Our research is organised into 5 key areas
Programme 1. Prevention and early diagnosis
The core aim of preventive medicine is to ensure that death before old age is uncommon and morbidity in the population is minimised. Services to prevent disease are among the most important and potentially cost-effective provided by the NHS. They are provided to all age ranges - for example, antenatal care for expectant mothers, vaccination for children, smoking cessation advice for adults and stroke prevention for the elderly – and most are provided in primary care. Their content and delivery needs to be underpinned by a firm evidence base.
Programme 2. Monitoring and management of long term conditions
Managing long term illness is an important and increasingly costly element of health care, and accounts for a high proportion of the work in primary care. Despite recent improvements in quality of care, there are major unanswered questions about how long term conditions should be monitored, and some of these questions have substantial cost implications for the NHS.
Programme 3: Comorbidity and patient centred outcomes
Western medicine has had significant success through its focus on the diagnosis and treatment of specific diseases labelled by organ pathology and more recently by molecular cause. These disease labels form the ‘organising principle’, for medical education, for individual treatment and for delivery of care. However, this approach has serious limitations and there is increasing recognition of the importance of co-morbidity. Demographic changes in the UK and elsewhere are leading to an aging population, and co-morbidity is now the norm rather than the exception.
Programme 4. New approaches to the patient-practitioner interface
The patient-practitioner interface lies at the heart of medical practice. However, the nature of the interaction between patients and practitioners is changing, with an increasingly educated public, and new technical innovations in how they may communicate. This programme will focus on new approaches to new technologies to support behaviour change, new approaches to medication adherence, and new approaches to communicating risk and treatment options.
Programme 5. New research methods for primary care
This programme will develop new methods and tools to conduct this research in primary care. This programme contributes to the further development of clinical trial methodology for complex interventions and development of an e-Science platform for randomised controlled trials and epidemiological studies in primary care.