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      Developing indicators for measuring Research Capacity Development in primary care organizations: a consensus approach using a nominal group technique.

      Health & Social Care in the Community

      State Medicine, Research, Questionnaires, organization & administration, Primary Health Care, Humans, Hospitals, Public, Great Britain, Consensus, standards, Capacity Building

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          Research Capacity Development (RCD) in the National Health Service supports the production of evidence for decision-making in policy and practice. This study aimed to establish a level of consensus on a range of indicators to measure research capacity in primary care organizations. Indicators were developed in a two-stage process using workshops and modified nominal group technique. In 2005, workshops were used to generate possible indicators from a wide range of research active and research-interested people. A theoretical framework of six principles of RCD was used to explore and identify indicators. Data were thematically coded, and a 129-item, 9-point Likert scale questionnaire was developed. A purposive sample of nine experts in developing research capacity in primary care agreed to take part in a nominal group in April 2006. The questionnaire was circulated prior to the meeting, and analysis of the responses formed the basis for structured discussion. Participants were then asked to rescore the questionnaire. Only seven participants were able to take part in the discussion and rescore stages. Data were analysed in two ways: level of relevance attributed to each indicator as a measure of organizational RCD, represented by median responses (medians of 7-9 defined strong support, 4-6 indicated moderate support and 1-3 indicated weak support), and level of consensus reached by the group. Consensus was reached if 85% of the group rated an indicator within the same band. Eighty-nine (68%) indicators were ranked as strongly relevant, and for seventy-three of these indicators, a consensus was reached. The study was successful in generating a set of agreed indicators considered relevant for measuring RCD in primary care organizations. These will form the basis of a pilot tool kit to assist primary care organizations to develop research capacity. Further work will explore the applicability of the indicators in practice.

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