AIM: This article investigates attitudes towards and awareness of research and use of research findings among primary healthcare nurses, determinants of attitudes and evaluation of psychometric properties of an instrument measuring nurses' attitudes.
BACKGROUND: The production of new knowledge is ongoing and the amount of research of relevance for health care has increased, but there remains a gap between what is known and what is done in practice. To enhance evidence-based practice and patient safety, the use of research findings needs to be encouraged and promoted.
METHOD: An explanatory study using a cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2005-2006. The survey included items about background data and the instrument attitudes towards and awareness of research and development in nursing. 1054 nurses participated in the study. Factor analyses and Cronbach's alpha were used to evaluate internal structure and internal consistency of the instrument.
RESULT: The nurses generally held positive attitudes towards research. Although most of the nurses reported using research in practice, 37% claimed that they never or rarely used research findings. Half of the respondents perceived they had the ability to analyse scientific reports/articles. This ability and research use were significant determinants of attitudes. Factor analysis of the scale resulted in a three-factor solution, which differs from the seven-factor structure previously identified by the originators of the instrument.
CONCLUSION: Our results support the view that implementation of research is a complex process involving several factors. The different factor structure identified suggests that further work is needed on this instrument.
2014. Vol. 28, no 1