Kronikgune Institute for Health Services Research coordinates two research groups led by Osakidetza professionals.

Chronic diseases are the main causes of mortality in Europe and Spain. Moreover, they require complex, integrated, and coordinated long-term health care, involving different health professionals, resources (drugs, diagnostic tests, surgery, rehabilitation, nursing care) and, sometimes, the coordination with social services. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other organisations such as the Canadian Task Force, the US Preventive Services Task Force, PAPPS in Spain, and many scientific societies, most of these diseases can be prevented by implementing health promotion and disease prevention strategies, that allow patients to maintain their quality of life at acceptable levels, as well as optimize the use of health resources. To this end, knowledge about the best strategies to provide a solution must be improved, and the real application of the knowledge generated by research in daily practice must be catalysed.

Primary care is the most frequent and accessible contact point for the population. This service is also responsible for the care and follow-up of patients with chronic diseases. Therefore, implementing strategies and protocols with an integrated, longitudinal and person-centred approach are necessary to ensure the sustainability of the systems.

To provide a response to this challenge, the Research Network on Chronicity, Primary Care and Health Promotion (RICAPPS) has been created. This network is funded by the RICORS sub-programme (Research Networks oriented towards Health Results), within the Strategic Action in Health 2021 of The Institute of Health Carlos III (ISCIII).

The main objective of RICAPPS is to promote network research at national level oriented towards health outcomes in primary care, chronicity and health promotion. The aim is to transfer the results to clinical practice and health service organisations, and thus ensure the improvement of health care for the population. This purpose is aligned with the objectives of the Health, Demographic Change and Well-being Challenge of the Spanish Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation, and Horizon Europe of the European Union.

The network is made up of 26 research groups and 9 associated clinical groups, located in 12 Spanish regions. Its scientific programme, with a holistic approach, is structured in five objectives that include fourteen work packages (WP). One of the priorities of the network is to promote collaborative work, knowledge transfer and the possibility of sharing experience, resources, and information between research groups. To this end, the groups will include the collaboration of professionals and specialists in primary care, prevention, public health, epidemiology, mathematics, statistics, economic evaluation, pharmacology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and other specialities. The goal is to ensure a high-quality methodological approach, adapted to the context of primary care and adjusted to the dynamic challenges and developments that are emerging in the health systems. This approach is focus to provide more comprehensive care including health promotion, prevention, diagnosis and treatment, and specialised care for chronic diseases.

Kronikgune Institute coordinates two research groups of RICAPPS. The groups are led by Amaia Bilbao, from Bilbao-Basurto Integrated Healthcare Organization (IHO), and Susana García, from Barrualde-Galdakao IHO. The two Principal Investigators coordinate work package 14 (WP14), “Development of methodologies for health services research”. This WP14 will focus on the availability of quantitative, statistical or epidemiological, or qualitative methodological tools to be used or applied in the research projects of the network, or implemented in applications to be developed for use in healthcare practice.