Aim: The focus of the study is the identification of barriers to and facilitators of research utilization in nursing practice from the perspective of Iranian nurses.
Background: In Iran, research utilization is a new phenomenon thus our knowledge with regard to those factors that promote or discourage research use is limited. No overall picture of the state of research utilization in Iran therefore exists.
Method: A descriptive design is used. The questionnaire was distributed to 410 nurses from educational hospitals and nursing schools affiliated with Tehran Medical Sciences University in Iran.
Results: The major barriers to research utilization were that the nurses do not have time to read research; facilities are inadequate for implementation; and nurses do not feel they have enough authority to change patient care procedures. Findings revealed a number of facilitators which were categorised into two main groups of human resources and individual/organisational factors.
Conclusion: The healthcare system in Iran does not provide the incentive for nurses to engage in research or to avail themselves of research findings. Also, time is the major issue owing to a nursing shortage. If research utilization is to increase in Iran, therefore, the most important organisational change that needs to occur is the provision of available facilities for nurses to use research evidence.
Relevance to clinical practice: Key factors that need attention in implementing research results into practice are suggested. Clearly, identification of barriers and facilitators is useful potentially to overcome barriers and enforce facilitators and this could ultimately improve nursing practice.