McBride KE, Young JM, Bannon PG, Solomon MJ

ANZ J Surg 2017 Jan;87(1-2):70-75

PMID: 27880987


BACKGROUND: To undertake a comprehensive needs assessment to determine the baseline of surgical research activity at a tertiary referral hospital in Sydney, Australia.

METHOD: The comprehensive needs assessment comprised three components: a retrospective audit of the hospital ethics committee records to identify surgical research activity; a survey of all 17 surgical departments about the availability of 10 potential research resources and a survey of surgical staff to ascertain perceptions of research culture at the organizational, team and individual levels.

RESULTS: Of all research studies submitted to the hospital ethics committee in a 2-year period, only 9% were identified as surgical studies. Among the 17 surgical departments, there was wide variation in activity with only four defined as being ‘research active’. On average, 52% of potential resources for surgical research were found to be in place within surgical departments. Only five departments were considered to be adequately research resourced (≥75% potential resources in place). Surgical research culture was rated ‘moderate’ at the organizational and team level, and ‘low’ at the individual level. Medical staff rated research capacity significantly higher at the team and individual levels compared to nursing staff.

CONCLUSION: Collectively, the baseline results indicate there is considerable opportunity to enhance surgical research at the hospital level and to use this information to guide new and innovative approaches in the future.