Barriers to paediatric nurses' research utilization


  • Lynn McCleary PhD RN,

    1. Scientist, Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied Research Unit, Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • G. Ted Brown PhD MSc MPA BSc OT(C) OTR

    1. Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria; and Occupational Therapist, Uncle Bob's Child Development Centre, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author

Lynn McCleary,
Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied Research Unit,
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care,
3560 Bathurst Street,
Canada M6A 2E1.


Background. A number of studies have investigated barriers to research utilization among nurses in various countries, and standardized scales have been validated to study this. Reported barriers have been categorized as individual, organizational and environmental, with organizational characteristics generally accounting for more variance. However, information about research utilization among paediatric nurses is lacking.

Aim. The objective of the research reported here was to investigate barriers to research utilization and relationships between those barriers and participation in research, self-reported research utilization and education among paediatric nurses.

Design. A survey of all nurses in a paediatric teaching hospital; 176 nurses (33·3%) responded. Two standardized measures were used, the Barriers Scale and the Edmonton Research Orientation Scale.

Results. Lack of time to read research was the most frequently cited barrier to using research and administrators not allowing implementation was the least frequently cited. Characteristics of the communication and of the setting were more likely to be cited as barriers to research use than were characteristics of the nurse. Nurses who reported higher levels of actual research use were slightly less likely to see characteristics within themselves as barriers. Those who had taken a course about reading or using research were more likely to see the organization as a barrier. Barriers to research use were not associated with self-reported understanding of research.

Conclusions. These results are congruent with previous findings that implementing research in practice is a complex process. They indicate that individual nurses' knowledge about research may not be as important as the process by which organizations implement research. However, the Barriers Scale measures general perceptions about barriers to research utilization and not nurses' specific experiences with barriers to implementing particular research.