Open Access Research article

Attitudes of developing world physicians to where medical research is performed and reported

John Page1, Richard F Heller1*, Scott Kinlay1, Lynette L-Y Lim1, Wang Qian2, Zheng Suping3, Supornchai Kongpatanakul4, Murtaza Akhtar5, Salah Khedr6 and William Macharia7

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia

2 Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Shanghai Medical University, Shanghai, China

3 Department of Clinical Epidemiology, West China University of Medical Sciences, Chengdu, China

4 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

5 Government Medical College, Maharastra State, Nagpur, India

6 Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Suez Canal University, Suez Canal, Ismalia, Egypt

7 Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

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BMC Public Health 2003, 3:6  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-3-6

Published: 16 January 2003



Little is known about the influence of the site of research or publication on the impact of the research findings on clinical practice, particularly in developing countries. The International Clinical Epidemiology Network (INCLEN) is dedicated to improving the quality of health research in the Developing World through institutional capacity building for evidence based medicine, and provided the opportunity to examine the likely impact of research location and journal location on physicians' practice in a number of the participating countries.


Physicians from secondary and tertiary hospitals in six cities located in China, Thailand, India, Egypt and Kenya were enrolled in a cross-sectional questionnaire survey. The primary outcome measures were scores on a Likert scale reflecting stated likelihood of changing clinical practice depending on the source of the research or its publication.


Overall, local research and publications were most likely to effect change in clinical practice, followed by North American, European and regional research/publications respectively, although there were significant variations between countries. The impact of local and regional research would be greater if the perceived research quality improved in those settings.


Conducting high quality local research is likely to be an effective way of getting research findings into practice in developing countries.