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Keywords:

  • nursing;
  • midwifery;
  • research;
  • practice;
  • getting research into practice;
  • collaboration;
  • hospital;
  • research awareness

Pre- and post-test evaluation of a project to facilitate research development in practice in a hospital setting

Background. This paper describes a project designed to facilitate the use of research in nursing practice in one acute hospital. A university team worked in collaboration with staff from the hospital to develop and evaluate the impact of development work designed to enhance knowledge and use of research in practice.

Design/methods. A research utilization questionnaire was administered as a pre-test (stage 1); a development phase was implemented (stage 2) and a post-test survey (stage 3) was administered to evaluate the impact of the development work. In stage 1, the total population of nursing and midwifery staff in the hospital (n=473) were targeted and 235 returned the questionnaire, giving a response rate of 50%. Data from the pre-test and focus group discussions with staff were used to plan stage 2 of the project. The development stage involved an educational strand in which open learning research materials were made available to staff, who were also offered tutorial support in their learning. A second strand supported the development of clinical research projects and funds were identified for clinical staff to apply for project development awards to enable them to develop skills in research and development activity under the supervision of a research fellow. Stage 3 involved a post-test survey of staff who had completed the questionnaire in stage 1 (n=81).

Findings. There were no significant differences in findings between the pre-test and post-test. Qualitative data from those involved in the clinical projects in stage 2 indicated factors impacting on the feasibility of undertaking research in practice.