Objective The obvious gap between evidence and practice in health care is unfavourable for patient care and requires the promotion of a scientific attitude among health care professionals. The aim of the present study was to determine the utilization of knowledge of and interest in research and development among primary care staff by means of a strategic communication process.
Method A cohort consisting of primary care staff (n = 1276) was designed and strategic communication was utilized as a platform over a 7-year period. Quantitative and qualitative methods were taken in account.
Results We found that 97% of the staff had gained knowledge of research and development, 60% of whom remained interested in the subject. The oral communication channel was the most powerful for creating research interest. Organizational culture was a barrier to interest in science.
Conclusion The study demonstrates a significant increase in knowledge and interest among primary care staff as a result of a strategic communication process.
Practice implications Strategic communication should lead to a more evenly distributed research commitment among all health care professionals, thus facilitating communication between them and patients in order to clarify, for example, the causes of disease.