PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (877484)

Clipboard (0)
None

Related Articles

1.  Gender differences in health education needs and preferences of Saudis attending Riyadh Military Hospital in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 
Background and Aim:
Health reforms that tend to increase the participation of clients in decision-making requires them to be health-literate; hence, the importance of health education. However, not much research has been done to investigate the differences in health education needs according to demographic characteristics of the clients. The aim of this study was to find out any possible gender differences there may be in health education needs and preferences.
Subjects and Methods:
This cross-sectional study was conducted at Riyadh Military Hospital, Saudi Arabia, on a convenience sample of adult Saudis attending its clinics. Data was collected from April 2009 to May 2010 using a self-administered questionnaire covering demographic data, history and needs of health education, methods, and preferred educator.
Results:
Of the 1300 forms distributed, 977 were returned completed (75.2% response). Most men (74.0%) and women (77.9%) had had health education, but more women reported that it had been helpful (P = 0.014). More men mentioned health education needs relating to primary prevention (P = 0.027), and unhealthy practices (P = 0.003), and considered the different language a barrier (P = 0.002) even after adjustment for age and education. The one-to-one method was the most preferred health education method for men (72.7%) and women (67.9%). More women preferred group health education (P = 0.02) after adjustment for age and education. Significantly more men preferred pharmacists and dietitians as health educators.
Conclusion:
The results point to a few significant differences between men and women regarding their health education needs, barriers, and preferences. These must be taken into consideration when planning health education programs.
doi:10.4103/2230-8229.102317
PMCID: PMC3515956  PMID: 23230383
Gender; health education; needs; preferences
2.  Family physicians’ attitudes toward education in research skills during residency 
Canadian Family Physician  2008;54(3):413-414.
OBJECTIVE
To determine the attitudes of practising Canadian family physicians toward education in research skills during residency, to identify what determines these attitudes, and to investigate the effect of education in research skills on future research activity.
DESIGN
Mailed survey.
SETTING
Primary care.
PARTICIPANTS
Stratified random sample of 247 practising physicians who were members of the College of Family Physicians of Canada.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Physicians’ attitudes toward education in research skills during residency, their perceptions of the value of research in primary care, and their current involvement in research activities.
RESULTS
Overall response rate was 56%. Nearly all respondents agreed that critical appraisal skills are essential to the practice of modern family medicine. Most agreed that it is very important that the evidence base for primary care medicine be developed by family physicians, yet only one-third agreed that research skills ought to receive more emphasis during residency training, and fewer than one-quarter agreed that practising family physicians should have strong research skills. Fewer than half the respondents agreed that a core goal of family medicine residency training should be to promote and develop an active interest in research. While three-quarters agreed that research projects during residency can be formative learning experiences, only about 40% indicated that research projects should be required, and only about 20% considered their own resident research projects to have been highly influential learning experiences. Respondents whose residency programs had research in the curriculum were significantly more likely to have found their research projects to be highly influential learning experiences (P <.05), and those who had successfully completed research projects were less likely to believe that they lacked the necessary skills and expertise to conduct their own research studies. Those who had successfully completed resident research projects participated in postresidency research activity at a significantly higher rate than those who did not complete projects (P <.01).
CONCLUSION
Despite a conviction that research is important in primary care, only a few practising family physicians in our sample believed that strong research skills are important or that education in research skills should receive more emphasis during residency training. Resident research projects are not invariably influential learning experiences, although some evidence indicates that successful completion of a project makes future participation in research more likely.
PMCID: PMC2278359  PMID: 18337536
3.  Facilitating the Recruitment of Minority Ethnic People into Research: Qualitative Case Study of South Asians and Asthma 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(10):e1000148.
Aziz Sheikh and colleagues report on a qualitative study in the US and the UK to investigate ways to bolster recruitment of South Asians into asthma studies, including making inclusion of diverse populations mandatory.
Background
There is international interest in enhancing recruitment of minority ethnic people into research, particularly in disease areas with substantial ethnic inequalities. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis found that UK South Asians are at three times increased risk of hospitalisation for asthma when compared to white Europeans. US asthma trials are far more likely to report enrolling minority ethnic people into studies than those conducted in Europe. We investigated approaches to bolster recruitment of South Asians into UK asthma studies through qualitative research with US and UK researchers, and UK community leaders.
Methods and Findings
Interviews were conducted with 36 researchers (19 UK and 17 US) from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and ten community leaders from a range of ethnic, religious, and linguistic backgrounds, followed by self-completion questionnaires. Interviews were digitally recorded, translated where necessary, and transcribed. The Framework approach was used for analysis. Barriers to ethnic minority participation revolved around five key themes: (i) researchers' own attitudes, which ranged from empathy to antipathy to (in a minority of cases) misgivings about the scientific importance of the question under study; (ii) stereotypes and prejudices about the difficulties in engaging with minority ethnic populations; (iii) the logistical challenges posed by language, cultural differences, and research costs set against the need to demonstrate value for money; (iv) the unique contexts of the two countries; and (v) poorly developed understanding amongst some minority ethnic leaders of what research entails and aims to achieve. US researchers were considerably more positive than their UK counterparts about the importance and logistics of including ethnic minorities, which appeared to a large extent to reflect the longer-term impact of the National Institutes of Health's requirement to include minority ethnic people.
Conclusions
Most researchers and community leaders view the broadening of participation in research as important and are reasonably optimistic about the feasibility of recruiting South Asians into asthma studies provided that the barriers can be overcome. Suggested strategies for improving recruitment in the UK included a considerably improved support structure to provide academics with essential contextual information (e.g., languages of particular importance and contact with local gatekeepers), and the need to ensure that care is taken to engage with the minority ethnic communities in ways that are both culturally appropriate and sustainable; ensuring reciprocal benefits was seen as one key way of avoiding gatekeeper fatigue. Although voluntary measures to encourage researchers may have some impact, greater impact might be achieved if UK funding bodies followed the lead of the US National Institutes of Health requiring recruitment of ethnic minorities. Such a move is, however, likely in the short- to medium-term, to prove unpopular with many UK academics because of the added “hassle” factor in engaging with more diverse populations than many have hitherto been accustomed to.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
In an ideal world, everyone would have the same access to health care and the same health outcomes (responses to health interventions). However, health inequalities—gaps in health care and in health between different parts of the population—exist in many countries. In particular, people belonging to ethnic minorities in the UK, the US, and elsewhere have poorer health outcomes for several conditions than people belonging to the ethnic majority (ethnicity is defined by social characteristics such as cultural tradition or national origin). For example, in the UK, people whose ancestors came from the Indian subcontinent (also known as South Asians and comprising in the main of people of Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi origin) are three times as likely to be admitted to hospital for asthma as white Europeans. The reasons underpinning ethnic health inequalities are complex. Some inequalities may reflect intrinsic differences between groups of people—some ethnic minorities may inherit genes that alter their susceptibility to a specific disease. Other ethnic health inequalities may arise because of differences in socioeconomic status or because different cultural traditions affect the uptake of health care services.
Why Was This Study Done?
Minority ethnic groups are often under-represented in health research, which could limit the generalizability of research findings. That is, an asthma treatment that works well in a trial where all the participants are white Europeans might not be suitable for South Asians. Clinicians might nevertheless use the treatment in all their patients irrespective of their ethnicity and thus inadvertently increase ethnic health inequality. So, how can ethnic minorities be encouraged to enroll into research studies? In this qualitative study, the investigators try to answer this question by talking to US and UK asthma researchers and UK community leaders about how they feel about enrolling ethnic minorities into research studies. The investigators chose to compare the feelings of US and UK asthma researchers because minority ethnic people are more likely to enroll into US asthma studies than into UK studies, possibly because the US National Institute of Health's (NIH) Revitalization Act 1993 mandates that all NIH-funded clinical research must include people from ethnic minority groups; there is no similar mandatory policy in the UK.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The investigators interviewed 16 UK and 17 US asthma researchers and three UK social researchers with experience of working with ethnic minorities. They also interviewed ten community leaders from diverse ethnic, religious and linguistic backgrounds. They then analyzed the interviews using the “Framework” approach, an analytical method in which qualitative data are classified and organized according to key themes and then interpreted. By comparing the data from the UK and US researchers, the investigators identified several barriers to ethnic minority participation in health research including: the attitudes of researchers towards the scientific importance of recruiting ethnic minority people into health research studies; prejudices about the difficulties of including ethnic minorities in health research; and the logistical challenges posed by language and cultural differences. In general, the US researchers were more positive than their UK counterparts about the importance and logistics of including ethnic minorities in health research. Finally, the investigators found that some community leaders had a poor understanding of what research entails and about its aims.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings reveal a large gap between US and UK researchers in terms of policy, attitudes, practices, and experiences in relation to including ethnic minorities in asthma research. However, they also suggest that most UK researchers and community leaders believe that it is both important and feasible to increase the participation of South Asians in asthma studies. Although some of these findings may have been affected by the study participants sometimes feeling obliged to give “politically correct” answers, these findings are likely to be generalizable to other diseases and to other parts of Europe. Given their findings, the researchers warn that a voluntary code of practice that encourages the recruitment of ethnic minority people into health research studies is unlikely to be successful. Instead, they suggest, the best way to increase the representation of ethnic minority people in health research in the UK might be to follow the US lead and introduce a policy that requires their inclusion in such research.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000148.
