Thematic PBRN Profiles

PBRNs address a wide range of issues in a number of care settings. These profiles are meant to provide a snapshot of the diverse work being conducted in PBRNs and are not intended to be a comprehensive account of all PBRN research. To learn more about the work conducted by PBRNs, visit the PBRN Research Bibliography. 

For more information about the networks featured in these summaries, as well as other AHRQ-registered PBRNs, visit the PBRN Registry. Use the PBRN Registry advanced search feature to search for networks by location, type of network, health conditions of interest, and geographic coverage.


Enhancing the Health of Children and Adolescents; Enabling a Lifetime of Wellness (PDF – 401 KB

Currently, 144 PBRNs specialize in child health issues ranging in size from 4 to 3,500 practices across the United States. This profile describes how these networks are addressing important issues in pediatric care including vaccinations, nutrition, and mental health.

Advancing Research and Quality of Care for Vulnerable Populations (PDF – 797 KB)

As of May 2015, over half of all registered PBRNs have made a commitment to serve and produce research applicable to improving the care of vulnerable populations living in their communities. This profile explores how these networks are advancing research and improving care for racial and ethnic minority populations, low-income individuals, and the elderly, as well as how they are addressing issues around cultural relevancy and care resiliency. 

Improving Health and Health Care in Rural Communities (PDF – 489 KB)

Currently, 54 members of the PBRN community have stated a focus on serving rural populations. Read about how PBRNs are developing innovative technologies to engage rural populations and treating high impact conditions such as obesity, cancer, and substance abuse. This profile also includes reflections and resources for clinicians serving rural communities

Improving Care for Women (PDF – 712 KB)

Although virtually all PBRNs work with female populations, 58 members of the PBRN community have stated a focus on serving women. These networks have dedicated research to the screening and treatment of cancers affecting women, female reproductive health issues, and increasing access to services for underserved women such as veterans, low-income, and women from racial/ethnic minority groups

Application of the PBRN Model to Non-Primary Care Settings (PDF – 745 KB)

Following the many successes of PBRNs in the primary care setting, the PBRN model has been adopted by other health care specialties and in non-primary care settings such as dentistry, mental health, pharmacy, neurology and alternative medicine. As of summer 2015, there are 28 non-primary care PBRNs, known as Affiliate PBRNs, registered as part of the AHRQ-sponsored PBRN learning community

Innovative Research Methods (PDF – 359 KB)

The dedication of skilled researchers and access to diverse patients seeking care in routine practice settings uniquely allow the PBRN community to pioneer the use of new and emerging research methods in real-world settings. This profile highlights the innovative methodologies used in PBRN research including pragmatic clinical trials, quality improvement methods, and the PRECIS Tool, among others.