PBRN Information

What is a Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN) such as that utilised by the ORION Project?

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) defines a practice-based research network (PBRN) as a group with at least 15 ambulatory practices and/or 15 clinicians devoted principally to the primary care of patients, affiliated with each other (and often with an academic or professional organization) in order to investigate questions related to community based practice.

The defining characteristics of a PBRN include:

  • A mission and statement of purpose including an ongoing commitment to research
  • Channels for communication among network participants
  • A director with responsibility for administration of the network and at least one support staff

An advisory board that solicits input from communities of patients served by the PBRN clinicians

For more information regarding PBRNs from the AHRQ please click here.

The PBRN design of ORION Project affords a broad focus essential to establishing a national, coordinated platform of evidence critical to informing further detailed, specific sub-studies in osteopathy. Significantly, such coordinated platform evidence is also vital to contextualising and strengthening the impact of clinically-focused investigations, effectively helping bridge the gap between findings from clinical trials and other related designs and the realities of everyday routine care.iStock_000014996190_Large

PBRNs have been employed to help build an evidence-base in a number of health care fields around the world. Here we provide a links to a paper which will help further explain this approach to research design.

Rindal D, Flottemesch T, Durand E, Godlevsky O, Schmidt A, Gilbert G, et al. Practice change toward better adherence to evidence-based treatment for early dental decay in the National Dental PBRN. Implementation Science 2014, 9:117.

Unlike some other health research project designs, a PBRN such as that employed by ORION helps ensure research questions and the insights gained from empirical investigation are grounded in and of direct relevance to daily routine care, practitioners, and patients.

Open in PDF