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J Educ Health Promot. 2019 Jul 29;8:134. doi: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_464_18. eCollection 2019.

Medical research: Perception and barriers to its practice among medical school students of Chennai.

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Department of Community Medicine, Chettinad Hospital and Research Institute, Chettinad Academy of Research and Education (CARE), Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.



Knowledge of medical students about research has been little explored. Although there has been a practice of medical research among undergraduate level, the practice is not universal and there have been potential barriers and difficulties in carrying out the research. The present study was done to find the perception and attitude toward medical research and to assess the practices and potential barriers in carrying out medical research.


This cross-sectional study was conducted among 344 medical school students of a medical college in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, in 2018. Systematic random sampling was used. The study tool was self-administered questionnaire including questions on knowledge, barrier, and 5-point Likert scale for assessing attitude. Adequate knowledge (>70% correct answers) and positive attitude (>25 score) were considered.


Among the 344 study participants, only 127 (36.9%) of students had adequate knowledge and 68 (19.8%) had positive attitude toward medical research. Regarding practice of research, only 34.3% had conducted a research and only 17.4% had published in journals. Difficulty in choosing topic, difficulty in collecting data, and allocation of time amidst academic activities were considered as a barrier by 41.6%, 40.7%, and 45.9%, respectively. Association of adequate knowledge and practice was statistically significant for age (P = 0.000), gender (P = 0.000), and academic year (P = 0.000).


Adequate knowledge and positive attitude were lacking in majority of students. Barriers could be addressed by support programs and sensitization toward research.


Medical research; barriers; medical students; perception

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