Research Use of Nurses Working in the Critical Care Units: Barriers and Facilitators

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Abstract

Background:

There is a distinct gap between theory and practice with respect to research use in clinical practice, particularly in critical care units, that could be related to the presence of a number of barriers that hinder the use of research findings.

Aims:

The aims of the study were to identify barriers and facilitators to research use as perceived by Jordanian nurses in critical care units and to examine the predictors of research use among those nurses.

Methods:

The study used a cross-sectional, correlational design. The self-administered “Barriers Scale” was introduced to 200 registered critical care nurses, using the drop-and-collect technique, between October and November 2015.

Results:

The results revealed that “nurse does not have time to read research at work” was the top ranked barrier that hinders research use (mean [SD], 3.45 [0.79]). The first 7 ranked barriers were related to the organizational subscale. Managerial support was the top perceived facilitator for research use. Only “attending special training courses in nursing research” was the significant predictor of research use and explained 59.1% of the variance in research use, t(190) = −3.93, P = .003. The most identified barriers toward research use revealed by the qualitative data include dominant routine nursing tasks, existence of gap between theory and practice, shortage of nursing staff, and public negative image about nursing profession. Participants suggested the importance of increasing organizational support and creating an organizational research culture to further promote research use in clinical nursing practice.

Conclusions:

Research use has not been widely implemented yet in Jordan because of various barriers. The organization-related barriers were the most influential. Factors hindering research use are multidimensional, and optimizing them should be a shared responsibility of nurse managers, researchers, clinicians, and academicians. Further initiatives are required to raise awareness of the importance of using evidence-based practice.

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