Pi Phi Chapter

Perception of Nursing Research Utilization among Attendees at a Nursing Research Conference

Nursing Research on the Green

2016 Abstract

Ann Falkenberg Olson, PhD, CNP, RN; Cynthia Cassellius, MSN, RN; Rosemarie Hoff, DNP, RN, CNE; Charlene Hopkins, MSN, RN, CNE; Dawn Steffes; Mary Ellen Stolder, PhD, RN, ANP-BC; Delayne Vogel, MSN, RN, CNE – Gundersen Health System, Viterbo University, Western Technical College

  • Background:  Historically, nurses' perceptions of research may affect their direct involvement in effective, proactive, meaningful research projects that support progressive change.
  • Significance:  As complexity of our health care system evolves, nurses may not perceive the importance of their role in the research process.
  • Purpose/objective:  The purpose of this study was to identify and describe endorsers and barriers to research utilization among attendees at a regional annual nursing research conference.
  • Methods/project:   The setting was at an annual regional nursing research conference, sponsored by a partnership of regional health care organizations and academic institutions, and attended by practicing nurses as well as undergraduate and graduate nursing students. This study used a descriptive design with one day of data collection. The Research Utilization Questionnaire was administered to both practicing nurses and nursing students. Research utilization issues were measured within three subscales: attitudes toward research (12 items), availability and support for implementation (8 items), and daily practice research use (9 items). Using a convenience sampling method, this tool was administered onsite to conference attendees via hard-copy or tablet/laptop/internet-based access.
  • Results:  93 conference attendees completed the questionnaire for a 21% participation rate. Thirty three of the respondents identified themselves as undergraduate nursing students and 60 of the respondents self-identified as nurses. Based on single item statement, “I wish to change my practice based on research,” 86.44% of practicing nurses stated they wished to change their practice based on research compared to 59.38% of undergraduate students (p = .012).  A single item statement, “research is understandable” was endorsed by 64.86% of nurses who do not provide direct patient care compared to 52.17% of nurses who provide direct patient care (p = .031). Daily practice research use significantly differed on three items on the daily practice research use subscale, with nurses in nondirect roles endorsing the use of research in day-to-day practice (p =.017); use of research findings in clinical practice (p =.003); and helping others to apply research in clinical practice (p = .029). Perceived barriers to research utilization significantly differed between nurses in direct versus nondirect roles on four items on a subscale measuring availability and support for utilization, with nurses in direct care roles more likely to identify a lack of manager support
    (p =.053), insufficient quality of existing research (p =.011), a lack of time (p =.034), and lack of research conducted in the work environment (p = .07) as barriers.
    Although attitudes toward research utilization in the clinical setting are positive among nurses, nurses in direct care roles perceived significantly more barriers and were less likely report the application of research in daily practice.
  • Clinical implications:  A perceived lack of availability and support for implementation is significant barrier to research utilization in practice. Nurses in direct care roles in particular may benefit from administrative support and help from nurse researchers to better understand and utilize research findings in the clinical setting.

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