Exploring the impact of journal clubs: a systematic review

Nurse Educ Today. 2011 Nov;31(8):825-31. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2010.12.020. Epub 2011 Jan 19.


There is a significant gap between the knowledge available about effective clinical practice and what is actually applied (Parkes et al., 2004, Seymour et al., 2003; Sherratt, 2005; McQueen et al., 2006). McMahon (1997) suggests that journal clubs are a particularly good method of exposing practitioners to current literature. Doubt has been cast on the transferability of thinking from classroom to practice (Soden and Halliday, 2000) and the lack of attention as to how knowledge expertise is transferred to problem solving (Soden and Pithers, 2001). The journal club is proposed as a means to address the theory-to-practice gap using the basic components involved in the process of evidence based medicine/practice [EBM (P)]. The literature search covered the period 1992 to 2009. Studies focusing upon outcomes of actual journal clubs that impacted upon participants in terms of increased research awareness, knowledge, skills and enhanced care delivery, were reviewed. Sixteen studies met review inclusion criteria. The review draws from the strengths of journal clubs to recommend the multidisciplinary work based journal club, as a cost effective way of enhancing practitioner capability.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Group Processes*
  • Humans
  • Periodicals as Topic*