A study of nurses’ attitudes towards research: a factor analytic approach


  • Carolyn Hicks BA MA PhD CPsychol

    1. Senior Lecturer in Psychology, School of Continuing Studies, The University of Birmingham, PO Box 363, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, England
    Search for more papers by this author


Despite considerable top-down pressure on nurses to undertake research, the available evidence suggests that relatively few nursing studies are submitted for publication Given the need to increase the degree to which research informs practice, this shortfall in output must of necessity constitute a cause for concern Therefore, it seems timely that a full-scale investigation into the possible reasons for non-submission is conducted This study, therefore, in an attempt to meet this aim, used factor analysis on the scores from an attitude-to-research scale completed by 230 nurses The results suggested that five coherent factors underpinned the sample's general attitudes to research These were labelled ‘nurses’ subjective barriers to research’, ‘organizational/structural barriers to research’, ‘doctors’ reactions to Nursing Research’, ‘health care professionals’ reactions to research’ and ‘impact of Nursing Research’ The variables clustering on two of these factors suggested a predictive relationship with two relevant outcome behaviours relating to research When this was tested, the predictions were supported, indicating that these factors could be used as a quick and simple screening tool to highlight individuals or groups of nurses who might benefit maximally from specific attitude change programmes In this way, it might be possible to increase Nursing Research activities and output