The city of Rīga hosted the EGPRN (European General Practice Research Network) conference 7–14 May, the very first meeting of the kind ever held in Latvia. The EGPRN is an international organisation of general practitioners and other health professionals involved in research covering the areas of primary care and family medicine. Its aim is to provide a suitable setting in which to discuss and develop research in primary care. RSU Department of Family Medicine has established long-term cooperation with the network and the EGPRN national representative of Latvia is RSU lecturer Gunta Tīcmane. The EGPRN meets twice a year already since 1974.
The conference was attended by 128 participants from 29 countries. In terms of geographical coverage, the largest delegations were from Latvia and France – 15 participants each and also from Israel and Germany (11), whereby 22 countries participated in the conference with at least one research work. All in all 114 researchers had submitted abstracts, wherefrom accepted were only 68. Latvia participated with 8 presentations what was the second largest number of presentations delivered by the researchers from one country, outpaced only by France (10).
The first day of the conference was devoted to four pre-conference workshops – on how to write scientific papers, how to structure an effective abstract, how to perform research at general practice and what are the key aspects of organizing everyday medical practice. The morning hours of the successive two days were devoted to plenary sessions, followed by parallel presentation panels, poster presentations and one slide/five minutes presentations. The opening lectures of the plenary session were given by Ruth Kalda from Estonia and acting Director of the Department of Family Medicine Vija Siliņa. Presentations were devoted to doctor-patient relationship, timely treatment of diverse groups of patients as opposed to unnecessary treatment, development of methodology for qualitative research and promotion of research. During the event foreign visitors were given the possibility to visit general practices in Riga and its vicinity and share experience on the work organisation in general practice.
The presentation by Sabine Bayen, general practitioner from France, University of Lille “Beliefs and knowledge about sexual transmitted diseases in homosexual women” was recognized at the closing session to be the best poster presentation.
The EGPRN is an excellent opportunity for young researchers to join in for streamlining their research, exchange experiences and develop joint representative research and international publications together with colleagues from abroad. We encourage everyone interested in research to become a member of the EGPRN and take active part in research activity by registering on the EGPRN webpage. We are looking forward to meet you all in Dublin at the next EGPRN meeting to be held on October!