To understand factors associated with primary care physician research participation in a practice-based research network (PBRN), and to compare perspectives by specialty.
We surveyed primary care internists, family physicians, and pediatricians in Monroe County, New York, regarding their past experience with research and incentives to participating in practice-based research. We performed descriptive and tabular analyses to assess perceptions and used chi-square and ANOVA to compare perceptions across the three specialties.
Response rate was 33%. The most frequently endorsed aspects of collaboration were: the opportunity to enact quality improvement (78%), contribution to clinical knowledge (75%), and intellectual stimulation (65%). Significant differences among the primary care specialties were found in two aspects: internists were more likely to endorse additional source of income as “important”, and family medicine physicians were more likely to cite the opportunity to shape research questions, projects and journal articles as “important.”
Physicians across all three specialties cited the opportunity to enact quality improvement and contribution to clinical knowledge as important incentives to participating in practice-based research. This supports the importance of strengthening the interface between research and quality improvement in PBRN projects. Further study is needed to assess reasons for specialty differences if PBRNs are to become successful in research involving adult patients.