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.

Please describe your research project and how it contributes to improving primary care.
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. This project aimed to identify patient priorities for primary care research in BC, then requested that both clinicians and patients across the province rank these priorities in terms of their importance. A dialogue event took place in September 2018.

A paper describing project findings was published in BMJ Open in Spring 2019. The findings were also integrated into the BC-PHCRN Strategic Plan, and have been disseminated to the Ministry of Health and some of the regional health authorities in BC.

How did the BC-PHCRN contribute to supporting your project?

The project was 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.

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.

What are the key messages from this project to share with stakeholder groups (i.e. clinicians, policy makers, patients)?

The main results found considerable overlap between patient and provider priorities, including the top-rated topics of being unable to find a regular family doctor/other primary healthcare provider, support for living with chronic conditions, mental health resources and information sharing, including electronic medical records.This project demonstrated the feasibility of including patients in priority setting exercises for primary care.