Research demographics of Australian medical radiation practitioners

Minh Chau, Elizabeth Brown, Rachael Beldham-Collins, Nigel Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction
Advancement within the Medical Radiation Profession has seen an increased need for Medical Radiation Practitioners (MRPs) to develop research skills to provide and access relevant and accurate information to maintain best practice. The aim of this study was to ascertain the current research demographics of Australian Medical Radiation Practitioners (MRPs), determine perceived barriers to participating in research and to establish needs-based initiatives to support MRPs in undertaking research.

Methods
A quantitative and qualitative cross-sectional survey of Australian MRPs using an electronic survey tool was distributed between November and December 2020. Participants were recruited via an invitation email sent to Australian Society of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy (ASMIRT) members. A chain-referral sampling technique was adopted for data collection.

Results
A total of 431 participants responded to the survey, representing 2.3% of Australian MRPs. The majority of respondents had a bachelor's degree or higher (71.9%) with 8.4% having postgraduate research qualifications (PhD- 3.2%; Professional Doctorate- 0.7%; Masters- 4.5%). Of the respondents, 15.4% plan to undertake postgraduate research in the future, with 68.2% having no plans for postgraduate research. Respondents identified lack of time (47.0%), lack of interest (33.4%), cost (24.2%) and workplace support (23.9%) as contributing factors for not undertaking postgraduate research.

Conclusion
The number of MRPs who have been awarded or will be awarded a postgraduate degree has increased over recent decades. However, many still indicate a lack of interest in being actively involved in research. Targeted support mechanisms should be implemented to address perceived or real barriers to continue to grow research capacity within the profession.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Aug 2022

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