Evid Based Nurs 5:121 doi:10.1136/ebn.5.4.121
  • Quality improvement

Review: nurse practitioner primary care improves patient satisfaction and quality of care with no difference in health outcomes

 QUESTION: Do nurse practitioners (NPs) provide equivalent primary care at first point of contact to patients with undifferentiated health problems when compared with physicians?

Data sources

Published and unpublished studies were identified by searching Medline (1966–2001), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1980–2001), CINAHL (1982–2001), Science Citation Index, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness, National Research Register, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, and the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group specialist register; contacting authors of included studies, NP organisations, and educational training centres; and handsearching recent relevant journals, bibliographies, and reference lists.

Study selection

Studies in any language were selected if they were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or prospective observational studies from developed countries that compared NPs and physicians working in the same way as concurrent controls; nurses provided care at first point of contact, made an initial assessment, and managed patients autonomously; nurses provided primary care at first point of contact for unselected patients; care was for undiagnosed patients with undifferentiated health problems; and …

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