Barriers to and facilitators of research use in clinical practice for a sample of New Zealand registered nurses : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Nursing at Massey University
The professionalisation of nursing has created much debate about nursing research and research utilisation in clinical nursing practice. Clarke (1999) has commented that research on research utilisation is a whole new field worthy of further exploration. An early study in the field identified a considerable lack of integration and application of research findings in clinical practice (Ketefian, 1975). Research utilisation is a complex process with many varied influencing factors. Funk, Champagne, Wiese and Tornquist (1991a) developed a research tool, the BARRIER scale, to assess barriers to and facilitators for the use of research that covers factors within four major sub scales, i.e. factors on the level of the individual nurse, of the organisation, the research, and the way of communicating research results. This tool is based on Rogers' (1995) framework of the diffusion of innovation. The present study is a replication study using the BARRIER scale to assess barriers to and facilitators of research use in clinical practice in a New Zealand sample of registered nurses and midwifes. The data for the study was collected from 164 registered nurses and midwifes working in the Inpatient wards of a tertiary teaching hospital. Data analysis was performed with the Statistical Software Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), including descriptive statistics, item ranking, group comparisons and factor analysis. Two open ended questions on additional barriers and facilitators were analysed for their thematic content and in relation to the BARRIER sub scales. Findings are discussed in relation to the theoretical framework and against the literature. Overall, this sample perceived the organisational and research items as the biggest barriers to registered nurses' use of research. Time was the most often stated barrier to and facilitator of research use. The item ranking of this sample is compared with international results. The research tool is evaluated for its psychometric value and scope of development. Finally, the general limitations of the study are outlined and implications for future research are discussed.