Research in primary care is necessary to empower its role in health systems and improve population health.
The aim of this evaluation study was to assess the experiences of primary care physicians who participated as researchers in a multi-centre, mixed-methodology study on adult vaccination supported by a newly established practice-based research network.
Twenty-three physicians participated as researchers, operating in their own practices in 10 different prefectures of Greece. After the completion of the study, they were asked to reflect on their experiences in the research by providing written responses to the questions on the evaluation tool of the study. The open-ended questions were analyzed using thematic content analysis.
Mean age of the researchers was 42.9 years old (±3.9, min 35, max 49) and 11 (47.8%) were male. Six themes emerged as beneficial for the participating researchers: (i) raised awareness of patients’ needs, (ii) enhancement of clinical practice and services offered, (iii) positive impact on the doctor-patient relationship, (iv) personal satisfaction, (v) enrichment of their curriculum vitae and (vi) improvement of research skills. All researchers were interested in participating in future studies.
The experience of conducting clinical research on adult vaccination in their own practices within a network was reported to be very rewarding. The benefits gained from their participation could be a valuable tool in promoting research and enhancing the quality of primary health care.
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