Participate in research

Between 1950 and the year 2000, medical knowledge doubled.  Between 2001 and 2010 medical knowledge doubled again.  Now our healthcare knowledge is doubling around every three and a half years.  This is a time of unprecedented change, opportunity and challenge.

We are one of the very few doctor’s surgeries engaging in research.  When you completed your “New Patient Information Sheet” you would have been advised of our research agenda.  We do research in three ways:

  • conducting audits and benchmarking our approach to care with other general practices
  • allowing other researchers to enrol our patients into studies we deem to be of mutual benefit
  • conducting our own research on areas we believe care could be improved.

When we do an audit of all of our patients on a particular medication or with a given disease, your doctor will have approved the extraction of data from your medical record.  This is de-identified and pooled with data from like patients.  If you do not wish for any of your clinical history to be reviewed in this way, you can indicate your withdrawal to any of our team.  We hope all of our patients will agree to participate as this is a type of research.  It tells us how effectively we manage our patients given the clinical guidelines set for various conditions.  Audit reports help us improve our practice and standard of care.

Other types of research will involve seeking your consent more directly.

Our clinical care team may approach you to ask you to participate in a particular study.  Most often this will mean your visitation history or patient profile will be used to develop a picture of a particular disease area or patient group.  On other occasions you may be asked to complete a survey.  Sometimes you may be asked to participate in a new service.  Only very occasionally will you be asked about your willingness to have a test.

Whenever we do research, we have obtained review of our proposal by a Research Ethics Committee at one of our partner universities.  Therefore, you can be confident the research question we are asking is good science and that the method we have proposed to find the answer will do you no harm.

You will be given an Information Sheet explaining the study and a consent form.  You can take time to consider your participation.  You can always ask questions of your doctor or the person running the study before you sign the consent form.

Research is always voluntary.  So you can also refuse to participate.  This decision will not affect the care you are offered in our practice.

Currently research we are involved with includes

  • General practice management of chronic kidney disease
  • The prevalence and treatment of fatty liver disease
  • The effective treatment of hepatitis
  • The impact of adverse childhood events on future health
  • The accuracy of webster packs with a patient’s current medications
  • The outcomes of obesity support in a general practice
  • The advantages of mobile devices in supporting patients with diabetes
  • The needs of refugee patients
  • Testing driving competence in older adults
  • Co-location benefits of health and legal services