Motivations and willingness of general practitioners in France to participate in primary care research as investigators

Fam Pract. 2019 Oct 8;36(5):552-559. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmy126.


Background: Clinical research is mostly conducted among hospitalized patients, which restricts the generalizability of research results. The involvement of GPs in research has been consistently highlighted as a factor associated with successful study recruitment.

Objectives: To assess GPs' motivations and willingness to participate in primary care research as investigators and to identify factors associated with their willingness.

Methods: We conducted an observational, cross-sectional study in Normandy, France, with a self-questionnaire sent to 3002 GPs. We collected data on GPs' socio-demographic characteristics, their experiences and their expectations regarding research, and their reasons for non-participation.

Results: Overall, 489 questionnaires were collected. Two hundred and forty-six GPs (50.3%) were interested in participating in clinical research as investigators. The two main conditions for participation as investigators were the relevance of the study topic for clinical practice (80.5%) and the feedback of study results (80.1%). The two main reasons for non-participation were lack of time (79.4%) and administrative burden (43.6%). Age between 27 and 34 years (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.86, P = 0.004) and GP trainer status (AOR = 2.41, P < 0.001) were associated with willingness to participate in primary care research. Age between 60 and 70 years (AOR = 0.53, P = 0.03) and locum status (AOR = 0.40, P = 0.04) were associated with non-participation in research.

Conclusions: Based on our results, we were able to establish a profile of GPs willing to participate in primary care research as investigators. GPs' involvement should be based on their preferred areas of research. Different incentives such as a dedicated clinical research nurse or financial support could also be considered.

Keywords: Clinical investigator; family health; general practice; observational study; primary care; research design.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Biomedical Research*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Feedback
  • Female
  • France
  • General Practitioners / psychology*
  • General Practitioners / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Research Personnel
  • Surveys and Questionnaires