Research utilization among medical and surgical nurses: a comparison of their self reports and perceptions of barriers and facilitators

J Nurs Manag. 2001 Jan;9(1):21-30. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2834.2001.00237.x.


Background: Although the number of studies on research utilization is steadily growing, there are only a few specialty-specific studies.

Aims: This study focuses on medical and surgical nurses. It compares their reported use of research utilization and their perceptions of barriers and obstacles.

Methods: A convenient sample of 210 medical nurses and 269 surgical nurses, from 10 general hospitals in 14 Trusts in Northern Ireland (NI), was surveyed.

Results: The results showed that the reported extent of research utilization was high, with less than 10% in each group reporting never/seldom using research. The reported difference between the medical and surgical nurses was very small, with medical nurses reporting a slightly higher rate of utilization. However, this was not statistically significant at 5% level.

Conclusions: The Barriers Scale (Funk et al. 1991a) used in this study to assess their perceptions of barriers and facilitators revealed a similar picture for both groups. The top two barriers were "Management will not allow implementation" and "The nurse does not feel she/he has enough authority to change patient care procedures". These findings, as well as the need to take research utilization studies further, are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Clinical Nursing Research / statistics & numerical data*
  • Communication Barriers
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / methods
  • Northern Ireland
  • Nurse Administrators / organization & administration
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / classification
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Perioperative Nursing / methods
  • Surveys and Questionnaires