Attitudes of Australian pharmacists towards practice-based research
Peterson, GM and Jackson, SL and Fitzmaurice, KD and Gee, PR, Attitudes of Australian pharmacists towards practice-based research, Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 34, (4) pp. 397-405. ISSN 0269-4727 (2009) [Refereed Article]
Background and objective: The aim was to conduct a national cross-sectional survey of randomly selected Australian pharmacists to determine their attitudes towards and involvement in pharmacy practice research. This included the canvassing of perceived barriers and potential solutions to promote research activity in pharmacy practice.
Methods: A questionnaire was developed around those used in UK and Australasian studies of general practitioners' attitudes towards research. Questions assessed attitudes to research, involvement in research, barriers and facilitators to involvement, self-assessed understanding of research terminology, and access to and use of electronic bibliographic databases. One thousand pharmacists were randomly and proportionately selected from the State and Territory Pharmacy Board registers to receive the anonymous questionnaire by mail. Non-respondents were sent a follow-up reminder and second copy of the questionnaire after 3 weeks.
Results: A response rate of 37% was achieved. Approximately, one-third of responding pharmacists were presently, or had been, involved in research activities, and generally reported positive experiences. Lack of time and never being approached or not being aware of the opportunities were major barriers to pharmacist participation in research. Approximately, one-third of the pharmacists were not interested in participating in research. There was low usage of publicly available electronic bibliographic databases and of scientific journals. Although there was overwhelming recognition of the value of research to the profession, few pharmacists possessed a good understanding of key terms related to research and evidence-based practice (e.g. P-value or number needed to treat).
Conclusion: There was overwhelming recognition of the value of research to the pharmacy profession. Important factors encouraging individual pharmacists to participate in research were a desire to improve the profession, the opportunity to learn more about disease management and to provide enhanced services to patients, and personal interest.
Australian pharmacists, attitudes, practice-based research