Series: The research agenda for general practice/family medicine and primary health care in Europe. Part 6: Reaction on commentaries - how to continue with the Research Agenda?

Creative Commons License

Van Royen P., Beyer M., Chevallier P., Eilat-Tsanani S., Lionis C., Peremans L., ...More

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF GENERAL PRACTICE, vol.17, no.1, pp.58-61, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


The Research Agenda should be used as a key reference point to which new research should relate its usefulness and added value. Primary care evolves towards more interdisciplinary care, and research should focus more on the core competency of person-centred team care. There is an urgent need to develop clear definitions and appropriate research instruments for this domain. It will be a particular challenge to study comprehensive approaches in primary-care patients with multi-morbidity. The Research Agenda and the commentaries on it show future directions for primary care research. There are challenges related to a changing society, the shared responsibility and guidance of research by professionals and citizens (patients), and the need to fully integrate research as part of primary healthcare provision. There will be a need for a prioritization of spearheads to guide primary care research for the next decade: translational research, research on equity and health differences, on chronic disease and health systems research. This can not be realized without the development and maintenance of a solid research infrastructure: easily maintained and accessed observational databases, helpful information technology, strategies and techniques for patient involvement, advanced research training possibilities, and the development and validation of appropriate research instruments and outcome measures to capture the different challenges. Worldwide, primary care not only is a priority for health care policy, but it needs to become a research priority as well.