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Eur J Gen Pract. 2010 Mar;16(1):42-50. doi: 10.3109/13814780903563725.

Series: The research agenda for general practice/family medicine and primary health care in Europe. Part 2. Results: Primary care management and community orientation.

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  • 1Institute of General Practice, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany.


At the WONCA Europe conference 2009 the recently published 'Research Agenda for General Practice/Family Medicine and Primary Health Care in Europe' was presented. It is a background paper and reference manual, providing advocacy of general practice/family medicine (GP/FM) in Europe. The Research Agenda summarizes the evidence relating to the core competencies and characteristics of the WONCA Europe definition of GP/FM, and its implications for general practitioners/family doctors, researchers and policy makers. The European Journal of General Practice publishes a series of articles based on this document. In a first article, background, objectives, and methodology were discussed. In this second article, the results for the core competencies 'primary care management' and 'community orientation' are presented. Though there is a large body of research on various aspects of 'primary care management', it represents a very scattered rather than a meta view. Many studies focus on care for specific diseases, the primary/secondary care interface, or the implications of electronic patient records. Cost efficiency or process indicators of quality are current outcomes. Current literature on community orientation is mainly descriptive, and focuses on either care for specific diseases, or specific patient populations, or on the uptake of preventive services. Most papers correspond poorly to the WONCA concept. For both core competencies, there is a lack of research with a longitudinal perspective and/or relevant health or quality of life outcomes as well as research on patients' preferences and education for organizational aspects of GP/FM.

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