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Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) and Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs) have complementary missions. We replicated a 2008 survey of CTSA-PBRN leaders to understand how organizational relationships have evolved.
We surveyed 60 CTSA community engagement (CE) Directors and 135 PBRN Directors and analyzed data using between and within-group comparisons.
In total, 43% of CTSA CE Directors (26/60) and 42% of PBRN Directors (57/135) responded. Quantitative responses revealed growing alignment between CTSA/PBRN perceptions, with a few areas of discordance. CE Directors noted declining financial support for PBRNs. PBRN Directors identified greater CTSA effectiveness in PBRN engagement, consultation, and collaborative grant submissions. Qualitative data revealed divergent experiences across CTSA/PBRN programs.
Relationships between CTSAs and PBRNs are maturing; for some that means strengthening and for others a growing vulnerability. Findings suggest a mutual opportunity for PBRNs and CTSAs around applied research. Studies to characterize exemplar CTSA-PBRN collaborations are needed.
To better understand the type and range of health issues initiated by patients and providers in ‘high-quality’ primary-care for adults with diabetes and low socio-economic status (SES).
Although quality of care guidelines are straightforward, diabetes visits in primary care are often more complex than adhering to guidelines, especially in adults with low SES who experience many financial and environmental barriers to good care.
We conducted a qualitative study using direct observation of primary-care diabetes visits at an exemplar safety net practice in 2009–2010.
In a mainly African American (93%) low-income population with fair cardiovascular control (mean A1c 7.5%, BP 134/81 mmHg, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol 100 mg/dL), visits addressed a variety of bio-psychosocial health issues [median: 25 problems/visit (range 13–32)]. Physicians most frequently initiated discussions about chronic diseases, prevention, and health behavior. Patients most frequently initiated discussions about social environment and acute symptoms followed by prevention and health behavior.
Primary-care visits by diabetes patients with low SES address a surprising number and diversity of problems. Emerging new models of primary-care delivery and quality measurement should allow adequate time and resources to address the range of tasks necessary for integrating biomedical and psychosocial concerns to improve the health of socio-economically disadvantaged patients.
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