Objective: To compare the medical research output of the Section of Psychiatry, The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, before and after the implementation of strategies aimed at stimulating research.
Method: Specific strategies such as weekly research and journal club meetings, with an emphasis on team activities and the establishment of bi-annual targets for submission of research papers were instituted in 2000. All research outputs from the Section of Psychiatry over the period 1995 to 2005 were identified from the Departmental Reports of the University of the West Indies and the published abstracts of the UWI Faculty of Medical Sciences and the Caribbean Health Research Council annual research conferences. A number of variables were extracted from each paper and comparisons made between the five-year period before and the five-year period after the implementation of the research enhancing strategies. Statistical analyses were performed with the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS; version 11.5) and included chi-squared and Mann Whitney U tests.
Results: One-hundred and sixty-two items of research output were identified for the entire period under study. In the period after the implementation of the research enhancing strategies, there were significant increases in the total research output (p = 0.008) and refereed publications (p = 0.016).
Conclusions: There were considerable increases in the overall research output of the department as well as in many sub-categories of output. These strategies are presented as a model to other departments seeking to augment their output of research.