Families USA, a US nonprofit organization that campaigns for high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans, has information about many aspects of minority health in the US, including an interactive game about minority health issues
The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has a section on minority health
The UK Department of Health provides information on health inequalities and a recent report on the experiences of patients in Black and minority ethnic groups
The UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology also has a short article on ethnicity and health
Information on the NIH Revitalization Act 1993 is available
NHS Evidences Ethnicity and Health has a variety of policy, clinical, and research resources on ethnicity and health
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000148
PMCID: PMC2752116  PMID: 19823568
4.  Attitude to blood donation in Saudi Arabia 
Background and Objectives:
The blood donor system in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia depends on a combination of voluntary and involuntary donors. The aim of this study is to explore the attitudes, beliefs and motivations of Saudis toward blood donation.
Materials and Methods:
The study was conducted at the Donor Centers at King Khalid University Hospital (KKUH) Blood Bank and King Saud University Students Health Center, Riyadh. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to donors (n = 517) and nondonors (n = 316), between February and June 2008. All were males.
Results:
Ninety-nine percent of the respondents showed positive attitude toward blood donations and its importance for patients care, and object the importation of blood from abroad. Blood donors: Ninety-one percent agree that that blood donation is a religious obligation, 91% think no compensation should be given, 63% will accept a token gift, 34% do not object to donating six times/year and 67% did not mind coming themselves to the donor center to give blood. Nondonors: Forty-six percent were not asked to give blood and those who were asked mentioned fear (5%) and lack of time (16%) as their main deterrents. Reasons for rejection as donors include underweight and age (71%) and health reasons (19%). Seventy-five percent objected to money compensation but 69% will accept token gifts and 92% will donate if a relative/friend needs blood.
Conclusion:
These results reflect an encouraging strong positive attitude toward blood donation. Further future planning with emphasis on educational/publicity programs and careful organization of donor recruitment campaigns could see the dream of total voluntary nonremunerated blood donations should not take long to be true.
doi:10.4103/0973-6247.83235
PMCID: PMC3159239  PMID: 21897588
Attitude to blood donation; donor compensation; donor motivation; Saudi blood donors
5.  ATTITUDE, PRACTICE AND NEEDS FOR CONTINUING MEDICAL EDUCATION AMONG PRIMARY HEALTH CARE DOCTORS IN ASIR REGION 
Objectives:
Assess the attitude and practice of Primary Health Care (PHC) physicians in Aseer region, their educational needs and recommendations to establish a continuing medical education program (CMEP) to address these needs.
Methods:
This study was carried out during the first half of 1999 in Aseer region, Saudi Arabia. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to all PHC physicians in Aseer region. The questionnaire explored socio-demographic characteristics, scientific background, the attitude towards CME, the current method for medical updating, the barriers to CME, and the topics requested for a future CMEP.
Results:
There were a total of 383 PHC physicians in Aseer region, 86% of whom responded to this questionnaire. Of these 76.1% were Arabs, 91.2% were married, 26.3% had post-graduate qualifications and 68.6% had had no experience in the PHC field prior to arriving in Saudi Arabia. Most respondents showed a positive attitude toward CME. Nearly two-thirds (64.4%) had adequate time for CME, 86.7% allocated time for CME, and 64.4% were ready to participate as tutors in CMEP. Suggestions were given by 49.6% for establishing a CMEP in the region. The most popular methods practiced for CME were reading medical journals (79.8%) and medical textbooks (53.8%), and attending training courses (39.6%). The medical subjects that were identified as needed were emergency medicine (24.5%), pediatrics (20.8%), internal medicine (20%), and obstetrics/ gynecology (18.7%). However, 75.2% also indicated that computer literacy was a practice requirement, 57.7 and 54.1% thought designing diabetes and hypertension management programs were vital, and 41.7% said learning how to design a PHCC action plan was essential.
Conclusion:
PHC physicians in Aseer region had a positive attitude towards selective CMEP. They needed CMEP but felt its content should be in line with their practice needs.
PMCID: PMC3439742  PMID: 23008649
Attitude assessment; practice needs; CME; primary care physicians; Aseer region
6.  Routine HIV Testing in Botswana: A Population-Based Study on Attitudes, Practices, and Human Rights Concerns 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(7):e261.
Background
The Botswana government recently implemented a policy of routine or “opt-out” HIV testing in response to the high prevalence of HIV infection, estimated at 37% of adults.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a cross-sectional, population-based study of 1,268 adults from five districts in Botswana to assess knowledge of and attitudes toward routine testing, correlates of HIV testing, and barriers and facilitators to testing, 11 months after the introduction of this policy. Most participants (81%) reported being extremely or very much in favor of routine testing. The majority believed that this policy would decrease barriers to testing (89%), HIV-related stigma (60%), and violence toward women (55%), and would increase access to antiretroviral treatment (93%). At the same time, 43% of participants believed that routine testing would lead people to avoid going to the doctor for fear of testing, and 14% believed that this policy could increase gender-based violence related to testing. The prevalence of self-reported HIV testing was 48%. Adjusted correlates of testing included female gender (AOR = 1.5, 95% CI = 1.1–1.9), higher education (AOR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.5–2.7), more frequent healthcare visits (AOR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.3–2.7), perceived access to HIV testing (AOR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.1–2.5), and inconsistent condom use (AOR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.2–2.1). Individuals with stigmatizing attitudes toward people living with HIV and AIDS were less likely to have been tested for HIV/AIDS (AOR = 0.7, 95% CI = 0.5–0.9) or to have heard of routine testing (AOR = 0.59, 95% CI = 0.45–0.76). While experiences with voluntary and routine testing overall were positive, 68% felt that they could not refuse the HIV test. Key barriers to testing included fear of learning one's status (49%), lack of perceived HIV risk (43%), and fear of having to change sexual practices with a positive HIV test (33%).
Conclusions
Routine testing appears to be widely supported and may reduce barriers to testing in Botswana. As routine testing is adopted elsewhere, measures should be implemented to assure true informed consent and human rights safeguards, including protection from HIV-related discrimination and protection of women against partner violence related to testing.
Editors' Summary
Background.
In 2005, there were 5 million new infections with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and the disease it causes—acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)—killed three million people. Despite the increased availability of drugs that can fight HIV (antiretrovirals), the AIDS epidemic continues to grow, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. To halt it, more needs to be done to prevent the spread of HIV. Education about safe sex can help—HIV is most commonly spread through unprotected sex with an infected partner—but increasing HIV testing is of paramount importance. Unfortunately, the uptake of voluntary counseling and testing in sub-Saharan Africa is worryingly low. Fear of being stigmatized—socially disgraced—and discriminated against, fears about the positive result itself, and worries about access to antiretroviral drugs are all putting people off being tested.
Why Was This Study Done?
In Botswana, one in three adults is infected with HIV. Since 2002, antiretroviral drugs have been freely available but enrollment in the Botswana National Treatment Program during its first two years was slow, in part due to inadequate uptake of voluntary HIV testing. Consequently, in early 2004, the government introduced a policy of routine HIV testing in which all patients are tested for HIV when they visit their doctor unless they opt out. A major aim of this approach to HIV testing, which was formally recommended in June 2004 by UNAIDS and the World Health Organization, is to increase uptake of HIV testing and treatment, and to reduce HIV-related stigma by treating the HIV test like any other routine medical procedure. However, there are fears that the policy could back-fire—people might not visit their doctors, for example, because they are afraid of being tested and think that they will not be able to refuse the test. In this study, the researchers investigated knowledge of and attitudes to routine testing in Botswana to understand better the consequences of a routine testing policy.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers interviewed adults throughout Botswana about their knowledge of and attitudes to routine HIV testing 11 months after introduction of the policy. Only half of the participants had heard of routine testing before being interviewed but nearly all were in favor of routine testing. More than half thought it would reduce HIV-related stigma and the violence toward women that is associated with an HIV-positive status. However, almost half believed that routine testing might prevent people from going to the doctor because of fear of testing and a few thought the policy would increase violence against women. Nearly half of the interviewees had had an HIV test and the researchers found, for example, that women were more likely to have been tested than men and that people with stigmatizing attitudes toward people living with HIV and AIDS were less likely to be tested. Fear of learning one's HIV status, lack of perceived risk, and fear of having to change sexual practices if positive all stopped people taking the test. Finally, although experiences with testing were generally positive, approximately two-thirds of interviewees who had been tested felt that it would have been difficult to refuse the test.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These results show that there is widespread support for routine HIV testing in Botswana, a finding supported by recent increases in treatment uptake. Routine testing, write the researchers, holds significant promise for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS in Botswana and elsewhere. In particular, increasing the number of people tested for HIV may reduce HIV-related stigma, which should further increase testing and hopefully slow the spread of HIV. But the results of this study also highlight some areas of concern. Whenever HIV testing policies are implemented, human rights must be protected by ensuring that patients have all the information necessary to make an informed and free decision about being tested, by providing protection for women against violence related to HIV status, and by ensuring total confidentiality. Careful monitoring of Botswana's program and similar programs will be needed to ensure that these human rights are fully met, conclude the researchers.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030261
• US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases factsheet on HIV infection and AIDS
• US Department of Health and Human Services information on AIDS
• US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information on HIV/AIDS
• UNAIDS and World Health Organization 2004 policy statement on HIV testing
• AVERT, a UK-based charity, provides information about HIV and AIDS in Botswana
A cross-sectional, population-based study of 1,268 adults from five districts in Botswana showed that routine HIV testing appears to be widely supported and may reduce barriers to HIV testing.
