Table 3.

Categories of Comments on Reporting of PC Research

Summary comment*
•“Respondent quotation.” (respondent characteristics)
Recognition and adaptation to the special character of PC practice and PC research
Description of the way clinicians, patients and community members are involved throughout the research process
•“Every study done in or on PC should have PC experts involved from the initial stages and throughout the process to the final report writing. The same might be proposed for patients or members of the communities studied or affected.” (FP; clinician, researcher; USA; M)
Research question
Explanation of the origin of the research question
•“Failing to describe where the research question came from.” (FP; clinician, researcher; USA; M)
Support of non-academic writing and reporting
•“Assure a research writer for clinicians.” (Behavioral scientist; educator, researcher; USA; F)
Description of the complex contexts of patients, problems and practice
•“It’s not so much the reporting but the many different contexts that family medicine can represent.” (FP; clinician, community member/patient, educator, reviewer, researcher; nation not stated; F)
•“PC has many contexts, types of practitioners and also takes patients into account – patient-centered care and factors in multimorbidities and preventative medicine. (Public health scientist; researcher; Australia, F)
Patient population
Description of patients and populations in practice and community-based research
“PC research includes a wide variety of patients and demographics which are oftentimes not directly applicable to larger studies conducted elsewhere.” (FP; researcher, trainee; USA; M)
Problem studied
Recognition and description of illness as it occurs in PC
•“Also the single disease single intervention is not always how patients present. A depressed childhood abuse survivor is not as interested in diabetic dietary guidelines when they are struggling with complex chronic trauma.” (FP; clinician, community member/patient, educator, reviewer, researcher; country not stated; F)
Description of clinicians, teams and how they are organized
“Types of clinicians, teams and how they are organized is impt and different. Clustering of pts, clinicians, teams and clinics is impt and often not reported adequately or accounted for in data analysis.” (FP; clinician, community member/patient, editor, educator, reviewer, researcher; USA; M)
Types of interventions
Description of pragmatic and complex interventions in PC
•“PC research tends to be more pragmatic and complex interventions and the reporting of methods is often less clear than in other settings.” (Pharmacy; reviewer, researcher; Australia; F)
Healthcare setting
Recognition and description of the complex settings of care and work in PC
•“Often the study is locale - and setting - specific, without much description of the ways in which protocol and implementation were shaped by these specifics.” (FP; clinician, editor, educator, reviewer; USA; F)
•“Health care setting is often not reported.” (FP; clinician, editor, educator, researcher; Norway; F)
•“Contextual factors are critical, yet not often reported. What kind of settings was the research performed in matter.”? (FP; journal reviewer, researcher; USA; M)
Recognition and description of the relationships among patients, families, clinicians and other members of PC teams
•“Ideally I think relationship building is also important in both the research and the implementation and this should also be reported.” (FP; clinician, educator, reviewer, researcher; Australia; F)
Study methods
Presentation of the underlying theory behind the research
•“It would be helpful to allow a section for theoretical underpinnings. PC research often lacks theory, although researchers use theories, they may or may not be aware of them. Theories people draw on in designing a study, collecting and analysis data must be made explicit.” (Scientist; researcher; Canada, F)
Analytic Methods
Description of how findings and interpretation were checked with study participants
•“It would be great if those undertaking the research reported how they corroborated their interpretation of the findings with study participants. This is rarely reported.” (Nursing; educator, reviewer, researcher; New Zealand, F)
Presentation of findings in accessible and comprehensible way to patients and communities affected
•“Clinicians and researchers should strive to make their research accessible beyond their peer group, especially when patients and community members were involved in the research. We should strive to make our findings accessible and comprehensible to the communities we serve.” (Public health; educator, manager, community member/patient; USA; F)
Presentation of findings in accessible and comprehensible way to PC clinicians
•“The strengths and drawbacks of reporting depends on the audience. Is the reporting for a solo physician or small group, in which case the reporting is too technical, focusing on research and not practical implementation, and difficult to know how it applies to one’s own clinic population? If the audience is researchers, there’s different ways to improve the reporting more along the lines of methods and statistics. If the audience is large group practices looking for system or policy solutions, then it gets back to generalizability and implementation.” (FP; researcher; USA; F)
Research Reporting
Guidance from PC research reporting guidelines that are different than currently exist
•“We need standards for reporting mixed methods research which don’t currently exist (Equator does not have any) - PC research includes lots of mixed methods research. (Health services researcher; methodologist, reviewer, community member/patient; UK, F)
•“A checklist would be beneficial for both peer reviewers and authors. Provide authors a standardized checklist specific to PC research.” (Editor; educator, reviewer, methodologist, researcher; Australia, M)
Publication process
Adequate space to adequately space to describe PC research methods, results and context.
•“Good PC research often requires a larger word limit than the usual to describe things like the theoretical stance used, the context of the research setting, how qualitative analysis was undertaken, and in the case of qualitative or mixed methods - space to give results. The solution to this is for more on-line publications to prevail and the encouragement therefore of use of supplementary files.” (FP; educator, reviewer, researcher; Australia, F)
Richer discussion of implications for research, practice, education and policy
•“Adding to research reporting, whatever is appropriate: Implications for future research, implications for practice, implications for policy.” (FP; researcher; Canada, M)
Description of the context in sufficient detail to assess generalizability to variety of PC contexts
•“It is important to have a good sense of context to assess whether the findings can be used in a different PC context, under which circumstances they can work and when not.” (Scientist; researcher; Canada, F)
Demonstration that researchers and authors have grounded understanding of PC
•“…the SPRINT study and the hypertension guidelines that came from that: authored by specialists who had little understanding of PC.” (FP; editor, reviewer, researcher; USA, M)
•“Articles written by specialists for a PC audience are also often flawed because they at best only partially understand PC.” (FP; editor, reviewer, manager, researcher; Australia; M)
Description in details sufficient for implementation, application and translation
•[A major] “national demonstration project. Introduced a team-based approach hard to replicate without the additional support of the grant dollars and institutional infrastructure. Created a model of care that was formidable to the 80% of practices who did not have that infrastructure and are small 2 to 4 clinician practices. Offered no meaningful information about how to make the case with leadership to promote adoption of such a model. Why should a clinician take the risk to hire a full-time employee with no billable hours when already working close the profit line? Answers are actually easy… but not reported” (Health services researcher; educator, reviewer, methodologist; USA; F)
Conflicts of interest
Information to help readers better assess potential conflicts of interest
•“It is very difficult to measure the conflict of interest.” (W, Hungary, Pharmacy, educator, journal reviewer, researcher)
•“La falta de financiación para este tipo de estudios, hace que los investigadores se asocien a empresas que tienen altos intereses.” (Google translation—“The lack of funding for this type of studies, makes researchers associate with companies that have high interests.) (Public health scientist; clinician; Argentina; M)
Description of contributions among large, multidisciplinary collaborative author groups
•“PC research often involves collaboration of large groups of individuals from various backgrounds, who often don’t discuss or agree upon authorship before starting the research…. It becomes very unclear whether some of them actually made any contribution to the study design, analysis, interpretation or writing of the results” (Family Medicine Scientist; methodologist, researcher; Canada, F)
  • FP, family physician; F, female; M, male; PC, primary care.

  • Online survey October 2018-2019.

  • * PC research reports would be more useful if they provided more….

  • Respondent identification: (Profession/medical specialty; research roles; nation; gender).