Download the full-sized PDF of Patterns of Research Utilization on Patient Care UnitsDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Nursing, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Nursing Education
Health Systems

Patterns of Research Utilization on Patient Care Units Open Access


Author or creator
Estabrooks, C.A.
Scott, S.
Squires, J.
Stevens, B.
O'Brien-Pallas, L.
Watt-Watson, J.
Profetto-McGrath, J.
McGilton, K.
Golden-Biddle, K.
Lander, J.
Donner, G.
Boschma, G.
Humphrey, C.K.
Williams, J.
Additional contributors
Delivery model
Conceptual framework
Registered nurses
Contextual factors
Individual determinants
Organizational innovation
Decision making
Nursing practice
Type of item
Journal Article (Published)
Background: Organizational context plays a central role in shaping the use of research by healthcare professionals. The largest group of professionals employed in healthcare organizations is nurses, putting them in a position to influence patient and system outcomes significantly. However, investigators have often limited their study on the determinants of research use to individual factors over organizational or contextual factors. Methods: The purpose of this study was to examine the determinants of research use among nurses working in acute care hospitals, with an emphasis on identifying contextual determinants of research use. A comparative ethnographic case study design was used to examine seven patient care units (two adult and five pediatric units) in four hospitals in two Canadian provinces (Ontario and Alberta). Data were collected over a six-month period by means of quantitative and qualitative approaches using an array of instruments and extensive fieldwork. The patient care unit was the unit of analysis. Drawing on the quantitative data and using correspondence analysis, relationships between various factors were mapped using the coefficient of variation. Results: Units with the highest mean research utilization scores clustered together on factors such as nurse critical thinking dispositions, unit culture (as measured by work creativity, work efficiency, questioning behavior, co-worker support, and the importance nurses place on access to continuing education), environmental complexity (as measured by changing patient acuity and re-sequencing of work), and nurses' attitudes towards research. Units with moderate research utilization clustered on organizational support, belief suspension, and intent to use research. Higher nursing workloads and lack of people support clustered more closely to units with the lowest research utilization scores. Conclusion: Modifiable characteristics of organizational context at the patient care unit level influences research utilization by nurses. These findings have implications for patient care unit structures and offer beginning direction for the development of interventions to enhance research use by nurses.
Date created
License information
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported

Citation for previous publication
Estabrooks, C.A., Scott, S., Squires, J., Stevens, B., O'Brien-Pallas, L., Watt-Watson, J., Profetto-McGrath, J., McGilton, K., Golden-Biddle, K., Lander, J., Donner, G., Boschma, G., Humphrey, C.K., and Williams, J. (2008). Patterns of Research Utilization on Patient Care Units. Implementation Science, 3(31), 1-16. doi:10.1186/1748-5908-3-31.
Link to related item

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (Portable Document Format)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 453417
Last modified: 2015:10:12 10:48:24-06:00
Filename: IS_3_2008_31.pdf
Original checksum: 3850ed033058aea5ddc31bffc7fa3a86
Well formed: true
Valid: false
Status message: Invalid destination object offset=412283
Status message: Invalid destination object offset=412283
Status message: Invalid destination object offset=412283
Status message: Invalid destination object offset=412283
Status message: Invalid destination object offset=412283
File title: Abstract
File title:
File author: Mosud.Ali
Page count: 16
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date