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1.  Lessons learned from stakeholders in a facilitation intervention targeting neonatal health in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam 
Background
In northern Vietnam the Neonatal health - Knowledge Into Practice (NeoKIP, Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN44599712) trial has evaluated facilitation as a knowledge translation intervention to improve neonatal survival. The results demonstrated that intervention sites, each having an assigned group including local stakeholders supported by a facilitator, lowered the neonatal mortality rate by 50% during the last intervention year compared with control sites. This process evaluation was conducted to identify and describe mechanisms of the NeoKIP intervention based on experiences of facilitators and intervention group members.
Methods
Four focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with all facilitators at different occasions and 12 FGDs with 6 intervention groups at 2 occasions. Fifteen FGDs were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, translated into English, and analysed using thematic analysis.
Results
Four themes and 17 sub-themes emerged from the 3 FGDs with facilitators, and 5 themes and 18 sub-themes were identified from the 12 FGDs with the intervention groups mirroring the process of, and the barriers to, the intervention. Facilitators and intervention group members concurred that having groups representing various organisations was beneficial. Facilitators were considered important in assembling the groups. The facilitators functioned best if coming from the same geographical area as the groups and if they were able to come to terms with the chair of the groups. However, the facilitators’ lack of health knowledge was regarded as a deficit for assisting the groups’ assignments. FGD participants experienced the NeoKIP intervention to have impact on the knowledge and behaviour of both intervention group members and the general public, however, they found that the intervention was a slow and time-consuming process. Perceived facilitation barriers were lack of money, inadequate support, and the function of the intervention groups.
Conclusions
This qualitative process evaluation contributes to explain the improved neonatal survival and why this occurred after a latent period in the NeoKIP project. The used knowledge translation intervention, where facilitators supported multi-stakeholder coalitions with the mandate to impact upon attitudes and behaviour in the communes, has low costs and potential for being scaled-up within existing healthcare systems.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-234
PMCID: PMC3866580  PMID: 24330472
2.  A realist review of interventions and strategies to promote evidence-informed healthcare: a focus on change agency 
Background
Change agency in its various forms is one intervention aimed at improving the effectiveness of the uptake of evidence. Facilitators, knowledge brokers and opinion leaders are examples of change agency strategies used to promote knowledge utilization. This review adopts a realist approach and addresses the following question: What change agency characteristics work, for whom do they work, in what circumstances and why?
Methods
The literature reviewed spanned the period 1997-2007. Change agency was operationalized as roles that are aimed at effecting successful change in individuals and organizations. A theoretical framework, developed through stakeholder consultation formed the basis for a search for relevant literature. Team members, working in sub groups, independently themed the data and developed chains of inference to form a series of hypotheses regarding change agency and the role of change agency in knowledge use.
Results
24, 478 electronic references were initially returned from search strategies. Preliminary screening of the article titles reduced the list of potentially relevant papers to 196. A review of full document versions of potentially relevant papers resulted in a final list of 52 papers. The findings add to the knowledge of change agency as they raise issues pertaining to how change agents’ function, how individual change agent characteristics effect evidence-informed health care, the influence of interaction between the change agent and the setting and the overall effect of change agency on knowledge utilization. Particular issues are raised such as how accessibility of the change agent, their cultural compatibility and their attitude mediate overall effectiveness. Findings also indicate the importance of promoting reflection on practice and role modeling. The findings of this study are limited by the complexity and diversity of the change agency literature, poor indexing of literature and a lack of theory-driven approaches.
Conclusion
This is the first realist review of change agency. Though effectiveness evidence is weak, change agent roles are evolving, as is the literature, which requires more detailed description of interventions, outcomes measures, the context, intensity, and levels at which interventions are implemented in order to understand how change agent interventions effect evidence-informed health care.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-8-107
PMCID: PMC3848622  PMID: 24010732
Realist synthesis; Evidence-informed health care; Change agency; Facilitators; Opinion leaders; Knowledge brokers’ knowledge utilization
3.  Effect of Facilitation of Local Maternal-and-Newborn Stakeholder Groups on Neonatal Mortality: Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(5):e1001445.
Lars Åke Persson and colleagues conduct a cluster randomised control in northern Vietnam to analyze the effect of the activity of local community-based maternal-and-newborn stakeholder groups on neonatal mortality.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Facilitation of local women's groups may reportedly reduce neonatal mortality. It is not known whether facilitation of groups composed of local health care staff and politicians can improve perinatal outcomes. We hypothesised that facilitation of local stakeholder groups would reduce neonatal mortality (primary outcome) and improve maternal, delivery, and newborn care indicators (secondary outcomes) in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam.
