Perception, barriers, and practice of research among teaching staff at five Sudanese medical faculties

Anas Ibn Auf, Heitham Awadalla, Magda Elhadi Ahmed, Mohamed H. Ahmed


Background: Research is one of the best measures of scientific progress at both individual and institutional levels. The objective of this study was to assess perception, barriers, and practice of research among teaching staff at five Sudanese medical faculties.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study included 153 faculty members in three public and two private medical faculties. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to them. Data obtained had been analyzed using statistical package for social studies (SPSS) version 24.
Results: One hundred (65.4%) of respondents were males, and the mean age of them was 41.25 (±9.92) years, almost half of them were assistant professors (49%) and 90 (59%) of them work for public medical schools. Staff at medical faculties conducted more cross-sectional studies (30.6% of total research output), while literature review was the least type of research output (7.9%). Importantly, more research publication was associated with male participation (P=0.039) and research training (P=0.016). The perception of Sudanese doctors for research was strongly favorable (98.6%). Factors that significantly influence this positive perception for research were male gender (P=0.043), working for universities in Khartoum state (P=0.042), receiving undergraduate research education (P=0.010), research training after graduation (P=0.016) and years of research experience (P=0.042). The most important research barriers were lack of funding (79.6%), lack of financial incentives (66.4%), and work-related stress (57.2%).
Conclusions: Despite the high perceptions of Sudanese doctors for research, funding remained the most important barrier to research.