A 2-Decade Appraisal of African Nursing Scholarship: 1986-2006
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This paper is a description of a study about articles published about nursing in Africa from 1986 to 2006. METHODS: An exhaustive database search of articles written by nurses or articles related to nursing in Africa was done. Access to the database was mainly via EBSCO (http://www.ebsco.com), which allowed searching seven electronic databases. These are major databases useful for finding and accessing articles in academic journals, repositories, and archives. Data were recorded on computer spreadsheets and analyzed using frequencies and percentages. FINDINGS: A total of 1,860 indexed research studies were categorized and analysed for themes, content, source of publication, location, subject, scientific or nonscientific methods, nursing or non-nursing research, clinical or nonclinical nursing. A progressive increase of publications was noted. Regional variations were observed in the number of publications over the years with most from Southern Africa (67.3%) compared to West Africa (5.2%) and East Africa (3.3%). Common themes were nursing education (11.9%) HIV/AIDS (11.9%), community health care (16.1%), and professional nursing issues (10.3%). Single authorship (90.7%) outnumbered multiple authorship (9.3%), though research-based (50.5%) and nonresearch-based articles (49.5%) were almost evenly distributed. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: More emphasis will be required for research concerning clinical studies; and collaborations--particularly multinational and across regions of Africa--should be developed. Efforts should be intensified to continue to build research capacity among nurses. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Emphasis on African-based clinical studies which directly relate to patient care and culture can advance evidence-based practice in nursing with particular reference to African settings.