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030261
PMCID: PMC1502152  PMID: 16834458
7.  PATIENTS’ KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS HEALTH EDUCATION: IMPLICATIONS FOR PRIMARY HEALTH CARE SERVICES IN SAUDI ARABIA 
Objectives:
To assess health educational activities in primary health care centers in Riyadh City.
Methods:
The data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire directed at adult patients who attended primary health care centers from February – April 2006, in Riyadh City. Out of the 750 patients who were selected randomly, 569 (75.9%) successfully completed the questionnaire. The data collected were on a set of variables including socio-demographic characteristics, health-related variables, source of health knowledge and patients’ attitudes towards a number of health-related aspects. Data were presented and analyzed in a descriptive fashion.
Results:
Only 20% of PHC patients had received health education in the past twelve months. The majority of respondents identified TV and friends/relatives as the main sources of their health education. A considerable percentage of the patients with chronic conditions lacked knowledge about their illnesses. The results indicate that the deficiency in knowledge was the result of some of the socio-demographic characteristics of respondents.
Conclusion:
There is an urgent need to review and evaluate health education programs conducted in PHC centers. Special emphasis should be placed on health education activities for those living with chronic health conditions.
PMCID: PMC3377017  PMID: 23012186
Health education; Primary Health Care; Saudi Arabia.
8.  Primary Care Research Team Assessment (PCRTA): development and evaluation. 
BACKGROUND: Since the early 1990s the United Kingdom (UK) Department of Health has explicitly promoted a research and development (R&D) strategy for the National Health Service (NHS). General practitioners (GPs) and other members of the primary care team are in a unique position to undertake research activity that will complement and inform the research undertaken by basic scientists and hospital-based colleagues and lead directly to a better evidence base for decision making by primary care professionals. Opportunities to engage in R&D in primary care are growing and the scope for those wishing to become involved is finally widening. Infrastructure funding for research-active practices and the establishment of a range of support networks have helped to improve the research capacity and blur some of the boundaries between academic departments and clinical practice. This is leading to a supportive environment for primary care research. There is thus a need to develop and validate nationally accepted quality standards and accreditation of performance to ensure that funders, collaborators and primary care professionals can deliver high quality primary care research. Several strategies have been described in national policy documents in order to achieve an improvement in teaching and clinical care, as well as enhancing research capacity in primary care. The development of both research practices and primary care research networks has been recognised as having an important contribution to make in enabling health professionals to devote more protected time to undertake research methods training and to undertake research in a service setting. The recognition and development of primary care research has also brought with it an emphasis on quality and standards, including an approach to the new research governance framework. PRIMARY CARE RESEARCH TEAM ASSESSMENT: In 1998, the NHS Executive South and West, and later the London Research and Development Directorate, provided funding for a pilot project based at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to develop a scheme to accredit UK general practices undertaking primary care R&D. The pilot began with initial consultation on the development of the process, as well as the standards and criteria for assessment. The resulting assessment schedule allowed for assessment at one of two levels: Collaborative Research Practice (Level I), with little direct experience of gaining project or infrastructure funding Established Research Practice (Level II), with more experience of research funding and activity and a sound infrastructure to allow for growth in capacity. The process for assessment of practices involved the assessment of written documentation, followed by a half-day assessment visit by a multidisciplinary team of three assessors. IMPLEMENTATION--THE PILOT PROJECT: Pilot practices were sampled in two regions. Firstly, in the NHS Executive South West Region, where over 150 practices expressed an interest in participating. From these a purposive sample of 21 practices was selected, providing a range of research and service activity. A further seven practices were identified and included within the project through the East London and Essex Network of Researchers (ELENoR). Many in this latter group received funding and administrative support and advice from ELENoR in order to prepare written submissions for assessment. Some sample loss was encountered within the pilot project, which was attributable largely to conflicting demands on participants' time. Indeed, the preparation of written submissions within the South West coincided with the introduction of primary care groups (PCGs) in April 1999, which several practices cited as having a major impact on their participation in the pilot project. A final sample of 15 practices (nine in the South West and six through ELENoR) underwent assessment through the pilot project. EVALUATION: A formal evaluation of the Primary Care Research Team Assessment (PCRTA) pilot was undertaken by an independent researcher (FM). This was supplemented with feedback from the assessment team members. The qualitative aspect of the evaluation, which included face-to-face and telephone interviews with assessors, lead researchers and other practice staff within the pilot research practices, as well as members of the project management group, demonstrated a positive view of the pilot scheme. Several key areas were identified in relation to particular strengths of research practices and areas for development including: Strengths Level II practices were found to have a strong primary care team ethos in research. Level II practices tended to have a greater degree of strategic thinking in relation to research. Development areas Level I practices were found to lack a clear and explicit research strategy. Practices at both levels had scope to develop their communication processes for dissemination of research and also for patient involvement. Practices at both levels needed mechanisms for supporting professional development in research methodology. The evaluation demonstrated that practices felt that they had gained from their participation and assessors felt that the scheme had worked well. Some specific issues were raised by different respondents within the qualitative evaluation relating to consistency of interpretation of standards and also the possible overlap of the assessment scheme with other RCGP quality initiatives. NATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PRIMARY CARE RESEARCH TEAM ASSESSMENT: The pilot project has been very successful and recommendations have been made to progress to a UK scheme. Management and review of the scheme will remain largely the same, with a few changes focusing on the assessment process and support for practices entering the scheme. Specific changes include: development of the support and mentoring role of the primary care research networks increased peer and external support and mentoring for research practices undergoing assessment development of assessor training in line with other schemes within the RCGP Assessment Network work to ensure consistency across RCGP accreditation schemes in relation to key criteria, thereby facilitating comparable assessment processes refinement of the definition of the two groups, with Level I practices referred to as Collaborators and Level II practices as Investigator-Led. The project has continued to generate much enthusiasm and support and continues to reflect current policy. Indeed, recent developments include the proposed new funding arrangements for primary care R&D, which refer to the RCGP assessment scheme and recognise it as a key component in the future R&D agenda. The assessment scheme will help primary care trusts (PCTs) and individual practices to prepare and demonstrate their approach to research governance in a systematic way. It will also provide a more explicit avenue for primary care trusts to explore local service and development priorities identified within health improvement programmes and the research priorities set nationally for the NHS.
PMCID: PMC2560501  PMID: 12049028
9.  Eurocan plus report: feasibility study for coordination of national cancer research activities 
Summary
The EUROCAN+PLUS Project, called for by the European Parliament, was launched in October 2005 as a feasibility study for coordination of national cancer research activities in Europe. Over the course of the next two years, the Project process organized over 60 large meetings and countless smaller meetings that gathered in total over a thousand people, the largest Europe–wide consultation ever conducted in the field of cancer research.
Despite a strong tradition in biomedical science in Europe, fragmentation and lack of sustainability remain formidable challenges for implementing innovative cancer research and cancer care improvement. There is an enormous duplication of research effort in the Member States, which wastes time, wastes money and severely limits the total intellectual concentration on the wide cancer problem. There is a striking lack of communication between some of the biggest actors on the European scene, and there are palpable tensions between funders and those researchers seeking funds.
It is essential to include the patients’ voice in the establishment of priority areas in cancer research at the present time. The necessity to have dialogue between funders and scientists to establish the best mechanisms to meet the needs of the entire community is evident. A top priority should be the development of translational research (in its widest form), leading to the development of effective and innovative cancer treatments and preventive strategies. Translational research ranges from bench–to–bedside innovative cancer therapies and extends to include bringing about changes in population behaviours when a risk factor is established.
The EUROCAN+PLUS Project recommends the creation of a small, permanent and independent European Cancer Initiative (ECI). This should be a model structure and was widely supported at both General Assemblies of the project. The ECI should assume responsibility for stimulating innovative cancer research and facilitating processes, becoming the common voice of the cancer research community and serving as an interface between the cancer research community and European citizens, patients’ organizations, European institutions, Member States, industry and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), putting into practice solutions aimed at alleviating barriers to collaboration and coordination of cancer research activities in the European Union, and dealing with legal and regulatory issues. The development of an effective ECI will require time, but this entity should be established immediately. As an initial step, coordination efforts should be directed towards the creation of a platform on translational research that could encompass (1) coordination between basic, clinical and epidemiological research; (2) formal agreements of co–operation between comprehensive cancer centres and basic research laboratories throughout Europe and (3) networking between funding bodies at the European level.
The European Parliament and its instruments have had a major influence in cancer control in Europe, notably in tobacco control and in the implementation of effective population–based screening. To make further progress there is a need for novelty and innovation in cancer research and prevention in Europe, and having a platform such as the ECI, where those involved in all aspects of cancer research can meet, discuss and interact, is a decisive development for Europe.
Executive Summary
Cancer is one of the biggest public health crises facing Europe in the 21st century—one for which Europe is currently not prepared nor preparing itself. Cancer is a major cause of death in Europe with two million casualties and three million new cases diagnosed annually, and the situation is set to worsen as the population ages.
