Despite broad efforts to improve the reporting of biomedical research, no reporting guideline exists for primary care (PC) research. Little is known about current reporting practices or how well reports meet the needs of varied users in PC.
To map the published literature on PC research reporting: quality, strengths and weaknesses, recommendations and efforts to improve reporting.
Scoping review of literature across seven major databases and search engines to identify all articles on PC research reporting published in English, 2000-20. An additional secondary search of references of these 25 articles and consideration of expert panel suggestions. Structured data extraction by multiple reviewers using a predetermined form.
Search yielded 2847 unique titles, of which 126 underwent full-text review and 25 met inclusion criteria. Publications included opinion pieces (9), systematic reviews (5), methods articles (2), literature reviews (4), qualitative studies (4) and surveys (1). Studies focussed on a variety of topics and research methods. All publications identified the need for improved reporting and recommended items to include in reports. Most commonly, publications cited the need for more detailed reporting on the context of study interventions, clinical settings and health care systems. Most publications endorsed the use of reporting guidelines and recognized the unique needs of PC research reporting.
Published research and opinion identify unique needs for PC research reports and support new guidance to improve the validity, generalizability and application of study findings.