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Systematic review
Expansion of nursing role in general practice: studies suggest patients think that nurses can manage simple conditions but have some concerns about knowledge and competence in some areas
  1. Elizabeth J Halcomb
  1. Family and Community Health Research Group, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Elizabeth J Halcomb
    Building 17, Campbelltown Campus, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC, NSW 1797, Australia; e.halcomb{at}

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The review

The increasing burden of chronic disease and an ageing population in the developed world has led to a shift towards primary care to manage chronic and complex disease. This has prompted a growing interest in the nursing role within general practice. Various models of substitution, delegation and supplementation have been proposed in the literature.1 The impact of these models on patient outcomes and service delivery has only recently begun to receive attention. This article sought to review the recent evidence about the benefits and limitations of the role expansion of nurses in UK general practice.

An integrative review method was used to identify and synthesise the literature published since 2004 that investigated the role of nurses in UK general practice. The search of nine electronic databases identified 164 articles, of which 8 met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review.

The outcomes from the included studies could …

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