Strategic Communication Intervention to Stimulate Interest in Research and Evidence-Based Practice: A 12-Year Follow-Up Study With Registered Nurses

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Abstract

Background:

Bridging the research–practice gap is a challenge for health care. Fostering awareness of and interest in research and development (R & D) can serve as a platform to help nurses and others bridge this gap. Strategic communication is an interdisciplinary field that has been used to achieve long-term interest in adopting and applying R & D in primary care.

Aim:

The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of a strategic communication intervention on long-term interest in R & D among primary care staff members (PCSMs) in general and registered nurses (RNs) in particular.

Methods:

This prospective intervention study included all members of the PCSMs, including RNs, in a Swedish primary care area. The interest of PCSMs in R & D was measured on two occasions, at 7 and 12 years, using both bivariate and multivariate tests.

Results:

A total of 99.5% of RNs gained awareness of R & D after the first 7 years of intervention versus 95% of the remaining PCSMs (p = .004). A comparison of the two measurements ascertained stability and improvement of interest in R & D among RNs, compared with all other PCSMs (odds ratio 1.81; confidence interval 1.08–3.06). Moreover, the RNs who did become interested in R & D also demonstrated increased intention to adopt innovative thinking in their work over time (p = .005).

Linking Evidence to Action:

RNs play an important role in reducing the gap between theory and practice. Strategic communication was a significant tool for inspiring interest in R & D. Application of this platform to generate interest in R & D is a unique intervention and should be recognized for future interventions in primary care. Positive attitudes toward R & D may reinforce the use of evidence-based practice in health care, thereby making a long-term contribution to the patient benefit.

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