Barriers and facilitators to primary care research: views of GP trainees and trainers

Sarah Stephenson, Eugene Yee Hing Tang, Penny Williams, Hilary Allan, John Rouse, Morag Burton, Caroline Wroe, Richard Bellamy, Hannah Hesselgreaves*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Primary care plays an important role in the conception and delivery of transformational research but GP engagement lacks, prompting calls for the promotion of academic opportunities in primary care.

Aim: To identify potential barriers and facilitators amongst GP trainees and trainers in primary care research to inform support given by Local Clinical Research Networks (LCRNs).

Design & setting: A cross sectional online survey was developed and distributed by the CRN to GP trainees and trainers in the North East and North West.

Method: The survey covered areas including demographics, career intentions, current and potential engagement with research as well as their general understanding of research in primary care, that included barriers and facilitators to primary care research.

Results: Trainees had low intentionality to pursue research and half of trainees did not engage with any research activity. Despite 1 in five trainees reporting intentions to include research in their career, only 1% would undertake a solely academic career. Medical school region is the only strongly associated factor with academic career intention. Just under 30% of trainers reported engagement in research, but far fewer (8.6%) were interested in contributing to research, and only 10% felt prepared to mentor in research.

Conclusion: Among trainees, there is limited engagement in, and intentionality to pursue research and this is crucially reflected by responses from trainers. This study identifies the need for LCRN’s to assist with training in research mentoring and skills, funding opportunities and to develop resources to promote research in primary care.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberBJGPO.2021.0099
Number of pages8
JournalBJGP Open
Issue number2
Early online date8 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


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