Barriers to research utilization as perceived by midwives in Community Health Centres in Gauteng
BACKGROUND: Research utilisation is important to ensure evidence-based practice and quality care. Investigation of research utilisation has been done in many countries and clinical settings over the past three decades. Although there is a plethora of evidence in this regard, lack of research utilisation continues to be a challenge in clinical settings. Although nurses and midwives are pressurized to provide care that is informed by evidence, in order to yield positive outcomes in terms of patient care, little is known about the barriers midwives perceive that hinder utilisation of research. PURPOSE: The intention of this study was to identify the barriers impacting on research utilisation as perceived by midwives. Identifying and addressing such barriers could enhance research utilisation and improve the quality of midwifery care. METHODS: A quantitative, descriptive, cross-sectional design was used to identify barriers to research utilisation as perceived by midwives in practice. The study was conducted in 18 Community Health Centres in the Gauteng Province of South Africa. An all-inclusive sample was employed in this study. The barriers and facilitators to research utilization questionnaire (BARRIERS scale) was used to collect data. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS software version 23). RESULTS: The total number of participants who responded to the questionnaire was hundred and forty (n=140). The results revealed that midwives in community health centres perceived organisational barriers to be the major hindrances to research utilisation. The five top barriers identified were research reports are not published fast enough (x=3.12; sd 1.930), the nurse felt that she did not have the authority to change patients' protocols and procedures (x=3.07; sd 1.094), other staff members do not support the implementation of research results (x=2.99; sd 1.031), nurses do not have sufficient time (on the job) to implement new ideas (x=2.97; sd1.096) and nurses feel that results cannot be generalised to their own setting (x=2.95; 1.026). CONCLUSION: The most significant barriers to research utilisation identified during the current study, do not differ from the barriers found by other researchers. Organisational barriers were the most influential barriers impacting negatively on midwives' utilisation of research in clinical practice. The findings of this study challenge management and administration to improve the practice environment. Adequate staff, resources, time and support for midwives should be provided to enable them to utilise research results and provide safe and quality care to patients.
- Health Sciences