2012 Research Paper of the Year Award Category Winners

The 2012 award winning papers have direct messages for GPs on how to improve their practise or raise more questions and identify areas for further research.

The category winners, and their take home messages are provided - to view the papers please click on the titles.

Category: Cancer

Effect of adding a diagnostic aid to best practice to manage suspicious pigmented lesions in primary care: randomised controlled trial. BMJ 2012; 344: e4110
Walter F, Morris H, Humphrys E, Hal P, Prevost T, Burrows N, Bradshaw L, Wilson E, Norris P, Walls J, Johnson M, Kinmonth A, Emery Winthrop J.

The research provided evidence that GPs using best practice guidelines with a medical history and naked eye examination had a higher success rate of detecting suspicious skin cancers than the digital assessment tool, MoleMate.

Category: Dementias and Neurodegenerative diseases

Quality of care provided to people with dementia: utilisation and quality of the annual dementia review in general practice. BJGP 2012; 62 (595): pp e91-e98 
Connolly A, Iliffe S, Gaehl E, Campbell S, Drake R, Morris J, Martin H and Purandare N.

A holistic approach when caring for patients with dementia was advocated by the authors, the work also highlighted the importance of including carer and social care support during annual reviews.

Category: Diabetes

Screening for type 2 diabetes and population mortality over 10 years (ADDITION-Cambridge): a cluster-randomised controlled trial. The Lancet 2012; 380 (9855): pp1741–1748 
Simmons R.K, Echouff o-Tcheugui J.B, Sharp S.J, Sargeant L.A, Williams K.M, Prevost A.T, Kinmonth A.L, Wareham N, Griffin S.J.

The research concludes that screening for diabetes was not associated with any reduction in mortality. One reason is that improved lifestyles has led to better management of cardiovascular risk factors. The study methodology was included rigorous follow up of patients over a 10 year period.

Category: Medicines for children

Significantly increasing hospital admissions for acute throat infections among children in England: is this related to tonsillectomy rates? BMJ: Arch Dis Child  2012; 97: pp1064-1068
Koshy E, Murray J, Bottle A, Aylin P, Sharland M, Majeed A, and Saxena A.

There was an examination of whether there was a relationship between the drop in tonsillectomies and the increasing number of hospital admissions for acute throat infections. The researchers recommend tonsillectomies only for children who suffer recurrent episodes of tonsillitis, reassuring parents that a reduction in tonsillectomies is not harmful.

Category: Mental health

“There Are Too Many, but Never Enough": Qualitative Case Study Investigating Routine Coding of Clinical Information in Depression. PLoS ONE 2012;7(8):e43831
Cresswell K, Morrison Z, Kalra D, Sheikh A.

This research provided a ‘gutsy’ challenge to the 'dogma' of current coding practices, concluding that they are not necessarily appropriate for mental health conditions.

Category: Primary Care

The epidemiology of multimorbidity in a large cross-sectional dataset: implications for health care, research and medical education. The Lancet 2012; 380 (9836): pp37-43
Mercer S, Barnett K, Norbury N, Watt G, Wyke S, and Guthrie B.

The research examines the explicit link between physical health, mental health and socio-economic deprivation, and calls for a new approach to managing several conditions in individual patients at the same time. The authors provide evidence that people living in the most deprived areas develop complex and multiple medical conditions 10-15 years earlier than those from more affluent areas, and strongly recommends a shift from single disease management to 'whole person' care if their health needs are to be met.

Category: Stroke

Association of a difference in systolic blood pressure between arms with vascular disease and mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet 2012; 379 (9819): pp905-904
Clark C, Taylor R, Shore A, Ukoumunne O, and Campbell J

This systematic review found a strong relationship between patients with significant difference in blood pressure between arms and the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. It has since been used to inform European society hypertension guidelines.

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