The attitudes of chiropractic students towards research at Durban University of Technology
Background: The aim of this study was to determine the attitudes of Chiropractic students towards research at Durban University of Technology (DUT). The Chiropractic profession has made significant progress with regard to the production of high quality and clinically relevant research (Newell and Cunliffe, 2003; Hawk et al, 2008) and the continuation of this research effort will be the responsibility of the graduates that constitute the future profession (Newell and Cunliffe, 2003). Furthermore Cull, Yudkowsky, Schonfeld, Berkowitz and Pan (2003) state that the greatest predictor of this is a positive attitude, therefore it is essential to establish the present attitudes amongst the students. Method: The study was a quantitative questionnaire based, self administered, attitudinal survey. The sample group included all the Chiropractic students registered at DUT (n=185). Results: There was a response rate of 74,59%. The results indicated that on average students thought that the research subjects and courses taught at DUT were not interesting and that they did not adequately prepare them to perform research. The majority of the students felt that the research process was completely vague to them and that they felt insecure about their knowledge of research methodology. It was evident that students thought that DUT staff members placed a great emphasis on research and that they were easy to approach with regards to research. The area of greatest concern was that although students thought that the student researcher relationship was of great importance, they indicated that it was difficult to find a supervisor and they also indicated that inadequate supervision had delayed their research progression. For the most part students thought that research was important and they enjoyed listening to and reading research. However, only slightly positive scores were recorded when students were asked if they wanted to do research in the future, as they felt it was difficult and time consuming. Conclusion: Many factors were significantly associated with positive attitudes towards research at DUT and the strongest correlation between scales was between the importance of research and positive feelings towards research (r=0.713). Most students felt research was important and that it made them more knowledgeable however, if given the choice they would study at an institute where research was not mandatory.
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