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Nurs Philos. 2013 Oct;14(4):271-83. doi: 10.1111/nup.12008.

Nursing opinion leadership: a preliminary model derived from philosophic theories of rational belief.

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School of Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.


Opinion leaders are informal leaders who have the ability to influence others' decisions about adopting new products, practices or ideas. In the healthcare setting, the importance of translating new research evidence into practice has led to interest in understanding how opinion leaders could be used to speed this process. Despite continued interest, gaps in understanding opinion leadership remain. Agent-based models are computer models that have proven to be useful for representing dynamic and contextual phenomena such as opinion leadership. The purpose of this paper is to describe the work conducted in preparation for the development of an agent-based model of nursing opinion leadership. The aim of this phase of the model development project was to clarify basic assumptions about opinions, the individual attributes of opinion leaders and characteristics of the context in which they are effective. The process used to clarify these assumptions was the construction of a preliminary nursing opinion leader model, derived from philosophical theories about belief formation.


epistemology; nursing theory; philosophy of science

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