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J Adv Nurs. 2008 Aug;63(3):266-75. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2008.04693.x.

Research-related activities in community-based child health services.

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1
University of New South Wales Research Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, Sydney, Australia. e.comino@unsw.edu.au

Abstract

AIM:

This paper is a report of a study to describe current research-related activities within community-based child health services in a large urban health service.

BACKGROUND:

In recent years, increased participation in research-related activities has accompanied implementation of evidence-based practice in hospital-based services. Little is known about participation in these activities in community-based health services.

METHODS:

We undertook a descriptive study of current research-related activities by staff working in community-based child health services in an urban setting in Australia in 2006-2007. Research-related activities were defined as reflective practice, quality improvement, evaluation and research.

RESULTS:

Staff reported that research-related activities usually comprised reflective practice or quality improvement. These activities worked best when there were sufficient staff within teams and a stable environment. Evaluation was confined to activities closely related to quality improvement. Participation in research was limited. Our consultation revealed a need for sustained investment to build organizational and workforce capacity, and resource support and infrastructure to encourage participation in research-related activities.

CONCLUSION:

Increased focus on evidence-based practice has created expectations that community-based child health service staff will utilize and contribute to research evidence. Whilst there is interest among community-based child health service staff in participating in research-related activities, investment in leadership, skill development, infrastructure, resource and novel ways to enhance research output within these services are needed to increase participation in research-related activities, and the evidence base for community-based child health services.

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