OP-127 : Building Research Capacity in Caribbean Primary Care: The Caribbean Primary Care Research Group (CAPCRG).

Rohan Maharaj, Peter Adams, Pauline Williams-Green, Walter Rosser, Trinidad And Tobago
The Caribbean Primary Care Research Group (CAPCRG), which has a mandate to develop research skills for Caribbean Primary Care Physicians, and is developed under the auspices of the Caribbean College of Family Physicians (CCFP), to be its research arm, was initiated at the 3rd Triennial Caribbean Family Medicine Conference Nassau, Bahamas in November 2006. This paper documents the process of this initial session and describe the progress so far.

The first stage in this process was a workshop, whose aim was to engage as many CCFP members as possible in discussion, brainstorming and decision making around the development of CAPCRG. The plenary was then broken up into 4 ‘buzz groups’. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire which collected basic demographic information and research experience and what possible role they might play in such a program. Individually completed questionnaires were collected and analysed. From this process the final outline of CAPCRG mentorship programme was developed and plans made for the initiation.

All participants in the workshop completed the questionnaire. There were 33 participants, females made up 61%. Seventy-two percent had had some level of research experience, but only 3 (9%) were willing to work as mentors. Twenty-four participants (73%) were willing to participate as trainees. More than half (55%) had ideas for projects and 2 persons had expertise with statistics. The results showed that respondents thought that the strengths of the planned CAPCRG would be to provide evidence for the region as the major outcome; this would be relevant indigenous information that should improve quality of care.

Based on the experience at this workshop, CCFP and the facilitators agreed to conduct a 24 - month fellowship with interested participants. Teaching materials for the fellowship was provided by Queen’s University, Family Medicine Department. The first session between facilitators and trainees was held in Montego Bay in May 2007. Four students have started their journey with the topics to be studied including, Road Traffic Accidents in Jamaica, Advanced Directives in Providence, Bahamas, Peak Flow Meters in Jamaica and possibly the Caribbean, and quality parameters at health centres in Jamaica. Two additional groups may soon join from Nevis and Grenada, making this a truly Caribbean venture. The planned outcomes of this fellowship are: 1. Presentation of completed project at a regional or international forum. 2. Departmental certificates of completion from UWI, St Augustine. 3. Publication in a peer-reviewed journal