Background. In spring 2002, WONCA Europe, the European Society of General Practice/Family Medicine and its Network organizations reached consensus on a 'new' European definition of general practice. Subsequently, the European General Practice Research Workshop (EGPRW) started working on a European General Practice Research Agenda. This topic was addressed during the 2002 EGPRW autumn meeting. Objective. Our aim was to explore the views of European general practice researchers on needs and priorities as well as barriers for general practice research in Europe. Methods. In seven discussion groups, 43 general practice researchers from 18 European countries had to answer the following questions. (i) What major topics should be included in a research agenda for general practice in your country? (ii) What are the barriers to adequate implementation of general practice research in your country? Group answers were listed and subsequently categorized by two authors. Results. Research on 'clinical issues' (common diseases, chronic diseases, etc.), including diagnostic strategies, was considered to be the core content of general practice research, with primary care-based morbidity registration essential for surveillance of disease, clinical research and teaching in general practice. There was also consensus on the need for research on education and teaching. 'Insufficient funding opportunities' was perceived to be the major barrier to the development of general practice research. Conclusions. These findings could be used as a basis for national checklists of 'content of' and 'conditions for' general practice research. European general practice research training programmes should be developed further.
- General practice