87th EGPRN meeting in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 4-7 October 2018

The 87th EGPRN meeting was held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina between the 4th and 7th October 2018. The topic of the meeting was "The role of the informal caregivers (family members) in chronic disease management."

137 participants from 20 countries attended the conference, with at least one abstract coming from each country, and a total of 63 abstracts selected out of 80 submissions. The high number of submitted papers confirmed the interest of GPs in research and particularly in the subject of the meeting. The event was also honoured with the presence of many colleagues from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as from neighbouring countries.

Interesting key speeches were given by Prof. Anthony Heymann from the University Tel Aviv on the topic “Research on the role of the informal caregivers in chronic disease management” and Prof. Zaim Jatić on the topic “Family Medicine in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, setting the mood of the conference and providing participants with a better understanding of the landscape around the conference topics and the situation in the field.

The meeting was held in the traditional EGPRN format with Pre-Conference Workshops, presentation of freestanding papers, and a parallel poster session. EGPRN takes pride in the high participation rate and productive atmosphere of these sessions, which provide a privileged setting for participants to share their research interests and questions with expert researchers in different fields of GP research.

Traditionally, one of the major aims of EGPRN has been to stimulate and promote the work of EGPRN Research Groups, including the FPDM and the Örenäs Research Group, and a wide variety of EGPRN Collaborative Studies (TATA - WomanPower, HEFESTOS, ATTENTIVE, PIPE, Googling in the waiting room, etc). All groups and studies are led by active EGPRN members and most of them received financial support from the organization. The EGPRN meeting is an opportunity for the participants to meet face-to-face, to bring together existing studies, report their results, and to share ideas.

Theme and Freestanding Papers provided a great platform for discussion of the presenters’ latest research and achievements. Additionally, One Slide/Five Minutes Presentations and Fellowship Presentations gave new and early career researchers the chance to have a ten-minute face-to-face meeting with an expert and learn more about possible ways to improve the methodology of their studies. The friendly and supportive atmosphere of the meeting, coupled with a commitment to excel in GP research methodology sparked great discussions and constructive feedback.

EGPRN is widely recognized as an organization with focus on research supporting young doctors to start their academic development. The knowledge of the more experienced members is critical to support young colleagues to formulate their research ideas and develop their potential, as well as to facilitate capacity building. In this context, 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 with the knowledge and skills to carry their own research projects.

The graduates of the EGPRN “The International Web-based Course on Research in Primary Health Care” presented their research projects at the conference and received their course completion certificates at the conference. EGPRN is putting great efforts in further developing and promoting the course, which is expanding and comprises 25 lectures delivered by experienced GP researchers.

The 87th EGPRN meeting Abstract Book was published, with an ISBN number, providing a new and effective way to promote family doctors’ engagement in research and allowing those who could not attend the conference to get a taste of all the topics presented and discussed in Sarajevo.

We hope that next year’s EGPRN meeting, which will be held between the 9th and 12th May 2018, in Tampere, Finland, with the theme "Research on Multimorbidity in Primary Care", will be another opportunity to share interesting studies, innovative projects and promising ideas.

Vanja Lazic

and all the members of the PR and Communications Committee:
Tiny van Merode
Ana Luisa Neves
Ayse Caylan
Tuomas Koskela
Sanda Kreitmayer
Radost Asenova