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POS-ARI-PC holds first network training sessions

National coordinating teams from 12 countries attended two online events to learn details about POS-ARI-PC AUDIT and receive practical guidance for participating.

Led by the University of Oxford and University Medical Center Utrecht, the Perpetual Observational Study (POS) on Acute Respiratory tract Infections (ARI) in the Primary Care (PC) setting is gearing up for starting the audit component of the study. To prepare staff at the national coordinating teams, the study team recently held two online meetings.


Coordinating Investigator Alike van der Velden, assistant professor at the University Medical Center Utrecht, gave a bird’s eye view of the study and introduced the team behind it. She highlighted the need for an audit of ARI in primary care – one of the most frequently presented complaints at GP practices around Europe.

POS-ARI-PC AUDIT is in fact the successor of the Point Prevalence Audit Survey (PPAS) which has run four times before within the EU-funded projects Value-Dx, RECOVER, and PREPARE.


The goal of the audit is to describe patient presentation and management of patients presenting with ARI in primary care. This entails anonymous registration of patient characteristics and data on general practitioner’s management: physical examination, diagnostic testing, prescribing, advice, and referral.

The potential benefits are many, including monitoring of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing, analysis of trends, and between-country comparisons. Importantly, such data are invaluable for informing site selection for clinical trials.

Read more about the primary care audits in this article.


Another objective of the meetings was to provide practical information about participating in the study. Project manager Binitha Paruthickal and data manager Lisanne Vintcent focused on study implementation and the data entry procedure, and answered attendees’ questions. With participation in an audit study like this one being largely an administrative task, simple procedures and clear instructions are key to ensuring smooth running.

GP practices in 18 countries have already signed up to participate in this important study: Armenia, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. Sites in Switzerland are expected to join next year.


POS-ARI-PC is a multi-country, prospective Perpetual Observational Study (POS) among patients presenting in Primary Care (PC) are with acute respiratory tract infections (ARI). The study aims to provide critically important benchmark descriptive data related to patient characteristics, complications, outcome, and risk factors per viral aetiology. In the longer term, it will establish a research-ready infrastructure for enhanced observational studies and clinical trials related to treatment, diagnosis, and prevention of ARI in the primary care setting. This “plug-in” approach makes it possible to set up new studies much quicker, without having to go through the full process of regulatory approvals for each individual research.

The study is being conducted under the ECRAID-Base project which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant Agreement No. 965313).