Nurses' wishes, knowledge, attitudes and perceived barriers on implementing research findings into practice among graduate nurses in Austria

J Clin Nurs. 2011 Jun;20(11-12):1744-56. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2010.03491.x. Epub 2011 Mar 1.


Aims: To identify and describe nurses' wishes, needs, knowledge and attitudes to nursing research, as well as perceived barriers to and facilitators of research utilisation in nursing practice in Austria.

Background: Research results are not always used in daily nursing practice, despite their potential to improve nursing care quality. A variety of factors impede their implementation and use. Nurses' wishes about research utilisation have scarcely been reported. No data are available yet from an Austrian perspective.

Design: Descriptive and exploratory cross-sectional survey.

Methods: The study was conducted in an Austrian university hospital in May 2007, including all graduate nurses (n=1825). One thousand and twenty-three nurses returned the self-reported questionnaire. Descriptive analysis was performed initially, then group comparisons (diploma <2001, ≥2001) were computed inferentially using the chi-square test.

Results: Nurses' most frequently indicated wishes regarding research implementation were adequate information, structural availability and professional support. Special points of interest were topics concerning nursing phenomena and interventions. Nurses' needs related to education in nursing science/research and its implementations were indicated as being predominantly of an introductory manner. Overall, nurses' attitudes tended to the negative. The top three named barriers to research utilisation were lack of time (69·9%), lack of information/knowledge (45·4%) and lack of interest (25·9%). Ten statistically significant differences were found between nurses of the two compared diploma groups.

Conclusions: Participating nurses perceived a lack in sufficient education/information and adequate organisational support, impeding them to use research results in daily practice.

Relevance to clinical practice: The results provide important insights into the matter of nurses' needs regarding the use and/or implementation of research results in practice, as well as about the promotion of positive attitudes towards research and its utilisation. These findings are of special interest to nurse educators, employers and countries introducing nursing science to improve the clinical outcomes for patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Austria
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Education, Nursing, Graduate*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Nurses / psychology*