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Free Content Development and Evaluation of an Allied Health Research Training Scheme

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Allied health professionals are increasingly encouraged to utilise clinical research skills within their practice. While undergraduate allied health courses include some training in basic research skills, little is known about the most effective methods of continuing research training into professional life. This paper describes the implementation and evaluation of a 12-week allied health research training program, targeting interested clinicians and utilising a mixed approach of group learning and individual mentoring to guide participants through the process of conducting a systematic review of the literature. Evaluation included a qualitative analysis of in-depth semi-structured interviews with the first cohort of participants who completed the program (n=6) and their mentors (n=6), a quantitative analysis of changes in research interest, experience, and confidence of those who enrolled in the program (n=7) using the Research Spider tool, and a 6-month follow-up of research outputs resulting from the program. Results indicated that the program was beneficial, although the time and new learning required was a challenge for both participants and mentors. A significant increase was observed in research confidence, as well as an observed improvement in research experience, that approached but did not achieve statistical significance (p=0.06). At 6-month follow-up, the program had led to the submission of three papers for publication and one conference presentation. The results of the evaluation indicate that a research training program targeting motivated and interested clinicians and utilising existing resources can lead to tangible outputs within a clinical setting.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2010

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  • The Journal of Allied Health is the official publication of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP). The Journal is the only interdisciplinary allied health periodical, publishing scholarly works related to research and development, feature articles, research abstracts and book reviews. Readers of the Journal comprise allied health leaders, educators, faculty and students.
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