• research utilization;
  • barriers to research utilization;
  • facilitators of research utilization;
  • nursing;
  • health care professionals;
  • clinical practice

Perceptions of research utilization: comparisons between health care professionals, nursing students and a reference group of nurse clinicians

The study reported in this paper was carried out to investigate a group of nursing teachers’ (n=37), nursing students’ (n=166), nursing administrators’ (n=33) and physicians’ (n=127) perceptions of barriers to and facilitators of nurses’ use of research findings in clinical practice. The results were compared with the corresponding figures for a reference group of nurse clinicians (n=237). The Barriers Scale and a questionnaire for the demographic issues were used for data collection. The organization and the communication of research were seen as barriers to research utilization by the nursing teachers, students and administrators in agreement with the nurse clinicians. The nurses’ research-related competence and awareness were seen as barriers by the nursing teachers, students and administrators to a greater extent than by the nurse clinicians themselves. The physicians perceived barriers to a lesser extent than the other groups did. The students’ perceptions were closest to the nurse clinicians, while the physicians’ perceptions differed most. Education to increase the nurses’ knowledge of research and to develop their competence to evaluate research results, increased resources for education, more staff, support from the administration and research presented in a user-friendly way were the most frequently suggested facilitators. The nurses’ isolation from knowledgeable colleagues with whom to discuss the research was seen as a barrier by the majority of the participants. This indicates a need for positions in clinical practice for nursing researchers, in order to promote a research-based, nursing practice.