Third Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine Practice-based Research Theme Issue

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This July/August 2008 issue is our third practice-based research theme issue (the first was in January 2006 and the second in March 2007) highlighting recent studies conducted in practice-based research networks (PBRNs). Our research networks are expanding and they offer more hope for getting evidence based on real-life medicine, reflecting patients in our practices rather than carefully collected subpopulations of patients from tertiary care centers. Three studies in this issue are randomized controlled trials (RCTs): 2 from Oklahoma1,2 with positive findings, and one from Kentucky with negative results.3 One investigation used a large database from many practices4 and 5 survey studies collected key information from patients to inform our care.59 Two studies provide clinical information to improve practice 10,11 and 2 from New Mexico examine physician behaviors.12,13 A special feature is a dialogue about Institutional Review Board training from the PBRN listserv sponsored by the Agency for Health Research and Quality.14