Hospital del Mar Research Institute Hospital del Mar Research Institute

Primary and community care in Barcelona Josep M Bellmunt

The Primary Care (Atenció Primària; AP) and Community Care (PIC) research group was set up in December 2020. It comprises professionals from the AP clinics (known as CAPs) in Barceloneta, Villa Olímpica, Larrard, and the AP Gracia Emergency Centre, part of the Pere Virgili Health Park, which is the managing body.

Primary care (AP) is a public health service that can be accessed without restriction, in the same way as the emergency services. For the general public, it is the most accessible level of healthcare and handles most of the patient visits in the healthcare system. That is why it takes a holistic view of each patient and the pathologies affecting them.

AP treats acute pathologies and monitors chronic conditions, but its coverage of patients in a limited geographical zone (a neighbourhood or town) also affords it a community perspective that allows it to better understand the determinants influencing the health of its particular area and its needs, while at the same time enabling it to play a key role within its area of influence.

Together, these factors make AP a valuable component of any research project, due to its extensive and ongoing interaction with patients and the community.

Our research group includes professionals from different areas of AP and our main focus involves the most prevalent pathologies at this level of care, always based on translational research.

The relationship the group's CAPs have with an intermediate care centre such as the Pere Virgili Health Park offers opportunities for collaboration in the field of geriatrics and chronic diseases.

The broad range of possibilities provided by the large number of patients and the wide variety of pathologies that are treated in AP, makes this level of care a privileged space in which to initiate research work.

For these reasons, our group has several objectives:

  • To stimulate research among those people interested in AP, providing them with a stable working space as well as training.
  • To maintain and expand some of the research topics that different members of the group are already working on, such as:
    • Complex community interventions that include caregivers and community health, health education, people-centred actions. The development of tools to improve patient autonomy.
    • Pain (combines earlier research into opioids + new proposals for non-pharmacological approaches).
    • Infections in primary care and the community. Screening for infectious diseases in high-risk groups.
    • Emergencies and resuscitation
    • Coordination of clinical information and management between care levels.
  • To collaborate in a stable and preferential way with the other groups in the Epidemiology and Public Health Programme (EPISAP) research project that we form part of, as well as periodically with other groups in the other Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) research programs, providing patient knowledge and contact thanks to the longitudinal care activity carried out by AP, and which can be extremely valuable in numerous research projects.

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