Voices from left of the dial: reflections of practice-based researchers

J Am Board Fam Med. 2010 Jul-Aug;23(4):442-51. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2010.04.090189.


Purpose: Practice-based research networks (PBRNs) provide an important approach to implementing primary care research at the community level, thus increasing the relevance and utility of research findings for routine primary care practices. PBRNs expend considerable time and energy in the recruitment, engagement, and retention of network clinicians and practices to establish this community-based primary care research laboratory. This study assessed factors motivating PBRN clinicians to participate and stay involved in practice-based research in their primary care office setting.

Methods: We invited practicing clinicians across the United States who are affiliated with a PBRN to share their stories regarding motivations to participate in practice-based research. Using qualitative methods, we categorized the stories into the main motivation for participation and the perceived impact of participation.

Results: We collected 37 stories from clinicians affiliated with 12 PBRNS located in 14 states. Motivations for participation in practice-based research included themes associated with personal satisfaction, improving local clinic-based care, and contributing to community- and system-level improvements. Sources of personal satisfaction corresponded to the 3 psychological needs postulated by Deci's and Ryan's Self-Determination Theory: competence, autonomy, and relatedness.

Conclusions: These stories from PBRN clinicians describe the values, motivations, and unique paths that clinicians took as they chose to participate and stay active in a PBRN. Their voices have the potential to influence others to participate in practice-based research.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Community Networks / organization & administration*
  • Community Networks / standards
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Health Services Research / organization & administration*
  • Health Services Research / standards
  • Humans
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Primary Health Care / standards
  • Qualitative Research
  • Research Personnel* / psychology
  • United States