Growing PEACHnet: Building a Practice-Based Research Network in Western Colorado

J Am Board Fam Med. 2022 Jan-Feb;35(1):115-123. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2022.01.210268.


Introduction: Practice-based research networks (PBRNs) have long sought to engage with communities and address questions relevant to multiple stakeholders and real-world primary care practice. Topic-generating processes that involve these stakeholders are crucial for identifying these questions. PBRNs often focus on certain populations or geographic areas. We are forming a new PBRN to address the health concerns and research interests of people in communities in Western Colorado.

Methods: To engage with and determine the questions important to multiple stakeholders in communities in western Colorado, we conducted community meetings at which we used Photovoice followed by Nominal Group Technique in group discussions across the region. We then conducted a survey to develop a list of priority research topics.

Results: Multiple stakeholders were ready and eager to engage with us to form a PBRN. Across all communities, many of the topics that emerged were related to the social determinants of health. Mental health-specifically, lack of access to services and high suicide incidence-was the most important topic according to community members. This was consistent across groups of stakeholders and corroborated other community work such as Community Health Needs Assessments.

Discussion: Using participatory methods increased our stakeholder engagement and helped build strong community-academic partnerships for our PBRN-related research. Use of Photovoice allowed all participants to express their thoughts and ideas and led to a clear path forward for this new research network.

Keywords: Colorado; Community-Based Participatory Research; Family Medicine; Nominal Group Technique; Photovoice; Practice-Based Research Network; Primary Health Care; Research Priority Identification; Social Determinants of Health; Surveys and Questionnaires.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Colorado
  • Community-Based Participatory Research*
  • Humans
  • Stakeholder Participation*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires