General practice-based clinical trials

Mark R Nelson
Med J Aust 2013; 198 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11061
Published online: 18 February 2013

Clinical trials should be relevant and tailored to the needs of general practitioners and their patients

Each year, around 90% of the public see their general practitioner.1 General practice therefore should be an excellent environment to conduct community trials, because that is where the people are and, ideally, research should be conducted where it is to be applied.2 In this article, I discuss why general practice may be a difficult place to conduct trials for those from a non-primary care background and the means to overcome these difficulties. The article is based on a presentation at the MJA Clinical Trials Research Summit last year. The emphasis here is on conducting clinical trials in general practice, and not on research capacity building in general practice or on GPs’ selection of trials to participate in.

  • Discipline of General Practice, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Britt H, Miller GC, Henderson J, et al. General practice activity in Australia 20011–12. General practice series no. 31. Sydney: Sydney University Press, 2012. (accessed Jan 2013).
  • 2. Nelson MR. General practice trials: the importance of creating evidence. Med J Aust 2012; 197: 363-364. <MJA full text>
  • 3. Soós M, Temple-Smith M, Gunn J, et al. Establishing the Victorian primary care practice based research network. Aust Fam Physician 2010; 39: 857-862.
  • 4. Reid CM, Ryan P, Nelson M, et al. General practitioner participation in the second Australian National Blood Pressure Study (ANBP2). Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 2001; 28: 663-667.
  • 5. Nelson MR, Reid CM, Ames DA, et al. Feasibility of conducting a primary prevention trial of low-dose aspirin for major adverse cardiovascular events in older people in Australia: results from the ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) pilot study. Med J Aust 2008; 189: 105-109. <MJA full text>


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