Evaluating a team-based approach to research capacity building using a matched-pairs study design.

School of Medicine, Griffith University, University Drive, Meadowbrook, Queensland 4131, Australia.
BMC Family Practice (Impact Factor: 1.61). 03/2012; 13:16. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-13-16
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT There is a continuing need for research capacity building initiatives for primary health care professionals. Historically strategies have focused on interventions aimed at individuals but more recently theoretical frameworks have proposed team-based approaches. Few studies have evaluated these new approaches. This study aims to evaluate a team-based approach to research capacity building (RCB) in primary health using a validated quantitative measure of research capacity in individual, team and organisation domains.
A non-randomised matched-pairs trial design was used to evaluate the impact of a multi-strategy research capacity building intervention. Four intervention teams recruited from one health service district were compared with four control teams from outside the district, matched on service role and approximate size. All were multi-disciplinary allied health teams with a primary health care role. Random-effects mixed models, adjusting for the potential clustering effect of teams, were used to determine the significance of changes in mean scores from pre- to post-intervention. Comparisons of intervention versus control groups were made for each of the three domains: individual, team and organisation. The Individual Domain measures the research skills of the individual, whereas Team and Organisation Domains measure the team/organisation's capacity to support and foster research, including research culture.
In all three domains (individual, team and organisation) there were no occasions where improvements were significantly greater for the control group (comprising the four control teams, n = 32) compared to the intervention group (comprising the four intervention teams, n = 37) either in total domain score or domain item scores. However, the intervention group had a significantly greater improvement in adjusted scores for the Individual Domain total score and for six of the fifteen Individual Domain items, and to a lesser extent with Team and Organisation Domains (two items in the Team and one in the Organisation domains).
A team-based approach to RCB resulted in considerable improvements in research skills held by individuals for the intervention group compared to controls; and some improvements in the team and organisation's capacity to support research. More strategies targeted at team and organisation research-related policies and procedures may have resulted in increased improvements in these domains.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Recent initiatives within an Australia public healthcare service have seen a focus on increasing the research capacity of their workforce. One of the key initiatives involves encouraging clinicians to be research generators rather than solely research consumers. As a result, baseline data of current research capacity are essential to determine whether initiatives encouraging clinicians to undertake research have been effective. Speech pathologists have previously been shown to be interested in conducting research within their clinical role; therefore they are well positioned to benefit from such initiatives. The present study examined the current research interest, confidence and experience of speech language pathologists (SLPs) in a public healthcare workforce, as well as factors that predicted clinician research engagement. METHODS: Data were collected via an online survey emailed to an estimated 330 SLPs working within Queensland, Australia. The survey consisted of 30 questions relating to current levels of interest, confidence and experience performing specific research tasks, as well as how frequently SLPs had performed these tasks in the last 5 years. RESULTS: Although 158 SLPs responded to the survey, complete data were available for only 137. Respondents were more confident and experienced with basic research tasks (e.g., finding literature) and less confident and experienced with complex research tasks (e.g., analysing and interpreting results, publishing results). For most tasks, SLPs displayed higher levels of interest in the task than confidence and experience. Research engagement was predicted by highest qualification obtained, current job classification level and overall interest in research. CONCLUSIONS: Respondents generally reported levels of interest in research higher than their confidence and experience, with many respondents reporting limited experience in most research tasks. Therefore SLPs have potential to benefit from research capacity building activities to increase their research skills in order to meet organisational research engagement objectives. However, these findings must be interpreted with the caveats that a relatively low response rate occurred and participants were recruited from a single state-wide health service, and therefore may not be representative of the wider SLP workforce.
    BMC Health Services Research 04/2013; 13(1):144. · 1.77 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Australian Journal of Primary Health 10/2012; · 0.76 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Today, healthcare professionals are faced with the challenge of implementing research results in an optimal way. It is therefore important to create a climate that is conducive to research and development (R&D). For this reason, new strategies are required to enhance healthcare professionals' interest in innovative thinking and R&D. Strategic communication with roots in sociology, psychology and political science was employed as a means of achieving long-term behavioural change. The aim of this study was to describe, follow up and evaluate a primary care intervention based on strategic communication intended to increase healthcare professionals' interest in R&D over time. An interventional cohort study comprising all staff members (N = 1276) in a Swedish primary care area was initiated in 1997 and continued for 12 years. The intention to engage in R&D was measured on two occasions; at 7 and 12 years. Both descriptive statistics and bivariate analyses were employed. The results demonstrated that the positive attitude to R&D increased over time, representing a first step towards new thinking and willingness to change work practices for the benefit of the patient. Strategic communication has not been previously employed as a scientific tool to create a long-term interest in R&D within primary care.
    International journal of environmental research and public health. 01/2014; 11(9):8689-8708.

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 21, 2014