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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Primary care physicians' attitudes toward research: a cross-sectional descriptive study

Limor Adler, Linoy Gabay, Ilan Yehoshua
Family Practice 2019 November 30
31786591

BACKGROUND: Clinical research in family medicine can improve health outcomes and increase physicians' professionalism, yet is modest compared to other disciplines and receives little funding.

OBJECTIVES: To identify factors that promote and impede engagement of family physicians in research and to compare characteristics of family physicians who do and do not engage in research.

METHODS: During September to October 2018, e-mail questionnaires were sent to 1424 primary care physicians of one health maintenance organization. Respondents were classified as researchers and non-researchers based on their research experience. Responses were analysed using univariate analysis, principal component analysis and multivariate logistic regression.

RESULTS: Of 235 respondents, 48 (20.4%) were categorized as researchers. The respondents generally agreed that research in primary care improves medical services and provides professional prestige; and that workload, bureaucracy and lack of dedicated time hinder engagement in research. Logistic regression analysis identified several factors associated with being a researcher, including advanced research training (P = 0.001, AOR = 8.49, 95% CI [2.49-29.14]), reading more research articles (P = 0.013, AOR = 14.16, 95% CI [1.76-113.5] and self-employment (P = 0.005, AOR = 5.92, 95% CI [1.71-20.44]). In a factor analysis, only 'importance of research' was associated with being a researcher (P = 0.039, AOR = 1.89, 95% CI [1.03-3.48]). Compared to non-researchers, researchers were older (83.3% versus 51.3% aged >40 years, P < 0.001), more often men (60.4% versus 37.4%, P = 0.02) and worked more (41.7% versus 16.7% worked >41 hours weekly, P = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: Providing time dedicated to research, administrative support, research training and education about the importance of research could increase participation in research by primary care physicians.

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