The Brisbane International Initiative: fostering leadership and international collaboration in primary care research

Parker J Magin, John S Furler and Mieke L van Driel
Med J Aust 2008; 189 (2): 100-102.

Australian-based researchers are participating in an international collaboration to improve general practice research

Primary care is where most patients receive most of their health care. It makes a greater contribution to the community’s health than specialty practice.1,2 Yet research in primary care lags far behind that in the specialties; it is a “Cinderella”, criticised for its comparatively small output and its lack of relevance and methodological rigour.3-6 This discordance has focused attention on the need to strengthen primary care research infrastructure and capacity.7,8 In Australia, the federal government responded with the Primary Health Care Research, Evaluation and Development program.9

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  • Parker J Magin1
  • John S Furler2
  • Mieke L van Driel3

  • 1 Discipline of General Practice, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW.
  • 2 Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 3 Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University, Gold Coast, QLD.

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  • 3. Van Der Weyden MB. General practice research in Australia: a timely reality check [editorial]. Med J Aust 2000; 173: 569-570. <MJA full text>
  • 4. Askew D, Glasziou P, Del Mar C. Research output of Australian general practice: a comparison with medicine, surgery and public health. Med J Aust 2001; 175: 77-80.
  • 5. Thomas T, Fahey T, Somerset M. The content and methodology of research papers published in three United Kingdom primary care journals. Br J Gen Pract 1998; 48: 1229-1232.
  • 6. Horton R. Evidence and primary care. Lancet 1999; 353: 609-610.
  • 7. Beasley J, Starfield B, van Weel C, et al. Global health and primary care research. J Am Board Fam Med 2007; 20: 518-526.
  • 8. Del Mar C, Askew D. Building family/general practice research capacity. Ann Fam Med 2004; 2 Suppl 2: S35-S40.
  • 9. Primary Health Care Research and Information Service [website]. (accessed Mar 2008).
  • 10. Beasley J, Jan Dinant G, Dobbs F, et al. The Brisbane Initiative: international education for leadership in primary care research. WONCA News 2004; Jun. 202004/health.htm (accessed May 2008).
  • 11. van Driel M, Magin P, Del Mar C, et al. Journal impact factor, and its importance for the AFP. Aust Fam Physician 2008. In press.


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