• The Representativeness of Practiced-based Research Networks: The Case of the American Academy of Family Physicians National Research Network

    Study Description and Methods

    This project examined the degree to which AAFP NRN members were representative of the larger population of family physicians. The representativeness of NRN members was explored with respect to their self-reported clinical practices/behaviors and their knowledge and beliefs about selected clinical care issues.

    This study consisted of analyses across five separate national surveys conducted between 2001 and 2004 by the AAFP NRN in distinct clinical areas (bioterrorism preparedness, hepatitis C, hyperlipidemia, pharyngitis, and immunization). Each survey collected data from NRN and non-NRN family physicians. Descriptive analyses and applicable tests were conducted on the survey data in comparisons between NRN and non-NRN family physicians. Additional analyses were also conducted to determine the degree of statistical comparability of AAFP survey respondents to the population of AAFP active members.

    Specific Aims and Objectives

    The aim of this study was to investigate the extent to which NRN physicians’ responses to survey items measuring their clinical beliefs and self-reported practice patterns differ from sampled AAFP active members.


    This study was conducted from October 2004 through September 2005.


    This project is currently closed. Please see below for key findings, presentations, and publications from this study.


    AAFP NRN Convocation of Practices and Networks, Virginia Beach, VA, March 4, 2007: Galliher, JM, Pace WD, Bonham AJ. Representativeness Study Results Plenary.

    Annual Conference of the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG), Tucson, AZ, October 11, 2006: Bonham AJ, Dickinson LM, Galliher JM, Pace WD. Exploring PBRN Representativeness: The Case of the AAFP NRN.

    Key Findings and Publications

    The AAFP NRN and AAFP membership differed on several demographic characteristics, but network members were overall more representative than not to the AAFP active membership in their self-reported clinical behaviors and related beliefs.

    See below for a listing of publications:

    Representativeness of PBRN Physician Practice Patterns and Related Beliefs: The Case of the AAFP National Research Network. Galliher JM, Bonham AJ, Dickinson LM, et al. Ann Fam Med. 2009;7(6):547-554

    Contact Information

    For additional information about this study, please contact:

    AAFP National Research Network
    1-800-274-2237 x3180

    This study was funded by a research stimulation grant from the AAFP and AAFP Foundation’s Joint Grant Awards Program.