International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 450–458 | Cite as

Knowledge, attitudes, practices, and barriers related to research utilization: a survey among pharmacists in Malaysia

  • Sin Yee Tan
  • Ernieda HatahEmail author
Research Article


Background Research utilization is part of evidence-based practice referring to the process of reviewing and critiquing scientific research and applying the findings to one’s own clinical practice. Many studies on research utilization have been conducted with doctors and nurses, but to our knowledge, none have been investigated amongst pharmacists. Objective To assess research utilization and its barriers among pharmacists and identify potential influencing factors. Setting Malaysia. Methods This cross-sectional survey was administered online and by mail to a convenient sample of pharmacists working in hospitals, health clinics, and retail pharmacies in rural and urban areas. Main outcome measure Pharmacists’ research utilization knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Results Six hundred surveys were mailed to potential respondents, and 466 were returned (77.7% response rate). Twenty-eight respondents completed the survey online. The respondents’ research utilization knowledge, attitudes, and practices were found to be moderate. Research utilization was associated with respondents’ knowledge and attitude scores (P < 0.001). When factors related to research utilization were modelled, higher educational level was associated with higher level of research utilization (P < 0.001) while less involvement in journal clubs, more years of service (3–7 years and more than 7 years) were associated with low and moderate research utilization, respectively. The main reported barrier to research utilization was lack of sufficient authority to change patient care procedures. Conclusion Pharmacists’ research utilization knowledge, attitudes, and practices can be improved by encouraging pharmacists to pursue higher degrees, promoting active participation in institutions’ journal clubs, and introducing senior clinical pharmacist specialization.


Clinical pharmacy Malaysia Pharmacists Research utilization 



We would like to thank our site-investigators Mrs. Farizan Abdul Ghaffar, Ms. Salmi Abd Razak, Mrs. Syahirah Zainudi, Mrs. Shamini A/P Rama, Mrs. Sharifah Sazlin Syed Zainuddin, Mrs. Siti Rahimah Ismail, and Mrs. Hamiza Aziz from the Malaysia Ministry of Health as well as others who helped us with the survey distribution and collection. We also wish to thank the Clinical Research Centre of the hospitals that provided administrative support for this research.


Funding for this study was provided by the Research Development Fund Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (DPP-2015-FFAR).

Conflicts of interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of PharmacyUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Pharmacy DepartmentHospital Enche’ Besar Hajjah KhalsomKluangMalaysia

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