Medical Students’ Attitudes and Influential Factors Towards Conducting Medical Research
Keywords:Research, Medical Students, Attitudes, Knowledge, Perception
Background: Medical research is becoming an essential part of medical students’ curricula in several medical colleges around Saudi Arabia. This study aimed to assess medical students' attitudes towards conducting medical research and identify their motives.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional study that was conducted between December 2021 and April 2022 and used the Student Attitude Towards Research (SAR) scale and the students’ perceived influential factors toward participating in research activities questionnaire. A 5-Likert scale was used to assess the level of students’ agreement from ‘strongly disagree=1’, ‘disagree=2’, ‘neutral=3’, ‘agree=4’, to ‘strongly agree=5’. Demographic information such as gender, year of study, and previously published research was collected. The survey was distributed among medical students in the college of medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS) in Jeddah and Riyadh campuses, Saudi Arabia. The chi-square test was used to compare categorical values and report any differences. A P-value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: A total of 500 responses were collected from the students (67.2% males and 32.8% females). Most students agreed with the following statements ‘Research is important for identifying and investigating problems in a subject matter’ (N=399, 79.8%) and ‘I am much interested in participating in research activities at the undergraduate level’ (N=318, 63.6%). There was a significant difference among students in responses to following statement: ‘I am always getting the chance to discuss about the scientific/academic research in my class) (P=0.022). Female students agreed more than male students that ‘faculty have adequate skills to handle research methodology’ (3.93±1.01 vs. 3.7±1.06, P=0.014). Furthermore, a significant difference was found in the following statement: ‘faculty members use research findings as a part of their teaching material’ (P <.001). The students agreed that their college has adequate infrastructure to organize research programs (N=321, 64.2%, P=0.005). The top four influential factors towards conducting medical research were ‘to facilitate entry into competitive residency programs’ (4.248) followed by ‘having an interest in specific research field or medical topic’ (4.226) and ‘to improve curriculum vitae (CV)’ (4.202) then ‘it is a necessary competency for future clinical work’ (4.164). A 5-Likert scale was used to calculate the average of the students’ responses where 5 indicates ‘strongly agree’ and 1 indicate ‘strongly disagree’.
Conclusion: The students showed a positive attitude towards conducting medical research at the undergraduate level. The influential factors highlighted how students conduct research to advance their careers and explore their interest in a specific field or medical topic. This study is important for decision-makers, residency program directors, and research center directors to reconsider published research & research activities as a prerequisite for acceptance into competitive programs. Future studies ought to investigate if medical students pursue research activities after college, their attitudes, and influential factors as well as to investigate the research skills they have and how they acquired them.
- 2023-01-02 (2)
- 2022-12-08 (1)
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Copyright (c) 2022 Bassam AlRajhi, Ibrahim Omer, Reema Abualnaja, Faisal Alqahtani, Alqassem Y. Hakami
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