OBJECTIVE: To explore Cambodian community members' understanding of and attitudes towards healthcare research. DESIGN: This qualitative study generated data from semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. This study was conducted at a non-governmental paediatric hospital and in nearby villages in Siem Reap province, Cambodia. A total of ten semi-structured interviews and four focus group discussions were conducted, involving 27 participants. Iterative data collection and analysis were performed concurrently. Data were analysed by thematic content analysis and the coding structure was developed using relevant literature. RESULTS: Participants did not have a clear understanding of what activities related to research compared with those for routine healthcare. Key attitudes towards research were responsibility and trust: personal (trust of the researcher directly) and institutional (trust of the institution as a whole). Villagers believe the village headman holds responsibility for community activities, while the village headman believes that this responsibility should be shared across all levels of the government system. CONCLUSIONS: It is essential for researchers to understand the structure and relationship within the community they wish to work with in order to develop trust among community participants. This aids effective communication and understanding among all parties, enabling high quality ethical research to be conducted.
Cambodia, Community Participation, Focus Groups, Health Services Research, Humans, Parental Consent, Public Opinion, Research Personnel, Trust