Evidence-Based Practice: Iranian Nurses' Perceptions

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Abstract

Background:

During the past 2 decades, evidence-based practice has increasingly been proven as a means of standard and higher-quality health care. Nurses who base their practices on scientific evidence bring their clients and organization better and more cost-effective nursing care. However, little is known about Iranian nurses' perceptions of evidence-based practice.

Aims:

The present study was conducted to evaluate Iranian nurses' perceptions of evidence-based practice.

Methods:

A qualitative study was conducted on 21 participants from different groups of nurses at Kashan University of Medical Sciences. Semi-structured interviews were used to gather data. Content analysis was used to analyze the data according to the Cheevakumjorn's method.

Findings:

Two main categories, the concept of “evidence-based nursing” and “nature and the source of evidence,” emerged from the data. The participants used the term “standard care” as a synonym for evidence-based practice. According to the participants, the nurses implement evidence-based practice care for clients based on their professional knowledge and the patient's needs. The participants believed “caring evidence” includes five different types of knowledge: “knowledge of patient,” “knowledge of the environment,” “learned (academic) knowledge,” “practice-based knowledge,” and “research-based knowledge.” However, participants stated that, currently, the nursing practice is not based on scientific evidence.

Conclusions:

Nurses have a positive attitude concerning the use of scientific evidence to guide practice, but this evidence has little application in their current nursing practice.

Implications:

Nurses need support from both the organizational management and the educational system to help them apply evidence in practice.

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