Across the globe there is a concern about closing the gap between evidence of what works and what happens in the reality of clinical practice. The research base of practice has grown exponentially in recent years, and there a numerous guideline development agencies that develop recommendations for practice by synthesizing this research based evidence. However, how research and knowledge products such as guidelines make their way into practice remains a vexing problem for practitioners, managers, and researchers alike.
There is now a large evidence base that shows us that bridging the gap between knowledge and practice is mediated by many factors. Some of these barriers and facilitators concern the characteristics of individual nurses – such as their attitude to research, but many factors relate to the context in which nurses work, including resources, culture, and leadership. For example, evidence reviews about the link between leadership and using evidence in practice, show that leaders can facilitate knowledge transfer by supporting colleagues and creating a vision for evidence-based practice. Leaders can also influence the use of research by nurses through regulatory factors such as influencing local policy and procedures to facilitate easier use of evidence through integration. Importantly, leaders can be found at all levels of the organization including at the front line, in key nursing roles, and in the executive.
We should draw on the existing evidence base about facilitators and barriers, intervention implementation, and evaluation approaches to maximize the success of our knowledge translation activities.
Ref # Joanne Rycroft-Malone, Editor of Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing
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