What factors influence primary health care nurses implementation of evidence in clinical practice : a descriptive survey : a 60 point research report in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Nursing at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

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The role of primary health care nurses is an explicit feature of the modernization agenda of the New Zealand health service. Increasing importance is being placed on service improvement through effective decision making and enhanced clinical performance. To contribute to the development of primary health care it is crucial that nurses have the skills to appropriately implement research based and other evidence in practice. Evidence-based practice is equated with effective, high quality care and avoidance of habitual practices and techniques. Method: This study involved 55 West Auckland primary health care nurses working in the general practice setting. The aim of the study was to describe nurses' perceptions of their use of evidence-based practice, attitudes toward evidence-based practice and perceptions of their knowledge/skills associated with evidence-based practice. An additional aim was to determine the effect of educational preparation on practice, attitudes and knowledge/skills toward evidence-based practice. A non-experimental descriptive survey design was selected for this study. Results: The results of this study demonstrated that nurse's attitudes toward evidence-based practice, knowledge and skills relevant to the implementation of evidence-based practice and the educational preparation of the nurses were important factors influencing the effective utilization and application of research results in practice. Conclusion: The implementation of educational interventions are identified as an integral aspect of implementing evidence-based practice and enhancing primary health care nurses' knowledge and skill relevant to implementing evidence in practice. Therefore the emphasis should be on creating and promoting a culture, in which primary health care nurses recognize the need for improving their care, seek the knowledge and skills to do so, and feel supported, encouraged and valued. Further research is needed to assess the contextual factors influencing the achievement of evidence-based practice by primary health care nurses. These factors need to be identified and addressed, both at local and national levels, if evidence-based practice is to become a reality.
New Zealand Nurses, Evidence-based nursing, Attitudes, Primary nursing -- Practice, New Zealand