Relationship between research culture and research activity of medical doctors: A survey and audit

Caitlin Brandenburg*, Christy Noble, Rachel Wenke, Ian Hughes, Anthony Barrett, Jeremy Wellwood, Sharon Mickan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
80 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: To describe the research capacity and culture, and research activity (publications and new projects) of medical doctors across a health service and determine if the research activity of specialty groups correlated with their self-reported “team” level research capacity and culture. 

Methods: Cross-sectional, observational survey and audit of medical doctors at a tertiary health service in Queensland. The Research Capacity and Culture (RCC) validated survey was used to measure self-reported research capacity/culture at organisation, team and individual levels, and presence of barriers and facilitators to research. An audit of publica-ions and ethically approved research projects was used to determine research activity. 

Results: Approximately, 10% of medical doctors completed the survey (n= 124). Overall, median scores on the RCC were 5 out of 10 for organisational level, 5.5 for specialty level, and 6 for individual level capacity and culture; however, specialty-level scores varied significantly between specialty groups (range 3.1–7.8). Over 80% of participants reported ack of time and other work roles taking priority as barriers to research. One project was commenced per year for every 12.5 doctors employed in the health service, and one article was published for every 7.5. There was a positive association between a team’s number of publications and projects and their self-reported research capacity and culture on the RCC. This association was stronger for publications. 

Conclusion: Health service research capacity building interventions may need a tailored approach for different specialty teams to accommodate for varying baselines of capacity and activity. When evaluating these initiatives, a combination of research activity and subjective self-report measures may be complementary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2137-2150
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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