Family practices registration networks contributedto primary care research. Chris van Weel*, Wim de Grauw Department of Family Medicine, Radboud University Medical Centre, 117 HAG, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands. ournal of Clinical Epidem

Abstract Background and Objective:
 Family physicians (FP) play a key role in the diagnosis and treatment of health problems in the community and for evidence-based guidance, clinical research must be based on primary care data. This paper analyses the state-of-the-art approaches to the collection of data and the building of databases in family practice.
 Experience in the Netherlands in family practice-based research networks (PBRNs) is explored in registering and analyzing primary care data, illustrated with four examples of PBRN studies.
 PBRNs bring together practices and FPs with a research interest to collect data and pursue research under routine patient care conditions. This directs research at relevant questions of family practice. Important features of success are practitioners’ ownership of data and the use of data in improving the care of patients in the participating practices. International standardization of terminology and definitions in the international classification of primary care improves the scientificquality of data recorded in registration networks and PBRNs.
 Through primary care registration networks and PBRNs it is possible to tap in unselected care of patients and at the same time produce scientifically rigorous data. This enables research that represents the realities of primary care with valid data.