Objective: Even though there is a high need of clinical research for the medical and psychotherapeutic practice in Germany, the interest in clinical research seems to be decreasing. The aim of this study was to assess the circumstances under which clinical research in psychosocial medicine is performed and to identify opportunities for improvement.
Methods: n = 53 residents of the departments for Psychosomatic Medicine of the University Hospitals of Heidelberg and Tübingen and of the Technical University of Munich were asked about their research activities, their subjective research skills, and their productivity in clinical psychosocial research. In addition, objective research knowledge was investigated using a multiple-choice test.
Results: Both, subjective research skills and objective research knowledge were relatively low. The percentage of correct answers in the multiple choice test was 33 %. Subjective problems were predominately stated regarding "biostatistics" and "study design". In terms of research productivity, 33 % of residents had published as first authors of an original journal article, and 12 % had submitted a successful grant proposal.
Discussion: Altogether, there is a high need of training in the field of clinical psychosomatic research. We are presenting a training model that is adapted to the conditions of young clinicians and that addresses both general clinical research and specific psychosocial clinical research.