Therapeutic Guidelines/Royal Australian College
of General Practitioners (RACGP) Foundation Research Grants
General practitioners (GPs) provide person centred, continuing and comprehensive medical care to individuals and families within their community, and they utilise best practice evidence in the light of individual patient circumstances – to understand, plan and manage their patients’ health needs.
Therapeutic Guidelines provide general practitioners with reliable and independent therapeutic information to help them make the best decisions for their patients. The scope of clinical practice however is challenging, with research and investigations in the quality use of medicines in general practice always evolving.
Critical success factors in the development of Therapeutic Guidelines have been the provision of information that users want, the publication of information in different formats to suit different clinical environments, and a strong emphasis on design and layout of texts to ensure all content is formatted for optimum readability and ease of use.
It is a challenge to stay abreast of these issues because the information needs and expectations of clinicians continually evolve, clinical practice environments change subtly over time, criteria for useability are constantly being refined and technical solutions continue to proliferate. The information that currently guides developments comes from feedback from subscribers, members of our evaluation network of users, and data from usage of Therapeutic Guidelines on various portals.
It would be extremely valuable if sound research was available to shape future developments and the move towards integrating Therapeutic Guidelines with other clinical software systems.
To address this need, Therapeutic Guidelines established a partnership with the RACGP to fund research projects in general practice. Since 2012 when the first round of funding became available, Therapeutic Guidelines has provided annual grants of up to $100,000 to support guidelines research that investigates the use and implementation of guidelines in general practice.
Initially focussed on the use and implementation of guidelines in general, since 2017, the research topics that Therapeutic Guidelines funds have specifically focussed on:
- Content and format of Therapeutic Guidelines digital products: presentation, useability, navigation, access and functionality of guidelines – how do GPs want information presented and implemented?
- Behavioural aspects of guideline use: how do people use Therapeutic Guidelines, how often, what is looked up, when, why and how can this be improved?
- Consequence (outcome): benefits of using Therapeutic Guidelines guidelines to improve prescribing and health outcomes.
- Evidence-practice gaps: do Australian GPs follow Therapeutic Guidelines well, and if not, why not?
Achievements and outcomes
Over the past nine years, these grants have attracted high quality academic general practice researchers and it is clear from their reports that they have achieved outstanding results, advancing knowledge about how GPs use guidelines, understanding of the barriers and enablers to best practice, and the evidence-base for effective interventions in primary care.
Research Grant applications
To be eligible for the Therapeutic Guidelines/RACGP research grant, ideally the principal investigator will be a GP or GP registrar, and at least one member of the research team must be a GP or GP registrar. For more information on eligibility, selection criteria and applications, click here.