Family Medicine & Primary Care
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Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care



The Stellenbosch University Family Physician Research Network is a network of family physicians across the Western Cape who are connected with the Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care.  Family physicians identify and prioritise key research questions from their clinical practice and answer them with help from researchers at the university. Researchers help to develop the proposals and tools needed for the research. Data is collected by family physicians across the network and then analysed at the university. The final report is drafted by the researchers, with editing and feedback from the network. A more detailed explanation of the practice-based research network has been published. 

The initial studies conducted by this network include: 

  1. Robert Mash, Herma Steyn, Muideen Bello, Klaus von Pressentin, Liezel Rossouw, Gavin Hendricks, Germarie Fouche & Dusica Stapar (2019): The quality of feedback from outpatient departments at referral hospitals to the primary care providers in the Western Cape: a descriptive survey South African Family Practice, DOI: 10.1080/20786190.2019.1676021. 
  2. Mash RJ, Presence-Vollenhoven M, Adeniji A, et al. Evaluation of patient characteristics, management and outcomes for COVID-19 at district hospitals in the Western Cape, South Africa: descriptive observational study BMJ Open 2021;11:e047016. doi:10.1136/ bmjopen-2020-047016 
  3. Van Der Westhuizen, N.  Factors associated with retention of medical officers in the district health services of the Western Cape, South Africa. Presentation on initial results at Stellenbosch University in May 2021.​
  4. Mash R, Williams B, Stapar D, et al. Retention of medical officers in district health services, South Africa: a descriptive survey. BJGP Open. 2022;6(4):BJGPO.2022.0047. doi:
  5. Mash R, Viljoen W, Swartz S, et al. Factors influencing retention of medical officers in the district health services of the Western Cape, South Africa: an exploratory descriptive qualitative study. S Afr Fam Pr. 2022;64(1):a5467. doi:  
  6. Hutton L, Jenkins L, Mash R, et al. Medical interns in district health services: an evaluation of the new family medicine rotation in the Western Cape, South Africa. BMC Med Educ. 2023;23(636). doi: