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What influences postgraduate psychiatric trainees’ attitudes to clinical audit?

  • S. McWilliams (a1) and S. Schofield (a2)



Clinical audit is an important component of safe and ethical practice but many clinicians cite barriers to engagement in audit.


A total of 81 basic specialist trainees in psychiatry were surveyed in terms of their basic demographic details and their knowledge, direct experience and attitudes in relation to clinical audit.


Among the 49 (60.5%) who responded, 57.1% had received formal training in audit, but only 20.4% had received more than four hours of training in their whole career. The median positivity score was 30 out of a possible 54 (range 12–40), suggesting that participating trainees were barely more than ‘undecided’ overall when it comes to positive attitudes to clinical audit. Age, nationality and specific training did not predict attitudes to clinical audit. Gender, years of clinical experience and direct experience of clinical audit did not significantly predict attitudes to clinical audit, but these findings are at odds with some previous research.


Much work is needed in improving postgraduate trainees’ attitudes to clinical audit, given that clinical audit is essential for good medical practice. Ours is an initial study of this area of training limited by sample size and the narrowness of the group tested. Further study of other specialities, higher trainees and consultant trainers would further enhance our understanding.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: S. McWilliams MD, Saint John of God Hospital, Stillorgan, Co Dublin, A94FH92 Ireland. (Email:


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What influences postgraduate psychiatric trainees’ attitudes to clinical audit?

  • S. McWilliams (a1) and S. Schofield (a2)


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