Swedish nurses’ attitudes towards research and development within nursing
Aim of the study. The aim was to develop and test an assessment instrument in order to study attitudes towards research and development within nursing among randomly selected professional nurses, registered nurses (RNs).
Background. The investigation was initiated because of the development within nursing and nursing education in Sweden towards better knowledge about research for the last four decades.
Methods. A questionnaire was designed, consisting of three parts: (1) demographic data, (2) attitude scale and (3) research awareness. Appropriate psychometric statistics were used such as factor analysis and parametric as well as nonparametric statistics to compare groups. The form was distributed to 407 randomly selected RNs.
Results. The response rate was 71% (n=289). The respondents were from four different examination years, representing four different nursing education systems in Sweden. Factor analysis (Maximum Likelihood and Oblimin rotation) gave seven factors with a total variance of 58% and Cronbach’s α between 0·60 and 0·84. The factors were labelled ‘Research language’, ‘Need of research knowledge’, ‘Participation’, ‘The Profession’, ‘Meaningfulness’, ‘Study literature’ and ‘Developing – Resources’. The results indicated that the respondents in general had positive attitudes towards nursing research. There were significant differences between the examined groups. The group examined in 1966 appeared as the least positive group. Forty-six per cent never or seldom utilized nursing research findings in their daily practice. About half of the respondents never read research reports.
Conclusion. The results indicated that the new instrument is sensitive for measuring professional nurses’ attitudes towards research and development in nursing. Even if the respondents had a positive attitude towards research and development, there was a poor application in their daily work. Further, the respondent’s age, the year of RN examination and acquisition of research skills seemed to be of importance for the attitudes.