An exploration of factors which constrain nurses from research participation

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Abstract

Aim

The aim of this study was to explore practising nurses' views on factors which they perceived constrained them from research participation.

Background

Many studies reviewed in the literature have taken a quantitative approach and have concentrated on why nurses do not use research findings in their practice. Of these studies a few included constraints to research use. However, with the development of national research strategies for nursing and the drive for the profession to develop its own research base, there is a need to understand what constrains clinically practising nurses from taking up opportunities to either develop their own research or participate in research studies.

Design and method

Data were collected during June and July 2004 by means of two focus groups (n = 7) followed by single interviews (n = 7). Analysis was undertaken using a thematic approach aided by N-Vivo 2.0.

Results and discussion

In this study, findings revealed six key themes perceived by nurses to constrain from research participation: ‘Level of support nurses require to be research active’, ‘nurses' attitudes to undertaking/participating in research’, ‘The extent of nurses knowledge about research’, ‘Skills to undertake research’ and ‘Level of educational preparation relating to undertaking/participating in research’.

Conclusions

In this study, nurses were generally receptive to participating in research. However, they felt constrained because of lack of time, lack of peer support and limited knowledge and skills of the research process.

Relevance to clinical practice

What is already known on this topic: studies into nurses and research have predominantly taken a quantitative approach; many studies have aimed to elicit the extent of nurses' use of research findings. What this study adds: this study adds a qualitative perspective; although findings are not generalizable, they support quantitative study findings into this subject; identifies constraints that require to be overcome for practising nurses to actively get involved in research studies.

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