Purpose: Practice-based research networks (PBRNs) are increasingly encouraged to use community engagement approaches. The extent to which PBRNs engage clinic and community partners in strategies to recruit and retain participants from their local communities (specifically racial/ethnic communities) is the focus of this study.
Methods: The design was a cross-sectional survey of PBRN directors in the United States. Survey respondents indicated whether their research network planned for, implemented, and has capacity for activities that engage clinic and community partners in 7 recommended strategies organized into study phases, called the cycle of trust. The objectives of the national survey were to (1) describe the extent to which PBRNs across the United States routinely implement the strategies recommended for recruiting diverse patient groups and (2) identify factors associated with implementing the recommended strategies.
Results: The survey response rate was 63%. Activities that build trust often are used more with clinic partners than with community partners. PBRNs that adopt engagement strategies when working with clinic and community partners have less difficulty in recruiting diverse populations. Multivariate analysis showed that the targeting racial/ethnic communities for study recruitment, Clinical and Translational Science Award affiliation, and planning to use community engagement strategies were independent correlates of PBRN implementation of the recommended strategies.
Conclusion: PBRNs that successfully engage racial/ethnic communities as research partners use community engagement strategies. New commitments are needed to support PBRN researchers in developing relationships with the communities in which their patients live. Stable PBRN infrastructure funding that appreciates the value of maintaining community engagement between funded studies is critical to the research enterprise that values translating research findings into generalizable care models for patients in the community.
- Patient recruitment
- Practice-based research
- Primary health care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Family Practice