Using a knowledge utilization framework to explore how findings from one study can be applied to other nursing contexts


  • Article: Other non-empirical research
  • A discursive paper that can be categorized as a description of an innovative practice, a theoretical critique and an opinion piece of international interest
  • Sources of support for this paper: None.
  • Sources of support for the original research of network-focused nursing: Aarhus University Hospital, the Danish Nurses' Organization, the Danish Cancer Society, The Child Cancer Foundation.
  • Conflict of interest: None.

Correspondence address: Dr Pia Riis Olsen, Department of Oncology, Aarhus University Hospital, Noerrebrogade 44, Building 5, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark; Tel: ++4578463574; Fax: ++4578462430; E-mail:



To discuss the complexities of moving research into practice and through a case example, explore how empirical findings from one specific study could be applied to nursing in other contexts.


The processes of moving research findings into practice are complex and multidimensional. In this paper, an innovative approach to social support, network-focused nursing (NFN), is used as a case example to illustrate these complexities. Social support is associated with better recovery and survival after illness and based on this, a NFN programme was developed in a Danish oncology youth unit. Subsequently, a research study was undertaken to investigate the programme and based on the findings, the concept NFN was developed.


A knowledge utilization framework is used to explore how empirical findings from the NFN study could be applied to nursing more generally. Aligned with this, the specific considerations for implementing NFN are explicated.


Strong leadership, education, management support and effective communication are critical factors for research utilization. Moving research into practice requires openness to new ideas. Nursing and healthcare policies therefore need to support environments in which creativity and innovation can flourish. NFN was developed in teenager and young adult cancer care, but its principles may be transferable to other clinical environments.


It is important that nurse managers and policy makers ensure that support and education are available to nurses to facilitate moving research into practice. Moreover, resources need to be considered, particularly in countries where financial and organizational infrastructures may be weak.