According to a survey, only half of Japanese physicians have a solid understanding of research integrity, even after completing research ethics training programs.
Takeshi Morimoto, professor of medicine at Hyogo College of Medicine, set out with his colleagues to survey 1,100 physicians who have worked on clinical studies.
âA succession of misconduct incidents have occurred in the research,â Morimoto said. âIt is essential not only to offer mandatory training programs, but also to introduce training methods that make physicians more active.
The results, published in the British Medical Journal in October at (https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/11/10/e052351), also showed that 10 percent of physicians copied parts of other research articles for their papers.
The investigation follows a series of scandals in medical circles, including one that involved falsified results on Diovan tablets for high blood pressure. Since then, physicians responsible for clinical studies have been subjected to educational programs to learn about the fairness and ethics of research.
Morimoto’s team conducted an online survey in March of last year to determine whether this type of training is effective in curbing questionable research practices.
When asked if they had any experiences in which research fairness was compromised, 11% admitted to inappropriately copying parts of other articles for their research, while 11% said they were co-authors of articles to which they have made no contribution in writing or proofreading.
On top of that, 5.8% said they presented their research results at conferences or academic papers without first obtaining approval from ethics review boards and other bodies.
The team said there were likely many more cases than what the study found, given that doctors are unlikely to readily admit gaps in research methods and ethical failures.
In their daily research processes, 69% said they were keenly aware of how to properly record and store data, while 60% said they paid special attention to the safety of test subjects. .
But only 36% said they made an effort to create images appropriately, and only 26% said they strictly adhere to the rule of not registering as a co-author of the study. unless they are responsible for writing or proofreading.
The team also investigated why physicians have so little awareness of research fairness.
Although 93 percent of physicians took research ethics training programs, 77 percent cited passive reasons for doing so, such as being “required by employers.”
Only 54 percent said they learned about problematic research methods after attending educational programs. The authors suggest that additional proactive training could help improve clinical research practices for physicians.