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Background: Primary healthcare has a long and successful patient care history in Sweden. Nevertheless, a research-oriented attitude has been more or less absent in this context. In society today, access to information has significantly influenced the nature of patients' demand for up-to-date healthcare. A prerequisite for this new demand is health professionals who are interested in novel ways of thinking and view a change of work practices as necessary. One way to achieve this goal is by means of strategic communication, which is a relatively new interdisciplinary field. The aim of this study was to analyse the role of strategic communication in the creation of intentions in Research and Development (R&D) among primary healthcare staff as measured by a validated instrument. Methods: An intervention study on staff was performed. A 15-item questionnaire was validated and implemented. All primary healthcare staff from the southwestern Swedish province of Halland were included. In total, 846 employees (70%) agreed to participate in the measurements. After 12 years, 352 individuals who had participated in the intervention and remained in the organisation were identified and followed up. The intervention comprised established communication channels. The measurements were performed after 7 and 12 years. A questionnaire was designed for this purpose. The questions were validated by a factor analysis, and the degree of reliability was measured with Cronbach's alpha coefficient. χ2 and Fisher's exact tests were used as statistical tests in comparisons. Results: Factor analysis identified five pure factors (most Cronbach's alpha > 0.70). Strategic communication contributed to a significant improvement in the staff members' interest in R&D and willingness to change in both the short (P < 0.05) and long (P < 0.05) term. The positive attitude was stable over time. Conclusions: Strategic communication seems to be a significant tool for creating a stable positive attitude towards R&D in the primary healthcare context. The creation of a positive attitude towards a scientific approach is a relevant finding that deserves special attention in a context as complex as healthcare. Using a validated instrument seems to contribute to pure results in this case.
Morténius, H., & Baigi, A. (2019). Promoting the creation of R&D intentions in primary healthcare measured by a validated instrument. Health Research Policy and Systems, 17(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12961-019-0513-3