Methods and Findings
In a cluster-randomized design 44 communes were allocated to intervention and 46 to control. Laywomen facilitated monthly meetings during 3 years in groups composed of health care staff and key persons in the communes. A problem-solving approach was employed. Births and neonatal deaths were monitored, and interviews were performed in households of neonatal deaths and of randomly selected surviving infants. A latent period before effect is expected in this type of intervention, but this timeframe was not pre-specified. Neonatal mortality rate (NMR) from July 2008 to June 2011 was 16.5/1,000 (195 deaths per 11,818 live births) in the intervention communes and 18.4/1,000 (194 per 10,559 live births) in control communes (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.96 [95% CI 0.73–1.25]). There was a significant downward time trend of NMR in intervention communes (p = 0.003) but not in control communes (p = 0.184). No significant difference in NMR was observed during the first two years (July 2008 to June 2010) while the third year (July 2010 to June 2011) had significantly lower NMR in intervention arm: adjusted OR 0.51 (95% CI 0.30–0.89). Women in intervention communes more frequently attended antenatal care (adjusted OR 2.27 [95% CI 1.07–4.8]).
Conclusions
A randomized facilitation intervention with local stakeholder groups composed of primary care staff and local politicians working for three years with a perinatal problem-solving approach resulted in increased attendance to antenatal care and reduced neonatal mortality after a latent period.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN44599712
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Over the past few years, there has been enormous international effort to meet the target set by Millennium Development Goal 4 to reduce the under-five child mortality rate by two-thirds and to reduce the number of maternal deaths by three-quarters, respectively, from the 1990 level by 2015. There has been some encouraging progress and according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization, in 2011, just under 7 million children aged under 5 years died, a fall of almost 3 million from a decade ago. However, currently, 41% of all deaths among children under the age of 5 years occur around birth and the first 28 days of life (perinatal and neonatal mortality). Simple interventions can substantially reduce neonatal deaths and there have been several international, national, and local efforts to implement effective care packages to help reduce the number of neonatal deaths.
Why Was This Study Done?
In order for these interventions to be most effective, it is important that the local community becomes involved. Community mobilization, especially through local women's groups, can empower women to prioritize specific interventions to help improve their own health and that of their baby. An alternative strategy might be to mobilize people who already have responsibility to promote health and welfare in society, such as primary care staff, village health workers, and elected political representatives. However, it is unclear if the activities of such stakeholder groups result in improved neonatal survival. So in this study from northern Vietnam, the researchers analyzed the effect of the activity of local maternal-and-newborn stakeholder groups on neonatal mortality.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Between 2008 and 2011, the researchers conducted a cluster-randomized controlled trial in 90 communes within the Quang Ninh province of northeast of Vietnam: 44 communes were allocated to intervention and 46 to the control. The local women's union facilitated recruitment to the intervention, local stakeholder groups (Maternal and Newborn Health Groups), which comprised primary care staff, village health workers, women's union representatives, and the person with responsibility for health in the commune. The groups' role was to identify and prioritize local perinatal health problems and implement actions to help overcome these problems.
Over the three-year period, the Maternal and Newborn Health Groups in the 44 intervention communes had 1,508 meetings. Every year 15–27 unique problems were identified and addressed 94–151 times. The problem-solving processes resulted in an annual number of 19–27 unique actions that were applied 297–649 times per year. The top priority problems and actions identified by these groups dealt with antenatal care attendance, post-natal visits, nutrition and rest during pregnancy, home deliveries, and breast feeding. Neonatal mortality in the intervention group did not change over the first two years but showed a significant improvement in the third year. The three leading causes of death were prematurity/low birth-weight (36%), intrapartum-related neonatal deaths (30%), and infections (15%). Stillbirth rates were 7.4 per 1,000 births in the intervention arm and 9.0 per 1,000 births in the control arm. There was one maternal death in the intervention communes and four in the control communes and there was a significant improvement in antenatal care attendance in the intervention arm. However, there were no significant differences between the intervention and control groups of other outcomes, including tetanus immunization, delivery preparedness, institutional delivery, temperature control at delivery, early initiation of breastfeeding, or home visit of a midwife during the first week after delivery.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that local stakeholder groups comprised of primary care staff and local politicians using a problem-solving approach may help to reduce the neonatal mortality rate after three years of implementation (although the time period for an expected reduction in neonatal mortality was not specified before the trial started) and may also increase the rate of antenatal care attendance. However, the intervention had no effect on other important outcomes such as the rate of institutional delivery and breast feeding. This study used a novel approach of community-based activity that was implemented into the public sector system at low cost. A further reduction in neonatal deaths around delivery might be achieved by neonatal resuscitation training and home visits to the mother and her baby.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001445.
