Clinical audit and research in radiography practice: An exploration of the English landscape
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Akudjedu, T. N.
Background: Research and clinical audit are central to the quality improvement (QI) process in healthcare; whereas research produces new knowledge, clinical audit establishes if practice is meeting set standards. Thus, radiographers have responsibility to engaging in these QI activities. This study aimed to explore radiographers' understanding, attitudes and level of involvement in clinical research and audit across England. Methods: A cross-sectional survey using an online questionnaire for data collection over a 6-week period was employed. The questionnaire consisted of open and closed ended questions. Participants were recruited through social media. The quantitative data obtained was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 26 (IBM Inc, Armonk, NY) whilst content analysis was used to analyse the free-response data. Results: A total of 100 valid responses were obtained after exclusion of 45 partial and/or incomplete responses. Radiographers showed a positive attitude towards involvement in research and audit with overall mean score of 3.85 (SD 0.80) and 4.01 (SD 0.80), respectively. Of the respondents, 35.7% (n = 35/98) were currently involved in clinical audit projects whilst 78.6% (n = 77/98) have previously been involved. Radiographers with postgraduate degrees were significantly more likely to have initiated research, 61.5% (n = 16/26) (p = 0.01) and to have previously been involved with research, 80.8% (n = 21/26) (p = 0.02). A significant association between radiographers' role and implementation of changes, following an audit (p = 0.03) was noted. Similarly, a significant association was noted between radiographers' role and initiation of research (p = 0.05). Conclusion: Clinical radiographers in England showed a positive attitude towards research and audit. However, this did not translate into actual participation in research and audit activities. Implications for practice: The need to stimulate clinical radiographers' interest in clinical audit and research is highlighted. Additionally, the findings support the rationale for managers to give more support including protected time to radiographers to engage in QI activities.
Clinical audit , Quality improvement , Radiographers , Research , Survey
Radiography (Lond) . 2023 Jan;29(1):200-206