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Factors that Influence Research Involvement among Registered Dietitians Working as University Faculty: A Qualitative Interview Study

Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
DOI: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.03.002
  • Research
  • Dietitian
  • Education
  • Faculty
  • University
  • Education
  • Medicine
  • Philosophy


Abstract Research involvement is fundamental to the practice of dietetics and dietetics faculty should be ideally placed to contribute to this. Studies have identified a range of factors that influence faculty research involvement, many of which are relevant to registered dietitians. The aim of this study was to explore the factors that influence research involvement among dietetics faculty using qualitative semi-structured interviews. Thirteen dietetics faculty members were purposively sampled and participated in semi-structured interviews. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed thematically by the same researcher. Eight themes emerged that influenced research involvement among dietetics faculty and these related to the following distinct factors: institution and department (ie, size and structure, research philosophy, being established in research); activities (ie, faculty roles, time and teaching, research and grants); and individuals (ie, significant others, self). There was complex interaction between each of the eight themes. Many of the themes were very specific to the dietetics context, including being a small discipline, being in newer universities without established research portfolios, having greater teaching responsibilities, and the availability of grants in areas related to nutrition. The factors influencing research involvement among dietetics faculty members are complex and interact; therefore, solutions to overcome these barriers will need to account for this. These findings provide understanding that can contribute to this endeavor.

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