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2003 GP & PHC Research Conference:
Primary Health Care Research - Evolution or Revolution?

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18-20 June, Canberra National Convention Centre


The 2003 GP & PHC Research Conference - the biggest yet - was held in Canberra. After receiving a record number of abstracts we knew we were in for a great conference and we weren't disappointed.

Despite travel delays caused by the ubiquitous Canberra fog, over 230 delegates attended the seven pre-conference workshops on a wide range of topics.

We were fortunate once again to have the conference opened by the Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator the Hon Kay Patterson, especially as it was a sitting week for Parliament. More than 340 delegates from a range of backgrounds in primary health care research, evaluation, development and practice, policy, consumer organisations and Divisions of General Practice all contributed to the overall success of the conference. Delegates listened and responded to the challenging presentations from our international and Australian plenary speakers, presented more papers than ever before, produced, displayed and spoke to informative posters, debated current issues in primary health care and extended and strengthened their own networks.

We have summarised the three days of the conference in pictures and have included a report from a "novice" primary health care researcher who attended the GP & PHC Research Conference for the first time.

Thank you once again to everyone who contributed to the success of the conference - the conference advisory and scientific committees, invited speakers, paper and poster presenters, session chairs, workshop facilitators, sponsors, exhibitors, registrants, National Convention Centre (NCC) staff, Conference Logistics and PHCRIS. We are especially grateful to the Policy and Evaluation and Primary Care Quality and Prevention branches of Department of Health and Ageing without whose generous financial support the conference would not be possible.

Conference program

In addition to the keynote and plenary presentations, we also have available the full conference program, which includes links to the PDF of abstracts, workshop presentations and opening address.

GP & PHC Conference evaluation

Three hundred and forty delegates attended the conference, with 173 delegates completing and returning evaluation surveys (51% response rate: 132 via the online

survey; 41 handwritten via the paper survey). Overall ratings were excellent/good and the evaluation responses were mostly positive. Delegates praised the conference because:

  • the content was diverse,
  • the format was varied (including formal and informal sessions) and people
    could move between sessions,
  • keynote speakers were interesting, engaging and thought provoking,
  • concurrent sessions and different types of presentations allowed access to a wide range of research, from snapshots of research through to more detailed descriptions,
  • there were opportunities to hear of current research, meet the researchers
    and establish links and/or collaborative partners,
  • there was a "very open and friendly atmosphere".
  • Many delegates reported they see it as the most important conference of the
    year.

In brief, 95% rated the conference overall as good or excellent and overall ratings of good or excellent were given by between 79% and 96% for the Keynote speakers, the paper presentations, the poster presentations and the poster displays.

  • "This is my ninth [GP & PHC Research] conference, so I can only assume I am an addict."
  • "Fantastic. Yet again the GP & PHC Conference team has pulled off the best conference of the year!"
  • "This is the most inspiring and enthusing conference of the year."
  • "Good balance between keynote/plenary presentations and paper/poster presentations."
  • "Rekindled my enthusiasm for incorporating research into our activities. Why: because I can see where research can be applied."

To view the full conference evaluation report, click on the icon below:

  • 2003 Conference Evaluation 2003 GP & PHC Research Conference Evaluation [PDF: 56KB]

Pre-conference workshops

234 delegates attended to pre-conference workshops (including 16 facilitators), with 100 completing and returning feedback sheets. Overall, the feedback from participants was very positive and any areas criticised did not occur across all workshops. Time for discussion and the interactive nature of the workshops was most frequently praised, followed by workshop-specific content (eg. information on datasets). A lack of direction and focus within some workshop discussions and small group discussions was most often criticised.

  • "Fantastic - need more of these kind of workshops. Presenters were great!!!"
  • "I was impressed by the level of attendance. It was also fun!!"
  • "I think perhaps my needs weren't fully met because the group was so heterogeneous in experience, knowledge & aims."
  • "Very useful to interact with others (from C/Wealth and Divisions [of General Practice]) interested in same topic and to see collaborative links initiated which were developed at other times at conference."

To view the full workshop evaluation report, click on the icon below:

  • 2003 Conference Evaluation 2003 GP & PHC Pre-conference Workshops Evaluation [PDF: 67KB]