Date

March 2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.

Department

Dept. of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology

Institution

Oregon Health & Science University

Abstract

In Latin America, the number of researchers and the number of research projects and publications has been low in comparison with international standards. The purpose of this study was to identify the factors that most strongly influence whether a physician from Latin America will eventually attempt to perform research, with a particular focus on the role that information resources may play in the process. We believe this new knowledge will allow for the planning of interventions that might increase physicians’ research productivity in these countries. Methods: All physicians enrolled in a medical web portal (IntraMed, www.intramed.net) could take an online survey after logging into the web page. The web survey was on the portal during the month of December, 2011. To assess whether there is a positive or negative relationship among predictor variables and research productivity, we first needed to group physicians based on their research activities using a cluster analysis and also to discover the principal components or themes inferred by the explicative variables include in the survey. Finally, we performed a Kruskal-Wallis test to evaluate differences among clusters in the median value of each of the components retained after the PCA analysis. Results: We found three clusters that seem to describe the levels of research productivity. Cluster one is the cluster with more research involvement and includes physicians with the highest number of conference presentations and publications. All physicians with publications in the last 3 years were also included in this cluster. In cluster three are physicians with no presentations or publications in a peer-reviewed journal. After performing a PCA analysis we found five principal components inferred by questions in the survey: environmental support, use of communication tools, computer knowledge, statistical analysis experience and use of computers for academic activities. We decided to add information resources as another explicative variable. All components were statistically significant when related with research productivity. Multivariable analysis showed us that these relationships are still significant after adjusting by possible confounders. Conclusions: As described in other settings, we found the same factors associated with physicians’ research productivity. Informatics resources are another factor that might increase research productivity in Latin American physicians.

Identifier

doi:10.6083/M4H70CT6

School

School of Medicine

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