Background A ‘communities of practice’ (CoP) approach has the potential to address
quality improvement issues and facilitate research in general practice
by engaging those most intimately involved in delivering services – the
Objective This article outlines the CoP approach and discusses some of the
challenges involved in using this approach to raise standards in
general practice and how these challenges might be addressed.
Discussion General practitioner insight needs to be harnessed in order to develop
solutions that are conceived in, and informed by, clinical practice. A
CoP approach provides control to the practitioners over selection of
the most relevant research question and outcome measure. However,
the method is challenging as it requires a focus that is suitable, that
motivates the participants, and effective management strategies and
resources to support the CoP.
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