These facts led the European Parliament, through the Research Directorate-General of the European Commission, to call for initiatives for better coordination of cancer research efforts in the European Union. The EUROCAN+PLUS Project was launched in October 2005 as a feasibility study for coordination of national cancer research activities. Over the course of the next two years, the Project process organized over 60 large meetings and countless smaller meetings that gathered in total over a thousand people. In this respect, the Project became the largest Europe-wide consultation ever conducted in the field of cancer research, implicating researchers, cancer centres and hospitals, administrators, healthcare professionals, funding agencies, industry, patients’ organizations and patients.
The Project first identified barriers impeding research and collaboration in research in Europe. Despite a strong tradition in biomedical science in Europe, fragmentation and lack of sustainability remain the formidable challenges for implementing innovative cancer research and cancer care improvement. There is an enormous duplication of research effort in the Member States, which wastes time, wastes money and severely limits the total intellectual concentration on the wide cancer problem. There is a striking lack of communication between some of the biggest actors on the European scene, and there are palpable tensions between funders and those researchers seeking funds.
In addition, there is a shortage of leadership, a multiplicity of institutions each focusing on its own agenda, sub–optimal contact with industry, inadequate training, non–existent career paths, low personnel mobility in research especially among clinicians and inefficient funding—all conspiring against efficient collaboration in cancer care and research. European cancer research today does not have a functional translational research continuum, that is the process that exploits biomedical research innovations and converts them into prevention methods, diagnostic tools and therapies. Moreover, epidemiological research is not integrated with other types of cancer research, and the implementation of the European Directives on Clinical Trials 1 and on Personal Data Protection 2 has further slowed the innovation process in Europe. Furthermore, large inequalities in health and research exist between the EU–15 and the New Member States.
The picture is not entirely bleak, however, as the European cancer research scene presents several strengths, such as excellent basic research and clinical research and innovative etiological research that should be better exploited.
When considering recommendations, several priority dimensions had to be retained. It is essential that proposals include actions and recommendations that can benefit all Member States of the European Union and not just States with the elite centres. It is also essential to have a broader patient orientation to help provide the knowledge to establish cancer control possibilities when we exhaust what can be achieved by the implementation of current knowledge. It is vital that the actions proposed can contribute to the Lisbon Strategy to make Europe more innovative and competitive in (cancer) research.
The Project participants identified six areas for which consensus solutions should be implemented in order to obtain better coordination of cancer research activities. The required solutions are as follows. The proactive management of innovation, detection, facilitation of collaborations and maintenance of healthy competition within the European cancer research community.The establishment of an exchange portal of information for health professionals, patients and policy makers.The provision of guidance for translational and clinical research including the establishment of a translational research platform involving comprehensive cancer centres and cancer research centres.The coordination of calls and financial management of cancer research projects.The construction of a ‘one–stop shop’ as a contact interface between the industry, small and medium enterprises, scientists and other stakeholders.The support of greater involvement of healthcare professionals in translational research and multidisciplinary training.
In the course of the EUROCAN+PLUS consultative process, several key collaborative projects emerged between the various groups and institutes engaged in the consultation. There was a collaboration network established with Europe’s leading Comprehensive Cancer Centres; funding was awarded for a closer collaboration of Owners of Cancer Registries in Europe (EUROCOURSE); there was funding received from FP7 for an extensive network of leading Biological Resource Centres in Europe (BBMRI); a Working Group identified the special needs of Central, Eastern and South–eastern Europe and proposed a remedy (‘Warsaw Declaration’), and the concept of developing a one–stop shop for dealing with academia and industry including the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) was discussed in detail.
Several other dimensions currently lacking were identified. There is an absolute necessity to include the patients’ voice in the establishment of priority areas in cancer research at the present time. It was a salutary lesson when it was recognized that all that is known about the quality of life of the cancer patient comes from the experience of a tiny proportion of cancer patients included in a few clinical trials. The necessity to have dialogue between funders and scientists to establish the best mechanisms to meet the needs of the entire community was evident. A top priority should be the development of translational research (in its widest form) and the development of effective and innovative cancer treatments and preventative strategies in the European Union. Translational research ranges from bench-to-bedside innovative cancer therapies and extends to include bringing about changes in population behaviours when a risk factor is established.
Having taken note of the barriers and the solutions and having examined relevant examples of existing European organizations in the field, it was agreed during the General Assembly of 19 November 2007 that the EUROCAN+PLUS Project had to recommend the creation of a small, permanent and neutral ECI. This should be a model structure and was widely supported at both General Assemblies of the project. The proposal is based on the successful model of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), and its principal aims include providing a forum where researchers from all backgrounds and from all countries can meet with members of other specialities including patients, nurses, clinicians, funders and scientific administrators to develop priority programmes to make Europe more competitive in research and more focused on the cancer patient.
The ECI should assume responsibility for: stimulating innovative cancer research and facilitating processes;becoming the common voice of the cancer research community and serving as an interface between the cancer research community and European citizens, patients’ and organizations;European institutions, Member States, industry and small and medium enterprises;putting into practice the aforementioned solutions aimed at alleviating barriers and coordinating cancer research activities in the EU;dealing with legal and regulatory issues.
Solutions implemented through the ECI will lead to better coordination and collaboration throughout Europe, more efficient use of resources, an increase in Europe’s attractiveness to the biomedical industry and better quality of cancer research and education of health professionals.
The Project considered that European legal instruments currently available were inadequate for addressing many aspects of the barriers identified and for the implementation of effective, lasting solutions. Therefore, the legal environment that could shelter an idea like the ECI remains to be defined but should be done so as a priority. In this context, the initiative of the European Commission for a new legal entity for research infrastructure might be a step in this direction. The development of an effective ECI will require time, but this should be established immediately. As an initial step, coordination efforts should be directed towards the creation of a platform on translational research that could encompass: (1) coordination between basic, clinical and epidemiological research; (2) formal agreements of co-operation between comprehensive cancer centres and basic research laboratories throughout Europe; (3) networking between funding bodies at the European level. Another topic deserving immediate attention is the creation of a European database on cancer research projects and cancer research facilities.
Despite enormous progress in cancer control in Europe during the past two decades, there was an increase of 300,000 in the number of new cases of cancer diagnosed between 2004 and 2006. The European Parliament and its instruments have had a major influence in cancer control, notably in tobacco control and in the implementation of effective population–based screening. To make further progress there is a need for novelty and innovation in cancer research and prevention in Europe, and having a platform such as the ECI, where those involved in all aspects of cancer research can meet, discuss and interact, is a decisive development for Europe.
doi:10.3332/ecancer.2011.84
PMCID: PMC3234055  PMID: 22274749
10.  Psychosocial Factors That Shape Patient and Carer Experiences of Dementia Diagnosis and Treatment: A Systematic Review of Qualitative Studies 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(10):e1001331.
A systematic review of qualitative studies conducted by Frances Bunn and colleagues identifies and describes the experiences of patients and caregivers on receiving and adapting to a diagnosis of dementia.
Background
Early diagnosis and intervention for people with dementia is increasingly considered a priority, but practitioners are concerned with the effects of earlier diagnosis and interventions on patients and caregivers. This systematic review evaluates the qualitative evidence about how people accommodate and adapt to the diagnosis of dementia and its immediate consequences, to guide practice.
Methods and Findings
We systematically reviewed qualitative studies exploring experiences of community-dwelling individuals with dementia, and their carers, around diagnosis and the transition to becoming a person with dementia. We searched PubMed, PsychINFO, Embase, CINAHL, and the British Nursing Index (all searched in May 2010 with no date restrictions; PubMed search updated in February 2012), checked reference lists, and undertook citation searches in PubMed and Google Scholar (ongoing to September 2011). We used thematic synthesis to identify key themes, commonalities, barriers to earlier diagnosis, and support identified as helpful. We identified 126 papers reporting 102 studies including a total of 3,095 participants. Three overarching themes emerged from our analysis: (1) pathways through diagnosis, including its impact on identity, roles, and relationships; (2) resolving conflicts to accommodate a diagnosis, including the acceptability of support, focusing on the present or the future, and the use or avoidance of knowledge; and (3) strategies and support to minimise the impact of dementia. Consistent barriers to diagnosis include stigma, normalisation of symptoms, and lack of knowledge. Studies report a lack of specialist support particularly post-diagnosis.
Conclusions
There is an extensive body of qualitative literature on the experiences of community-dwelling individuals with dementia on receiving and adapting to a diagnosis of dementia. We present a thematic analysis that could be useful to professionals working with people with dementia. We suggest that research emphasis should shift towards the development and evaluation of interventions, particularly those providing support after diagnosis.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
Editors' Summary
Background
Dementia is a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer disease is the most common type of dementia. People with dementia usually have problems with two or more cognitive functions—thinking, language, memory, understanding, and judgment. Dementia is rare before the age of 65, but about a quarter of people over 85 have dementia. Because more people live longer these days, the number of patients with dementia is increasing. It is estimated that today between 40 and 50 million people live with dementia worldwide. By 2050, this number is expected to triple.
One way to study what dementia means to patients and their carers (most often spouses or other family members) is through qualitative research. Qualitative research aims to develop an in-depth understanding of individuals' experiences and behavior, as well as the reasons for their feelings and actions. In qualitative studies, researchers interview patients, their families, and doctors. When the studies are published, they usually contain direct quotations from interviews as well as summaries by the scientists who designed the interviews and analyzed the responses.
Why Was This Study Done?
