Health Systems and Policy Research

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Research Uptake in a Low Resource Setting: How can a Low Resource Country Improve?

Jerry Sigudla* and Jeanette Maritz

Introduction: Low-resource countries, including South Africa, face similar challenges in implementing research findings, where there is an enormous time- lags between discovery and integration of research evidence in practice and policy development due to shortage of resources, skills and competing priorities.

Objective: This paper attempts to resolve this, by focusing on the emergence and persistence of low research uptake to develop a tailored model to enable an optimal uptake of public health research findings.

Methods: Although the study initially employs a two-phase exploratory sequential approach, this paper focuses on the results generated from quantitative approach.

Results: By use of Exploratory Factor Analysis, the survey results established a total of 13 factors affecting research uptake: four individual factors (support, experience, motivation and time factor); four organizational factors (research agenda, funding, resources and partnerships), and five research characteristics factors (gatekeeping, local research committees, accessibility of evidence, quality of evidence and critical appraisal skills). However, the Spearman’s correlation coefficient revealed that only six factors had a significant positive correlation with research uptake, namely: support, experience, motivation, time factor, resources, and critical appraisal skills.

Conclusion: In the context of research uptake in low-resource settings, understanding of these critical factors is important to developing targeted interventions for improving research uptake.