Affiliated with East Carolina University, Brody School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine

Welcome To E-CARE

Eastern Carolina Association for Research and Education

A Practice Based Research Network (PBRN)
     NCHP Research Cohort Project      Diabetes Disparities-RWJ Study      Hyperlink      Hyperlink      Hyperlink     
Home and Welcome: Background & Introduction

What is a PBRN and why do we need one?

Today, most information, knowledge, evidence and research about general health care comes from large urban academic medical centers. Unfortunately, the research and knowledge published through these large university settings frequently do not translate to practical cost-efficient knowledge for primary care providers that serve millions who live in underserved, low-income areas of the country. Family Doctors, General Internists, Pediatricians, Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants seek evidence to answer their clinical questions and to improve the quality of their care. These primary care questions often do not fit the research agenda of large university settings.

Fortunately, Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs) are forming. PBRN are groups of providers that are based in communities rather than large universities. Their mission is to investigate the process of primary care delivery and the diseases seen in primary care and outpatient settings. PBRN frequently receive support from larger research universities but they conduct studies of interest to primary care practices. Usually these studies are focused on local geographic communities but occasionally they have national or even international implications. Though PBRN usually investigate questions that benefit underserved populations, they are not limited to such low-income groups.

PBRNs are made up of primary care providers. However, they often include clinical staff other than Doctors, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants. Examples of other staff are Nurse Care managers, Certified Diabetes Educators, Dietitians, Pharmacists, Family Therapists, Psychologists and Sex Therapists.
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