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Barriers to research in family medicine-interviews with Portuguese family physician researchers.

Family Practice 2024 Februrary 2
BACKGROUND: There is a need for a deeper understanding of the barriers to research in family medicine (FM) and to consider the perceptions and perspectives of professionals. Our study aims to provide a strategic view for research capacity building in FM. We included the perspective of family physician researchers (FPR) on the existing barriers to investigation in this context.

OBJECTIVES: To understand and characterize the barriers to research in FM (personal and structural), from the perspective of Portuguese family physicians who are researchers.

METHODS: A qualitative study, of phenomenological nature, was performed, through the conduction of semi-structured interviews with FPR, from 2019 to 2022. Data analysis and thematic coding were done on MAxQDA®, with inductive and deductive approaches, until data saturation was reached.

RESULTS: A total of 12 family physicians/researchers were interviewed. Seven main themes were identified as barriers to research: time, professional valorization, funding, ethics committees, infrastructure, management/institutions, and participants. Each theme is divided into subthemes that make it possible to assess how a barrier can affect researchers in performing research activities.

CONCLUSION: Our study highlights the identification of 7 main barriers. Structuring them into sub-themes not only improved the organization of our results but also provided robust support for the next phase, namely the application of a survey with the aim of gaining a deeper insight into the repercussions that these barriers to FPR have at a national level. This research is crucial to laying the foundations for a policy document that offers well-defined and tailored recommendations to address the barriers we have uncovered.

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