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Open Access Fostering interest in research: evaluation of an introductory research seminar at hospitals in rural Rwanda

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Settings: Partners In Health Rwanda, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, leads a multipronged approach to develop research capacity among health workers, particularly in rural areas.

Objectives: To describe the characteristics of participants and to assess the impact of an introductory research seminar series in three district hospitals in rural Rwanda.

Design: This was a retrospective cohort study of seminar participants. Data were sourced from personnel records, assessment sheets and feedback forms.

Results: A total of 126 participants, including 70 (56%) clinical and 56 (44%) non-clinical staff, attended the research seminar series; 61 (48%) received certification. Among those certified, the median assessment score on assignments was 79%. Participants read significantly more articles at 6 and 12 months (median 2 and 4 respectively, compared to 1 at baseline, P < 0.01). There was also a significant increase (P ≤ 0.05) in self-reported involvement in research studies (28%, baseline; 59%, 12 months) and attendance at other research training (36%, baseline; 65%, 12 months).

Conclusion: The introductory research seminar series provided an important opportunity for engagement in research among clinical and non-clinical staff. Such an activity is a key component of a comprehensive research capacity building programme at rural sites, and serves as an entry point for more advanced research training.
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Keywords: SORT IT; capacity building; operational research; research capacity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Partners In Health–Inshuti Mu Buzima, Kigali, Rwanda, International Health Science University, Kampala, Uganda 2: Partners In Health–Inshuti Mu Buzima, Kigali, Rwanda 3: Médecins Sans Frontières Luxembourg, Operational Center Brussels, Brussels, Belgium 4: Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium 5: Partners In Health–Inshuti Mu Buzima, Kigali, Rwanda, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA 6: Partners In Health–Inshuti Mu Buzima, Kigali, Rwanda, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA 7: Partners In Health–Inshuti Mu Buzima, Kigali, Rwanda, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, National University of Rwanda School of Public Health, Kigali, Rwanda

Publication date: December 21, 2014

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