Mental Health Nurses' and Allied Health Professionals' Individual Research Capacity and Organizational Research Culture: A comparative study

Geoffrey Dickens*, Maria Avantaggiato-Quinn, Sara-Jaye Long, Mariyana Schoultz, Nicola Clibbens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Healthcare professionals have development needs related to their consumption, use, and practice of clinical research. Little is known about these issues in mental health services specifically.

OBJECTIVES: A survey of healthcare staff working in an NHS Mental Health and Disability Trust in England was conducted to describe research capacity and culture compared with previously reported samples, and to examine subgroup differences.

METHODS: An online questionnaire was utilized. The main measure was the Research Capacity and Culture tool comprising measures of individual's perceived research skills and of team and organizational research culture. Previous studies using the same measure were systematically identified, and pooled results, weighted by sample size, were calculated. Analyses were descriptive (current sample versus previous results) and inferential (comparisons between demographic and professional groups within the current sample).

RESULTS: N  = 293 people completed the survey. The median item scores were poorer than those of pooled samples from studies reporting median item scores on 39/51 (76.5%) occasions and poorer than those pooled samples of studies reporting mean item scores on 51/51 (100.0%) occasions. Individual capability for research was in the 'less than adequate' range more than in previous samples (71.4% vs. 42.9%). For team culture items, the proportions were 84.2% vs. 78.9%, while most responses about organizational culture were in the 'adequate' range (55.6% vs. 66.7%). Staff >20 years employment had poorer perceptions of team and organizational culture.

CONCLUSION: Perceptions of individual research capacity and team and organizational culture were poor compared with previous studies, most of which were conducted in non-mental health settings. There is need for development of research capacity and culture in mental health services including opportunities to develop basic research skills through to strategic developments to promote clinical academic careers. There is considerable room for improvement in the way organizations support research and signpost opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23779608241250207
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalSAGE Open Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2024

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