Table 3.

Categories of Practitioner Comments on Reporting of Primary Care Research

Summary comment*
  • “Respondent quotation.“

Build primary care culture, skills, and attitudes to sustain research activity, including reporting
  • “Also engaging more practitioners in research would help. In that way, more practitioners would learn the language of research.“ (Physician, FP; Researcher; Netherlands; M)

Research training
  • “necesita motivar a los jovenes medicos residentes para medicina familiar y asi se involucren en investigacion primaria.“ (You need to motivate young resident doctors for family medicine and get involved in primary research) (PA; Administration, Clinical Psychology, Public Health, Social Work; Dominican Republic; F)

Funding and infrastructure
  • “Often underresourced in terms of manpower and physical resources.” (Physician, FP; South Africa; M)

  • “Why doesn't every research study done on PC or on some intervention to be implemented in PC have at least one PCP and one PC patient on the research team?“ (Nurse; USA; F)

Research question
Report the origin of the research question and how it is connected to patient care in practice
  • “Studies should arise from research questions that arise from problems of patients in primary care centers” (Physician, FP; Educator; Argentina; F)

Research team††
Report the composition and involvement of the variety of research team members through process of research, eg, practitioners, patients, nurses
  • “If and when the research team included: Practitioners, Patients, Community Representatives.” (Social Worker; USA; F)

Description of the complex contexts of patients, problems, and practice
Description of clinicians, teams and how they are organized
  • “There are many models of delivering behavioral health to PC patients. We need more info on types of providers and how they are integrated into PC practice.” (PA; USA; M)

  • “When there is a multiprofessional team working on the intervention, the researchers need to make clear the interactions among the team members. Who sees the pt first; who administers the test or treatment; when do non-MDs refer to MDs, etc. Team members often have different roles in pt care and should be reported separately.” (Physician, Pediatrics; Nation N/A; F)

Patient population
Description of patients and populations in practice and community-based research
  • “To understand the impact of the research study, I need to know more than is usually reported about who the patients are, beyond the usual age/sex.” (Physician, FP; Nation N/A; Gender N/A)

Problem studied
Recognition and description of illness as it occurs in PC
  • “There is still too much single-diseased research in general including primary care that ignores treatment burden across diseases.” (Physician, FP; Nation N/A; M)

Recognition and description of the relationships among patients, families, clinicians, and other members of PC teams
  • “What their relationship is: continuity pts? How long? First visit? Referred or primary?” (FP; Physician; Nation N/A; Gender N/A)

  • “Researchers should collect and report information about the relationship between patients and clinicians in describing their research” (Physician, FP; Ireland; M)

Types of interventions
Description of pragmatic and complex interventions in PC
Healthcare setting (includes medical records)
Recognition and description of the complex settings of care and work in PC
  • “Major quality, major information about ambulatory setting.” (PA; Public Health; Argentina; F)

Presentation of the underlying theory behind the research
Analytic methods
  • “I would like to see research reports describe in their method sections more explanation of why certain statistical techniques are chosen.” (Physician, FP; Canada; F)

Study methods
  • “Method sections often describe measures—like patient outcome measures—which appear to be research tools that we do not use in clinical practice. I want to have some information on the clinical validity of these tools in PC before I accept them as validated research tools. Many come from specialty researchers.” (Physician, FP; USA; F)

Presentation of findings in accessible and comprehensible way to patients and communities affected
Presentation of findings in accessible and comprehensible way to PC clinicians
  • “Easier access to online journals.” (Physician, FP; Jamaica; M)

  • “‘Open access’ seems to be a fraud—it's not open to me. It often means that I cannot get access to some study I'm trying to find, even if it was linked from a newsletter or other pub aimed at practicing GPs. Sometimes you can go through a university or some other linkage, but this is not user-friendly or available at point of care. Is just another speedbump between research and practice.” (Physician, IM; Canada; M)

