by Chloë Gamlin, GP Academic Clinical Fellow, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
Attending the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) conference for the first time proved to be an enriching experience, offering a diverse array of presentations and discussions at the forefront of primary care. Held at the Hilton in downtown San Francisco, the conference brought together healthcare providers and researchers from across the globe.
The opening plenary by Professor Ed Maibach underscored the role of primary care physicians in addressing climate change, emphasizing their potential to provide unbiased information. Another plenary, led by Professor Diana Greene Foster, delved into the intersection of politics and healthcare, focusing on the recent changes to US abortion law. The emotional session highlighted the resilience of healthcare professionals in supporting women’s health issues, despite differing opinions.
Distinguished papers presented in the morning sessions covered … Read more
By Christie Cabral, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Academic Primary Care , University of Bristol
As a social anthropologist, I’ve been investigating why antibiotics are overused for over a decade and using the insights gained to develop antibiotic stewardship interventions. For World Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Week, I am writing about three key insights from my research.
1. The role of ‘Explanatory Models’ for illness and treatment: the influence on consulting and prescribing behaviours
Explanatory models are the set of linked ideas or theories that we each have in our minds about an illness and the possible treatments. These inform what we do as a patient, deciding whether to consult, or as a clinician deciding whether to prescribe.
The (simplified) biomedical model for the infections is of two types: viral or bacterial. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections but are ineffective for viral infections. So, it’s simple, no one … Read more
By Dr Alex Burrell, NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in General Practice, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
Dr Alex Burrell has led a study exploring the relationship between Altmetric scores and citations in primary care research journals as part of his Editorial Fellowship at the British Journal of General Practice (BJGP) and BJGP Open.
The number of times a research article is cited has traditionally been used to assess its impact and quality. Altmetric score is an alternative measure of article impact which assesses the broader societal impact of articles and includes social media, blogs, and news mentions.
Number of citations, and other measures which are based on citation count, are still most often used by researchers and universities, and are tied to financial rewards. However, academic journals and authors increasingly use parts of the Altmetric score to share and promote research.
If Altmetric … Read more
by Loreta Valatka, Third Year Pharmacy Student, University of Bath
My internship experience
The Carry Naloxone Somerset project, led by Dr Jenny Scott, was the main focus of my 2023 research summer internship at the University of Bristol’s Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC). The aim of the project is to encourage people in Somerset who may experience or witness an overdose to carry naloxone – a first aid medicine that can be supplied without prescription to prevent an opioid overdose from being fatal.
Before the launch of the campaign, I analysed survey data to write a report about the possession and carriage of naloxone, as well as overdose experiences amongst Somerset Drug and Alcohol Service (SDAS) users. Post launch, I was responsible for follow-ups with the 23 pharmacies that had signed up so far. This was to ensure all participating members of the pharmacy teams … Read more
by David Kessler, Professor of Primary Care, Centre for Academic Mental Health and Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
In 2017 I wrote a blog for World Mental Health Day. I wrote about the increased societal openness about mental illness over my clinical lifetime, the impact of the widespread availability of talking therapies through IAPT (now renamed NHS Talking Therapies) and described some of the work we had been doing in Bristol and what we planned to do. I talked about research into treatment resistant depression and the threshold for starting antidepressant drugs. What’s happened since in our world, and have we made any progress?
It’s hard to escape the COVID pandemic, but it’s also hard to assess its impact on mental health. The COVID-19 Mental Disorders Collaborators concluded that throughout 2020 the pandemic led to a global increase of over 25% … Read more
By Dr Ola Abdellatif, Primary Care Academic Collaborative (PACT) and Dr Jessica Watson, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
Rates of blood testing in general practice have increased over the past two decades in the UK. The reasons why are not entirely clear. Researchers from the University of Bristol, led by Dr Jessica Watson, joined forces with PACT – a collaborative of GP clinicians interested in research – to investigate who requests tests and why, and what the outcomes are. Why Test? Is their first study, which benefited from the unique access to clinical records facilitated by PACT. In this blog, Dr Ola Abdellatif, a GP trainee at the time of the study (now a salaried GP) and PACT member, together with Dr Jessica Watson, a GP and NIHR Clinical Lecturer in General Practice at the Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol and … Read more
by Dr Denize Atan, Associate Professor in Neuro-opthalmology, Neuroscience and Genetics, University of Bristol
Papilloedema is nerve swelling at the back of the eyes. It is caused by increased pressure inside the head and can be the first sign of a brain tumour or other serious health problems.
As half the people with a brain tumour have no symptoms, optometrists (trained eye care professionals who work at optician practices) may be the first to notice nerve swelling in someone during a routine eye test.
The importance of detecting papilloedema has been highlighted by recent high profile cases in the media.
The ‘Improving the Diagnostic accuracy of referrals for Papilloedema’ (DIPP) Study is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to develop a set of guidelines and educational materials for optometrists and GPs that will help them to diagnose papilloedema more accurately … Read more
By Dr Natalia Lewis, Senior Reseach Fellow in Primary Care and Cat Papastavrou Brooks, Research Associate, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol, and Dr Noreen Hopewell-Kelly, Research Fellow, NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre
The coMforT study
The coMforT study, funded by NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre, developed and tested a trauma-specific mindfulness course for women who had experienced domestic abuse and post-traumatic stress. The study, led by Dr Natalia Lewis, worked with an advisory group of six women with lived experience of domestic abuse who engaged in planning, delivering, analysing and disseminating study findings.
Developing a theatre piece about the impact of involvement in research
Once the coMforT study finished, two of the public contributors involved in it went on to co-produce a play called ‘Hard Evidence’ with support from researchers and the director of acta, a … Read more
By Dr Lucy Selman, Associate Professor in Palliative and End of Life Care, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
On Thursday 8 June 2023, an expert meeting was held at the University of Bristol, on treatment decision-making in advanced kidney disease. The meeting brought together renal and palliative care clinicians and researchers specialising in the area from across the UK with colleagues from Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, with two guests from Boston coming to Bristol to attend in person.
The aim of the event was to share research and clinical practice models related to treatment decision-making in advanced kidney disease – an area in which the partnering teams have complementary expertise.
The event was led by Dr Lucy Selman, Associate Professor of Palliative and End-of-Life Care at the University of Bristol in collaboration with Professor James Tulsky, Professor of Medicine at … Read more
by Dr Helen Cramer, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
The importance of providing support for victims and survivors of domestic abuse has long been established and a considerable body of research shows what effective support should look like. How to engage with perpetrators of domestic abuse is less well understood. There are a range of interventions of different lengths and purposes such as shorter ones to assess risk, and containment and disruption approaches for the highest risk perpetrators to try to manage that risk.
For lower risk perpetrators, longer (e.g. six month) group programmes aiming to reduce abusive behaviour and offering support to the partners and ex-partners alongside are recommended by Respect, a UK membership organisation that sets standards and accredits perpetrator programmes. However, the evidence for these group programmes is uncertain and there are extensive methodological challenges to … Read more