Background: Clinical decision making is most effective when guided by the latest evidence-based methods. Although policies governing modern nursing clinical practice advocate the need for evidence-based practice (EBP) to maximize quality and contain costs, the literature indicates a persistently low utilization of research findings in nursing. The gap between available research evidence and the use of this evidence in practice is an issue that requires attention.
Purpose: This study explored barriers to and facilitators of research finding utilization in nursing practice and examined the associations between these barriers and nurse demographic characteristics.
Methods: This study employed a quantitative, nonexperimental, descriptive, and correlational design. Researchers used the Barriers to Research Utilization Scale, which contains quantitative and some qualitative structured questions, and recruited a convenience sample of nurses working in Saudi National Guard hospitals in the three cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, and Al-Ahsa.
Results: Participants rated nearly two thirds of the Barriers to Research Utilization Scale items as moderate to strong barriers to utilizing research in practice. Organization factors had the highest perceived barrier scores, followed by communication, adopter, and innovation factors, respectively. Themes emerging from the qualitative data indicated the presence of other barriers such as lack of time, lack of authority, lack of physician cooperation, and lack of EBP-related education. Participants suggested the importance of increasing organizational support and creating an organizational culture based on EBP to further promote utilization of research findings in nursing practice.
Conclusions: Policymaker and administrator support is necessary to promote the utilization of research findings in nursing practice. Further initiatives are needed to raise awareness of the importance of using the best scientific evidence in practice.