What influences allied health clinician participation in research in the public hospital setting: a qualitative theory-informed approach

BMJ Open. 2020 Aug 20;10(8):e036183. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-036183.

Abstract

Objectives: Using theoretical frameworks from implementation science, we aimed to systematically explore the barriers and enablers to research active allied health professionals (AHP) participating and leading research in the hospital setting.

Design: A qualitative interview study informed by behaviour change theory.

Setting: Single Australian tertiary hospital and health service.

Participants: We recruited a convenience sample of 21 AHPs working within a hospital who were seeking to actively participate in/or lead research within their workplace.

Data collection: Semistructured interviews explored perceived barriers and enablers to research participation, informed by the 14 domains of the theoretical domains framework (TDF). Transcribed interviews were deductively coded and mapped to the TDF. A deeper level of inductive coding was used to identify emergent themes that influenced behaviour change, according to the three key constructs of: capability, opportunity and motivation (COM-B).

Results: Barriers and enablers to research participation were identified within nine predominant domains of the TDF. Most enablers to engaging in research related to the motivation or opportunity constructs of the COM-B. These enablers included positive beliefs about the consequences of research participation, enabling social influences, peer support and motivation for skill development and to inform practice. Predominant barriers related to environmental context and resources (eg, reduced funding or time), emotional responses of being overwhelmed and perceptions of reduced capability.

Conclusion: This study identified key barriers and enablers to behaviour change related to AHPs participating and/or leading research. Motivation and opportunities to participate in research may be enabled by maximising social influence opportunities, reiterating beliefs about positive consequences of research and considering AHP's emotional responses. Implementation science frameworks may provide a more systematic and holistic understanding of factors which influence research participation including enhancing knowledge, motivation and opportunity.

Keywords: medical education & training; qualitative research; quality in health care.