Date Published: March 1, 2019
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Author(s): Serlha Tawo, Sileni Gasser, Armin Gemperli, Christoph Merlo, Stefan Essig, Anthony J. Santella.
It is difficult to enlist the participation of medical general practitioners (GPs) in research studies. We aimed to determine the willingness of GPs in central Switzerland to participate in research, and to identify factors that facilitate or hinder research participation by GPs. To that end, we conducted a postal questionnaire survey of all 268 active GPs in the canton of Lucerne. The survey explored their interest in participating in research projects (yes/no) and factors that potentially influence their participation (5-point Likert scale from “very important” to “not at all important”). We contacted all non-responders by phone. Background information of the GPs was retrieved from the database of the cantonal association of physicians. Associations between willingness to participate in research and GP’s age, gender, type and location of practice, and the perceived relevance of facilitators were investigated via multiple logistic regression. Out of 268 GPs, 115 (43%) agreed to be contacted for future research projects. Willingness was associated with age (willing: 55% ≤ 40 y vs. 33% > 60 y) and gender (44% male vs. 38% female), and to some degree with the type of practice (50% group vs. 31% single), and location (46% urban vs. 38% rural), independently from each other. Scientists should develop methods to motivate and support GPs in single and rural practices to participate so research is representative of primary care as a whole.
Of 281 invited GPs in the database of the physicians’ association, 13 were retired or no longer working in Lucerne. Out of 268 GPs, 139 participated in the written survey (postal response rate 52%). Participants were slightly younger, more often member of a group practice, and working in urban environments, compared to non-participants (S1 Table). The remaining 129 GPs were contacted by phone.
Scientists should develop methods to motivate and support GPs in single and rural practices to participate so research is representative of all primary care physicians.