The purpose of this study was to extend a previous evaluation of neuroscience nursing research to an assessment of the research published during the 1990s—the Decade of the Brain. The evaluation was conducted to assess the focus of neuroscience nursing research and to identify research strategies and scientific methods. The Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, Nursing Research, Research in Nursing & Health, and Western Journal of Nursing Research were canvassed. An assessment form developed by the authors was used to evaluate selected articles published between January 1989 and December 2000. The number of neuroscience research studies published in nursing journals increased substantially during the 1990s. The studies focused more on individuals with neurological disorders and less on neurological trauma. The findings demonstrated major changes in subspecialty area, care orientation, and nature of study variables from that observed in the previous evaluation in which acute care and physiological variables were most representative of the pre-1989 studies. As noted in the previous evaluation, the trend toward theory-then-research studies continued and the scientific methods grew more complex.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to: Colleen DiIorio, PhD RN FAAN, by phone at 404/727-8741 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is a professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
Katherine A. Yeager, MS RN, is a research nurse senior in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.
Barbara H. Donahue, MA, is an information analyst in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.
Jill Wasserman, MPH, was a graduate student at Emory University, Atlanta, at the time this article was written.
Andrea Postier, MPH, is the research coordinator at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, St. Paul, MN.
Lynne Broderick, MPH, is the grant research specialist at Shepherd Center, Atlanta, GA.
© 2004 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses