It has been 15 years since the discipline of family practice was formally established. During this time a large body of literature devoted to primary health care has developed. A recent analysis of this literature has shown a steady increase in the number of articles that report the results of clinical research.1 Most studies in family practice have focused on improving the provision of primary health care services, but there is also a special emphasis on the family and the effect of its close personal relationships on health and disease.
Many of the developments of the past year are of importance not only to the family physician but to all physicians involved in primary health care. Foremost among these are advances in the areas of depression, hypertension, cancer detection, smoking cessation, and health care provision, especially the use of computers.
Significant advances have been made in the diagnosis and
Rakel RE. Family Practice. JAMA. 1984;252(16):2164–2167. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350160032012
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