Effectiveness of a 1-Year Resident Training Program in Clinical Research: A Controlled Before-and-After Study
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- Cite this article as:
- Löwe, B., Hartmann, M., Wild, B. et al. J GEN INTERN MED (2008) 23: 122. doi:10.1007/s11606-007-0397-8
To increase the number of clinician scientists and to improve research skills, a number of clinical research training programs have been recently established. However, controlled studies assessing their effectiveness are lacking.
To investigate the effectiveness of a 1-year resident training program in clinical research.
Controlled before-and-after study. The training program included a weekly class in clinical research methods, completion of a research project, and mentorship.
Intervention subjects were 15 residents participating in the 1-year training program in clinical research. Control subjects were 22 residents not participating in the training program.
Measurements and Main Results
Assessments were performed at the beginning and end of the program. Outcomes included methodological research knowledge (multiple-choice progress test), self-assessed research competence, progress on publications and grant applications, and evaluation of the program using quantitative and qualitative methods.
Intervention subjects and controls were well matched with respect to research experience (5.1 ± 2.2 vs 5.6 ± 5.8 years; p = .69). Methodological knowledge improved significantly more in the intervention group compared to the control group (effect size = 2.5; p < .001). Similarly, self-assessed research competence increased significantly more in the intervention group (effect size = 1.1; p = .01). At the end of the program, significantly more intervention subjects compared to controls were currently writing journal articles (87% vs 36%; p = .003). The intervention subjects evaluated the training program as highly valuable for becoming independent researchers.
A 1-year training program in clinical research can substantially increase research knowledge and productivity. The program design makes it feasible to implement in other academic settings.