by Dr Jo Burgin, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
Over a third of all pregnancies in women over 40 result in therapeutic abortion. This is one of the highest rates of abortion compared to live births in any age group. This suggests an unmet need for contraception. I interviewed women over 40 about their views and experience with contraception to find out more.
“I couldn’t do another child”
Previous studies have attributed the relatively low use of reliable contraception in women over 40 to women’s perceptions of themselves as low risk of pregnancy. However, participants in this study felt pregnancy was a real possibility and that an unplanned pregnancy would have a significant negative impact on their lives. Some had completed their families or had other caring responsibilities. While others knew they did not want any children and did not want to … Read more
By Lucy Selman, Associate Professor of Palliative and End of Life Care, Palliative and End of Life Care Research Group and Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
Serious illness and bereavement affect us all, but our experiences of them are not equal. People living in the poorest areas of the UK are less likely to get the care and support they need if they become seriously ill or a loved one dies. They are also more likely to be socially isolated and lonely – which can be made even worse by serious illness or bereavement.
The Weston-super-Mare community network for health inequities is a new collaborative research project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and led by the University of Bristol, which aims to tackle these issues, focusing on Weston-super-Mare, a seaside town in the South West that is socioeconomically … Read more
by Dr Mairead Murphy, Honorary Research Fellow, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol and Evaluation Lead, South West Academic Health Science Network
“I think everyone’s been in the situation where they go to a doctor to talk about something that they find hard to talk about or they might find it difficult to voice their concerns.”
“I just couldn’t get a word in edgewise, sometimes you find you’ve just arrived and the GP is writing the prescription you know?”
These are some of the things patients said to us when we interviewed them for the Consultation Open and Close (COAC) study. Patients felt that, in the 10-minute consultation, particularly when it was by telephone, the GP did not always have time to get to the root of their problems.
This is not new or surprising. The 10-minute GP consultation is the shortest in Europe… Read more
By Lorelei Hunt, Patient and Public Involvement Representative on the ATHENA Shingles Study, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
Five years ago, when I felt unwell with a pain on one side of my body, I assumed I had a virus. Only after a week, when a rash appeared in the same place, did I think that I might have shingles. I was in good health and never thought shingles was something that I was at risk of. But I now know that anyone can get it.
After getting chicken pox, the virus lurks in your nervous system and can reappear as shingles without warning at any time and the risk of this increases with age. The painful, blistering rash was bad enough, but I didn’t know that shingles can have a nasty after-effect, causing a type of nerve pain called post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN for … Read more
By Dr Tanuka Palit, NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Primary Care, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
“You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.” Dame Cicely Saunders
Many people express a wish to die at home. The proportion of deaths that occurred in the community (including private homes and care homes) rose significantly during the pandemic and has been sustained. As a consequence, the need to fund and improve our community palliative care services has never been more important. Earlier this year, this was recognised by a change in the Health and Social Care Bill to fund palliative care services in all areas. This will hopefully remove the postcode lottery that currently exists in the UK for … Read more
By Dr Alyson Huntley, Senior Research Fellow in Evidence Synthesis, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
World Heart Day on 29 September 2022 aims to inform people that cardiovascular disease, including heart failure and stroke, is the world’s leading cause of death, claiming 18.6 million lives each year. It also aims to highlight the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control heart disease. Alyson Huntley describes how researchers at the Centre for Academic Primary Care are refocusing priorities to ensure that the needs of people living with heart failure are at the centre of their work.
We aim to put people with heart failure at the centre of our research. A recent collaborative project with other universities highlighted the unmet needs of people living with heart failure. The priority setting process brought clinicians, patients and families/carers together on an equal footing to … Read more
by Scarlett Whitford Webb, Anthropology Student, University of Bristol
As a student usually peering at fossils of primordial apes, I was surprised to receive an email advertising two paid summer internships in primary care research. The email emphasised that both internships were accepting of students from a variety of disciplines (including geography, biology, sociology, and social policy) in addition to medicine. Experience in qualitative research was required for both projects, but as I (like many others), was already carrying out research for my dissertation, the internship felt tailor-made for a third-year anthropologist wishing to step into the medical world. After reading the email, I hastily applied to one of the projects. A few weeks later, I was interviewed and hired by my project supervisor. After the interview, I learned that 24 students applied for the project, and that seven were shortlisted for interview.
My involvement in the
… Read more
By Sophie Turnbull, Senior Research Associate, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
I have an ongoing interest in how industry and academia can work together to produce really good evidence-led products that can be accessible for the target users, and have more longevity than those produced in purely academic settings.
From experience, when we produce digital interventions in our academic bubble, they are brilliantly researched, but often not maintained in the long-term, meaning they disappear soon after the research funding stops. Or we do not have enough budget to develop something that people are going to want to use.
While exploring how academia and industry can come together to reduce inequalities in access to good quality healthcare, I discovered ZINC. ZINC runs mission-led programmes with people from across disciplines to build commercial solutions to solve some of the most pressing societal issues. I … Read more
by Dr Simon Thornton, GP and GP Engagement Lead, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol and Professor Trevor Thompson, GP and Head of Primary Care Teaching, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
The Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC) at the University of Bristol is a leading centre for primary care teaching and research based in Bristol Medical School. In April 2022, we held an inaugural Festival of Teaching at Bristol Zoo, to celebrate the skill and commitment of GP teachers, who are helping develop the primary care workforce of the future.
The day started with an introduction to teaching for the coming (2022/23) academic year from the teaching team. If you’re interested in teaching medical students and haven’t seen it already, do take a look at our Teaching Brochure that gives you all the information you need about teaching … Read more
by Dr Lorna Duncan, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
How did England’s National Health Service (NHS) change at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Dr Lorna Duncan and Kelly Cheng wrote two companion pieces for F1000Research, exploring how the NHS modified general practice (GP) consultations to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and what the public thought about those changes. F1000Research spoke to Dr. Duncan about what they discovered and the potential implications for primary care. You can read the full blog on their website.… Read more