Factors affecting undergraduates' participation in medical research in Lagos
Background: The current situation regarding the scope and contribution of undergraduate medical research to the health space in Nigeria is still largely unreported in formal literature. This study examined the knowledge, attitudes, and the perceived barriers faced by medical students in Lagos toward research. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study design was conducted among all medical students in 200–600 levels of study at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos. With the aid of Self-administered questionnaires, we examined their knowledge of research and the analytical tools used in research, their attitudes and the perceived barriers to their participation in research. Results: The data were obtained from 221 medical students, of whom 52.9% had prior involvement in research and 14.0% and 6.3% had presented or published their research, respectively. The overall knowledge of medical research was low (21.3%) and reported barriers included lack of funding for research' (79.6%), “lack of research and biostatistics curriculum” (76.0%), “inadequate training in research methodology” (74.7%), “insufficient time allocation to undergraduate research” (73.3%), “lack of professional supervisors and proper mentoring” (58.8%), and “lack of equipped laboratory facilities to conduct research” (77.8%). Conclusion: Our results highlight the need for more mentored supervision and training to improve their knowledge of the principles and techniques of clinical research to increase involvement.