| An outstanding day
of research presentations on March 7 at the Fluvarium in St.
John’s gave Family Medicine residents the opportunity
to present work on topics ranging from a study of suicide in
Nain to personal essays on key experiences in residencies. Surveys,
reviews, audits and case studies were all part of the 15 presentations
made during a day that also included a keynote address by Dr.
Wayne Putnam of Dalhousie University.
Dr. Putnam is the interim director of the newly-formed Maritime
Family Practice Research Network. He said that physicians do
not have to be trained researchers to be involved in research.
“It can be as simple as providing data for a one-shot
deal, such as facilitating access to your patient or participating
in interviews and surveys. You can also provide data on an ongoing
basis, be a co-investigator or even a principal investigator
Dr. Putnam gave several examples of successful research projects
involving family physicians. One project he talked about was
on anticoagulation in atrial fibrillation, describing the 30
per cent care gap in ambulatory patients. He said the implications
of this study showed that data from primary care is needed to
understand the care of many conditions and the patient must
aid in decision making to ensure truly informed consent.
Another example was a study on the use of analgesics by seniors
for osteoarthritis from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives.
“GPs helped us access the right kind of patients and we
published a paper in September with management strategies. It
showed that 43 per cent of patients are at risk for one or more
interactions with non-prescription medications such as herbal
and natural health products.” Dr. Putnam said the risk
of serious interactions was low but patients need to be cautioned,
particularly about interactions between ASA and an ACE inhibitor.
The Maritime Family Practice Research Network was founded Jan
17. The first investigation is on hypertension in patients with
type 2 diabetes. “Funding has been obtained, ethics submissions
made and six of seven different regional health authorities
have given permission so far,” said Dr. Putnam. The objective
is to obtain baseline data for a cohort of 1,000 diabetics,
about 700 of whom will be hypertensive, and then explore the
patient, physician and system level characteristics that impact
the control. “We are involving our resident teaching undergrad
preceptors in this research network and conducting studies in
different clinical areas.”
Two awards were presented to Family Medicine residents at the
research day. The Research Director’s Award went to Dr.
Bhavin Patel for his study titled Slipping Through the Cracks?
Suicides in Nain. The Chairman’s Award was won by Drs.
Jackie Elliott and Greg Rideout for their presentation on Delivery
of Reproductive Health Services to Adolescents by Family Physicians
in Newfoundland and Labrador.