The collection of Top 10 research most read and published in 2021 brings together high-profile primary care research and clinical innovation.
Pancreatic cancer has the worst survival rate among all cancers. Almost 70% of patients in the UK were diagnosed at Stage IV. This study, co-authored by NDPCHS researchers, Julia Hippisley-Cox, Martina Patone, Weiqi Liao and Ashley K Clift, aimed to investigate the symptoms of two forms of pancreatic cancers (PDAC and PNEN) and characterise the symptomatology between the two tumour types to inform earlier diagnosis.
The study identified that the QCancer® (pancreas) risk prediction model could be updated by including the newly identified symptoms and comorbidities, which could help GPs identify high-risk patients for timely investigation in primary care.
The complexity of general practice consultations may be increasing and varies in different settings. A measure of complexity is required to test these hypotheses. This Delphi study, led by NDPCHS researchers, including Richard Hobbs, Rafael Perera, Brian D Nicholson and Clare Bankhead, aimed to develop a valid measure of general practice consultation complexity applicable to routine medical records. A new measure identifies practices requiring more support and resources.
Long COVID describes new or persistent symptoms at least 4 weeks after onset of acute COVID-19. Clinical codes to describe this phenomenon were recently created. This study was developed by multiple researchers, including the department's Ben Goldacre, on behalf of NHS England, to describe the use of long-COVID codes, and variation of use by general practice, demographic variables, and over time. This analysis of 58 million patient records shows variable rates of coding. Increased awareness of diagnostic codes is recommended to facilitate research and planning of services, and also surveys with qualitative work to better evaluate clinicians’ understanding of the diagnosis.
Remote consulting was introduced quickly into UK general practice in March 2020 as an emergency response to COVID-19. In July 2020, ‘remote-first’ became long-term government policy. The study, from departmental researchers, aimed to explore how this change was portrayed in national newspapers and how depictions changed over time. Media depictions of GPs and remote consultations during COVID-19 evolved from an ‘efficiency and safety’ narrative to a ‘risks, inequalities, and lack of choice’ narrative. To restore public trust in general practice, the authors recommend public communications to emphasise the wide variety of consulting options available to patients and measures being taken to assure safety and avoid inequity.
See the full-list of winners here: BJGP Top 10 research — the most read articles published in 2021 – BJGP Life