Family nurse practitioner student perception of journal abstract usefulness in clinical decision making: a randomized controlled trial

J Am Assoc Nurse Pract. 2013 Nov;25(11):597-603. doi: 10.1111/1745-7599.12013. Epub 2013 Mar 6.


Purpose: To assess family nurse practitioner (FNP) student perception of research abstract usefulness in clinical decision making.

Data sources: A randomized controlled trial conducted in a simulated environment with graduate FNP students of the Graduate School of Nursing, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Given a clinical case study and modified MEDLINE search tool accessible via an iPad device, participants were asked to develop a treatment plan and complete a data collection form. The primary measure was perceived usefulness of the research abstracts in clinical decision making regarding a simulated obese patient seeking to prevent type 2 diabetes. Secondary measures related to participant demographics and accessibility and usefulness of full-text manuscripts.

Conclusions: The majority of NP students identified readily available research abstracts as useful in shaping their clinical decision making. The presence or absence of full-text manuscripts associated with the abstracts did not appear to influence the perceived abstract usefulness. The majority of students with full-text manuscript access in the timed simulated clinical encounter read at least one paper, but cited insufficient time to read full-text as a constraint.

Implications for practice: Research abstracts at point of care may be valuable to FNPs if easily accessible and integrated into clinical workflow.

Keywords: Advanced practice nurse (APN); clinical decision making; computers; decision making; evidence-based practice; information technology; nurse practitioners.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abstracting and Indexing*
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Biomedical Research
  • Decision Making*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control
  • Family Nurse Practitioners / education
  • Family Nurse Practitioners / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / complications
  • Patient Simulation
  • Periodicals as Topic
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*