The Patient Advisory and the PREFeR (PRioritiEs For Research) Project

PA - photo from session Sept 30 2017
L-R: Marilyn Culbert, Chad Dickie, Regina Cid, Ruth Lavergne, Melody Monro, Penny Henderson, Hayley Pelletier, Brenda Jagroop, Louisa Edwards, Kent Cadogan Loftsgard, Ravin Singh, Tara Fitzgerald. Missing: Yaron Butterfield.

Primary care is where most people go first for medical help and advice when they have a health issue. It is provided by health care professionals, like family doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners.

Despite the fact that much of primary care research focuses on studying patient needs and gaps in care, patients are not frequently included in prioritizing research ideas. To remedy this, the PREFeR Project aims to identify patient-generated priorities for primary care research in BC, and compare patient and clinician perspectives. The project is by co-led by Louisa Edwards, Melody Monro, and Ruth Lavergne, in collaboration with the BC-PHCRN Patient Advisory – a diverse group of 10 patients from all five health authorities in BC. Learn more about the Patient Advisory.

Project Update
Through a guided series of steps, the Patient Advisory brainstormed nearly 100 primary care experiences that stood out for them, which were grouped into core themes. Patients then reviewed, discussed, and individually ranked the 10 most important themes. The pooled results revealed the group’s top priorities for primary care.

Complete the Survey!
BC patients: Complete the short online survey (5-10 minutes) on what primary health care topics are important to you at:

Completing the survey by telephone is an option (takes 30-40 minutes); email ( or phone (604-875-4111, extension 67241) Louisa Edwards (Research Fellow, Simon Fraser University) to arrange a convenient time.

BC primary care providers: Complete the short online survey (5-10 minutes) on what primary health care topics are important to you at:

BC researchers: Let us know if you’re working on a project related to any of these primary care topics at

The PREFeR team is grateful to the BC-PCHRN Patient Advisory for spearheading the PREFeR process. We acknowledge the support of the UBC Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Patient-Oriented Research Collaboration, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, and the BC SUPPORT Unit.

One thought on “The Patient Advisory and the PREFeR (PRioritiEs For Research) Project

  1. […] The Patient Advisory is composed of 10 volunteer members from across BC. Members review and provide input on research projects based on their personal experience as a patients, share information with their networks, and support and advise the Advisory Committee and the BC-PHCRN leadership. Meet the members of the Patient Advisory. On Sept. 30, 2017, the group met in person for the first time, spending the day together in Vancouver at the BC SPOR SUPPORT Unit offices to develop terms of reference and to engage in a provincial primary health care priority setting project. […]

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