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Keywords:

  • evidence-based practice;
  • measurement;
  • reliability;
  • validity;
  • nursing;
  • beliefs

ABSTRACT

Background: Implementation of evidence-based practice (EBP) by health professionals is a key strategy for improving health care quality and patient outcomes as well as increasing professional role satisfaction. However, it is estimated that only a small percentage of nurses and other health care providers are consistently using this approach to clinical practice.

Aim: The aim of this study was to report on the development and psychometric properties of two new scales: (1) the 16-item EBP Beliefs Scale that allows measurement of a person's beliefs about the value of EBP and the ability to implement it, and (2) the 18-item EBP Implementation Scale that allows measurement of the extent to which EBP is implemented.

Methods: Nurses (N= 394) attending continuing education workshops volunteered to complete the scales. Data were analysed to evaluate reliability and validity of both instruments.

Results: Cronbach's alpha was > .90 for each scale. Principal components analysis indicated that each scale allowed measurement of a unidimensional construct. Strength of EBP beliefs and the extent of EBP implementation increased as educational level increased (p < .001) and as responsibility in the workplace increased (p < .001).

Conclusion: In this study, initial evidence was provided to support the reliability and validity of the EBP Beliefs and Implementation Scales in a heterogeneous sample of practicing nurses.

Evidence to Action: Use of the scales in future research could generate evidence to guide EBP implementation strategies in practice and education. Results could establish the extent to which EBP is being implemented and its effect on clinician satisfaction and patient outcomes.