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Overcoming Barriers and Promoting the Use of Research in Practice

Fink, Regina PhD, RN, FAAN, AOCN; Thompson, Cathy J. PhD, RN, CNS; Bonnes, Deborah BSN, RN

Journal of Nursing Administration: March 2005 - Volume 35 - Issue 3 - p 121–129

Objectives To identify changes in nurse attitudes toward research utilization and the organization's research environment preimplementation and postimplementation of a multifaceted intervention to promote the use of research in practice.

Background Nursing practice based on research evidence has been shown to promote positive patient outcomes. Personal characteristics such as positive attitudes and involvement have been positively correlated with research utilization. Organizational culture is a determinant of nurses' use of research in practice. Healthcare organizations must develop a supportive environment in an effort to attract nurses who share a similar philosophy to positively influence the organization's research culture and ultimately the care patients receive.

Methods A descriptive, cross-sectional, presurvey and postsurvey design was used to identify inpatient nurses' personal and professional characteristics, perceptions of organizational culture, and the effectiveness of organizational strategies. Baseline and post implementation data were collected using the BARRIERS to Research Utilization Scale and the Research Factor Questionnaire.

Results There was improvement in nurses' perception of barriers and organizational culture postimplementation of the multifaceted intervention. Journal club participation was one of the key strategies that facilitated research utilization.

Conclusions Moving research findings into practice is important for the nursing profession. Barriers to the use of research findings in practice must be modified. A dialogue between administration and staff about how to remove the barriers is critical.

Research Nurse Scientist (Dr Fink); Clinical Charge Nurse IV (Ms Bonnes), University of Colorado Hospital, Denver; Assistant Professor (Dr Thompson), University of Colorado School of Nursing, Denver.

Corresponding author: Dr Fink, University of Colorado Hospital, 4200 E Ninth Ave, Box A021-255, Denver, CO 80262 (

Funding: CU-SON Intramural grant 2001-2003.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.