EGPRN meets in Tampere

The 88th European General Practice Research Network (EGPRN) meeting was held in Tampere, Finland from 9-12 May 2019. The topic of the meeting was "Research on Multimorbidity in Primary Care".

A total of 319 participants from 31 countries attended the conference, which is a new participant record in EGPRN congress history. A national one-day congress was combined with the EGPRN congress and this turned out to be a success. There were 182 participants from Finland joining in the congress.

With at least one abstract coming from each of 28 countries, a total of 76 abstracts were selected out of 113 submissions. At least one third of the accepted papers focused on the theme of the meeting.

Four pre-congress workshops were organised and they were all fully booked. The topics of the workshops were “multimorbidity” (two workshops), “how to formulate a research question” and “writing for publication”.

EGPRN is famous for several collaborative research groups - seven groups had their meetings during the congress. All groups and their studies are led by active EGPRN members and most of them receive financial support from the organization.

The keynote speech was given by Prof Bruce Guthrie from the University of Edinburgh, on the topic “The challenges of multimorbidity for health services and researchers”. Bruce introduced the challenges that the health systems must respond to when facing the growing number of multimorbid patients. He presented the latest research on multimorbidity and pointed out the challenges regarding multimorbidity and polypharmacy interventions.

The local keynote was given by Prof Elise Kosunen from Tampere University on the topic “Multiprofessional primary health care and challenges of multimorbidity”. She presented the Finnish health care system from a historical perspective and reflected on the challenges of multimorbidity, in multidisciplinary Finnish primary care.

The atmosphere in the sessions was interactive and friendly, which provides a good setting for researchers to share their thoughts and ideas and to get constructive feedback. On Saturday we held the traditional special methodology session, which focused on among other things on the Hawthorne effect.

A very unique EGPRN poster session, where posters are presented by another participant and where authors just respond to the questions was held once again. In six sessions, 30 posters were presented. The best poster prize was awarded to the poster "Violence Towards Young General Practitioners in Croatia Remain in Silence - a pilot study" by authors Iva Jurčević, Marina Oljača Pribanić, and Durdica Lazic.

EGPRN is widely recognized as an organisation with a focus on research supporting young doctors to start their academic development. The EGPRN Fellowship Program is a great example of a successful and unique activity. First started in May 2017, the EGPRN Fellowship Program aims to provide young fellows the knowledge and skills to carry their own research projects. In Tampere meeting the latest achievement of this program – a new research protocol - was presented in a special session.

We hope that in the next EGPRN meeting, which will be held from 17- 20 October 2019, in Vigo, Spain, will again see many interesting studies, innovative projects and great ideas as in the Tampere meeting. The theme of the Vigo meeting will be “General Practice and the Community: research on health service, quality improvement and training”.

Tuomas Koskela and all the members of the PR and Communications Committee:

>EGPRN website