Building Capacity for Research and Audit: Outcomes of a Training Workshop for Pacific Physicians and Nurses

Alec J. Ekeroma, Tim Kenealy, Boaz Shulruf, Vili Nosa, Andrew Hill


Building the research capacity of clinicians in the Pacific Island countries is important in addressing evidence gaps relevant to local policy and clinical practice. This paper aimed to assess the effectiveness of a reproductive health research workshop in increasing research knowledge and intention to perform research amongst a diverse group of clinicians. An online survey of clinicians and stakeholders in the Pacific Islands informed a research workshop curriculum. Physicians and nurses/midwives (n = 28) from six Pacific Island countries were selected as workshop participants as part of a research capacity building program. Questionnaires before after the workshop were used to measure the changes in knowledge, confidence, competence, attitudes and intention to perform research and these were analysed thematically.

Sixty-three of 85 (74%) stakeholders and clinicians responded to an online survey, which informed workshop curriculum development. Of the 28 workshop participants, seven were obstetrician-gynaecologists, eight junior physicians and eleven nurses/midwives. The mean pre-test score was 36% (±10) and the post-test was 43% (±6) (p<0.01). By profession, the obstetricians had higher prior research knowledge whereas nurses had a higher knowledge gain after the workshop. Attitude, intention and motivation to perform research was high and the participants learnt that research is important, to start small; to use routinely collected data; to encourage others to do research; and to network regionally.

This paper has confirmed that online surveys, in low resource settings, can have an acceptable response rate. It has also shown that a research workshop for a diverse group of clinicians can be effective in increasing knowledge although knowledge gained was more significant amongst nurses/midwives compared to physicians. The other benefits of the research workshop were increased motivation and attitudes for research, which if well supported, should result in an increase in research output in the Pacific Islands. Future evaluation will assess the long-term effectiveness of annual research workshops and mentoring support in improving research performance and evidence utilisation in care.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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