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Journal: BMC family practice


There is limited evidence to support the use of facemasks in preventing infection for primary care professionals. Negative effects on communication has been suggested when the physician wears a facemask. As communication skills and doctor patient relationship are essential to primary care consultations, the effects of doctor’s facemask wearing were explored.

Concepts: Medicine, Patient, Randomized controlled trial, Effectiveness, Physician, Doctor-patient relationship, Profession, General practitioner


Adoption and maintenance of healthy behaviours is pivotal to chronic disease self-management as this influences disease progression and impact. This qualitative study investigated health behaviour changes adopted by participants with moderate or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) recruited to a randomised controlled study of telephone-delivered health-mentoring.

Concepts: Psychology, Osteoporosis, Medicine, Asthma, Pneumonia, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


BACKGROUND: Although collaborative team models (CTM) improve care processes and health outcomes, their diffusion poses challenges related to difficulties in securing their adoption by primary care clinicians. The objectives of this study are to understand: (1) how the perceived characteristics of a CTM influenced clinicians' decision to adopt -or not- the model; and (2) the model’s diffusion process. METHODS: We conducted a longitudinal case study based on the Diffusion of Innovations Theory. First, diffusion curves were developed for all 175 primary care physicians (PCPs) and 59 nurses practicing in one borough of Paris. Second, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a representative sample of 40 PCPs and 15 nurses to better understand the implementation dynamics. RESULTS: Diffusion curves showed that 3.5 years after the start of the implementation, 100% of nurses and over 80% of PCPs had adopted the CTM. The dynamics of the CTM’s diffusion were different between the PCPs and the nurses. The slopes of the two curves are also distinctly different. Among the nurses, the critical mass of adopters was attained faster, since they adopted the CTM earlier and more quickly than the PCPs. Results of the semi-structured interviews showed that these differences in diffusion dynamics were mostly founded in differences between the PCPs' and the nurses' perceptions of the CTM’s compatibility with norms, values and practices and its relative advantage (impact on patient management and work practices). Opinion leaders played a key role in the diffusion of the CTM among PCPs. CONCLUSION: CTM diffusion is a social phenomenon that requires a major commitment by clinicians and a willingness to take risks; the role of opinion leaders is key. Paying attention to the notion of a critical mass of adopters is essential to developing implementation strategies that will accelerate the adoption process by clinicians. Key-words: primary care, primary care physician, nurses, chronic disease, collaboration, health service research, diffusion of innovation.

Concepts: Sociology, Diffusion, Adoption, Case study, Innovation, Primary care physician, Diffusion of innovations, Opinion leadership


Mass media plays an important role in communicating about health research and services to patients, and in shaping public perceptions and decisions about health. Healthcare professionals also play an important role in providing patients with credible, evidence-based and up-to-date information on a wide range of health issues. This study aims to explore primary care nurses' experiences of how mass media influences frontline healthcare.

Concepts: Health care, Health care provider, United Kingdom, Media, Public relations, Mass media, Media influence, Marshall McLuhan


BACKGROUND: Pulmonary Rehabilitation for moderate Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in primary care could improve patients' quality of life. METHODS: This study aimed to assess the efficacy of a 3-month Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) program with a further 9 months of maintenance (RHBM group) compared with both PR for 3 months without further maintenance (RHB group) and usual care in improving the quality of life of patients with moderate COPD.We conducted a parallel-group, randomized clinical trial in Majorca primary health care in which 97 patients with moderate COPD were assigned to the 3 groups. Health outcomes were quality of life, exercise capacity, pulmonary function and exacerbations. RESULTS: We found statistically and clinically significant differences in the three groups at 3 months in the emotion dimension (0.53; 95%CI0.06-1.01) in the usual care group, (0.72; 95%CI0.26-1.18) the RHB group (0.87; 95%CI 0.44-1.30) and the RHBM group as well as in fatigue (0.47; 95%CI 0.17-0.78) in the RHBM group. After 1 year, these differences favored the long-term rehabilitation group in the domains of fatigue (0.56; 95%CI 0.22-0.91), mastery (0.79; 95%CI 0.03-1.55) and emotion (0.75; 95%CI 0.17-1.33). Between-group analysis only showed statistically and clinically significant differences between the RHB group and control group in the dyspnea dimension (0.79 95%CI 0.05-1.52). No differences were found for exacerbations, pulmonary function or exercise capacity. CONCLUSIONS: We found that patients with moderate COPD and low level of impairment did not show meaningful changes in QoL, exercise tolerance, pulmonary function or exacerbation after a one-year, community based rehabilitation program. However, long-term improvements in the emotional, fatigue and mastery dimensions (within intervention groups) were identified.Trial registration: ISRCTN94514482.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Asthma, Pneumonia, Randomized controlled trial, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


