Main Article Content

Salman Zahir
Daniyal Ahmed
Khansa Khan
Muhammad Hamza
Aneela Khan
Sarwat Jahan
Laraib Amin
Somia Mazhar


Medical Research, Research Challenges, Post Graduate Trainees, Undergraduate Medical Students, Peshawar, Pakistan.


Background: Medical research and its role in healthcare and medical education are of paramount importance. Early exposure to research during undergraduate and postgraduate medical programs can significantly enhance students' scientific skills and knowledge.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess the barriers encountered in pursuing research activities by undergraduate medical students and postgraduate trainees in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Methodology: This observational, cross-sectional study was conducted from March to August 2023, involving a total of 1000 participants, comprising 650 undergraduate medical students and 350 postgraduate trainees. Data was collected through questionnaires and Google forms, and the analysis was performed using SPSS version 26. The study focused on demographic information, research experience, and various barriers to research.

Results: A total of 1000 (100%) participants including 650 (65%) undergraduate medical students and 350 (35%) postgraduate trainees were involved in the study. The study found that 46.3% of undergraduate medical students and 68% of postgraduate trainees had prior research experience, with 27.2% of undergraduate medical students and 55.1% of postgraduate trainees having attended a medical research conference. Lack of time was a common barrier cited by both groups (P-Value=0.034), and there were significant differences in perceived barriers related to insufficient research knowledge (P-Value=0.025), scientific complexity(P-Value=0.032), lack of motivation (P-Value=0.031), topic selection (P-Value=0.024), proposal development (P-Value=0.003), statistical analysis(P-Value=0.011), and concerns about sexual harassment in research settings (P-Value=0.000). However, no significant differences were observed in difficulties related to data collection, report drafting, and database restrictions. Institutional and mentor-related barriers were also identified. Additionally, research publications and presentations barriers were also significant.

Conclusion: This study highlights the significant challenges faced by undergraduate medical students and postgraduate trainees in Peshawar, Pakistan when it comes to engaging in research activities. Differences in barriers exist, with negative mentor encounters and curriculum gaps being prominent issues. Institutional barriers such as funding and ethical approval also hinder research efforts.

Abstract 208 | PDF Downloads 65


1. El Achi D, Al Hakim L, Makki M, Mokaddem M, Khalil PA, Kaafarani BR, Tamim H. Perception, attitude, practice and barriers towards medical research among undergraduate students. BMC medical education. 2020 Dec;20:1-1.
2. Hegde A, Venkataramana G, Kulkarni SB, Bhaskar NN, Jacob J, Gangadharappa SK. Attitudes, experiences, and barriers to research and publishing among dental postgraduate students of Bengaluru City: A cross-sectional study. Journal of Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry. 2017 Apr 1;15(2):157-61.
3. Pallamparthy S, Basavareddy A. Knowledge, attitude, practice, and barriers toward research among medical students: A cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey. Perspectives in clinical research. 2019 Apr;10(2):73.
4. Abushouk AI, Hatata AN, Omran IM, Youniss MM, Elmansy KF, Meawad AG. Attitudes and perceived barriers among medical students towards clinical research: A cross-sectional study in an Egyptian medical school. J Biomed Educ. 2016 Oct;2016(7):5490575.
5. Assar A, Matar SG, Hasabo EA, Elsayed SM, Zaazouee MS, Hamdallah A, Elshanbary AA, Khaled A, Badr H, Abukmail H, Ragab KM. Knowledge, attitudes, practices and perceived barriers towards research in undergraduate medical students of six Arab countries. BMC Medical Education. 2022 Dec;22(1):1-1.
6. Ejaz K, Shamim MS, Shamim MS, Hussain SA. Involvement of medical students and fresh medical graduates of Karachi, Pakistan in research. Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association. 2011;61(2):115.
7. Raza F, Nisa Q. Perception, Attitudes and Barriers in undergraduate medical students toward medical research at rehman medical college, Peshawar, Pakistan. Khyber Medical University Journal. 2017 Oct 11;9(3):146-9.
8. Vodopivec I, Vujaklija A, Hrabak M, Lukic IK, Marusic A, Marusic M. Knowledge about and attitude towards science of first year medical students. Croatian medical journal. 2002 Feb 1;43(1):58-62.
9. Osman T. Medical students’ perceptions towards research at a Sudanese University. BMC medical education. 2016 Dec;16:1-6.
10. Funston G, Piper RJ, Connell C, Foden P, Young AM, O’Neill P. Medical student perceptions of research and research-orientated careers: an international questionnaire study. Medical teacher. 2016 Oct 2;38(10):1041-8.
11. Noorelahi MM, Soubhanneyaz AA, Kasim KA. Perceptions, barriers, and practices of medical research among students at Taibah College of Medicine, Madinah, Saudi Arabia. Advances in medical education and practice. 2015 Jul 6:479-85.
12. Dadipoor S, Ramezankhani A, Aghamolaei T, Safari-Moradabadi A. Barriers to research activities as perceived by medical university students: a cross-sectional study. Avicenna journal of medicine. 2019 Jan;9(01):8-14.
13. Sudarsan R, Ravindran V, Anjaneyulu K. Knowledge, Attitude, Practice and Barriers Towards Research Among Dental Undergraduates: A Questionnaire Based Survey. Indian Journal of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology. 2020 Oct 1;14(4).
14. Siemens DR, Punnen S, Wong J, Kanji N. A survey on the attitudes towards research in medical school. BMC medical education. 2010 Dec;10(1):1-7.
15. Kuo KN, Hwang TL, Chen PJ. Physician-scientist: attitude of graduates of clinical medicine graduate schools. Journal of the Formosan Medical Association. 2008 Jul 1;107(7):519-26.
16. Hegde A, Venkataramana G, Kulkarni SB, Bhaskar NN, Jacob J, Gangadharappa SK. Attitudes, experiences, and barriers to research and publishing among dental postgraduate students of Bengaluru City: A cross-sectional study. Journal of Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry. 2017 Apr 1;15(2):157-61
17. Kharraz R, Hamadah R, AlFawaz D, Attasi J, Obeidat AS, Alkattan W, Abu-Zaid A. Perceived barriers towards participation in undergraduate research activities among medical students at Alfaisal University—College of Medicine: A Saudi Arabian perspective. Medical teacher. 2016 Mar 25;38(sup1):S12-8.
18. Mostafa SR, Khashab SK, Fouaad AS, Baky A, Waly AM. Engaging undergraduate medical students in health research: students' perceptions and attitudes, and evaluation of a training workshop on research methodology. The Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association. 2006 Jan 1;81(1-2):99-118.
19. Mokry J, Mokra D. Opinions of medical students on the pre-graduate scientific activities-how to improve the situation?. Biomedical Papers of the Medical Faculty of Palacky University in Olomouc. 2007 Jun 1;151(1).
20. De Oliveira NA, Luz MR, Saraiva RM, Alves LA. Student views of research training programmes in medical schools. Medical education. 2011 Jul;45(7):748-55.

Most read articles by the same author(s)