How To Do Primary Care Research  book cover
1st Edition

How To Do Primary Care Research

ISBN 9781138499584
Published October 12, 2018 by CRC Press
348 Pages 5 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

This practical ‘How To’ guide talks the reader step-by-step through designing, conducting and disseminating primary care research, a growing discipline internationally. The vast majority of health care issues are experienced by people in community settings, who are not adequately represented by hospital-based research. There is therefore a great need to upskill family physicians and other primary care workers and academics to conduct community-based research to inform best practice. Aimed at emerging researchers, including those in developing countries, this book also addresses cutting edge and newly developing research methods, which will be of equal interest to more experienced researchers.

Table of Contents





1. What makes research primary care research?

Felicity Goodyear-Smith and Bob Mash

2. Ontology and epistemology, methodology and method, and research paradigms

Eric K. Shaw

3. How to choose your topic and define your research question

William R. Phillips


4. Interdisciplinary research approaches in primary care

Trish Greenhalgh

5. Combining quantitative and qualitative methods

Elizabeth Halcomb

6. Authentic engagement, co-creation and action research

Vivian R. Ramsden, Jackie Crowe, Norma Rabbitskin, Danielle Rolfe and Ann C. Macaulay

7. Development and use of primary care research networks

Emma Wallace and Tom Fahey

8. Using big data in primary care research

Daniel J. Exeter and Katherine E. Walesby

9. Conducting primary care research using social media

Charilaos Lygidakis, Ana Luísa Neves, Liliana Laranjo and Luís Pinho-Costa

10. Quality improvement research in primary care

Andrew W. Knight and Paresh Dawda

11. Programme evaluation in primary care

Lauren Siegmann, Robyn Preston and Bunmi Malau-Aduli


12. How to prepare your research proposal

Bob Mash

13. How to ensure your research follows ethical principles

Christopher Barton, Sally Hall, Penelope Abbott, Chun Wah Michael Tam, Amanda Lyons and Siaw-Teng Liaw

14. How to search and critically appraise the literature

Celeste Naude and Taryn Young


15. Taking stock of existing research: Approach to conducting a systematic review

Taryn Young and Celeste Naude

16. Statistics in primary care research

Richard Stevens

17. How to conduct a survey in primary care

Lauren Ball and Katelyn Barnes

18. Validation studies: Validating new tools and adapting old ones to new contexts

Sherina Mohd Sidik

19. Clinical and other diagnostic tests: Understanding their predictive value

Sarah Price, Robert Price and Willie Hamilton

20. How to conduct observational studies

Tibor Schuster

21. Randomised trials in primary care

Gillian Bartlett-Esquilant, Miriam Dickinson and Tibor Schuster

22. Grounded theory

David R. Thomas

23. Doing interpretive phenomenological primary care research

Valerie A. Wright-St Clair

24. Why ethnography is an important part of primary care research and how it is done

Carissa van den Berk-Clark

25. Case study

Robin Ray, Judy Taylor and Robyn Preston

26. Interactional analysis of primary care consultations

Maria Stubbe, Anthony Dowell, Kevin Dew and Lindsay Macdonald


27. How to write and how to publish

Felicity Goodyear-Smith and Katharine A. Wallis

28. How to create an effective poster

Katharine A. Wallis

29. Using social media to disseminate primary care research

Charilaos Lygidakis and Raquel Gómez Bravo

30. Reaching decision-makers and achieving social impact with your research

Bob Mash, Nasreen Jessani and Liesl Nicol


31. How to supervise and mentor a less-experienced or novice researcher

Elizabeth Sturgiss and Lena Sanci

32. Creating the right environment for mentoring to flourish

Amanda Howe

33. A systems approach to building research capacity: Individuals, networks and culture

Grant Russell

34. Including primary care research in clinical practice

Chris van Weel


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Felicity Goodyear-Smith is a general practitioner and academic head of the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. She and Professor Bob Mash co-edited the companion book to this current title: ‘International Perspectives in Primary Care Research’, CRC Press, 2016. She is Chair of the WONCA (world family doctors) Working Party on Research, and both books have been written on behalf of WONCA. She also chairs the International Committee of the North American Primary Care Research Group. Felicity was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Primary Health Care. She has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers as well as a number of books and book chapters.

Felicity is passionate about the importance of research underpinning clinical practice in primary care. As well as her own research projects and those of her graduate students, she is actively engaged in research capacitybuilding globally, especially in low- and middle-income countries. This current book is particularly for emerging researchers, written as a ‘how to’ guide to conducting primary care research.

Bob Mash graduated from The University of Edinburgh and trained as a general practitioner in Scotland before emigrating to South Africa in 1991. He worked in the townships outside Cape Town with community health workers, providing community based primary care in the final days of the apartheid era. Following the onset of democracy, he worked for 10 years in the public sector, providing primary care in Khayelitsha. During this period, he worked with Stellenbosch University to create the first learning opportunities in family medicine and primary care for undergraduate medical students. Subsequently, he also developed a new online master’s degree programme for the training of family physicians.

He obtained his PhD on mental disorders in primary care in 2002 and has now published over 150 articles in peer reviewed scientific journals. He is currently the head of Family and Emergency Medicine at Stellenbosch responsible for research activities and training at both master’s and doctoral levels. He is the editor-in-chief of the African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine and is a rated researcher with the National Research Foundation. He is a founding member of the Chronic Diseases Initiative for Africa (a network of researchers) and an active leader within the Primary Care and Family Medicine Education (Primafamed) Network, a group of departments of family medicine in sub-Saharan Africa. He is currently the President of the South African Academy of Family Physicians.


"At a time when so many clinicians become overwhelmed with their everyday challenges and responsibilities, this book offers a respite to change one's thinking, expanding the scope in an additional area of thought. It is a well-written, easy-to-read text book brings a renewed thinking to research."

Vincent F Carr, DO, MSA, FACC, FACP (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences)