Article Title

Development of a COVID-19 virtual community of practice in New South Wales: A qualitative study


Background and objective: In April 2020, a group of general practice leaders in NSW, Australia, established a COVID-19 virtual community of practice (VCoP) to facilitate rapid transfer and implementation of clinical guidance into practice. This research aimed to gain an understanding of the experience and effectiveness of the VCoP from leaders and members.

Methods: The study used a qualitative participatory action research methodology. A framework analysis was applied to focus group discussion, semi-structured interview and open-text written response data.

Results: Thirty-six participants contributed data. In addition to a positive evaluation of the effectiveness of information transfer and support, a key finding was the importance of the role of the VCoP in professional advocacy. Areas for improvement included defining measures of success.

Discussion: This study has reinforced the potential for VCoPs to aid health crisis responses. In future crisis applications, we recommend purposefully structuring advocacy and success measures at VCoP establishment.


COVID-19, health services research, virtual community of practice, health crisis responses, NSW, Australia

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