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What are the conditions for clinical research in Sweden?

Clinical research is necessary for developing and improving healthcare in Sweden. The Swedish Research Council has now found out what researchers and doctoral students think about the conditions for conducting clinical research.

The analysis identifies challenges at national level to conducting clinical research in parallel with clinical work in health and medical care. It describes and analyses challenges relating to gender equality, career paths, incentives for clinical research, and safeguarding time for research. The analysis is based on a survey and interviews with focus groups.

One of the most important conditions for being able to conduct clinical research is to be allowed to set aside time for doing this in parallel with clinical practice. Almost 30 per cent of the clinical researchers in the ALF regions do not have any contracted time at all for research – this applies in particular to junior researchers.

Clinical research needs support from the highest level

In the survey, researchers emphasise the conditions that are important for clinical research – and the extent to which these conditions are implemented in their own organisations. They consider that healthcare principals must guarantee research time, resources and incentives for clinical research to a greater extent than applies today.

The research culture in health and medical care is generally perceived as being weak, and many researchers state that clinical research is not sufficiently prioritised and valued by the organisation.

“The conditions for clinical researchers in Sweden must quite clearly be improved. The result shows that clinical research needs to be promoted at all levels in healthcare organisations and in collaborations, at both national and international level. We hope that our report can be used as the basis for such discussions,” says Jonas Oldgren, Secretary General for Clinical Research at the Swedish Research Council.

Read the report “The conditions for clinical researchers in Sweden” (in Swedish with summary in English)

How the study was carried out

The survey responses were collected via the ALF evaluation of the conditions for clinical research in spring 2022. Of the 3 322 researchers and doctoral students in total, 72 per cent responded. The results from the survey were supplemented with interviews with researchers and doctoral students in focus groups.

The conditions discussed were:

  • Access to research infrastructures
  • Time for research
  • Career development for clinical researchers
  • Incentives for clinical research

The report will be presented at InFuturum on 24 November

During the InFuturum conference in Örebro, Jonas Oldgren, Secretary General for Clinical Research, and Maria Bergström, Analyst, will be presenting the report under the heading: Den kliniska forskningens förutsättningar – ett nationellt perspektiv (“The conditions for clinical research – a national perspective”)

Read more about the conference on Örebro University’s website (in Swedish) External link.

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