This study was done to better understand the experiences and attitudes of patients and their carers surrounding dementia diagnosis. It focused on patients who lived and were cared for within the community (as opposed to people living in senior care facilities or other institutions). Most cases of dementia are progressive, meaning symptoms get worse over time. Diagnosis often happens at an advanced stage of the disease, and some patients never receive a formal diagnosis. This could have many possible reasons, including unawareness or denial of symptoms by patients and people close to them. The study was also trying to understand barriers to early diagnosis and what type of support is useful for newly diagnosed patients and carers.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers conducted a systematic search for published qualitative research studies that reported on the experience, beliefs, feelings, and attitudes surrounding dementia diagnosis. They identified and reviewed 102 such studies. Among the quotations and summaries of the individual studies, they looked for prominent and recurring themes. They also compared and contrasted the respective experiences of patients and carers.
Overall, they found that the complexity and variety of responses to a diagnosis of dementia means that making the diagnosis and conveying it to patients and carers is challenging. Negative connotations associated with dementia, inconsistent symptoms, and not knowing enough about the signs and symptoms were commonly reported barriers to early dementia diagnosis. It was often the carer who initiated the search for help from a doctor, and among patients, willingness and readiness to receive a diagnosis varied. Being told one had dementia had a big impact on a patient's identity and often caused feelings of loss, anger, fear, and frustration. Spouses had to adjust to increasingly unequal relationships and the transition to a role as carer. The strain associated with this often caused health problems in the carers as well. On the other hand, studies examining the experience of couples often reported that they found ways to continue working together as a team.
Adjusting to a dementia diagnosis is a complex process. Initially, most patients and carers experienced conflicts, for example, between autonomy and safety, between recognizing the need for help but reluctance to accept it, or between living in the present and dealing with anxiety about and preparing for the future. As these were resolved and as the disease progressed, the attitudes of patients and carers towards dementia often became more balanced and accepting. Many patients and their families adopted strategies to cope with the impact of dementia on their lives in order to manage the disease and maintain some sort of normal life. These included practical strategies involving reminders, social strategies such as relying on family support, and emotional strategies such as using humor. At some point many patients and carers reported that they were able to adopt positive mindsets and incorporate dementia in their lives.
The studies also pointed to an urgent need for support from outside the family, both right after diagnosis and subsequently. General practitioners and family physicians have important roles in helping patients and carers to get access to information, social and psychological support, and community care. The need for information was reported to be ongoing and varied, and meeting it required a variety of sources and formats. Key needs for patients and carers mentioned in the studies include information on financial aids and entitlements early on, and continued access to supportive professionals and specialists.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Qualitative studies to date on how patients and carers respond to a diagnosis of dementia provide a fairly detailed picture of their experiences. The summary provided here should help professionals to understand better the challenges patients and carers face around the time of diagnosis as well as their immediate and evolving needs. The results also suggest that future research should focus on the development and evaluation of ways to meet those needs.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001331.
Wikipedia has pages on dementia and qualitative research (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit)
Alzheimer Europe, an umbrella organization of 34 Alzheimer associations from 30 countries across Europe, has a page on the different approaches to research
The UK Department of Health has pages on dementia, including guidelines for carers of people with dementia
MedlinePlus also has information about dementia
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001331
PMCID: PMC3484131  PMID: 23118618
11.  Health systems research in Lao PDR: capacity development for getting research into policy and practice 
Background
Lao PDR is a low-income country with an urgent need for evidence-informed policymaking in the healthcare sector. During the last decade a number of Health Systems Research (HSR) projects have been conducted in order to meet this need. However, although knowledge about research is increasing among policymakers, the use of research in policymaking is still limited.
Methods
This article investigates the relationship between research and policymaking from the perspective of those participating in HSR projects. The study is based on 28 interviews, two group discussions and the responses from 56 questionnaires.
Results
The interviewees and questionnaire respondents were aware of the barriers to getting research into policy and practice. But while some were optimistic, claiming that there had been a change of attitudes among policymakers in the last two years, others were more pessimistic and did not expect any real changes until years from now. The major barriers to feeding research results into policy and practice included an inability to influence the policy process and to get policymakers and practitioners interested in research results. Another barrier was the lack of continuous capacity development and high-quality research, both of which are related to funding and international support. Many of the interviewees and questionnaire respondents also pointed out that communication between those conducting research and policymakers must be improved.
Conclusion
The results show that in the case of Lao PDR, research capacity development is at a crucial stage for implementing research into policy and practice. If research is going to make a consistent impact on policymaking in the Lao health care sector, the attitude towards research will need to be changed in order to get research prioritised, both among those conducting research, and among policymakers and practitioners. Our findings indicate that there is awareness about the barriers in this process.
doi:10.1186/1478-4505-5-11
PMCID: PMC2098768  PMID: 17939854
12.  Awareness about medical research among resident doctors in a tertiary care hospital: A cross-sectional survey 
Context:
Every medical practitioner should strive to contribute to the generation of evidence by conducting research. For carrying out research, adequate knowledge, practical skills, and development of the right attitude are crucial. A literature review shows that data regarding knowledge, attitude, and practices toward medical research, among resident doctors in India, is lacking.
Aims:
This study was conducted to assess research-related knowledge, attitude, and practices among resident doctors.
Settings and Design:
A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a pretested, structured, and pre-validated questionnaire.
Materials and Methods:
With approval of the Institutional Ethics Committee and a verbal consent, a cross-sectional survey among 100 resident doctors pursuing their second and third years in the MD and MS courses was conducted using a structured and pre-validated questionnaire.
Statistical Analysis:
Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the results.
Results:
The concept of research hypothesis was known to 58% of the residents. Ninety-eight percent of the residents were aware of the procedure to obtain informed consent. Seventy-six percent agreed that research training should be mandatory. Although 88% of the residents were interested in conducting research in future, 50% had participated in research other than a dissertation project, 28% had made scientific presentations, and only 4% had publications. Lack of time (74%), lack of research curriculum (42%), and inadequate facilities (38%) were stated as major obstacles for pursuing research.
Conclusions:
Although resident doctors demonstrated a fairly good knowledge and positive attitude toward research, it did not translate into practice for most of them. There is a need to improve the existing medical education system to foster research culture among resident doctors
doi:10.4103/2229-3485.96446
PMCID: PMC3371549  PMID: 22701821
Attitude; knowledge; postgraduate student; practice; research; residency curriculum
13.  A Population-Based Evaluation of a Publicly Funded, School-Based HPV Vaccine Program in British Columbia, Canada: Parental Factors Associated with HPV Vaccine Receipt 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(5):e1000270.
Analysis of a telephone survey by Gina Ogilvie and colleagues identifies the parental factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake in a school-based program in Canada.
Background
Information on factors that influence parental decisions for actual human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine receipt in publicly funded, school-based HPV vaccine programs for girls is limited. We report on the level of uptake of the first dose of the HPV vaccine, and determine parental factors associated with receipt of the HPV vaccine, in a publicly funded school-based HPV vaccine program in British Columbia, Canada.
Methods and Findings
All parents of girls enrolled in grade 6 during the academic year of September 2008–June 2009 in the province of British Columbia were eligible to participate. Eligible households identified through the provincial public health information system were randomly selected and those who consented completed a validated survey exploring factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to calculate adjusted odds ratios to identify the factors that were associated with parents' decision to vaccinate their daughter(s) against HPV. 2,025 parents agreed to complete the survey, and 65.1% (95% confidence interval [CI] 63.1–67.1) of parents in the survey reported that their daughters received the first dose of the HPV vaccine. In the same school-based vaccine program, 88.4% (95% CI 87.1–89.7) consented to the hepatitis B vaccine, and 86.5% (95% CI 85.1–87.9) consented to the meningococcal C vaccine. The main reasons for having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine were the effectiveness of the vaccine (47.9%), advice from a physician (8.7%), and concerns about daughter's health (8.4%). The main reasons for not having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine were concerns about HPV vaccine safety (29.2%), preference to wait until the daughter is older (15.6%), and not enough information to make an informed decision (12.6%). In multivariate analysis, overall attitudes to vaccines, the impact of the HPV vaccine on sexual practices, and childhood vaccine history were predictive of parents having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine in a publicly funded school-based HPV vaccine program. By contrast, having a family with two parents, having three or more children, and having more education was associated with a decreased likelihood of having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine.
Conclusions
This study is, to our knowledge, one of the first population-based assessments of factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake in a publicly funded school-based program worldwide. Policy makers need to consider that even with the removal of financial and health care barriers, parents, who are key decision makers in the uptake of this vaccine, are still hesitant to have their daughters receive the HPV vaccine, and strategies to ensure optimal HPV vaccine uptake need to be employed.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
About 10% of cancers in women occur in the cervix, the structure that connects the womb to the vagina. Every year, globally, more than a quarter of a million women die because of cervical cancer, which only occurs after the cervix has been infected with a human papillomavirus (HPV) through sexual intercourse. There are many types of HPV, a virus that infects the skin and the mucosa (the moist membranes that line various parts of the body, including the cervix). Although most people become infected with HPV at some time in their life, most never know they are infected. However, some HPV types cause harmless warts on the skin or around the genital area and several—in particular, HPV 16 and HPV 18, so-called high-risk HPVs—can cause cervical cancer. HPV infections are usually cleared by the immune system, but about 10% of women infected with a high-risk HPV develop a long-term infection that puts them at risk of developing cervical cancer.
