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Knowledge, attitudes, and practices of the ethics in medical research among Moroccan interns and resident physicians.

BMC Medical Ethics 2024 March 21
BACKGROUND: In Morocco, medical research ethics training was integrated into the medical curriculum during the 2015 reform. In the same year, a law on medical research ethics was enacted to protect individuals participating in medical research. These improvements, whether in the reform or in the enactment of the law, could positively impact the knowledge of these researchers and, consequently, their attitudes and practices regarding medical research ethics. The main objective of this work is to assess Moroccan physicians' knowledge, attitudes, and practices at the beginning of their careers (interns and residents) in medical research ethics.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: This is a multicenter cross-sectional study conducted in 2021 among Moroccan physicians. Three scores were created and validated to assess physicians' level of knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding research ethics. A descriptive analysis was carried out, followed by a univariate analysis and a multivariate analysis using multivariate binary logistic regression to study the factors associated with the different calculated scores.

RESULTS: A total of 924 physicians were included in the study, with an average age of 27.8 ± 2.2 years. 40.7% had a high medical research ethics knowledge score, and 68.8% had good attitudes. These two scores were positively associated with age and were statistically higher in residents and in physicians who had received training in medical research ethics during their medical curriculum. Only 29,9% of physicians who had participated in research studies had adequate practices with medical research ethics. This score was statistically higher in residents and in physicians who had heard about research ethics.

CONCLUSION: A genuine introduction to ethics in the medical curriculum is essential to enhance researchers' knowledge, attitudes, and practices. This, in turn, can lead to an increase in both the quantity and quality of research conducted in Morocco.

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