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Collegian. 2012;19(2):97-105.

Supporting rural and remote area nurses to utilise and conduct research: an intervention study.

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  • 1School of Nursing (NSW&ACT), Australian Catholic University, Australia.



Nurses are expected to embrace research and evidence-based practice but in rural/remote facilities it is particularly difficult to develop and utilise research skills.


This collaborative study aimed to explore nurses' orientation to research and address known inhibitors to engagement with research in rural/remote north Queensland locations.


The sample comprised nurses from two rural/remote areas within a regional health service. Methods A pre-test post-test intervention study with two levels of data collection: responses to Edmonton Research Orientation Scale administered 3 times to all nurses, and number of research proposals developed. This intervention comprised provision of face-to-face workshops, paper-based resources, and informal videoconference, email and telephone contact.


Survey response rates varied from 56% to 34%. Two-thirds of respondents were over 40 years old; 75% were Registered Nurses. One quarter rated understanding of journal articles as poor or very poor and 50% rated their knowledge of research similarly. However, 50% said research had changed the way they practiced. Older nurses, nurses with tertiary qualifications and those with senior appointments had more positive orientation to research scores. Several locally relevant research proposals were developed from one site; two received internal funding for further development and implementation. The intervention also led to increased utilisation of library resources which has continued past this study's end.


The variation in uptake between sites reinforces the need for locally targeted support. This study has gone beyond measuring research utilisation by including evaluation of support mechanisms to engage nurses in developing research proposals.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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