Why Was This Study Done?
Screening programs have greatly reduced cervical cancer deaths in developed countries in recent decades by detecting the cancer early when it can be treated; but it would be better to prevent cervical cancer ever developing. Because HPV is necessary for the development of cervical cancer, vaccination of girls against HPV infection before the onset of sexual activity might be one way to do this. Scientists recently developed a vaccine that prevents infection with HPV 16 and HPV 18 (and with two HPVs that cause genital warts) and that should, therefore, reduce the incidence of cervical cancer. Publicly funded HPV vaccination programs are now planned or underway in several countries; but before girls can receive the HPV vaccine, parental consent is usually needed, so it is important to know what influences parental decisions about HPV vaccination. In this study, the researchers undertake a telephone survey to determine the uptake of the HPV vaccine by 11-year-old girls (grade 6) in British Columbia, Canada, and to determine the parental factors associated with vaccine uptake; British Columbia started a voluntary school-based HPV vaccine program in September 2008.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In early 2009, the researchers contacted randomly selected parents of girls enrolled in grade 6 during the 2008–2009 academic year and asked them to complete a telephone survey that explored factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake. 65.1% of the 2,025 parents who completed the survey had consented to their daughter receiving the first dose of HPV vaccine. By contrast, more than 85% of the parents had consented to hepatitis B and meningitis C vaccination of their daughters. Nearly half of the parents surveyed said their main reason for consenting to HPV vaccination was the effectiveness of the vaccine. Conversely, nearly a third of the parents said concern about the vaccine's safety was their main reason for not consenting to vaccination and one in eight said they had been given insufficient information to make an informed decision. In a statistical analysis of the survey data, the researchers found that a positive parental attitude towards vaccination, a parental belief that HPV vaccination had limited impact on sexual practices, and completed childhood vaccination increased the likelihood of a daughter receiving the HPV vaccine. Having a family with two parents or three or more children and having well-educated parents decreased the likelihood of a daughter receiving the vaccine.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide one of the first population-based assessments of the factors that affect HPV vaccine uptake in a setting where there are no financial or health care barriers to vaccination. By identifying the factors associated with parental reluctance to agree to HPV vaccination for their daughters, these findings should help public-health officials design strategies to ensure optimal HPV vaccine uptake, although further studies are needed to discover why, for example, parents with more education are less likely to agree to vaccination than parents with less education. Importantly, the findings of this study, which are likely to be generalizable to other high-income countries, indicate that there is a continued need to ensure that the public receives credible, clear information about both the benefits and long-term safety of HPV vaccination.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000270.
The US National Cancer Institute provides information about cervical cancer for patients and for health professionals, including information on HPV vaccines (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has information about cervical cancer and about HPV
The UK National Health Service Choices website has pages on cervical cancer and on HPV vaccination
More information about cervical cancer and HPV vaccination is available from the Macmillan cancer charity
ImmunizeBC provides general information about vaccination and information about HPV vaccination in British Columbia
MedlinePlus provides links to additional resources about cervical cancer (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000270
PMCID: PMC2864299  PMID: 20454567
14.  The Beginning of the Research Stream in Family Medicine Residency Program at McMaster University 
Background
To examine research background, attitudes, knowledge and skills of family medicine residents with regard to primary care research and to compare residents who elected to participate in the research stream with those who did not.
Methods
Mailed survey of Family Medicine residents at McMaster University in 1998, 70% (52/74) of whom responded. The main outcome measures consisted of research background; attitudes towards primary care research and research activities during residency program; knowledge and skills in applying it in biostatistics, epidemiology, and research design.
Results
The vast majority of the residents reported previous research experience and/or some training in epidemiology and biostatistics. Residents in the research stream were more likely to be female and were positive towards primary care research: they were more interested in research, more interested in obtaining more research training while a resident, and placed more importance on developing research early in medical education. The research stream residents had stronger views regarding perceived lack of support staff and lack of time for research. There were no statistically significant differences between the research stream and other residents in terms of research knowledge and skills in applying it.
Conclusions
Attitudes towards research rather than research knowledge or skills seemed to distinguish those selecting to be in our new research stream at the inception.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-1-1
PMCID: PMC32177  PMID: 11299050
15.  "Seeing a doctor is just like having a date": a qualitative study on doctor shopping among overactive bladder patients in Hong Kong 
BMC Family Practice  2014;15:27.
Background
Although having a regular primary care provider is noted to be beneficial to health, doctor shopping has been documented as a common treatment seeking behavior among chronically ill patients in different countries. However, little research has been conducted into the reasons behind doctor shopping behavior among patients with overactive bladder, and even less into how this behavior relates to these patients’ illness and social experiences, perceptions, and cultural practices. Therefore, this study examines overactive bladder patients to investigate the reasons behind doctor shopping behavior.
Methods
My study takes a qualitative approach, conducting 30 semi-structured individual interviews, with 30 overactive bladder patients in Hong Kong.
Results
My study found six primary themes that influenced doctor shopping behavior: lack of perceived need, convenience, work-provided medical insurance, unpleasant experiences with doctors, searching for a match doctor, and switching between biomedicine and traditional Chinese medicine. Besides the perceptual factors, participants’ social environment, illness experiences, personal cultural preference, and cultural beliefs also intertwined to generate their doctor shopping behavior. Due to the low perceived need for a regular personal primary care physician, environmental factors such as time, locational convenience, and work-provided medical insurance became decisive in doctor shopping behavior. Patients’ unpleasant illness experiences, stemming from a lack of understanding among many primary care doctors about overactive bladder, contributed to participants’ sense of mismatch with these doctors, which induced them to shop for another doctor.
Conclusions
Overactive bladder is a chronic bladder condition with very limited treatment outcome. Although patients with overactive bladder often require specialty urology treatment, it is usually beneficial for the patients to receive continuous, coordinated, comprehensive, and patient-centered support from their primary care providers. Primary care doctors’ understanding on patients with overactive bladder with empathetic attitudes is important to reduce the motivations of doctor shopping behavior among these patients.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-15-27
PMCID: PMC3936809  PMID: 24502367
Hong Kong; Doctor shopping; Perceptions; Social environment; Illness and treatment experiences; Personal cultural preference; Cultural beliefs; Overactive bladder patients
16.  KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICE OF PRIMARY HEALTH CARE DOCTORS AND NURSES IN HYPERTENSION OF PREGNANCY 
Objective:
To assess the status of knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of doctors and nurses in Primary Health Care (PHC) centers with regard to hypertension in pregnancy and to identify factors associated with KAP in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
Methodology:
Using a self-administered comprehensive questionnaire, all available doctors and nurses in PHC centers of the Al-Khobar area were approached to determine their knowledge, attitude and practice in hypertension during pregnancy. Questionnaires were validated and pilot tested. Each section of the questionnaire was scored and the mean scores calculated. Factors affecting each section were identified by means of multiple regression analysis.
Results:
A total of 36 doctors and 91 nurses were enrolled in the study. Saudis formed 22.2% of the doctors and 47.3% of nurses. Mean years of practice after graduation were 12.6 and 8.7 years for doctors and nurses, respectively. Saudi nurses spend only 3 weeks in the obstetrics ward during the whole period of their internship. All Saudi nurses hold only diplomas and not many courses on the hypertensive disorder are offered to both doctors and nurses after graduation. The practice of doctors particularly in the management of patients after reaching a diagnosis and educating them on diet and salt intake was poor. Furthermore, their knowledge was also poor. Though their level of knowledge was poor, the nurses’ practice was satisfactory, particularly in taking history and physical examination. The attitude of both doctors and nurses towards hypertensive disorders was in general, positive and satisfactory towards health education. Nurses’ nationality and duration of post-internship training were the factors that influenced their attitude and scores on knowledge.
Conclusion and recommendation:
The study revealed that both doctors and nurses working in the PHC lacked training and knowledge in this area of their work. It is therefore necessary to give PHC doctors and nurses refresher courses on common and serious problems like hypertension. A longer period of training in action management is needed to improve the knowledge and practice of doctors and nurses working in antenatal clinics in this area.
PMCID: PMC3437072  PMID: 23008595
Pregnancy hypertension; knowledge and practice; Antenatal care; Primary Health Care
17.  A qualitative study on the breastfeeding experiences of first-time mothers in Vientiane, Lao PDR 
Background
The benefits of breastfeeding are well-recognised. The majority of first-time mothers in the Lao People's Democratic Republic however do not follow WHO guidelines of exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months, and less than half breastfeed for two years. UNICEF identified lack of exclusive breastfeeding as the second highest risk factor for under 5 mortality in Lao PDR, closely following lack of skilled delivery care. This study explored the reasons and influences behind first-time mothers' breastfeeding practices, as well as the role of attitudes, beliefs and experiences in influencing those practices.
Methods
A qualitative research design was chosen for this exploratory study. Two districts in Vientiane were selected, and in each district four focus group discussions, two with six first-time mothers and two with health staff were undertaken. In addition, sixteen in-depth interviews with first-time mothers and seven individual key informants were conducted.
Results
Participants demonstrated positive attitudes towards breastfeeding and recognised its importance. Despite this, breastfeeding practices were suboptimal. Few exclusively breastfed for the first six months of the baby’s life and most of the first-time mothers included in the sample had stopped or planned to stop breastfeeding by the time the infant was 18 months of age. Work was named as one of the main reasons for less than ideal breastfeeding practices. Traditional beliefs and advice from health staff and the first-time mothers' own mothers, were important influences on breastfeeding practices. First-time mothers also cited experiencing tension when there were differences in advice they received from different people.
