Knowledge, attitudes and practices around health research: The perspective of physicians-in-training in Pakistan

Hassan Khan, Sadaf Khan, Arshad Iqbal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Health research training is an essential component of medical education and a vital exercise to help develop physician research skills. This study was carried out to assess the level of knowledge, attitudes and practices towards research amongst a group of Post Graduate Medical Trainees (PGMTs') at Aga Khan University (AKU), Pakistan. Methods. A cross sectional health research survey was carried out on all PGMTs' at AKU Pakistan. AKU is a tertiary care health facility which offers residency in 28 specialties and fellowship in 16 programs. Knowledge, attitudes and practices related to health research were assessed using a pretested, structured and validated questionnaire. Health research related practices of the residents were examined using questions graded on Likert scale. Results. Mean percentage score SD on the knowledge scale was 36.9% 20.2 and 47.19% 25.18 on the attitude scale. Of 104(55.6%) who had previously participated in research 28(26.9%) had been involved in basic science research only, 62(59.6%) in clinical research and 14(13.5%) had participated in both clinical and basic science research projects. 88(47.1%) planned to pursue a future research career. Those who planned to pursue a future research career had more positive health research attitudes p < 0.001. Limited time (45%), poor research infrastructure (20%) and inadequate research funding opportunities (20%) were the major hurdles faced by PGMTs' to pursue research. Conclusion. PGMTs' demonstrate inadequate knowledge, while they have moderate attitudes towards health research. Residency training and research facilities at the institution need to undergo major transformation in order to encourage meaningful research by resident trainees.

Original languageEnglish
Article number46
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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