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Research from the University of Oxford has been recognised by the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) as high-quality and impactful with significant potential to improve primary care practice.

Testing for capillary refill time © Nazir Hamid
Testing for capillary refill time

The findings from four studies led by the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences form almost a quarter of the NAPCRG’s latest research “top-picks”. These are chosen from international research presented at the NAPCRG Annual Meeting because they demonstrate impactful practical evidence about real-life situations (PEARLS).

Up to 17 PEARLS will be presented and discussed at future primary care clinical meetings across the USA and Canada.

Professor Richard Hobbs, Head of the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, said:

"We are delighted that four of the latest research top picks selected by the NAPCRG are from the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences. This international recognition demonstrates just how impactful our primary care research is, with real potential to achieve better health care in communities across the globe."

The selected research:

  1. Taylor CJ, Roalfe AK, Iles R, Hobbs FDR. The potential role of NT-proBNP in screening for and predicting prognosis in heart failure: a survival analysis. BMJ Open (2014). 4:4 e004675

    A study on the potential role of the biomarker NT-proBNP in screening for heart failure and in predicting prognosis. Risk of heart failure increased almost 18-fold when NT-proBNP was 150pg/ml or above. Funded by the NIHR School for Primary Care Research.

  2. Fleming S, Gill P, Jones C, Van den Bruel A, Taylor J, Heneghan C, Thompson MSystematic review of the diagnostic accuracy of capillary refill time for serious illness in children.

    A systematic review that shows the simple capillary refill time test (where refill is more than 3 seconds) can red flag an increased probability of the presence of a serious illness in those children tested, with evidence to suggest this can be applied in low income settlings.

  3. Jones CH, Howick J, Roberts NW, Price CP, Heneghan C, Plüddemann A, Thompson M. Primary care clinicians' attitudes towards point-of-care blood testing: a systematic review of qualitative studies. BMC Family Practice (2013). 14:117

    A cross-sectional survey of primary care clinicians’ use of point-of-care tests that found those most commonly used (urine pregnancy, urine leukocytes or nitrite, blood glucose) and identified the tests most commonly desired for use (D-dimer, troponin, and chlamydia).

  4. Wang K, Birring SS, Taylor K, Fry NK, Hay AD, Moore M, Jin J, Perera R, Farmer A, Little P, Harrison TG, Mant D, Harnden A. Montelukast for postinfectious cough in adults: a double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial. Lancet Respir Med. (2014). 2(1):35-43.

    An investigation into the effectiveness of montelukast for the treatment of postinfectious cough (i.e. persistent cough following an acute respiratory tract infection).  Evidence of recent whooping cough infection was found in one-quarter of non-smoking young adults who presented in primary care with postinfectious cough.  Treatment with montelukast was no more effective than placebo. Funded by the NIHR School for Primary Care Research.


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