Conclusion
Overall, the mothers were well-informed on the benefits of breastfeeding, and displayed positive attitudes towards it. Nevertheless, few maintained optimal breastfeeding practices in the first two years of the infant’s life. Further effort needs to be directed at addressing knowledge and non-knowledge barriers to optimal breastfeeding practices. Of particular importance is working with employers, developing supportive employment policies, providing postnatal support and working with lay people and health professionals. Research is also needed to identify the optimal combination of interventions to promote good breastfeeding practices.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-223
PMCID: PMC4235169  PMID: 24304510
18.  Evidence-Based Medicine and the Practicing Clinician 
OBJECTIVE
To assess the attitudes of practicing general internists toward evidence-based medicine (EBM—defined as the process of systematically finding, appraising, and using contemporaneous research findings as the basis for clinical decisions) and their perceived barriers to its use.
DESIGN
Cross-sectional, self-administered mail questionnaire conducted between June and October 1997.
SETTING
Canada.
PARTICIPANTS
Questionnaires were sent to all 521 physician members of the Canadian Society of Internal Medicine with Canadian mailing addresses; 296 (60%) of 495 eligible physicians responded. Exclusion of two incomplete surveys resulted in a final sample size of 294.
MAIN RESULTS
Mean age of respondents was 46 years, 80% were male, and 52% worked in large urban medical centers. Participants reported using EBM in their clinical practice always (33, 11%), often (173, 59%), sometimes (80, 27%), or rarely/never (8, 3%). There were no significant differences in demographics, training, or practice types or locales on univariate or multivariate analyses between those who reported using EBM often or always and those who did not. Both groups reported high usage of traditional (non-EBM) information sources: clinical experience (93%), review articles (73%), the opinion of colleagues (61%), and textbooks (45%). Only a minority used EBM-related information sources such as primary research studies (45%), clinical practice guidelines (27%), or Cochrane Collaboration Reviews (5%) on a regular basis. Barriers to the use of EBM cited by respondents included lack of relevant evidence (26%), newness of the concept (25%), impracticality for use in day-to-day practice (14%), and negative impact on traditional medical skills and “the art of medicine” (11%). Less than half of respondents were confident in basic skills of EBM such as conducting a literature search (46%) or evaluating the methodology of published studies (34%). However, respondents demonstrated a high level of interest in further education about these tasks.
CONCLUSIONS
The likelihood that physicians will incorporate EBM into their practice cannot be predicted by any demographic or practice-related factors. Even those physicians who are most enthusiastic about EBM rely more on traditional information sources than EBM-related sources. The most important barriers to increased use of EBM by practicing clinicians appear to be lack of knowledge and familiarity with the basic skills, rather than skepticism about the concept.
doi:10.1046/j.1525-1497.1999.00323.x
PMCID: PMC1496564  PMID: 10203636
evidence-based medicine; survey; physicians
19.  Health workers' attitudes toward sexual and reproductive health services for unmarried adolescents in Ethiopia 
Reproductive Health  2012;9:19.
Background
Adolescents in developing countries face a range of sexual and reproductive health problems. Lack of health care service for reproductive health or difficulty in accessing them are among them. In this study we aimed to examine health care workers' attitudes toward sexual and reproductive health services to unmarried adolescents in Ethiopia.
Methods
We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional survey among 423 health care service providers working in eastern Ethiopia in 2010. A pre-tested structured questionnaire was used to collect data. Descriptive statistics, chi-square tests and logistic regression were performed to drive proportions and associations.
Results
The majority of health workers had positive attitudes. However, nearly one third (30%) of health care workers had negative attitudes toward providing RH services to unmarried adolescents. Close to half (46.5%) of the respondents had unfavorable responses toward providing family planning to unmarried adolescents. About 13% of health workers agreed to setting up penal rules and regulations against adolescents that practice pre-marital sexual intercourse. The multivariate analysis indicated that being married (OR 2.15; 95% CI 1.44 - 3.06), lower education level (OR 1.45; 95% CI 1.04 - 1.99), being a health extension worker (OR 2.49; 95% CI 1.43 - 4.35), lack of training on reproductive health services (OR 5.27; 95% CI 1.51 - 5.89) to be significantly associated with negative attitudes toward provision of sexual and reproductive services to adolescents.
Conclusions
The majority of the health workers had generally positive attitudes toward sexual and reproductive health to adolescents. However, a minority has displayed negatives attitudes. Such negative attitudes will be barriers to service utilization by adolescents and hampers the efforts to reduce sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies among unmarried adolescents. We therefore call for a targeted effort toward alleviating negative attitudes toward adolescent-friendly reproductive health service and re-enforcing the positive ones.
doi:10.1186/1742-4755-9-19
PMCID: PMC3500724  PMID: 22943476
20.  Smoking behaviour and attitudes among adult Saudi nationals in Riyadh City, Saudi Arabia 
Tobacco Control  1996;5(3):215-219.
OBJECTIVE: To measure the smoking behaviour and attitudes among Saudi adults residing in Riyadh City, the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING AND SUBJECTS: Primary health care centres (PHCCs) in Riyadh City were selected by stratified random sampling. Subjects resident in each PHCC catchment area were selected by systematic sampling from their records in the PHCCs; 1534 adults aged 15 years and older were interviewed during January to April 1994. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Self-reported smoking prevalence; age of smoking initiation; daily cigarette consumption; duration of smoking; reasons for smoking, not smoking, and quitting smoking; intentions to smoke in the future; and attitudes toward various tobacco control measures. RESULTS: 25.3% of respondents were current smokers, 10.2% were ex-smokers, and 64.5% had never smoked. About 79% of all smokers started smoking between the ages of 15 and 30 years, and 19.5% before age 15. Significantly higher smoking prevalence and daily cigarette consumption were associated with being male, single, and being more highly educated. Relief of psychological tension, boredom, and imitating others were the most important reasons for smoking, whereas health and religious considerations were the most important reasons for not smoking among never-smokers, for quitting among ex-smokers, and for attempting to quit or thinking about quitting among current smokers. About 90% of all subjects thought that they would not smoke in the future. Physicians and religious men were identified as the most effective anti-smoking advocates by a much higher proportion of respondents (44%) than nurses, health educators, and teachers (each less than 5%). Health and religious education were generally cited as more effective in deterring smoking than tobacco control laws and policies. CONCLUSIONS: Cigarette smoking is prevalent among Saudi adults in Riyadh, particularly males, most of whom begin to smoke rather early in life and continue for many years. Health and religious education should be the cornerstone for any organised tobacco control activities, which are urgently needed to combat the expected future epidemic of smoking-related health problems. 





PMCID: PMC1759520  PMID: 9035357
21.  Effect of Removing Direct Payment for Health Care on Utilisation and Health Outcomes in Ghanaian Children: A Randomised Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(1):e1000007.
Background
Delays in accessing care for malaria and other diseases can lead to disease progression, and user fees are a known barrier to accessing health care. Governments are introducing free health care to improve health outcomes. Free health care affects treatment seeking, and it is therefore assumed to lead to improved health outcomes, but there is no direct trial evidence of the impact of removing out-of-pocket payments on health outcomes in developing countries. This trial was designed to test the impact of free health care on health outcomes directly.
Methods and Findings
2,194 households containing 2,592 Ghanaian children under 5 y old were randomised into a prepayment scheme allowing free primary care including drugs, or to a control group whose families paid user fees for health care (normal practice); 165 children whose families had previously paid to enrol in the prepayment scheme formed an observational arm. The primary outcome was moderate anaemia (haemoglobin [Hb] < 8 g/dl); major secondary outcomes were health care utilisation, severe anaemia, and mortality. At baseline the randomised groups were similar. Introducing free primary health care altered the health care seeking behaviour of households; those randomised to the intervention arm used formal health care more and nonformal care less than the control group. Introducing free primary health care did not lead to any measurable difference in any health outcome. The primary outcome of moderate anaemia was detected in 37 (3.1%) children in the control and 36 children (3.2%) in the intervention arm (adjusted odds ratio 1.05, 95% confidence interval 0.66–1.67). There were four deaths in the control and five in the intervention group. Mean Hb concentration, severe anaemia, parasite prevalence, and anthropometric measurements were similar in each group. Families who previously self-enrolled in the prepayment scheme were significantly less poor, had better health measures, and used services more frequently than those in the randomised group.
Conclusions
In the study setting, removing out-of-pocket payments for health care had an impact on health care-seeking behaviour but not on the health outcomes measured.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov (#NCT00146692).
Evelyn Ansah and colleagues report on whether removing user fees has an impact on health care-seeking behavior and health outcomes in households with children in Ghana.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Every year, about 10 million children worldwide die before their fifth birthday. About half these deaths occur in developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Here, 166 children out of every 1,000 die before they are five. A handful of preventable diseases—acute respiratory infections, diarrhea, malaria, measles, and HIV/AIDS—are responsible for most of these deaths. For all these diseases, delays in accessing medical care contribute to the high death rate. In the case of malaria, for example, children are rarely taken to a clinic or hospital (formal health care) when they first develop symptoms, which include fever, chills, and anemia (lack of red blood cells). Instead, they are taken to traditional healers or given home remedies (informal health care). When they are finally taken to a clinic, it is often too late to save their lives. Many factors contribute to this delay in seeking formal health care. Sometimes, health care simply isn't available. In other instances, parents may worry about the quality of the service provided or may not seek formal health care because of their sociocultural beliefs. Finally, many parents cannot afford the travel costs and loss of earnings involved in taking their child to a clinic or the cost of the treatment itself.
