CAPC researcher reaches final of Vasco da Gama Movement Junior Researcher Award
14 July 2015
Dr Jess Watson, an academic clinical fellow at the Centre for Academic Primary Care, has reached the final of the Vasco da Gama Movement Junior Researcher Award, a competition that aims to promote junior GP doctors who include research skills with patient care as a life time career.
Dr Watson’s work explores the use of inflammatory marker blood tests to help develop a more evidence based approach to their use in primary care.
Inflammatory markers are non-specific blood tests which can be used to detect inflammation in the body caused by a wide range of infections, inflammatory conditions and cancer. They are commonly used by GPs for diagnosis or monitoring of specific conditions and also as a non-specific marker to differentiate between the presence or absence of disease. Abnormal results in the context of vague or non-specific symptoms can be difficult to interpret and may lead to anxiety for patients and clinicians and further cascade testing.
"The use of inflammatory markers by GPs has increased over recent years, with significant cost implications for the NHS. Large regional variations in rates of testing have been noted, which may suggest that GPs are uncertain about the appropriate rate of usage," said Dr Watson. "Most of the evidence for the use of inflammatory markers comes from quantitative studies based in secondary care, where a specific disease is being investigated. This project aims to explore the use of inflammatory marker blood tests in primary care through qualitative interviews with GPs and nurse practitioners to help inform a more evidence based approach to their use."
The UK selection panel of the Vasco da Gama Movement Junior Researcher Award assessed the UK submissions and they were then reviewed by an international panel which evaluated submissions from countries across Europe. They selected Dr Watson as one of three winners for the final at the WONCA (World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians) conference which will take place in Istanbul in October.