Research

IPCRG Research strategy depicting its five domains, four audiences and three areas for strengthening

The IPCRG contributes to the primary care and respiratory research landscape in five ways.

It conducts research directly and facilitates its members to engage with academic institutions, including collaborations with global partners. We guide and influence what research is done by listening to and presenting the primary care voice and disseminates research evidence for public benefit.  Our role is to complement academic institutions by strengthening the links with clinical practice, and building confidence and competence in the primary care workforce to engage in research.

Influence

Clinically important areas for research in latest prioritisation exercise 2021

Our revised research priorities were accepted for publication in 2021, based on an extensive e-Delphi exercise. This was conducted among 112 community-based physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals representing 27 high, middle and low-income countries. We have been able to identify focus areas and a top ten research questions from the 608 questions proposed, informing both our own and the sector’s approach to research. 

At WHO-GARD and the European Parliament, we continue to make the case for the primary care perspective. We argue for research funding to address inequitable access to care; local contexts including the environment, power, respect and access to medicines; multimorbidity; implementation of right care that provides value to the population and the individual, and is affordable.

Leadership

Our research leadership team guides the priorities, implementation and review of our research strategy.

Interest

We have established a mechanism for hearing from grassroots primary care through our Sentinel Network of over 120 primary care clinicians.  Our IQ&A service sources questions from the Sentinel Network and provides evidence-based, quickly absorbed advice for primary care physicians with a clear “so what” message.  Its strength is its focus on the areas that primary care manages, which often have uncertain evidence bases.

We also generate interest in research we run regular research schools. The last two have focused on qualitative research.  The Malaysian prize winners of our first research school in Singapore 2015 are now undertaking PhDs in Edinburgh, and have developed a publication track record. We include a competitive process with a prize that includes both a grant and mentoring from our Expert Research Faculty.

Facilitate

We offer platforms for peer review and dissemination.   Our peer-reviewed open access journal, npj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, is published by Springer Nature, and co-owned by the publisher and our UK group, PCRS-UK.  Our scientific meetings and our world conferences offer opportunities to present research and research ideas for peer review.  They also help connect researchers with research funders and collaborating partners.

We believe that knowledge transfer depends on bridging different networks. We therefore offer an important bridge into primary care networks to:

  • Identify research needs
  • Support research prioritisation
  • Advise on implementation
  • Recruit to trials
  • Assist in the analysis of results
  • Disseminate results
  • Contribute to the transfer and uptake of new knowledge to improve respiratory health.

We co-ordinate the Global Health Respiratory Network of 10 UK based UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)- research projects, including over 40 global partners. We continue to publish papers from the EU Horizon 2020 funded FRESH AIR project, which we successfully bid for, and where we led the stakeholder engagement and knowledge transfer work package. We lead the stakeholder engagement and knowledge transfer programme of NIHR Breathe Well and have created a new Teach the Teacher programme to strengthen the uptake of findings from NIHR RECHARGE.  We co-lead the stakeholder engagement programme of NIHR RESPIRE. We also led the UNLOCK project enabling primary care researchers to coordinate and share datasets of relevant diagnostic and follow-up variables for COPD and asthma management in primary care.