What's needed to increase research capacity in rural primary health care?

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Barnett L, Holden L, Donoghue D, Passey M & Birden H 2005, "What's needed to increase research capacity in rural primary health care?" Australian Journal of Primary Health, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 45-53.

Article available on Open Access

Peer Reviewed



The aim of this study is to identify ways to build research capacity within primary health. A consultation was undertaken in late 2004 using a combination of a one-page survey and a guided meeting format, in a primary health setting in rural NSW. Most (81.3%) of the 134 individuals consulted were part of an Area Health Service, with 12.7% from non-government settings. Most (80.6%) were clinicians, with a third (31.5%) nurses, 8.3% in medicine, and the remainder from a range of allied health professions. Eleven organisations were represented. The main outcome measures were identifi cation of support needs, processes to enhance research engagement, and barriers and enablers to clinicians’ research involvement. The results showed that popular delivery modes for research training and support were courses and “one-to- one” advice. Writing topics were generally more popular than others. Common barriers were time and technology issues. A key enabler was a discipline-specifi c focus. This is one of few rural Australian consultations on research needs in primary health conducted with a diverse range of clinicians at the clinician level. It will direct future research capacity building efforts towards maximising face-to-face discipline specifi c options and minimising technology use.

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