Background. In 1998, the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) adopted a groundbreaking Policy Statement endorsing responsible participatory research (PR) with communities. Since that time, PR gained prominence in primary care research. Objectives. To reconsider the original 1998 Policy Statement in light of increased uptake of PR, and suggest future directions and applications for PR in primary care. This work contributed to an updated Policy Statement endorsed by NAPCRG in 2015. Methods. 32 university and 30 community NAPCRG-affiliated research partners, convened a workshop to document lessons learned about implementing processes and principles of PR. This document emerged from that session and reflection and discussion regarding the original Policy Statement, the emerging PR literature, and our own experiences. Results. The foundational principles articulated in the 1998 Policy Statement remain relevant to the current PR environment. Lessons learned since its publication include that the maturation of partnerships is facilitated by participatory processes that support increased community responsibility for research projects, and benefits generated through PR extend beyond research outcomes. Future directions that will move forward the field of PR in primary care include: (i) improve assessment of PR processes to better delineate the links between how PR teams work together and diverse PR outcomes, (ii) increase the number of models incorporating PR into translational research from project inception to dissemination, and (iii) increase application of PR approaches that support patient engagement in clinical settings to patient-provider relationship and practice change research. Conclusion. PR has markedly altered the manner in which primary care research is undertaken in partnership with communities and its principles and philosophies continue to offer means to assure that research results and processes improve the health of all communities.
- Community-based participatory research
- Patient engagement
- Primary care
- Translational research