Evaluation of Research Capacity in A State Health District

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Steven Kamper
Christian Wiley
Rachael Beldham-Collins
Louise Cowles
Jessica Heikkinen
Jacqueline Henderson
Laura Kirsten
Guy Eslick


Objective: To describe the perceived research capacity and support at the individual, department and organisation levels among clinicians in a state funded health district in Sydney, Australia.

Methods: We asked allied health, medical, nursing, management and administrative staff across Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District to fill in the Research Capacity in Context survey online. The survey includes questions about individual skills and capacity regarding research, available support and encouragement for research from the department and organisation, and motivators and barriers to involvement in research. Descriptive analyses (means and proportions) were reported separately for each staff category.

Results: Four hundred and thirty-nine people responded, approximately 7% of total staff, of whom around 80% were clinicians. Response rate was highest from allied health clinicians (approx. 26%), rates were 4-6% for the other staff categories. Participants rated their individual research capacity as poor to good for most aspects, medical staff rated themselves higher than allied health and nursing. Respondents identified the lack of quarantined time and necessity to prioritise clinical duties as the key barriers to engaging with research. The most identified motivators were desire to improve services and outcomes for patients and resolving clinical problems.

Conclusions: Clinicians in the public health service are motivated to engage with research to improve services for their patients but they lack the time and support. If health services wish to encourage research activity among clinicians they need to free up time from delivering clinical care and provide access to training and operational support.

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How to Cite
Kamper, S., Wiley, C., Beldham-Collins, R., Cowles, L., Heikkinen, J., Henderson, J., Kirsten, L., & Eslick, G. . (2022). Evaluation of Research Capacity in A State Health District. Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management, 17(3). https://doi.org/10.24083/apjhm.v17i3.1629
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Author Biographies

Steven Kamper, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia

Professor of Allied Health, School Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia

Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, NSW, Australia

Rachael Beldham-Collins, Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, NSW, Australia

Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, NSW, Australia

Western Sydney Local Health District, NSW, Australia

Guy Eslick, The Children’s Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia

Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit (APSU), The Kids Research Institute, The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, The Children’s Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales,