The Atlantic Practice Based Research Network (APBRN) is a network of primary care providers in Newfoundland and Labrador who collaborate with the Primary Healthcare Research Unit (PHRU) of Memorial University in the conduct of clinical and health services research in primary care. Dr. Marshall Godwin is the Director of the PHRU and the APBRN. APBRN was established in 2005 and was initially composed of a group of 35 physicians who were interested and willing to be approached to help with recruitment of patients for research studies. However, in the years since its inception the network has grown and now includes those who have also helped with the development of research ideas and have become co-investigators on research projects. To date, 78 physicians and nurses from the Province have participated in PHRU-APBRN projects. The focus of our current research is on prevention and management of chronic diseases, care of the elderly, lifestyle interventions, population-based lipid profiles in NL, access to primary care, quality of primary care, and rural research capacity building.


APBRN is one of the ten practice-based research networks across Canada that form the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN). CPCSSN includes family physicians and nurse practitioners who use electronic medical records (EMRs) in their practice and have agreed to contribute de-identified, point-of-care, patient data form their practices, on a quarterly basis, to the CPCSSN database. Currently the CPCSSN database includes 750 primary care providers and 1,000,000 of their patients from across Canada. In Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) 51 family physician are members of NL-CPCSSN and provide de-identified data on over 45,000 patients. These 51 physicians constitute a subgroup within APBRN and are referred to collectively as NL-CPCSSN.

The NL-CPCSSN database is being used by researchers and graduate students at Memorial University as the basis for clinical and health services research. Applications for permission to use NL-CPCSSN data in research may be submitted to the Primary Healthcare Research Unit. For information on the process, or to obtain the application form, email phru@mun.ca or phone (709)777-6645.

If you wish to conduct research that involves the CPCSSN data linked to other databases please contact the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (NLCHI) at nlchi.nl.ca.