Because of ageing populations, the growth in the number of people with multi-morbidity and greater compliance with disease-specific guidelines, polypharmacy is becoming increasingly common. Although the correct drug treatment in patients with complex medical problems can improve clinical outcomes, quality of life and life expectancy, polypharmacy is also associated with an increased risk of adverse drug events, some severe enough to result in hospital admission and even death. Hence, having systems in place to ensure that medications are started only when there is a suitable indication, ensuring patients are fully aware of the benefits and complications that may arise from their treatment, and reviewing patients regularly to ensure their medication regime remains appropriate, are essential.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Medicine, Death, Life expectancy, Adverse drug reaction, Pharmaceutical drug, Pharmacy, Polypharmacy


Cultural competence is a broad concept with multiple theoretical underpinnings and conflicting opinions on how it should be materialized. While it is recognized that cultural competence should be an integral part of General Practice, literature in the context of General Practice is limited. The aim of this article is to provide a comprehensive summary of the current literature with respect to the following: the elements of cultural competency that need to be fostered and developed in GPs and GP registrars; how is cultural competence being developed in General Practice currently; and who facilitates the development of cultural competence in General Practice.

Concepts: General practitioner, Cross-cultural communication


Canadians' health care-seeking behaviour for physical and mental health issues was examined using the international Quality and Cost of Primary Care (QUALICOPC) survey that was conducted in 2013 in Canada.

Concepts: Health care, Psychology, Canada, Steve Davis


Patient safety issues in primary health care and in emergency departments have not been as thoroughly explored as patient safety issues in the hospital setting. Knowledge is particularly sparse regarding which patients have a higher risk of harm in these settings. The objective was to evaluate which patient-related factors were associated with risk of harm in patients with reports of safety incidents.


BACKGROUND: Women presenting with symptoms of acute uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI) are often prescribed antibiotics. However, in 25 to 50% of symptomatic women not taking antibiotics, symptoms recover spontaneously within one week. It is not known how many women are prepared to delay antibiotic treatment. We investigated how many women presenting with UTI symptoms were willing to delay antibiotic treatment when asked by their general practitioner (GP). METHODS: From 18 April 2006 until 8 October 2008, in a prospective cohort study, patients were recruited in 20 GP practices in and around Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Healthy, non-pregnant women who contacted their GP with painful and/or frequent micturition for no longer than seven days registered their symptoms and collected urine for urinalysis and culture. GPs were requested to ask all patients if they were willing to delay antibiotic treatment, without knowing the result of the culture at that moment. After seven days, patients reported whether their symptoms had improved and whether they had used any antibiotics. RESULTS: Of 176 women, 137 were asked by their GP to delay antibiotic treatment, of whom 37% (51/137) were willing to delay. After one week, 55% (28/51) of delaying women had not used antibiotics, of whom 71% (20/28) reported clinical improvement or cure. None of the participating women developed pyelonephritis. CONCLUSIONS: More than a third of women with UTI symptoms are willing to delay antibiotic treatment when asked by their GP. The majority of delaying women report spontaneous symptom improvement after one week.

Concepts: Kidney, Disease, Bacteria, Urinary tract infection, Urine, Urinary bladder, Urethra, Antibiotic