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Articles for General Practice

ICGP Library Recommended Reading

Each month ICGP Librarians scan resources to highlight recently published material relating to Irish General Practice. 

Your Training Counts: An investigation of Trainee wellbeing and their experiences of clinical learning environments in Ireland 2017 Report by Medical Council, Ireland published July 2019. 

Physician empathy key to improving patient satisfaction [Irish Times, June 27th]
Walsh and her colleagues at the University of Limerick remind physicians that with a growing emphasis on the role of patient satisfaction in clinical outcomes "doctors will have an increasing duty to offer their patients not only the most efficacious medical treatments available, but a holistic consultation and a listening ear".

The full article is from the Irish Journal of Medical Science (IJMS) and is available online:
Walsh S, O'Neill A, Hannigan A, Harmon D. Patient-rated physician empathy and patient satisfaction during pain clinic consultations. Ir J Med Sci. 2019 Mar 27. doi: 10.1007/s11845-019-01999-5. [Epub ahead of print]

To request any previous articles of interest please contact 

Library WebWatch (as it appears in Forum March 2019)

This month we will look at two articles of interest to Irish General Practitioners that are available full-text on request through the ICGP Library by contacting us at Both articles are based on POEMs (Patient-Oriented Evidence that Matters).

Firstly let me provide a definition of POEMs essentially they are studies that address a relevant clinical question, demonstrate improved patient-oriented outcomes, and have the potential to change practice.

Ebell, M. et al Annals of Family Medicine September/October 2018, Volume 16 (5), pages 436-439.

Top 20 POEMS of the Past 20 years: A survey of Practice-Changing Research for Family Physicians.


This article as the title suggests ranks the top 20 POEMs over the last 20 years in various categories including the highest ranked for having recommended a major and persistent change in practice, those that recommend a novel, effective intervention and a group that recommends abandoning an ineffective practice and a final group that recommends abandoning potentially harmful practice.

This article goes on to point out that there is a huge breath of practice change in primary care and the need for doctors to have a systematic approach to keeping up to date with the medical literature especially as many of these important articles did not appear in primary care literature.


The article points out that it faced challenges in choosing the best POEMs in recent years , largely because it is difficult to know whether a 3 year old study will withstand the test of time and the rigors of replication in real world settings. Also because of the increasing amount of industry-sponsored research published in journals and the relatively small amount of public funding for research to support the study of real-world problems in real-world settings.

It is from American sources and Ebell and the others authors were all paid by Wiley-Blackwell Inc. publishers to write the POEMs on a monthly basis.


An article that is worth a read for the busy Irish GP to then make up their own minds.

Ebell,M & Grad, R. American Family Physician, May 1, 2018, Volume 97 (9), pages 581-588.

Top 20 Research Studies of 2017 for Primary Care Physicians


This article discusses the top 20 research studies of 2017 as voted by members of the Canadian Medical Association.

It also provides details of the Top 5 Practice Guidelines and their key recommendations.


Ebell has declared his conflict of interest as he is cofounder and editor-in-chief of Essential Evidence Plus published by Wiley-Blackwell Inc.


Again useful to have other health professionals review material while also keeping in mind it is up to each individual practitioner to reach a diagnosis and manage/treat accordingly.

Finally for both articles it must be kept in mind that in general full-text access to POEMs is via subscription to Essential Evidence Plus but that these 2 overview articles provide useful references and highlight what they consider to be the top POEMs for health professionals to be aware of and consider in practice. *********************************************************************************************************

Patient experience of home and waiting room blood pressure measurement: a qualitative study of patients with recently diagnosed hypertension, BJGP, December 2018.

CADTH Technology Review

Clinical Evaluation of Interventions for the Management of Insomnia: A Review of Reviews, September 2018. 359 Pages

Please note: some of these links will download articles and files to your PC.

  • Prevalence of treatment-resistant hypertension after considering pseudo-resistance and morbidity: a cross-sectional study in Irish primary care. BJGP June 2018. Click here to view
  • Development of a prediction tool for patients presenting with acute cough in primary care: a prognostic study spanning six European countries. BJGP May 2018. Click here to view
  • Weight loss as a predictor of cancer in primary care: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BJGP May 2018 Click here to view
  • Acne Vulgaris British Journal of General Practice February 2018 Editorial pages 64-65 Click here to view
  • Stemming the tide of antimicrobial resistance: implications for management of acne vulgaris. Click here to view
  • GP specialists could alleviate ENT bottleneck. Forum February 2010. Click here to view.