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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 307-314

Doctors' attitude and engagement in research: A survey from two emerging regions

1 Department of Medicine, Dubai Medical College, Dubai; The Endocrinology Clinic, Mediclinic Airport Road Hospital, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
2 Department of Medicine, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Medical University of Bahrain, Adliya, Bahrain
3 Healthplus Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
4 National Centre for Diabetes; Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tripoli, Tripoli, Libya
5 Department of Medicine, Dubai Medical College; Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Rashid Hospital, DHA, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
6 Department of Medicine, Dubai Medical College, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Salem A Beshyah
Department of Medicine, Dubai Medical College, Dubai
United Arab Emirates
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmbs.ijmbs_137_20

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Background: Research is an essential component in the advancement of medicine. Evidence indicates that developing regions have low research productivity and contribution to the international literature. It is unclear if physicians' attitudes and perceptions of research could be contributory. Objectives: This study examined the attitudes to research, perceived barriers to research, and experiences of prior participation in research projects among physicians from the Middle East and Africa. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional electronic survey was developed based on the published literature to address these questions and was E-mailed to a large sample of practising clinicians and academics. Results: A total of 283 responses received, 61.1% were men with a mean age of 48 years. Responses originated from 23 countries. The majority were from the Middle East (79.2%), whereas 29.9% were from African countries. Over half of physicians (51.1%) held high-level speciality qualifications and were senior clinicians or academics (50.9%). Regarding engagement in research, 41.3% were interested in research but not involved at the time of the survey, 38.5% were involved but not formally employed in a research role, 12.7% had formal research roles, and 7.4% were not interested in research. Majority conducting research held lead-investigator roles (44.2%) followed by co-investigator roles in 37.9% of respondents. Most of the research work was self-initiated original research (42.6%) followed by clinical case series (35.7%). Main motivators to conduct research were contributing to the practice and improving patients' care. Main deterrents to research were lack (41.7% of respondents) and/or difficulty in acquiring research funding (50.2%), in addition to the lack of research-protected time (40.5%). Conclusions: The majority of physicians interested and/or involved in research are not formally employed in a research role. The facilitators seem to stem from personal interest and professional recognition, whereas barriers result from lack of time, support, and expertise.

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