Regional development plan

Background

Traditionally, knowledge is transferred from academic centers towards general practice. Knowledge generated through academic research is published in peer-reviewed journals and archived in bibliographic databases. These journals are accessed mostly by the academic community and not the practicing oral health care providers. Scientific information is also, but less frequently than journals, published in textbooks. Adapted, more clinically relevant information is disseminated to general dental practitioners (GDPs) at continuing professional development courses and meetings. It is at the end of this journey, which may take years, that scientific knowledge originating from academia has a potential to become part of the everyday clinical practice.

Practice-based research networks (PBRNs) integrate academic researchers and clinicians with general practitioners through research taking place in clinical setting. The diversity in clinical settings and structured, controlled studies allow more clinically relevant and yet evidence-based conclusions. Practice-based research becomes another source of scientific information that complements the more traditional basic and academic clinical research, as well as secondary meta-analytical research. Through involvement of general practitioners in the process of knowledge acquisition, PBRNs speed up the knowledge transfer from academia into practice. In 2012, the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network (NDPBRN) in the US has been consolidated into a “unified nationally coordinated effort”, comprising six regional research networks. Recognizing the potential of practice-based research, similar initiative steps have been taken in the UK through a smaller PBRN.

Setting up a PBRN in three South-Eastern European countries (Croatia, Hungary and Serbia) has a potential impact on oral health in these three countries through various activities of PBRN participants. Moreover, the neighbouring region could be influenced through regional meetings and knowledge dissemination since there are no language barriers in 7 surrounding countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia). Once established in three countries, the PBRN could be expanded to other South-Eastern European countries and Turkey, or new PBRNs could be set up based on the structure designed and build up in the three initiating countries.

Group

Purpose

The purpose of this project is three-fold:

(1) to establish a PBRN in Croatia, Hungary and Serbia, coordinated by the research groups, respectively, of the University of Zagreb (School of Dental Medicine, Croatia), the University of Szeged (Faculty of Dentistry, Hungary) and the University of Belgrade (School of Dental Medicine, Serbia); they will function as ‘coordinating research groups’;

(2) to establish institutional collaboration with at least two other South-Eastern European research groups and at least three established European research groups (within CED-IADR region) (‘supporting research groups’);

(3) to initiate a regional “opinion leader” forum comprising of the research network members and representatives from the coordinating and supporting research groups, and so to advance regional oral health through interaction with local oral health care providers.

Achievements

First meeting at the Region

Start-up and calibration of CED-IADR PBRN

Belgrade - Zagreb, January 31 - February 1, 2014