Taking forward the research agenda: assessing the needs of pharmacists employed by Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar Background and Objective: Traditionally, pharmacists in Qatar have very limited formal training related to research. The aim was to determine the needs of Hamad Medical Corporation (the principal public healthcare provider) pharmacists in relation to research education, training and practice. Setting and Method: A cross-sectional survey of all pharmacists (n=401). Questionnaire items were in domains of: knowledge, skills and attitudes; education and training; facilitators and barriers; professional change; and demographics. Responses were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics, and principal component analysis of attitudinal items. Main outcome measures: Views and attitudes towards research, research management, training needs. Results: The response rate was 53.1% (213/401). High levels of interest were expressed for all aspects of research other than 'writing a research proposal'. Respondents were generally less experienced and less confident in research. Principal component analysis identified four components of: general attitudes towards aspects of research; confidence, motivation and access to departmental support; research culture; and support from others. Respondents generally held positive attitudes, with a median overall score of 13 (IQR 8-18), range possible 6-30, with 6 representing best positive attitude. Scores for other components were: confidence, motivation and access, median overall score was 30 (IQR 24-35); research culture, median overall score was 20 (IQR 15-23); support from others, median overall score was 12 (IQR 9-15). Half of all respondents (50.7%, n=108) had either never thought about being involved in research or had taken no action. In multivariate binary logistic regression analysis, those more ready to undertake research had a more positive general attitude (odds ratio 2.4 (95% CI 1.27-4.55) p<0.001). Just under half (44.9%, n=96) had never thought about research training or had taken no action. Almost all (90%, n=172) expressed interest in research training. Conclusions: Results indicate high levels of interest to participate in some form of research training. Notably, individual attitudes, motivation, confidence, access to departmental support, research culture and support from others could be both facilitators and barriers. There is a need for a strategic approach to research training to realise the full potential of HMC pharmacists in contributing to the Qatar National Research Strategy. The approach taken in this study could be adopted in other institutions and countries.


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