• Neurosurgeons’ experiences of conducting and disseminating clinical research in low- and middle-income countries: A qualitative study protocol

      Whiffin, Charlotte, J.; Smith, Brandon, G.; Ignatius, Esene, N.; Karekezi, Claire; Bashford, Tom; Khan, Muhammed, M; Solla, Davi, JF; Hutchinson, Peter, J.; Kolias, Angelos; University of Derby; et al. (BMJ, 2020-08-13)
      Low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) face the greatest burden of neurotrauma. However, most of the research published in scientific journals originates from high-income countries, suggesting those in LMICs are either not engaging in research, or are not publishing it. Evidence originating in high-income countries may not be generalisable to LMICs, therefore it is important to nurture research capacity in LMICs so that a relevant evidence base can be developed. However, little is published about specific challenges or contextual issues relevant to increasing research activity of neurosurgeons in LMICs. Therefore, the aim of this study was to understand neurosurgeons’ experiences of, aspirations for and ability to, conduct and disseminate clinical research in low- and middle-income countries. This is a pragmatic qualitative study situated within the naturalistic paradigm using focus groups and interviews with a purposive sample of neurosurgeons from LMICs. First, we will conduct asynchronous online focus groups with 36 neurosurgeons to broadly explore issues relevant to the study aim. Second, we will select 20 participants for follow-up semi-structured interviews to explore concepts in more depth and detail than could be achieved in the focus group. Interviews will be audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. A thematic analysis will be conducted following Braun and Clarke’s six stages and will be supported by NVIVO software. The University of Cambridge Psychology Research Ethics Committee reviewed and approved this study in January 2020 (REF PRE.2020.006). Participants will provide informed consent, be able to withdraw at any time and will have their contributions kept confidential. The findings of the study will be shared with relevant stakeholders and disseminated in conference presentations and journal publications.