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Despite top-down professional body and government agency pressure to increase the research base of clinical practice, there remains a considerable body of evidence which suggests that many ineffective, and even dangerous, health care interventions continue to be practised in areas where there are significant contradictory findings While numerous explanations have been put forward which implicate the role of structural, organizational and informational barriers to integrating research with practice, less attention has been focused on the individual and psychological contributions The study reported here forms part of a larger scale project aimed at developing a diagnostic instrument for identifying research training needs, in the widest sense, within primary health care groups To provide the instrument with content validity, following formal psychometric guidelines, opaque and transparent techniques of data collection were employed at the development stage This yielded some interesting and unexpected results from the respondents, which suggested that despite overt statements to the contrary, the majority of the primary health care professionals studied perceived research as being unimportant and peripheral to their jobs, and the responsibility of other health care professionals Moreover, the subjects' understanding of research and its methodologies was discordant both within and across professional groups The implications of these results from this pilot phase suggest that fundamental and deep-seated attitudes which are resistant to research maybe a contributory factor to the persistence of ritualistic, non-evidence-based care