• attitudes;
  • clinical effectiveness;
  • evidence-based practice;
  • nursing;
  • midwifery

Attitudes towards, and knowledge of, clinical effectiveness in nurses, midwives, practice nurses and health visitors¶ The dual concepts of evidence-based practice and clinical effectiveness have become ever more important for nurses, midwives and health visitors in recent years. In order that suitable initiatives can be derived and future policy shaped and evaluated it is important that the current level of knowledge and attitudes towards these concepts are recorded. The current study set out to examine these variables in a large, representative sample (n = 370, response rate = 74%) of nurses, midwives and health visitors. Results indicated that although a positive attitude towards evidence-based practice exists, individuals consider themselves to be lacking in certain key skills. Specifically, these appeared to be related to research-based skills. However, despite this, respondents indicated a large take up of evidence-based practice, although this may have been greater were it not for the considerable clinical workload. The necessity for greater dissemination of key research principles to nurses, midwives and health visitors by members of their own profession is emphasized.