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Primary Health Care: Theory and Practice

ISBN: 978-0-7279-1785-0
338 pages
September 2007, BMJ Books
Primary Health Care: Theory and Practice (0727917854) cover image
General practitioners and other primary care professionals have a leading role in contemporary health care, which Trisha Greenhalgh explores in this highly praised new text. She provides perceptive and engaging insights into primary health care, focussing on:

• its intellectual roots
• its impact on the individual, the family and the community
• the role of the multidisciplinary team
• contemporary topics such as homelessness, ethnic health and electronic records.

Concise summaries, highlighted boxes, extensive referencing and a dedicated section on effective learning make this essential reading for postgraduate students, tutors and researchers in primary care.

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From the foreword by Julian Tudor Hart
“Trish Greenhalgh, in her frequent columns in the British Medical Journal…more than any other medical journalist spoke to her fellow GPs in the language of experience, but never without linking this to our expanding knowledge from the whole of human science.

When I compare the outlines of primary care so lucidly presented in this wonderful book, obviously derived from rich experience of real teaching and learning, with the grand guignol theatre of London medical schools when I was a student 1947-52, the advance is stunning.”

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"Trish Greenhalgh is one of the international stars of general practice and a very clever thinker. This new book is a wonderful resource for primary health care and general practice. Every general practice registrar should read this book and so should every general practice teacher and primary care researcher."

Professor Michael Kidd, Head of the Department of General Practice, University of Sydney and Immediate Past President of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

“This important new book by one of primary care's most accomplished authors sets out clearly the academic basis for further developments in primary health care. Health systems will only function effectively if they recognise the importance of high quality primary care so I strongly recommend this book to students, teachers, researchers, practitioners and policy makers.”

Professor Martin Marshall, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, UK

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1. Introduction.

2. The 'ologies' (underpinning academic disciplines) of primary health care.

3. Research methods for primary health care.

4. The person who is ill.

5. The primary care clinician.

6. The clinical dyad - or triad.

7. The family in a changing world.

8. The community.

9. Complex problems in a complex system.

10. Quality in primary health care.

11. Learning effectively
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Trisha Greenhalgh Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences, University College London, UK.

Author of bestselling How to Read a Paper and Diffusion of Innovations in Health Service Organisations (Blackwell Publishing BMJ Books).

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A unique and new approach to the management of disease through the lens of real life general practice problems

  • Challenges old concepts of primary care and provides up-to-date patient focused methodology
  • Addresses the interface between healthcare research, training needs, and service development
  • Written by author of the bestselling How to Read a Paper
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"Trish Greenhalgh is one of the international stars of general practice and a very clever thinker. This new book is a wonderful new resource for primary health care and general practice. Every general practice registrar should read this book and so should every general practice teacher and every primary care researcher."

  • Professor Michael Kidd, Head of the Department of General Practice, The University of Sydney and Immediate Past President of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners



"General practice in the U.K. is responsible for more patient care than ever before, and its input to medical training and research is at an all-time high. But its broadening roles and changing political context are at risk of causing an identity crisis. We are fortunate that Professor Trish Greenhalgh has brought her passion, intelligence and scholarship to bear on one of the key questions for health professionals today - what is the best of primary care about, and why is it essential for patients and doctors? She encourages debate while supporting and inspiring primary care, because she tells a modern story of a discipline whose purpose is valuable and which can rise to its new challenges. I am personally very glad to have read this timely and exciting book."


  • Amanda Howe MA MD MEd FRCGP ILT(M), Professor of Primary Care & MB/BS Course Director Institute of Health University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ Norfolk

"This book meets a real need for a lively, engaging and perceptive book that brings together the population with the individual perspective and describes the key concepts that underpin contemporary primary care with admirable clarity. This book deserves to become a classic and will be welcomed by enquiring undergraduates and postgraduates alike who want a book that will both challenge and inform."



  • Professor Andy Haines, Director, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK

"This important new book by one of primary care's most accomplished authors sets out clearly the academic basis for further developments in primary health care. Health systems will only function effectively if they recognise the importance of high quality primary care so I strongly recommend this book to students, teachers, researchers, practitioners and policy makers."


  • Professor Martin Marshall, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health
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Primary Health Care: Theory and Practice (US $128.95)

-and- User Involvement in Health Care (US $56.95)

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