Title

New Knowledge for and About Primary Care: a View Through the Looking Glass of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Publication/Presentation Date

5-1-2005

Abstract

PURPOSE: At this second anniversary of the Annals of Family Medicine, we sought to characterize primary care research and to identify opportunities for new directions by analyzing the content of the first and second volumes of the Annals.

METHODS: Using an a priori classification scheme, 2 editors independently categorized each research article and essay published in 2003 and 2004, excluding supplements. We categorized the domain of knowledge, methods, topical content, whether articles represented core values of primary care, and looked for articles that studied health/illness/symptoms from a uniquely primary care experience. We reconciled differences by discussion.

RESULTS: Among 110 articles, knowledge domains reflected the 4 quadrants of the clinician (n = 6), patient, family, or community (10), health care system (32), disease (22), or the interface (39) between these quadrants. The most frequent methods were cross-sectional studies (23), cohorts (15), randomized clinical trials (13), qualitative interviews (11), analyses of secondary data (11), systematic reviews (11), methods/theory development (10), self-reflections (8), and mixed methods (5). The most common topical areas were chronic disease and prevention. Core primary care values were represented in 75% of articles. Only 2 articles represented an integrative illness/healing perspective.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite contemporary forces driving a reductionistic approach, primary care research, as reflected by articles published in the Annals of Family Medicine, addresses the domains of knowledge that contribute to comprehensive, relationship-centered health care. More work is needed to understand the nature of health and illness in whole people and ways to integrate diverse knowledge, methods and fragmented health care.

Volume

3

Issue

3

First Page

197

Last Page

197

ISSN

1544-1717

Disciplines

Family Medicine | Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences

PubMedID

16913070

Department(s)

Department of Family Medicine, Department of Family Medicine Faculty

Document Type

Article