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Keywords:

  • dementia;
  • evidence-based practice;
  • nurses;
  • nursing;
  • pain;
  • research implementation

Aim.  To describe nurses’ experience with the clinical application of a research-based nursing protocol (The Serial Trial Intervention) within a long-term care setting.

Design.  A descriptive, qualitative study was conducted with a convenience sample of eight nurses from three nursing homes, who assessed and treated residents with dementia according to the Serial Trial Intervention protocol.

Methods.  Each nurse participated in a semi-structured interview between September 2003 and May 2004. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Qualitative content analysis of the data, including thematic analysis, was used to identify patterns of experience.

Results.  Three themes emerged that offer insight into the factors contributing to implementation of research-based practice in a clinical setting. These include determining to intervene, pertinent steps of the protocol and facilitators and barriers.

Conclusions.  The interplay between the protocol, the residents receiving care, the nurses providing care and the setting in which the care is provided, are interacting to affect the outcomes expected.

Relevance to clinical practice.  Nurses who recognize the research process, the need for continual improvement in patient care and who possess competency in comprehensive physical assessment are needed to implement this evidence-based protocol successfully. The regulatory atmosphere, workload structure and interdisciplinary collaboration are additional factors contributing to the successful use of the Serial Trial Intervention.