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There continue to be suggestions within the nursing literature that research findings are not being utilized in clinical practice The reasons for this are well documented However, less emphasis is given to ways to facilitate utilization It seemed possible that non-utilization could be due not only to lack of knowledge, but also to the method of implementing change towards research-based practice The ‘top-down’, authoritarian, approach to dissemination of information within the NHS may have been a block to research use Could staff be motivated to consider research-based change through use of a different approach? An ‘action research’ approach seemed a possible way to attempt to facilitate research-based practice Within this study one ward was used with all staff as the participants The staff identified the area to be studied (devising a protocol for preoperative information-giving) The instruments used were semi-structured interviews and informal discussions and field notes Rogers' diffusion of innovation model was used to organize data collection and to analyse results Although the results may not be generalizable, the use of this model provides a useful framework for others interested in an alternative approach to achieving research-based practice