  • “I think that an audience for primary care research is patients. As such the reporting should be patient-centered.” (Physician, FP; USA; F)

Clearinghouse function††
  • “Centralized repository list with links that is regularly updated and available on the major FM websites.” (Physician, FP; USA; F)

Publication process
Adequate space to describe PC research methods, results. and context
  • “By making it easier to publish findings and helping researchers to communicate their findings.” (Physician, FP; Researcher; Netherlands; M)

Reporting guidelines
Guidance from PC research reporting guidelines that are different than currently exist
  • “Developing a standard format of doing this report would help all primary care clinicians.” (Physician, FP; Nigeria; M)

Research reporting
  • “I would like to see research reports describe in their method sections more explanation of why certain statistical techniques are chosen.” (Physician, FP; Canada; F)

Simple language††
  • “Succinct reporting.” (Physician, FP; Educator; Australia; F)

  • “Short and direct to the point.” (Physician, FP; Brazil; F)

  • “Incorporate simple language summaries” (Physician, FP; Educator; Nigeria; M)

  • “The focus should be on applicability in 3 short sentences that summarize the findings.” (Physician, FP; Denmark; F)

  • “Work on providing summaries of a body of research. A single research paper is almost never worthy of changing practice (and hence seldom time efficient for me to read) unless it is a large and particularly well-done RCT.” (Physician, FP; Canada; M)

Richer discussion of implications for research, practice, education, and policy
  • “Specifically a statement as to how this could be used to change clinical practice activities.” (Physician, FP; USA; M)

Description of the context in sufficient detail to assess generalizability to variety of PC contexts
  • “This means that findings/results of research should always be placed in the context of primary and community care.” (Physician, FP; Netherlands; M)

  • “Research in the primary care setting is different from hospitals in that the population is bigger with healthier persons, thus it is more difficult to prove something works. This fact frustrates the introduction of practices that are proven effective in hospital care but don't get access to the primary care healthcare.” (Physician, FP; Netherlands; M)

  • “Consider the impact of recommendations when added to other likely protocols/guidelines.” (Physician, FP; Canada; F)

Demonstration that researchers and authors have grounded understanding of PC
  • “Research reporting should be reported by taking into account practicality, usefulness, and the contextual nature of the environment of the practicing doctor. For example, there is no reason for an expert panel to report about a conceptual framework that is pure conjecture (or based on available research but has no relevance to the clinical climate of most practitioners).” (Physician, FP; Researcher, Public Health, Behavioral Science; Malaysia; M)

  • “PC research should call out that it is done in/by/for PC, so we can focus our limited time on reading those studies that are most likely to be helpful to us and our pts.” (Social Worker; USA; F)

Description in details sufficient for implementation, application, and translation
Implementation in practice—organization and management††
Report organization and management methods to apply research findings in practice.
  • “The problem is not individual reports but rather the need for impartial processes of integrating a particular report into clinical decision support, which is the current and likely future interface between research and actual care delivery.“ (Physician, FP; New Zealand; F)

Implementation in practice—clinical patient care††
Report how findings apply to patient care in practice
  • “State what is new and its application in patient care.“ (Physician, Specialty N/A; Nigeria; M)

Description of contributions among large, multidisciplinary collaborative author groups
  • “Do non-MDs and non-researchers get their due credit when the paper is finally published? In family medicine research, I often see that they do.“ (Social Worker; USA; F)

Conflicts of interest—“competing interests”
Information to help readers better assess potential conflicts of interest
Ethical research
  • Online survey 2019. n = 252.

  • * “In what ways could PC research reporting be improved?“

  • Respondent identification: (profession, medical specialty; research roles; nation; gender).

  • †† Categories emerging from practitioner comments that were not emphasized in survey of researchers.

  • F, female; FM, family medicine; FP, family physician or general practitioner; IM, internal medicine; M, male; N/A, data not available; PA, physician assistant; RCT, randomized controlled trial.