Research in general practice

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7128.324 (Published 31 January 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:324

Is needed to develop family medicine, not get embroiled in defining it

  1. Frede Olesen, Professor (of@alm.aau.dk)a
  1. a Research Unit for General Practice, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

    In the borderland between health, illness, and disease, general practice assumes a principal role in securing the smooth working of a complex health care system and satisfying the needs of patients, purchasers, and providers alike.1 2 Hence, research needs to draw on theories from humanities (psychology, philosophy, ethics), social sciences (sociology, anthropology), and the organisational sciences as well as medical science. Two recent British reports on research and development in general practice both recognise this need.3 4 A report from the Medical Research Council addresses the important research questions in general practice and covers the developments in infrastructure necessary to support the research. A report from an NHS working group complements this by suggesting strategic principles and specific objectives.

    Both reports give comprehensive and well argued proposals for future research. These include biomedical research, such as clinical trials, morbidity surveys, and cohort studies, …

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