The Experiences and Perceptions of Nurses Interacting With Research Literature: A Qualitative Systematic Review to Guide Evidence-Based Practice

Sonia Hines, Joanne Ramsbotham, Fiona Coyer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There is an evidence that some nurses struggle with reading and using research. This struggle becomes a barrier to engaging in evidence-based practice (EBP). Personal beliefs, attitudes about research, and difficulties with research language and statistics have been reported as important variables in quantitative studies. Aims: The aim of this review was to explore nurses' experiences and perceptions of interacting with research literature for work or educational purposes. Methods: Studies eligible for inclusion were qualitative, published in English from years 2009–2020, and included registered nurses engaged in interaction with research literature for any work or educational purpose. The Joanna Briggs Institute’s qualitative systematic review methods were used. Results: We included 11 qualitative studies with 186 participants. Most studies used focus groups or semi-structured interviews to collect data. Overall, study quality was moderate. We extracted 29 findings, which were synthesized into five categories, and meta-aggregated into one synthesis. Research is a complex field of engagement for nurses, who simultaneously value its contribution to their profession and feel the burden of unsupported expectations. Nurses perceive a double standard in their workplaces where expectations of using evidence in practice are often discussed, but EBP education and access to literature can be hard to access. Linking Evidence to Action: Educators conducting research education should consider the complex emotional reactions this activity may engender in participants who may feel unprepared by their previous experience or education. Clinicians and workplace leaders trying to encourage the use of evidence in practice should consider the source of any reluctance to engage. An observed lack of engagement in their staff may be related to issues with understanding the materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-378
Number of pages8
JournalWorldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • evidence-based education
  • evidence-based practice
  • nurse education
  • qualitative research
  • registered nurses
  • research education
  • research literacy


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