Reports of persistent change in the clinical encounter following research participation: a report from the Primary Care Multiethnic Network (PRIME Net).
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Following anecdotal reports of unexpected patient and/or clinician behavior change in the primary care encounter in a previous study, we conducted this study to learn more about the short- and long-term effects on clinician and/or patient behavior from participation in a practice-based research network (PBRN) study.Clinicians in two PBRN studies of Acanthosis nigricans were surveyed and interviewed 3 to 6 months following one study and surveyed 3 to 5 years following a second study. We gathered data on clinicians' reports of behavior change in the encounter, the persistence of those changes, and the likely causes of reported changes.Eighty-six percent of clinicians in the short-term and 79% in the long-term samples reported more frequent diagnostic efforts, and 68% and 54%, respectively, reported more frequent preventive counseling after participation in the studies. Interview data suggested that several factors contributed to this reported behavior change: increased clinician knowledge, availability of a feasible tool to support counseling, change in patient receptivity/motivation, and creation of a new context for counseling.Reports of behavior change in the primary care encounter associated with a PBRN study suggest that PBRNs may be effective vehicles for education, translation, and practice change in addition to their value in research.