Barriers to research utilization: the clinical setting and nurses themselves

Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2001 Sep;5(3):154-64. doi: 10.1054/ejon.2000.0115.


The advance of the evidence-based practice (EBP) movement has been evident in almost every Western country and health system over the past two or three decades, fueled by an ever-rising demand on resources. Nurses at all levels are increasingly expected to address the key challenge of EBP, which is to use research evidence in a conscientious, explicit and judicious way when making decisions about patient care. The main aim of the paper is to encourage nurses to embrace the challenge of EBP. First, as background, this paper presents key findings from the limited body of research which has examined barriers to research utilization in the nursing context. Nurses generally feel there are many barriers, with primary barriers being lack of time, lack of relevant skills, poor team-working and several aspects of nursing 'culture' (ritualistic care, no authority and no incentives). Some conceptual models in implementation of research findings are introduced, and a summary presented of key areas which nurses need to address when considering research utilization.