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Prim Health Care Res Dev. 2019 Jan;20:e6. doi: 10.1017/S1463423618000488. Epub 2018 Aug 2.

Strategies, facilitators and barriers to implementation of evidence-based practice in community nursing: a systematic mixed-studies review and qualitative synthesis.

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1Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work,The University of Manchester,Manchester,UK.
2Professor of Palliative Care,Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work,The University of Manchester,Manchester,UK.
3QNI Professor of Community Nursing and Deputy Director of NIHR CLAHRC for Greater Manchester,Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work,The University of Manchester,Manchester,UK.


AimTo appraise and synthesize empirical literature on implementation of evidence within community nursing. To explore the use of implementation theory and identify the strategies required for, and the barriers and facilitators to, successful implementation within this context.


There is an international consensus that evidence-based practice can improve outcomes for people using health and social care services. However, these practices are not always translated into care delivery. Community nursing is a relatively understudied area; little is known about how innovations in practice are implemented within this setting.


Systematic mixed-studies review, synthesizing quantitative and qualitative research. The electronic databases AMED, PsycINFO, Ovid Medline, CINAHL Plus, ASSIA, British Nursing Index and EMBASE were used. Two grey literature databases were also searched: OpenGrey and EThOS. English language, peer-reviewed papers published between January 2010 and July 2017 were considered. Criteria included implementation of an innovation and change to practice within adult community nursing. An approach called Critical Interpretive Synthesis was used to integrate the evidence from across the studies into a comprehensible theoretical framework.


In total, 22 papers were reviewed. Few studies discussed the use of theory when planning, guiding and evaluating the implementation of the innovation (n=6). A number of implementation strategies, facilitators and barriers were identified across the included studies, highlighting the interplay of both service context and individual factors in successful implementation.


Implementation is an expanding area of research; yet is challenged by a lack of consistency in terminology and limited use of theory. Implementation within community nursing is a complex process, requiring both individual and organizational adoption, and managerial support. Successful adoption of evidence-based practice however, is only possible if community nurses themselves deem it useful and there is evidence that it could have a positive impact on the patient and/or their primary carer.


community nursing; community/home care; evidence-based practice; implementation; systematic review

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