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Bond researchers secure $2.4m NHMRC grant to aid uptake of new research by GPs

Bond University medical researcher Professor Paul Glasziou and a team of eight investigators from Bond, Sydney University and the University of Laval in Canada have been awarded a $2.4 million grant from National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to study ways to improve the uptake of new research findings by General Practitioners (GPs).

Professor Glasziou, who is Director of the University’s Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice (CREBP) – and a former GP himself - said there was currently no reliable system for ensuing GPs received information about new and emerging research findings.

“GPs are time-poor and rarely have the opportunity to look at primary research,” Professor Glasziou said.

“This issue is compounded by the fact that research that is disseminated to GPs is usually filtered, sometimes by specialists and often by pharmaceutical companies,” he said.

“To keep abreast of the latest research for the diagnosis and treatment of common conditions like high blood pressure, obesity, depression, arthritis and sleep disorders, Australian GPs need independent, user-evidence-based updates of research findings that are important and relevant to them and their patients.”

The multi-million dollar NHMRC grant will see a new Centre of Research Excellence established as part of CREBP, with a focus on translating evidence into best practice in primary care.

The research program itself involves three key elements:

  • A ‘clinical laboratory’ of 15-25 influential GPs, their practices and their patients, who will select, pilot and adapt important research-based clinical advances
  • Practice support units who will synthesise evidence, develop shared decision aids and tools, and provide tailored advice and training on topics of importance to GPs and their patients
  • Dissemination of research findings - selected and adapted by the ‘clinical laboratory’- to Australian GPs and general practices via social media, policy/guidelines and courses.

“Through the use of industry leaders, adaptation, interactive learning and social media, we anticipate seeing a marked increase in the uptake of new clinical evidence by GPs and their practices,” Professor Glasziou said.

“This could include the learning of a new skill, like how to handle a new medication, or how to adapt and apply the use of an existing medication to a new patient group. It will allow tailoring to individual patients’ needs and preferences, which will require greater collaboration between evidence-based practice and the newer science of shared decision making.”

Working alongside Professor Glasziou as Chief Investigators will be A/Professor Tammy Hoffmann, Professor Chris Del Mar and  Professor Jenny Doust from Bond University’s CREBP; Professor Lyndal Trevena, Professor Kirsten McCaffery and Professor Glenn Salkeld from University of Sydney; and Professor France Légaré from University of Laval, Canada.

In addition to this grant, Bond University’s Professor Glasziou, Professor Doust and Professor Ray Moynihan will be collaborating with a public health research team from the University of Sydney on another Centre for Research Excellence to investigate the use of new diagnostic and screening tests and technologies, due to a separate $2.5 million grant from NHMRC.

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