Primary care and liver disease
The role of primary care in liver disease: early detection and end of life care? A qualitative study of the perceptions of primary health care professionals
Duration of Study in the UK
1 years, 0 months, 1 days
Liver disease is the third commonest cause of premature death in the UK. It is an important and preventable cause of social inequalities in health. The number of deaths is rising, at a time when other major causes of death are in decline. Effective interventions for the main causes of liver disease in primary care are available in primary care, but one in four patients are diagnosed on admission to hospital with end stage disease, when the benefits of intervention are limited. There is a need to improve management across the liver disease course, but particularly at the beginning and the end of the patient journey, promoting early detection and the improving provision of end of life care. We know little of GPs’ perceptions of the importance of prevention or symptom control in liver disease or how primary care could contribute more effectively to end of life care. To improve primary care delivery for this growing patient group, qualitative research with patients and professionals is required.
This study aims to explore professional perceptions of how primary care can enhance outcomes for people with liver disease, with a focus on early detection and end of life care.
Over the course of one year, we will conduct in depth interviews with up to 30 general practitioners in the North East of England. These interviews will be analysed thematically to provide insight into the role of primary care in identifying and caring for those with liver disease. This novel qualitative enquiry into professional perceptions of the primary care contribution to liver disease will be widely disseminated to inform current practice. It will also support the development of larger, collaborative research on interventions to enhance the detection and end of life management of liver disease in primary care.