PREFeR (PRioritiEs For Research) Project

PA - photo from session Sept 30 2017
BC-PHCRN Patient Advisory, 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 Timeline
August-September 2017: 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.

February-May 2018: Online surveys were carried out with BC patients and primary care providers to collect ratings of the importance of the 10 primary care topics.

March-May 2018: Online surveys were carried out with BC researchers to find out what completed, ongoing and upcoming studies were being conducted on the 10 topics.

June-Fall 2018: Survey results will be analyzed to look at the importance ratings of each of the 10 topics, comparing responses between patients and providers. We will also look at and summarize the amount of BC research on the 10 topics.

September 7, 2018: Half-day meeting with BC patients and BC primary care providers to better understand the survey results.

Spring-Summer 2019: Study report and summary of findings will be released. A summary will appear on this website.


Now accepting expressions of interest for the half-day meeting to discuss the primary care survey results!

If you would like to attend this event in Vancouver (September 7, 2018 from 8:30-11:30 am), please email Alexandra Warren with your name and contact details, and please let us know if you are a member of the public or a patient or a primary care provider (please specify what kind of provider you are). Places are limited!


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.

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