Using research for practice: a UK experience of the BARRIERS Scale


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    At the time the study was undertaken, all authors were affiliated to the National Institute for Nursing, Oxford.

Virginia Dunn, Royal College of Nursing Institute, Radcliffe Infirmary, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HE, England.


It is generally recognized that the majority of health care has been largely based upon opinion rather than research evidence of clinical effectiveness. Attempts to rectify this have been initiated by increasing emphasis on the dissemination of findings. For example, in the UK this had been supported via the Cochran Collaboration and the Centre for Dissemination and Reviews. Dissemination does not, however, guarantee implementation. The complex nature of research utilization has been studied and obstacles identified that can influence the uptake of research by practising nurses. Sandra Funk and colleagues developed the BARRIERS Scale using this research and literature on research utilization. The scale may be helpful for identifying and measuring the barriers to research utilization perceived by nurses working within the UK and has formed the basis of the present study. A convenience sample of 316 comprising a broad spectrum of nurses working in the UK provided the data. Comparison is made with North American nurses from the studies used in the scale's development. The results suggest there are items which are consistently perceived as either strong or negligible barriers by both groups of nurses. Differences, however, did emerge between nurses from the UK and North America on several items. These included the confindence in evaluating research and the perception of the nurse's authority to change patient procedures. Psychometric evaluation was also done. These findings are presented and discussed.