Evidence, Engagement, and Technology: Themes of and the State of Primary Care Practice-based Network Research

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Abstract

Practice-based research supported by practice-based research network (PBRN) infrastructure has historically provided an important method for challenging guidelines and evidence arising from secondary and tertiary care settings. This sample of current practice-based research in this issue of theJABFMprovides an opportunity to ask whether practice-based research continues to address questions relevant to primary care practices and clinicians and whether a PBRN infrastructure is instrumental to maintaining the relevance and feasibility of practice-based research. Based on this issue's articles, the current state of practice-based research seems to be good, at face value addressing relevant issues for primary care practices. Less clear is the degree to which PBRN infrastructures and relationships informed the questions asked and facilitated the implementation of the studies presented. Practice-based research-related articles that routinely report about how study questions arose—from practices and their clinicians, staff and communities, or elsewhere—could help directly answer questions of relevance. In addition, reporting how practices are recruited to practice-based research studies could inform the degree to which ongoing relationships central to PBRNs facilitate the recruitment and conduct of practice-based research.

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