The marriage of community-based participatory research and practice-based research networks: can it work? -A Research Involving Outpatient Settings Network (RIOS Net) study

J Am Board Fam Med. 2009 Jul-Aug;22(4):428-35. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2009.04.090060.


Background: Interest in community-based participatory research (CBPR) has surged during the last several years because of its potential to enhance the quality and usefulness of research outcomes. Practice-based research networks (PBRNs) potentially can provide a bridge between the research endeavor and communities; PBRNs have been identified as a promising venue for CBPR. However, this marriage of CBPR and PBRNs faces many challenges, such as locus of project idea generation, time constraints, and funding limitations.

Methods: This was a case study of the application of the CBPR model and CBPR principles specific to PBRN research using a recent PBRN study of communication about traditional, complementary, and alternative medicines.

Results: Challenges (eg, added cost, time) and benefits (eg, improved research data collection process, enhanced data analysis) resulted from application of the CBPR model and are detailed.

Conclusions: For practical and ethical reasons, PBRNs need to adopt the CBPR approach for certain types, if not all, of their research. This might require operational adaptations by the PBRN (eg, a community advisory board, community membership in the network board of directors, and outreach to community groups for input into network priorities) as well as dedicated time and funding.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Community Participation*
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Health Services Research / economics
  • Health Services Research / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Models, Organizational
  • New Mexico
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Primary Health Care*