Background: The recruitment of doctors and patients is difficult for research in general practice. The main objective of the DRIM study was to evaluate the propensity of GPs to participate and to identify its determinants.
Method: Cross-sectional postal questionnaire and telephone follow-up to 452 GPs representative of the Rhône-Alpes area.
Results: From 284 responses (63%), 30% (25-35%) wished to participate as an investigator and 29% (24-35%) had already done it, especially if they were young (OR = 1.9 by 10 years) or tutors (OR = 2.3) or had participated in research projects (OR = 3.4); 55% had participated in clinical trials, of which only 20% wished to participate in the future, other expectations concerning descriptive (26%), etiologic (22%) and intervention studies (20%). The attractive fields of research were the preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as well as the quality of care. The preferred clinical themes were the cardiovascular, metabolic, musculoskeletal and respiratory themes. Doctors brought forward 3 conditions of participation: feedback, compensation, and relevance of the topic of the study and 2 major obstacles: lack of time and the burden of paper works for the project.
Conclusion: Nearly one in three GPs wish to participate in research projects in primary care, provided that there would be different types of projects (etiological studies, intervention trials...), different themes (musculoskeletal problems, obstetric and gynecology...), different fields (quality of care, diagnostic procedures...) and certainly different sources of funding.