The developing world has had limited quality research and in Pakistan, research is still in its infancy. We conducted a study to assess the proportion of junior faculty involved in research to highlight their attitude towards research, and identify the factors associated with their research involvement.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in four medical universities/teaching hospitals in Pakistan, representing private and public sectors. A pre-tested, self-administered questionnaire was used to collect information from 176 junior faculty members of studied universities/hospitals. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors related to attitudes and barriers in research among those currently involved in research with those who were not.
Overall, 41.5% of study subjects were currently involved in research. A highly significant factor associated with current research involvement was research training during the post-graduate period (p < 0.001). Other factors associated with current involvement in research were male gender, working in the public sector and previous involvement in research. Overall, a large majority (85.2%) of doctors considered research helpful in their profession and had a positive attitude towards research; nevertheless this positive attitude was more frequently reported by doctors who were currently involved in research compared to those who were not (OR = 4.69; 95% CI = 1.54-14.26). Similarly, a large proportion (83.5%) of doctors considered research difficult to conduct; higher by doctors who were not presently involved in research (OR = 2.74; 95% CI = 1.20-6.22)
Less than half of the study participants were currently involved in research. Research output may improve if identified barriers are rectified. Further studies are recommended in this area.