Aim: This paper is a report of a review to analyse studies using the BARRIERS Scale to determine (a) if the identification of perceived barriers to research utilization influences nurses' use of research, (b) if the extent of nurses' perceived barriers to research utilization and most frequently cited barriers have changed over the past 15 years and (c) if nurses' most frequently cited barriers to research utilization differ across countries.
Background: The BARRIERS Scale has been used to identify nurses' untoward perceptions or barriers to research utilization.
Data sources: A computer search was conducted using the Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature, MEDLINE, Dissertation Abstracts International and Academic Abstracts to identify relevant literature from 1991 to 2006. The Internet and citations within studies were also searched.
Review methods: Studies were included if they were in English, used the entire BARRIERS Scale and reported nurses' responses. Studies were coded for author(s), publication year, country, population, sample size, response rate, the three-most frequently cited barriers, mean per cent of items rated as moderate or greater, and number of items identified as a barrier by 50% or more of respondents. Quality appraisal of the included papers was not performed.
Results: Forty-five studies met the inclusion criteria and predominantly identified the same barriers. No evidence was found that identification of barriers to nurses' use of research influenced nursing practice.
Conclusions: It appears that there would be minimal benefit from further descriptive research using the BARRIERS Scale. Research is needed to investigate whether relationships exist between perceptions of barriers to nurses' use of research and the use evidence-based practice.