Why Was This Study Done?
The financial cost of seeking formal health care is often the major barrier to accessing health care in poor countries. Consequently, the governments of several developing countries have introduced free health care in an effort to improve their nation's health. Such initiatives have increased the use of formal health care in several African countries; the introduction of user fees in Ghana in the early 1980s had the opposite effect. It is generally assumed that an increase in formal health care utilization improves health—but is this true? In this study, the researchers investigate the effect of removing direct payment for health care on health service utilization and health outcomes in Ghanaian children in a randomized controlled trial (a trial in which participants are randomly assigned to an “intervention” group or “control” group and various predefined outcomes are measured).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers enrolled nearly 2,600 children under the age of 5 y living in a poor region of Ghana. Half were assigned to the group in which a prepayment scheme (paid for by the trial) provided free primary and basic secondary health care—this was the intervention arm. The rest were assigned to the control group in which families paid for health care. The trial's main outcome was the percentage of children with moderate anemia at the end of the malaria transmission season, an indicator of the effect of the intervention on malaria-related illness. Other outcomes included health care utilization (calculated from household diaries), severe anemia, and death. The researchers report that the children in the intervention arm attended formal health care facilities slightly more often and informal health care providers slightly less often than those in the control arm. About 3% of the children in both groups had moderate anemia at the end of the malaria transmission season. In addition, similar numbers of deaths, cases of severe anemia, fever episodes, and known infections with the malaria parasite were recorded in both groups of children.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that, in this setting, the removal of out-of-pocket payments for health care changed health care-seeking behavior but not health outcomes in children. This lack of a measured effect does not necessarily mean that the provision of free health care has no effect on children's health—it could be that the increase in health care utilization in the intervention arm compared to the control arm was too modest to produce a clear effect on health. Alternatively, in Ghana, the indirect costs of seeking health care may be more important than the direct cost of paying for treatment. Although the findings of this trial may not be generalizable to other countries, they nevertheless raise the possibility that providing free health care might not be the most cost-effective way of improving health in all developing countries. Importantly, they also suggest that changes in health care utilization should not be used in future trials as a proxy measure of improvements in health.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000007.
This research article is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Valéry Ridde and Slim Haddad
The World Health Organization provides information on child health and on global efforts to reduce child mortality, Millennium Development Goal 4; it also provides information about health in Ghana
The United Nations Web site provides further information on all the Millennium Development Goals, which were agreed to by the nations of the world in 2000 with the aim of ending extreme poverty by 2015 (in several languages)
The UK Department for International Development also provides information on the progress that is being made toward reducing child mortality
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000007
PMCID: PMC2613422  PMID: 19127975
22.  Public awareness of blood donation in Central Saudi Arabia 
Introduction
In Saudi Arabia, voluntary donors are the only source of blood donation. The aim of this study was to assess the level of public knowledge and attitude toward blood donation in Saudi Arabia.
Methods
Using a previously validated questionnaire that comprises 38 questions to assess the levels of knowledge, attitudes, and motivations towards blood donation, 469 Saudi adults who attended different shopping malls in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia were surveyed. Multiple regression analyses were used to identify the significant predictors of blood donation, with the significance set at P<0.05.
Results
Approximately half of all subjects (53.3%) reported that they had previously donated blood, 39% of whom had donated more than once. The knowledge percentage mean score was 58.07%, denoting a poor level of knowledge, with only 11.9% reporting a good level of knowledge. The attitude percentage mean score towards donation was 75.45%, reflecting a neutral attitude towards donating blood, with 31.6% reporting a positive attitude. Donation was significantly more prevalent among males than females (66% versus 13.3%; P<0.001). After adjustment for confounders, a higher knowledge score (t=2.59; P=0.01), a higher attitude score (t=3.26; P=0.001), and male sex (t=10.45; P<0.001) were significant predictors of blood donation. An inability to reach the blood donation centers and a fear of anemia were the main reasons for females not donating blood (49.9% and 35.7%, respectively), whereas a lack of time was the main reason for males (59.5%).
Conclusion
Prevalence of blood donation was less than satisfactory among the Saudi public, probably due to misconceptions, poor knowledge, and unfavorable attitude to donation. Educational programs are necessary to increase the level of knowledge and improve the attitude of the Saudi public toward blood donation. Providing mobile blood collection units nearer to individuals’ places of work to reduce their time costs of donating is a necessity.
doi:10.2147/IJGM.S67187
PMCID: PMC4140232  PMID: 25152628
knowledge; attitude; practice; blood donation; significant predictors; Saudi Arabia
23.  Doctors' and nurses' attitudes towards and experiences of voluntary euthanasia: survey of members of the Japanese Association of Palliative Medicine 
Journal of Medical Ethics  2001;27(5):324-330.
Objective—To demonstrate Japanese doctors' and nurses' attitudes towards and practices of voluntary euthanasia (VE) and to compare their attitudes and practices in this regard.
Design—Postal survey, conducted between October and December 1999, using a self-administered questionnaire.
Participants—All doctor members and nurse members of the Japanese Association of Palliative Medicine.
Main outcome measure—Doctors' and nurses' attitude towards and practices of VE.
Results—We received 366 completed questionnaires from 642 doctors surveyed (response rate, 58%) and 145 from 217 nurses surveyed (68%). A total of 54% (95% confidence interval (CI): 49-59) of the responding doctors and 53% (CI: 45-61) of the responding nurses had been asked by patients to hasten death, of whom 5% (CI: 2-8) of the former and none of the latter had taken active steps to bring about death. Although 88% (CI: 83-92) of the doctors and 85% (CI: 77-93) of the nurses answered that a patient's request to hasten death can sometimes be rational, only 33% (CI: 28-38) and 23% (CI: 16-30) respectively regarded VE as ethically right and 22% (CI: 18-36) and 15% (CI: 8-20) respectively would practise VE if it were legal. Logistic regression model analysis showed that the respondents' profession was not a statistically independent factor predicting his or her response to any question regarding attitudes towards VE.
Conclusions—A minority of responding doctors and nurses thought VE was ethically or legally acceptable. There seems no significant difference in attitudes towards VE between the doctors and nurses. However, only doctors had practised VE.
Key Words: Euthanasia • Japan • doctors • nurses • palliative care
doi:10.1136/jme.27.5.324
PMCID: PMC1733435  PMID: 11579190
24.  Experiences, attitudes and barriers towards research amongst junior faculty of Pakistani medical universities 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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)
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-9-68
PMCID: PMC2780986  PMID: 19917109
25.  Duties of a doctor: UK doctors and Good Medical Practice 
Quality in Health Care : QHC  2000;9(1):14-22.
Objective—To assess the responses of UK doctors to the General Medical Council's (GMC) Good Medical Practice and the Duties of a Doctor, and to the GMC's performance procedures for which they provide the professional underpinning.
Design—Questionnaire study of a representative sample of UK doctors.
Subjects—794 UK doctors, stratified by year of qualification, sex, place of qualification (UK v non-UK), and type of practice (hospital v general practice) of whom 591/759 (78%) replied to the questionnaire (35 undelivered).
Main outcome measures—A specially written questionnaire asking about awareness of Good Medical Practice, agreement with Duties of a Doctor, amount heard about the performance procedures, changes in own practice, awareness of cases perhaps requiring performance procedures, and attitudes to the performance procedures. Background measures of stress (General Health Questionnaire, GHQ-12), burnout, responses to uncertainty, and social desirability.
Results—Most doctors were aware of Good Medical Practice, had heard the performance procedures being discussed or had received information about them, and agreed with the stated duties of a doctor, although some items to do with doctor-patient communication and attitudes were more controversial. Nearly half of the doctors had made or were contemplating some change in their practice because of the performance procedures; a third of doctors had come across a case in the previous two years in their own professional practice that they thought might merit the performance procedures. Attitudes towards the performance procedures were variable. On the positive side, 60% or more of doctors saw them as reassuring the general public, making it necessary for doctors to report deficient performance in their colleagues, did not think they would impair morale, were not principally window dressing, and were not only appropriate for problems of technical competence. On the negative side, 60% or more of doctors thought the performance procedures were not well understood by most doctors, were a reason for more defensive practice, and could not be used for problems of attitude. Few differences were found among older and younger doctors, hospital doctors, or general practitioners, or UK and non-UK graduates, although some differences were present.
Conclusions—Most doctors working in the UK are aware of Good Medical Practice and the performance procedures, and are in broad sympathy with Duties of a Doctor. Many attitudes expressed by doctors are not positive, however, and provide areas where the GMC in particular may wish to encourage further discussion and awareness. The present results provide a good baseline for assessing change as the performance procedures become active and cases come before the GMC over the next few years.
(Quality in Health Care 2000;9:14–22)
Key Words: performance procedures; good medical practice; duties; attitudes; knowledge
doi:10.1136/qhc.9.1.14
PMCID: PMC1743494  PMID: 10848365

Results 1-25 (877484)