Want to know more? Take a look at our FAQ to find out how PRACI is relevant to you. A detailed overview of the PRACI project has also been published in Advances in Integrative Medicine.
Q. What is PRACI?
Q. What is a practice-based research network (PBRN)?
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 organization) 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
Q. Why is PRACI so important?
As a PBRN, PRACI contributes some very important benefits to the future of complementary healthcare in Australia and globally. PRACI enables clinicians to directly and personally contribute to the creation of new knowledge and advancement of clinical insights within their profession. It also makes it easier for researchers looking to commit to more substantial complementary medicine research by facilitating recruitment of participants. PRACI also helps create a like-minded community of peers for complementary healthcare practitioners. Most importantly, PRACI has the ability to improve the quality of care provided to patients.
Q. What will happen to the data collected from the baseline survey?
The results of the baseline members survey are collated and held on a secure password protected server which is only accessible by PRACI administration. PRACI members will be allocated a member identification code (MIC) and their survey responses will be added to the database under their MIC. A separate and distinct database stores each participant’s name and contact details with their corresponding MIC. Personal information will not be available to individuals outside PRACI administration.
Q. How are details of PRACI database members protected?
Researchers wishing to contact PRACI members to recruit for a research project need to submit an Expression of Interest which will be reviewed by the PRACI Steering Committee. Each submission must identify the characteristics of the participants they would like to recruit. Following approval by the Steering Committee, members will then be contacted directly by the PRACI administrative team with the recruitment information for the project. PRACI members interested in participating will then be free to respond to the researcher at their own discretion. Individual contact details or any other identifiable information will not be provided to external researchers without the express permission of each member.
Q. Which complementary healthcare fields are included in PRACI?
- Bowen therapy
- Chinese herbal medicine
- Musculoskeletal therapy/Myotherapy
- Western herbal medicine
Q. Where can I learn more about Practice-Based Research Networks?
Between 2000 and 2005, AHRQ funded four major competitive grant programs directed at PBRNs. In addition to funding opportunities, AHRQ is supporting PBRNs through a national resource center, an annual national conference, peer learning groups, an electronic PBRN research repository, and a dedicated community extranet. To learn more about AHRQ’s interest and support of practice based research networks, visit:
A supplement to the Annals of Family Medicine in July 2005 was devoted to Practice- Based Research Networks. This issue of the Annals can provide more information and is freely accessible at:
A more recent paper can provide further information by Green LA, Hickner J. A Short history of Primary Care Practice-based Research Networks: From Concept to Essential Research Laboratories. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 2006; 19(1): 1-10. Article freely accessible at:
Q. How can I become part of the PRACI PBRN?
Clinicians interested in becoming part of PRACI can join annually when we open our database up for new members. You will be asked to complete a baseline survey which will allow your details to be added to the password protected PRACI database. As a PRACI member you will be contacted regarding any research projects relevant to your practice so you have an opportunity to choose to participate. You will also receive a PRACI newsletter to inform you of the research being conducted and published through PRACI.
Q. What will happen if I choose to become part of the PRACI PBRN?
Once agreeing to be apart of PRACI, your details will be entered into the password protected PRACI PBRN and your baseline data responses will be stored to start mapping CM workforce for each modality. This will be built upon through further research and you will receive a PRACI newsletter to inform you of the research use PRACI is being put to.
Q. I am a researcher. Can I utilise the PRACI database?
Absolutely. PRACI is designed with the overarching purpose to facilitate collaboration between researchers and practitioners. An Expression of Interest process has been designed which facilitates using PRACI to conduct high quality complementary healthcare research whilst ensuring clinicians within the network are not overburdened and their confidentiality is maintained. Expression of Interest submissions are encouraged from clinicians, researchers, potential funders and others. More information about the EOI process is outlined here.
Scroll down for related documents and information - under For Researchers
Q. Can I earn CPD (Continuing Professional Development) points for involvement in PRACI?
Most professional associations allocate CPD points towards practitioner involvement in professional research. The number of points varies with each association. PRACI gives its members terrific opportunities to earn CPD points for involvement in sub-studies to assist them to maintain and enhance currency in theoretical knowledge and professional skills.