• Vol. 37 No. 9, 738–744
  • 15 September 2008

Mental Health Professionals’ Perceived Barriers and Benefits, and Personal Concerns in Relation to Psychiatric Research



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Aim: Mental health professionals can contribute to generating a strong evidence base for policy and practice in psychiatry. An insight into their perception of psychiatric research is important for planning support strategies. This study explored healthcare professionals’ perceptions of barriers, benefits and concerns about psychiatric research in a Singapore psychiatric hospital.

Materials and Methods: Self-administered questionnaire was employed to collect socio-demographic data and opinions on research. Likert scale was used for the responses and descriptive statistics and ordinal regression were used for data analysing.

Results: 93.8% respondents perceived “contribution to medical knowledge/ public health” to be a major benefit of conducting research. 86.7% respondents felt that “learning experience” was important. “Prestige/publication” (52.7%) and “financial gain” (76%) were perceived to be unimportant. “Clinical load of patients”, “lack of skilled personnel to assist in research” and “insufficient funding” were identified as important barriers by 72.4%, 70.6% and 68.9% respondents. “Time constraints”, “patient and family readiness to research participation”, “insufficient training” and “concerns about patient welfare” are major concerns while conducting research.

Conclusion: To the study team’s best knowledge, this is the only study of mental health professionals’ perceptions on psychiatric research. It is useful for strategising research planning and enhancing the research culture in the hospital.

Epidemiological research has shown that mental disorders can result in considerable healthcare and other opportunity costs. There are some reports that have highlighted the negligence of mental health and the lack of recognition of the importance of mental disorders.

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