Aims of the ORC-NZ PBRN Project

The ORC-NZ Project has a number of inter-related, yet distinct, aims. These are to:

  • Facilitate closer engagement and communication between osteopaths and researchers
  • Advance broad rigorous scientific investigation to inform osteopathy patient care
  • Conduct research in osteopathy that is practice and practitioner relevant
  • Promote and grow critical research capacity and help produce a sustainable research culture in New Zealand osteopathy
  • Facilitate and encourage osteopathy research network building and collaborations across New Zealand and internationally

What is Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN) such as that utilised by the ORC-NZ Project?

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) defines a practice-based research network (PBRN) as a ‘group with at least 15 ambulatory practices and/or 15 clinicians devoted principally to the primary care of patients, affiliated with each other (and often with an academic or professional organisation) in order to investigate questions related to community based practice’.

The defining characteristics of a PBRN include:

  • A mission and statement of purpose, including an ongoing commitment to research;
  • Channels for communication among network participants;
  • A director with responsibility for administration of the network, and at least one support staff;
  • An advisory board that solicits input from communities of patients served by the PBRN clinicians.
For more information regarding PBRNs please visit the AHRQ website.
The PBRN design of ORC-NZ provides an extensive application necessary to the establishment of an international, coordinated platform of evidence that is pivotal in apprising on-going, detailed, specific sub-studies in osteopathy.
The aforementioned coordinated platform evidence is necessary to contextualise and reinforce the impact of clinically-focused investigations, therefore, having greater efficacy in bridging the gap between findings from clinical trials and other related designs, within the realities of daily standard care.
PBRNs have been utilized to assist with building an evidence-base in several health care modalities worldwide. Below are links to a paper to further explain this approach to research design.
Rindal D, Flottemesch T, Durand E, Godlevsk O, Schmidt A, Gilbert G, et al. Practice change toward better adherence to evidence-based treatment for early dental decay in the National Dental PBRN. Implementation Science 2014, 9:117.