Sunday, 20 December 2015

How do different health professionals use research?

Roger Watson, Editor

Do different health professionals use, or intend to use, research differently to change their clinical practice?  This is a question well worth asking because, if they differ on this, then we cannot assume that simply publishing research and producing evidence-based guidelines is sufficient strategy to get research into practice.

This question was asked by Appleby et al. (2015) in their article titled: 'What are health professionals' intention towards using research and products of research in clinical practice? A systematic review and narrative synthesis' and published in Nursing Open.  The aim of the study was: 'To explore health professionals’ intentional behaviour and what determines their intention to use products of research in clinical practice' and rigorous systematic review methods were used to find 18 relevant studies.

It transpires that different health professionals do differ in their adoption of research into practice.  In brief - although this hardly does justice to this extensive and detailed study - doctors are more likely to be influenced by peers than nurses who are more easily influenced by guidelines.  In their conclusions the authors say: 'Healthcare professionals responsible for implementing new guidelines should be aware of the dominant influences on health professionals’ intentions when recommending a guideline-driven change in clinical practice. This review has established professional role of the clinician in clinical practice as important, particularly in regard to nurses and physicians. Findings have indicated that nurses’ intentions are mostly influenced by their ability to carry out the guideline-driven behaviour in the realities of the practice environment, whereas physicians’ intentions are often influenced by the usefulness and relevance of the guideline and the perceptions of peers.

Reference

Appleby B, Roskell C, Daly W (2015) What are health professionals' intention towards using research and products of research in clinical practice? A systematic review and narrative synthesis Nursing Open doi: 10.1002/nop2.40

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