Multicomponent interventions for enhancing primary care: a systematic review.

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Many countries have implemented interventions to enhance primary care to strengthen their health systems. These programmes vary widely in features included and their impact on outcomes.


To identify multiple-feature interventions aimed at enhancing primary care and their effects on measures of system success - that is, population health, healthcare costs and utilisation, patient satisfaction, and provider satisfaction (quadruple-aim outcomes).

Design and setting

Systematic review and narrative synthesis.


Electronic, manual, and grey-literature searches were performed for articles describing multicomponent primary care interventions, providing details of their innovation features, relationship to the '4Cs' (first contact, comprehensiveness, coordination, and continuity), and impact on quadruple-aim outcomes. After abstract and full-text screening, articles were selected and their quality appraised. Results were synthesised in a narrative form.


From 37 included articles, most interventions aimed to improve access, enhance incentives for providers, provide team-based care, and introduce technologies. The most consistent improvements related to increased primary care visits and screening/preventive services, and improved patient and provider satisfaction; mixed results were found for hospital admissions, emergency department visits, and expenditures. The available data were not sufficient to link interventions, achievement of the 4Cs, and outcomes.


Most analysed interventions improved some aspects of primary care while, simultaneously, producing non-statistically significant impacts, depending on the features of the interventions, the measured outcome(s), and the populations being studied. A critical research gap was revealed, namely, in terms of which intervention features to enhance primary care (alone or in combination) produce the most consistent benefits.





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Publication Info

Jimenez, Geronimo, David Matchar, Gerald Choon-Huat Koh and Josip Car (2021). Multicomponent interventions for enhancing primary care: a systematic review. The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners, 71(702). pp. e10–e21. 10.3399/bjgp20x714199 Retrieved from

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David Bruce Matchar

Professor of Medicine

My research relates to clinical practice improvement - from the development of clinical policies to their implementation in real world clinical settings. Most recently my major content focus has been cerebrovascular disease. Other major clinical areas in which I work include the range of disabling neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, and cancer prevention.
Notable features of my work are: (1) reliance on analytic strategies such as meta-analysis, simulation, decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis; (2) a balancing of methodological rigor the needs of medical professionals; and (3) dependence on interdisciplinary groups of experts.
This approach is best illustrated by the Stroke Prevention Patient Outcome Research Team (PORT), for which I served as principal investigator. Funded by the AHCPR, the PORT involved 35 investigators at 13 institutions. The Stroke PORT has been highly productive and has led to a stroke prevention project funded as a public/private partnership by the AHCPR and DuPont Pharma, the Managing Anticoagulation Services Trial (MAST). MAST is a practice improvement trial in 6 managed care organizations, focussing on optimizing anticoagulation for individuals with atrial fibrillation.
I serve as consultant in the general area of analytic strategies for clinical policy development, as well as for specific projects related to stroke (e.g., acute stroke treatment, management of atrial fibrillation, and use of carotid endarterectomy.) I have worked with AHCPR (now AHRQ), ACP, AHA, AAN, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NSA, WHO, and several pharmaceutical companies.
Key Words: clinical policy, disease management, stroke, decision analysis, clinical guidelines

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