Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Translating the Evidence-Based NICU COPE Program for Parents of Premature Infants Into Clinical Practice: Impact on Nurses' Evidence-Based Practice and Lessons Learned

Melnyk, Bernadette Mazurek PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FNAP, FAAN; Bullock, Tracey MS; McGrath, Jacqueline PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN; Jacobson, Diana PhD, RN, CPNP-BC; Kelly, Stephanie PhD, RN, FNP-BC; Baba, Lisa MS, RN

The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing: January-March 2010 - Volume 24 - Issue 1 - p 74–80
doi: 10.1097/JPN.0b013e3181ce314b
Feature Articles

Background and Purpose Many interventions that have been supported as efficacious through research never make it to clinical practice to improve care and patient outcomes. Therefore, the purposes of this dissemination-implementation study were to determine (a) the impact of translating the evidence-based Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment (COPE) program for parents of premature infants into clinical practice on nurses' EBP (evidence-based practice) beliefs and implementation; (b) the best strategy for disseminating COPE into the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), including evaluating the use of a COPE EBP mentor; and (c) barriers and facilitators to successful implementation of the COPE program.

Subjects and Methods The subjects for this study were 81 (45%) out of 180 nurses from a 55-bed NICU of a large children's hospital located in the Southwest region of the United States. The nurses completed the EBP beliefs and EBP implementation scales at baseline and 6 months after a full-day workshop on COPE and EBP and introduction of the COPE program into the unit. Evaluations from the nurses assisted in the identification of barriers and facilitators that fostered implementation of COPE in the NICU.

Findings and Conclusions Nurses in the 2 pods in which COPE was being implemented reported higher EBP beliefs and greater EBP implementation than did nurses in the non-COPE pods. The EBP mentor was instrumental in routine delivery of COPE to the parents. Strategies to accelerate the translation of efficacious interventions into clinical practice and to create cultures to support evidence-based care in healthcare systems are urgently needed.

Arizona State University College of Nursing & Healthcare Innovation (Drs Melynk, Jacobson, and Kelly), Phoenix Children's Hospital (Ms Bullock), and Phoenix College (Ms Baba), Phoenix, Arizona; and Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond (Dr McGrath).

Corresponding Author: Diana Jacobson, PhD, RN, CPNP-BC, Arizona State University College of Nursing & Health Innovation, 500 N 3rd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004 (

This study was funded by a Phoenix Children's Hospital Competitive Grant Award. For more information about the COPE program, please contact at or visit

Submitted for publication: February 17, 2009

Accepted for publication: December 05, 2009

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.