The research capacity and culture of Australian podiatrists Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Best practice clinical health care is widely recognised to be founded on evidence based practice. Enhancing evidence based practice via the rapid translation of new evidence into every day clinical practice is fundamental to the success of health care and in turn health care professions. There is little known about the collective research capacity and culture of the podiatry profession across Australia. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the research capacity and culture of the podiatry profession within Australia and determine if there were any differences between podiatrists working in different health sectors and workplaces. METHOD: All registered podiatrists were eligible to participate in a cross-sectional online survey. The Australian Podiatry Associations disseminated the survey and all podiatrists were encouraged to distribute it to colleagues. The Research Capacity and Culture (RCC) tool was used to collect all research capacity and culture item variables using a 10-point scale (1 = lowest; 10 = highest). Additional demographic, workplace and health sector data variables were also collected. Mann-Whitney-U, Kruskal-Wallis and logistic regression analyses were used to determine any difference between health sectors and workplaces. Word cloud analysis was used for qualitative responses of individual motivators and barriers to research culture. RESULTS: There were 232 fully completed surveys (6% of Australian registered podiatrists). Overall respondents reported low success or skills (Median rating < 4) on the majority of individual success or skill items. Podiatrists working in multi-practitioner workplaces reported higher individual success or skills in the majority of items compared with sole practitioners (p < 0.05). Non-clinical and public health sector podiatrists reported significantly higher post-graduate study enrolment or completion, research activity participation, provisions to undertake research and individual success or skill than those working privately. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that podiatrists in Australia report similar low levels of research success or skill to those reported in other allied health professions. The workplace setting and health sector seem to play key roles in self reported research success and skills. This is important knowledge for podiatrists and researchers aiming to translate research evidence into clinical practice.

publication date

  • 2015