Danish research-active clinical nurses overcome barriers in research utilization

L. Adamsen, Kristian Larsen, L. Bjerregaard, J.K. Madsen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Aim: The aim of this study was to examine whether there was a difference between clinical nurses who were research‐active, and clinical nurses who were nonresearch‐active in utilization of research. A further aim was to identify the most significant barriers faced by a group of Danish clinical nurses in their use of research.

Background: Discrepancy between the improved quality of research results and the lack of implementing them was the starting point for a series of studies which showed the types of barriers clinical nurses found especially cumbersome when applying the research results of other researchers. This study investigates whether the clinical nurses' own engagement in research had any impact on their perception of research utilization.

Methodology: The study had an exploratory and descriptive design. Seventy‐nine Danish clinical nurses participated and semi‐structured interviewing was used as the research method.

Findings: There was a statistically significant difference between the research‐active and nonresearch‐active nurses on various variables. The study showed that, to a larger extent, research‐active nurses used evidence‐based knowledge and were generally more internationally orientated. Furthermore, two important barriers for research utilization were identified by all 79 clinical nurses included in the study, i.e. 90% of the nurses explained that the quantity of research results was overwhelming, and 75% of them found that they were unable to evaluate the quality of the research.

Conclusions: Clinical nurses, who were research‐active themselves, experienced more success in overcoming some of the barriers, which existed in applying research to practice. The research potential found amongst clinical nurses in Denmark needed to be further supported through training and guidance in research methodology, establishing introductory stipends and part‐time research positions. By doing so, some of the barriers affecting research utilization and the so‐called theory–practice gap might be reduced. Further empirical studies, based on Giddens theory of sociological reflectivity, might see clinical nurses in a more serious light and simultaneously perceive them as producers of knowledge.
TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)57-65
StatusUdgivet - 2003
Udgivet eksterntJa


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