vignette-based study of primary care attendees Hamilton et al 2014

Evaluation of risk assessment tools for suspected cancer in general practice: a cohort study Hamilton et al 2013

Diagnosing type 2 diabetes before patients complain of diabetic symptoms - clinical opportunistic screening in a single general practice Evans et al 2008

Application of Framingham risk estimates to ethnic minorities in United Kingdom and implications for primary prevention of heart disease in general practice: cross sectional population based study Oakeshott et al 2002

Cost effectiveness of options for diagnosis of high blood pressure in primary care: a modelling study McManus et al 2011


Talking about depression: a qualitative study of barriers to managing depressionin people with long term conditions in primary care Dickens et al 2011

Women's experiences of referral to a domestic violence advocate in UK primary care settings: a service-user collaborative study Feder et al 2014