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The State Of Primary-Care Research
Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine Publications
  • David Mant
  • Chris Del Mar, Bond University
  • Paul Glasziou
  • Andre Knottnerus
  • Paul Wallace
  • Chris Van Weel
Date of this Version
Document Type
Response or Comment
Publication Details
Postprint of:
Mant D, Del Mar C, Glasziou P, Knottnerus A, Wallace P, van Weel C. (2004) The state of primary-care research. The Lancet - Vol. 364, Iss 9438, pp 1004-1006
Published by Elsevier Ltd
Access the published version online
In March, 2003, the editor of The Lancet attended an international conference in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, on primary-care research, subsequently running a rather dyspeptic editorial entitled "Is primary-care research a lost cause?" (1) This article highlighted the unacceptable weakness of primary-care research worldwide. A particular concern of the conference was the shortage of primary care research in less economically developed countries to inform the clinical and public health management of malnutrition, malaria, AIDS, water-borne infection, and other illnesses of poverty (2). However, problems exist even in economically developed countries. In Australia, for example, a crude measure of research productivity with practising physicians as the denominator suggests that primary care is only 1% as productive as internal medicine, 0.5% as productive as public health and 1.6% as productive as surgery (3). But for The Lancet to characterise primary-care research as a "lost cause" is unhelpful. This notion implies either that the field is so weak that it cannot be resuscitated or that it is irrelevant anyway. Both are wrong.
Citation Information
David Mant, Chris Del Mar, Paul Glasziou, Andre Knottnerus, et al.. "The State Of Primary-Care Research" (2004)
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