Title. Analysis of instruments measuring nurses’ attitudes towards research utilization: a systematic review
Aim. This paper is a report of a systematic review describing instruments used to measure nurses’ attitudes towards research utilization.
Background. Researchers need to have the tools to measure nurses’ attitudes. However, limited literature critically analyses instruments and the concepts that comprise nurses’ attitudes towards research utilization.
Data sources. A search of the literature from 1982 to 2007 was performed using the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Health and Psychosocial Instruments, PubMed and MEDLINE data bases. The search terms were nursing research, research utilization, instruments, and nurses’ attitudes. A total of 186 sources were identified, of which 25 were reviewed.
Methods. Fourteen instruments met the criteria for in-depth critical analysis of psychometric properties and concepts, and were included in the final review. Each instrument item was judged to be relevant to direct, indirect, persuasive and overall research utilization as defined by Estabrooks. Instruments were arranged from the strongest to the weakest reliability of the subscales to determine the instrument with the strongest psychometric properties.
Results. Indirect and overall research utilization was measured by all of the instruments. Ten instruments measured direct research utilization and nine instruments measured persuasive research utilization. The Research Utilization in Nursing Survey by Estabrooks, as adapted by Kenny, was an instrument with strong psychometric properties measuring all four concepts of nurses’ attitudes towards using and participating in research and was clinically feasible.
Conclusion. Many published instruments are available for use by nurse researchers to measure nurses’ attitude towards research utilization, but only one has been subjected to rigorous testing: the Research Utilization in Nursing Survey by Estabrooks.