GP Evidence: a new website to support evidence-based practice
Background GPs regularly prescribe lifelong treatments for long-term conditions, supported by clinical guidelines and encouraged by performance measures. However, GPs have a poor understanding of the absolute benefits and harms of these treatments, impairing their ability to engage in genuine shared decision making or optimally manage polypharmacy. There are few easily accessible and understandable sources of this kind of quantitative information. Aim To produce a novel website to communicate understandable, usable information to GPs on the benefits and harms of treatments for long-term conditions alongside supporting information about the relevant evidence base. Method Participatory co-design/research-by-design methods. A pragmatic evidence collation and curation process with expert and patient involvement. Results A new website, gpevidence.org (openly available from launch date, 1 February 2022) has been developed providing evidence on treatments for 12 common long-term conditions. It employs graphic design and ‘content-designed’ textual information within an information architecture mapping to GPs’ practice and mental models. User-testing and preliminary evaluation have shown it successfully communicates complex evidence about the benefits and harms of treatments to GPs in a way that will be usable and useful in practice. Conclusion It is possible to communicate quantitative information about the clinical evidence base behind treatments in a way that will be usable in practice and that complements existing clinical guidelines and normative practice. This has the potential to support shared decision making, improve the management of polypharmacy, and increase GPs’ confidence in this area of practice.