Nursing and midwifery use, perceptions and barriers to evidence-based practice: a cross-sectional survey
The study aimed to explore how nurses and midwives obtain, use and embed evidence in everyday practice.Methods:
The study design was cross-sectional survey method. The setting was one local health district in metropolitan Sydney, Australia. All nurses and midwives working within the local health district, with access to an email account, were invited to participate in the study. An online survey questionnaire was distributed to explore how evidence is obtained, used and embedded within the clinical setting. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics (frequency and percentages). Pearson's Chi-square tests were used for comparison between groups.Results:
There were 204 survey respondents. The findings identified that the majority (n = 157; 76.96%) of respondents obtained evidence primarily from clinical practice guidelines. The majority (n = 149; 73.04%) of respondents reportedly searched databases and used evidence related to general clinical practice. There was a statistical difference (χ2 = 17.069; df = 8; P = 0.029) when comparing leadership positions and other registered practitioner groups in the frequency of searching for evidence. Most respondents (n = 138; 67.65%) were confident in their ability to change practice on the basis of available evidence. Thematic analysis identified four barriers to sustaining evidence-based practice, which included: the need for time; the need for organizational and management support; the need for educational opportunities and challenges to accessing evidence.Conclusion:
The study provided an understanding of how nurses and midwives obtain, use and embed evidence into everyday practice. More importantly, the role of leadership is significant to support a process of knowledge generation, research translation and the implementation of evidence into clinical settings.