Aims This study set out to facilitate the development of evidence-based practice in the assessment of pressure damage risk to patients within a large acute hospital.
Background The importance of nursing practice being based on the best available evidence is emphasized in recent health policy. Meeting this objective is not easy as both individual and organizational factors create barriers to the implementation of research findings and the achievement of change.
Methods The study was based on an action research model. It comprised three stages: a review of the research evidence; a survey of qualified nurses’ knowledge of risk assessment of pressure damage and an audit of record keeping, and a multifaceted approach to achieving change in which researchers, managers, practitioners and clinical nurse specialists worked together collaboratively.
Findings The findings from the survey and audit indicated a shortfall in nurses’ knowledge of risk assessment of pressure damage and in their record keeping. The researchers, with the help of the clinical nurse specialist, built upon these findings by assisting practitioners and managers to take ownership of the need to base practice on the appropriate evidence.
Conclusions Achieving evidence-based practice is a complex undertaking that requires the development of an evaluative culture and a commitment by practitioners and managers to change practice. Researchers can play a valuable role in facilitating this process.