Attitudes and barriers towards conducting research amongst primary care physicians in Bahrain: a cross-sectional study.

BACKGROUND: Research in primary care is essential for disease diagnosis, management and prevention in relation to the individuals, families and the community. This research aims to study the attitude of primary care physicians towards conducting research in Bahrain and to identify the main barriers encountered during research.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted amongst 200 randomly selected primary care physicians registered in Ministry of Health affiliated primary healthcare centers in Bahrain. A self-administered validated questionnaire was adopted and used for data collection. Research data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.

RESULTS: Primary care physicians had a positive attitude towards conducting research with a total mean score (SD) of 4.47(0.65) (on a scale from 1 to 5 with higher scores indicating more positive attitudes). The total mean score (SD) for barriers encountered by physicians during research was 3.34 (0.80). Insufficient research allotted time (76.5%), insufficient financial support (63%), lack of financial incentives (51%) and lack of statistical support (50%) were major barriers. Physicians designation and board certificate were significantly associated with attitudes and barriers towards research (P-value < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: The majority or primary care physicians had positive attitudes towards conducting research. The major difficulties faced by physicians in conducting research are: Insufficient research allotted time, lack of financial incentives and inadequate statistical support. The study addressed a gap in building research capacity which should be embraced by many institutions through partnership and collaboration.