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Clin Transl Sci. 2010 Oct;3(5):243-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-8062.2010.00229.x.

Evaluation of clinical research training programs using the clinical research appraisal inventory.

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Clinical Research Training Center, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.


The purpose of this study was to measure change in clinical research self-efficacy after participating in KL2, postdoctoral and predoctoral clinical research training programs at Washington University School of Medicine. We surveyed program participants using a 76-item version of the Clinical Research Appraisal Inventory (CRAI). Principal components analysis (PCA) examined the CRAI’s underlying factor structure; Cronbach alpha measured the internal consistency of items on each subscale and the overall CRAI. CRAI score changes from baseline to 1-year follow-up were assessed using repeated-measures analysis of variance. All 29 KL2, 47 postdoctoral, and 31 TL1 scholars enrolled 2006-2009 (mean age 31.6 years, range 22-44; 59.6% female; 65.4% white) completed baseline surveys. Of these participants, 22 KL2, 17 postdoctoral, and 21 TL1 scholars completed the 1-year follow-up assessment. PCA resulted in a seven-factor solution with 69 items (alphas > 0.849 for each subscale and 69-item CRAI). Significant improvements at 1-year follow-up were observed across all programs for Study Design/Data Analysis ( p = .016), Interpreting/Reporting/Presenting ( p = .034), and overall CRAI ( p = .050). Differences between programs were observed for all but one subscale (each p < .05). Clinical research self-efficacy increased 1 year after clinical research training. Whether this short-term outcome correlates with long-term clinical research productivity, requires further study.

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