Internal Medicine (East Africa)
Background: While research is needed to advocate for implementation of global agendas to strengthen palliative care, healthcare professionals’ research literacy must improve to bridge the gap between evidence and practice. A resurgent focus on North-South power disparities, means attention should also focus on understanding low- and middle-income countries’ local agency to implement palliative care research agendas.
Methods: An observational, cross-sectional online survey among Kenyan palliative healthcare professionals currently working at any of the palliative and hospice care organizations operational during January – December 2019, using descriptive statistics.
Results: Among the 93 survey respondents, participants were mainly nurses (50.54%; n=47). Regarding research attitudes: all agreed/strongly agreed research was important for their professional work. Over nine-tenths (91.21%; n=83) reported having the skills to conduct research, and 91.30% (n=84) wanted to conduct research in their clinical work. 90% (90.21%; n=83) reported supervisory support to conduct research. A comparable proportion (90.22%; n=83) would undertake research if they could find funding. Regarding research practice: over two-thirds (70.65%; n=65) reported ever having had a mentor who encouraged them to do research, while approximately half (50.59%; n=43) reported reading evidence-based journal articles about once per month and attending monthly in-house meetings on palliative care (56.79%; n=46). Regarding research literacy: while over two-fifths of respondents described their current research literacy level as ‘none’ or ‘beginner’ (44.56%; n=41), a comparable proportion described it as ‘intermediate’ (45.65%; n=42), with 9 (9.78%) stating it was ‘advanced’.
Conclusion: The majority of palliative healthcare professionals report having interest, skills and support at work to conduct palliative care research, with a low-to-medium level of research literacy. The current study explored palliative care staff attitudes to, experience in, and literacy with the research process, which is necessary to creating a dialogue on implementing research findings. This study also adds to the global empowerment agenda, addressing inequities in research opportunities and local capacity to own and undertake palliative care research.
BMC Palliative Care
(2022). Research attitudes, practice and literacy among Kenyan palliative care healthcare professionals: an observational, crosssectional online survey. BMC Palliative Care, 21(206), 1-9.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/eastafrica_fhs_mc_intern_med/315
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