The College curates recent research from New Zealand and international authors from the ever-changing field of primary healthcare.

About the RNZCGP Digest

The RNZCGP Digest is currently on hiatus, but we hope to get it up and running again soon. You can find archived issues of the RNZCGP Digest below.

The RNZCGP Digest presents an assortment of journal articles organised into a bite-sized, easy to read format. We summarise the latest interesting findings and provide links to the full research paper online.

Time spent reading the RNZCGP Digest counts as points towards Fellows’ continuing professional development (CPD) and towards General Practice Educational Programme (GPEP) years 2/3.

The Learning Reflection Form must be completed in order to earn CPD points (one form per Digest required).

Latest journal articles

Clinical Issues

Lifestyle risk factors and levels of clinical advice and counselling in general practice

16 May 2018

This article considers the prevalence of lifestyle risk factors (ie obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption) in general practice in Australia and the rates of corresponding clinical advice and counselling.

Whānau perceptions and experiences of acute rheumatic fever diagnosis for Māori in Northland

10 May 2018

This study explored Māori whānau experiences of acute rheumatic fever, including pathways to primary healthcare, and barriers and facilitators for diagnosis of acute rheumatic fever (ARF).


Cross-cultural Care

Clinical ethics, cultural competence and importance

31 May 2018

The author argues there is a need to pay greater attention to cultural differences, and to employ bioethical mediation as a way to overcome differences between a doctor and patient.

Achieving health equity in Aotearoa

24 May 2018

The authors of this viewpoint paper argue for greater engagement with responsiveness to Māori activities as part of the commitment to achieving equitable health outcomes.



Medicinal Cannabis: a survey among health care providers in Washington State

26 Apr 2018

A study investigating Washington State health professionals' knowledge, beliefs, clinical practices and training needs about medical cannabis.


Health Workforce

Disrupting the present to build a stronger health workforce for the future

27 Jun 2018

The author of this article argues that disruption is required to build health systems and a workforce for the future, rather than making adjustments to current service delivery arrangements

Speaking up against unprofessional behaviours

19 Apr 2018

The latest article in the RNZCGP Digest is an editorial focusing on unprofessional behaviour as potential threat to patient safety.

Self-care of Canterbury health professionals

12 Apr 2018

The latest article in the RNZCGP Digest from the Journal of Primary Health care looks at self-care of Canterbury general practitioners, nurse practitioners, practice nurses and community pharmacists.


ICT Health

Integrating data on social determinants of health into electronic health records

13 Jul 2018

This commentary piece discusses how incorporating data on social determinants of health into electronic health records (EHR) can provide a broader perspective on potential drivers of a patient’s health status and identify approaches to improving the

Biases in electronic health record data due to processes within the healthcare system

7 Jun 2018

This article considers the massive amounts of data generated by electronic health record (EHR) systems, and points to an increasing risk of biased and incorrect medical findings from the use of Big Data analytical techniques without a full understand


Models of Care

Pertussis vaccination uptake in pregnancy

5 Jul 2018

This paper reviews the results of an audit to determine the proportion of pregnant women vaccinated with the pertussis booster in the third trimester of their pregnancy, and explores factors influencing coverage.


Public Health

Enduring Mental Health prevalence and prediction

21 Jun 2018

This article is one of several publications that is based on research from the Dunedin Study. The authors’ premise is the majority of the population will experience some diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their lifetime.

Before the beginning: nutrition and lifestyle in the preconception period

13 Jun 2018

This is the first in a series of articles that make the case for preconception health as a key determinant of pregnancy success and next generation health


Quality Improvement

Determinants of patient satisfaction: a systematic review

3 May 2018

The aim of this study was to identify the key determinants of patients’ satisfaction, or in other words what patients value from their health care professionals.


Previous issues

Issue 13 – November 2017

This issue contains the latest research and perspectives on public reporting and quality improvement, procedural skills of Australian registrars, advances in genomic testing, engaging young people with a chronic illness, perspectives from trans patients, and a how telemedicine is informing inflammatory bowel disease management.

Issue 12 – July 2017

In the July issue we look at medical students' perceptions of general practice, rural practice and the proposal for New Zealand's third medical school, teaching rational prescribing to registrars, as well as updates on clinical issues, medicines, professional development and health care systems.

Issue 11 – May 2017

This digest covers a selection of New Zealand and overseas articles on a variety of topics including factors influencing Canadian medical students choice of primary care as their specialty, what makes youth-friendly general practice, text messaging between clinicians and patients, and others touching on education, professional practice and development, and quality improvement.

Issue 10 – December 2016

In this last issue of the year we summarise articles on health care reform, topical corticosteroid addiction, racial discrimination in New Zealand, consumers' attitudes to sharing personal health information, genetic technologies, models of care, burnout, and public health issues around housing.

Issue 9 – September 2016

In this ninth issue you’ll find articles on: interventions to recruit primary care doctors, the rural medical generalist workforce, problems defining ‘rurality’ in health research, patient safety incidents in primary health care and several other studies on clinical issues, quality, ICT and public health topics of interest to GPs.

Issue 8 – May 2016

In the eighth issue you'll find articles on: clinical workload in UK primary care, overdiagnosis and overtreatment, telephone triage systems, consultations conducted in languages other than English, general practice encounters with men and many other relevant New Zealand and international studies specific to general practice.

Issue 7 – March 2016

The seventh issue of the RNZCGP Digest includes articles on: doctors leaving the UK NHS for New Zealand, the sugar tax on sweetened drinks in Mexico, a report on ten countries and the challenges facing treating patients with complex health needs, antiobiotic prescribing and patient satisfcation and the perspectvies of rural GPs on oral health in the bush. Read the full edition for many more great studies relevant to general practice.

Issue 6 – Jan 2016

The sixth issue of the RNZCGP Digest includes articles on: why the drug development pipeline is not delivering better medicines, managing medically unexplained illness in general practice, one article questions whether pharmacy is finally part of the team and of course, many more studies relevant to general practice.

Issue 5 – Oct 2015

The fifth edition of the RNZCGP Digest includes articles on: medical generalism in the New Zealand health system, engaging primary care patients to use a patient-centred personal health record, one article asks; where are we now with paracetamol? And another looks at actual availability of general practice appointments for mildly ill children.

Issue 4 – Aug 2015

The fourth edition of the RNZCGP Digest includes articles on: urgent care, non-emergency care in rural communities, workforce planning in the National Health Service, the use of financial incentives in Australian general practice, medical students and informed consent, patient access to general practice and a lot more.

Issue 3 – Jun 2015

The third edition of the RNZCGP Digest includes articles on: developing health care workforces for uncertain futures; the effectiveness of Health Pathways; managing patients with multimorbidity; patients' engagement in primary care and an article which asks, is there too much health technology?

Issue 2 – Apr 2015

Edition two of the RNZCGP Digest includes articles on: quality improvement in general practice; weight-loss surgery in New Zealand; patient centred care in the 21st century; doctors who self-prescribe; and an article with primary care’s top 2014 lessons.

Issue 1 – Feb 2015

The first edition of the RNZCGP Digest includes articles on: the impact that GPs working part-time might have on patients; what motivates GPs to become supervisors; the prevalence of common symptoms in the general population; a discussion piece on whether patients should be able to email their GP; and an article on the ethical challenges in treating friends and family.