Research utilization and attitudes towards research among learning disability nurses in Northern Ireland
The current emphasis on evidence-based practice has focused attention once again on the research activities of health professionals in general and their research utilization in particular. While there has been a limited number of studies on research utilization in the United Kingdom, these have tended to concentrate on general nurses and midwives. Little is known about the research activities, research utilization and the attitudes to research of learning disability nurses. This paper reports on data from a survey of a convenience sample of 87 nurses from three learning disability hospitals in Northern Ireland. The results show that while these nurses generally held positive attitudes to research, a substantial minority (18·3%) believed that ‘research is not relevant to the day to day work in nursing’. Only a quarter of the sample reported using research ‘frequently/all the time’ in their practice. The extent of research utilization among these disability nurses must be considerably improved if evidence-based practice is to become a reality in their field of nursing.