The scientific activity and research in a central hospital: a retrospective analysis of ten years.

Luís Pereira-da-Silva, Sandra Afonso, António Marques

Abstract


The scientific activity performed by doctors, whilst working in central hospitals, should be the major setting for clinical research. The purpose of this retrospective study was to measure the scientific activity and clinical research carried out by the medical staff at the central Hospital Dona Estefania.Between 1993 and 2002 (ten years) the abstracts included in the Hospital Dona Estefania's Scientific Year Book were analyzed. The type of studies, the number of communications and publications, and the scientific production (based on the ratio of number of studies per doctor in each specialty and subspecialty) were determined.During the ten years analyzed, 1821 studies were included and 49.7% of them were considered to be clinical research; the mean annual scientific production of the Hospital was 182 studies, 165 communications and 24.5 publications. During the year of 2002, 312 doctors in 24 specialties and subspecialties were considered, with a mean ratio per doctor of 0.73 studies, including 0.29 research studies.The Scientific Year Book was an extremely useful tool to directly measure the scientific activity and research of doctors working at the Hospital, including published and unpublished papers. As yet, there is no similar national study available to compare the obtained results. Nonetheless, the analyzed scientific activity, particularly the clinical research, appears to be insufficient considering that the analyzed scientific production belongs to a central hospital. The excessive clinical work and the negligible value for research considered in the Portuguese national regulations for contracting doctors for the permanent staff of central hospitals may have contributed towards the poor motivation of doctors in research found in this study.

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