Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 144-149

Survey of medical specialists on their attitudes to and resources for health research in Nigeria

1 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria
2 University of Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria
3 Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria
4 Federal Medical Center, Owo, Nigeria
5 Eye Unit, St Mary's Catholic Hospital, Ago Iwoye, Nigeria
6 Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika-Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Abdulraheem O Mahmoud
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, P. O. Box 13834, Ilorin-240008
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1596-3519.82078

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Aim: To study the views of medical specialists on their attitude to and the resources for health research in Nigeria and draw appropriate policy implications. Materials and Methods: Structured questionnaires were distributed to consenting 90 randomly selected medical specialists practising in six Nigerian tertiary health institutions. Participants' background information, importance attached to research, motivations for conducting research, funding, ethical oversight, literature search, and statistical support were probed. The coded responses were stored and analyzed using the statistical SPSS software. Results: Fifty-one out of the 90 questionnaires distributed were returned, giving a response rate of 63.3%. Research function was rated third by 64.7% of the respondents after hospital service (72.5%) and teaching (66.0%). Advancement of knowledge was the strongest motivating factor for conducting research (78.4%). Securing funding (94%) and finding time (80%) were their major constraints. Only a minority of the respondents, 20% and 14%, respectfully, positively rated the quality and promptness of the decisions of their institutions' ethical organs in the highest category. Most of their literature search was conducted on the internet (96.1%) and they stored and analyzed their research data with commonly available statistical software. Conclusion: Our study respondents regarded research highly but were severely constrained in conducting research by lack of access to sources of funding from within and outside Nigeria and finding time from core hospital functions. We recommend periodic (re)training in research particularly on how to apply for research grants and giving some protected research time for Nigerian medical specialists in order to boost their research function.

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