The World Health Organization provides comprehensive statistics on neonatal mortality
The Healthy Newborn Network has information on community interventions to help reduce neonatal mortality from around the world
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001445
PMCID: PMC3653802  PMID: 23690755
4.  Translating and testing the Alberta context tool for use among nurses in Swedish elder care 
Background
There is emerging evidence that context is important for successful transfer of research knowledge into health care practice. The Alberta Context Tool (ACT) is a Canadian developed research-based instrument that assesses 10 modifiable concepts of organizational context considered important for health care professionals’ use of evidence. Swedish and Canadian health care have similarities in terms of organisational and professional aspects, suggesting that the ACT could be used for measuring context in Sweden. This paper reports on the translation of the ACT to Swedish and a testing of preliminary aspects of its validity, acceptability and reliability in Swedish elder care.
Methods
The ACT was translated into Swedish and back-translated into English before being pilot tested in ten elder care facilities for response processes validity, acceptability and reliability (Cronbach’s alpha). Subsequently, further modification was performed.
Results
In the pilot test, the nurses found the questions easy to respond to (52%) and relevant (65%), yet the questions’ clarity were mainly considered ‘neither clear nor unclear’ (52%). Missing data varied between 0 (0%) and 19 (12%) per item, the most common being 1 missing case per item (15 items). Internal consistency (Cronbach’s Alpha > .70) was reached for 5 out of 8 contextual concepts. Translation and back translation identified 21 linguistic- and semantic related issues and 3 context related deviations, resolved by developers and translators.
Conclusion
Modifying an instrument is a detailed process, requiring time and consideration of the linguistic and semantic aspects of the instrument, and understanding of the context where the instrument was developed and where it is to be applied. A team, including the instrument’s developers, translators, and researchers is necessary to ensure a valid translation. This study suggests preliminary validity, reliability and acceptability evidence for the ACT when used with nurses in Swedish elder care.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-68
PMCID: PMC3599200  PMID: 23421736
Questionnaire; Translation; Validity; Health care context; Research utilization; Nursing
5.  Knowledge translation in Uganda: a qualitative study of Ugandan midwives’ and managers’ perceived relevance of the sub-elements of the context cornerstone in the PARIHS framework 
Background
A large proportion of the annual 3.3 million neonatal deaths could be averted if there was a high uptake of basic evidence-based practices. In order to overcome this ‘know-do’ gap, there is an urgent need for in-depth understanding of knowledge translation (KT). A major factor to consider in the successful translation of knowledge into practice is the influence of organizational context. A theoretical framework highlighting this process is Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS). However, research linked to this framework has almost exclusively been conducted in high-income countries. Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine the perceived relevance of the sub-elements of the organizational context cornerstone of the PARIHS framework, and also whether other factors in the organizational context were perceived to influence KT in a specific low-income setting.
Methods
This qualitative study was conducted in a district of Uganda, where focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews were conducted with midwives (n = 18) and managers (n = 5) within the catchment area of the general hospital. The interview guide was developed based on the context sub-elements in the PARIHS framework (receptive context, culture, leadership, and evaluation). Interviews were transcribed verbatim, followed by directed content analysis of the data.
Results
The sub-elements of organizational context in the PARIHS framework—i.e., receptive context, culture, leadership, and evaluation—also appear to be relevant in a low-income setting like Uganda, but there are additional factors to consider. Access to resources, commitment and informal payment, and community involvement were all perceived to play important roles for successful KT.
Conclusions
In further development of the context assessment tool, assessing factors for successful implementation of evidence in low-income settings—resources, community involvement, and commitment and informal payment—should be considered for inclusion. For low-income settings, resources are of significant importance, and might be considered as a separate sub-element of the PARIHS framework as a whole.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-117
PMCID: PMC3538529  PMID: 23206670
Organizational context; PARIHS; Knowledge translation; Low-income settings; Focus group discussions; Interviews
6.  Nurses’ research utilization two years after graduation—a national survey of associated individual, organizational, and educational factors 
Background
Nurses’ research utilization (RU) as part of evidence-based practice is strongly emphasized in today’s nursing education and clinical practice. The primary aim of RU is to provide high-quality nursing care to patients. Data on newly graduated nurses’ RU are scarce, but a predominance of low use has been reported in recent studies. Factors associated with nurses’ RU have previously been identified among individual and organizational/contextual factors, but there is a lack of knowledge about how these factors, including educational ones, interact with each other and with RU, particularly in nurses during the first years after graduation. The purpose of this study was therefore to identify factors that predict the probability for low RU among registered nurses two years after graduation.
Methods
Data were collected as part of the LANE study (Longitudinal Analysis of Nursing Education), a Swedish national survey of nursing students and registered nurses. Data on nurses’ instrumental, conceptual, and persuasive RU were collected two years after graduation (2007, n = 845), together with data on work contextual factors. Data on individual and educational factors were collected in the first year (2002) and last term of education (2004). Guided by an analytic schedule, bivariate analyses, followed by logistic regression modeling, were applied.
Results
Of the variables associated with RU in the bivariate analyses, six were found to be significantly related to low RU in the final logistic regression model: work in the psychiatric setting, role ambiguity, sufficient staffing, low work challenge, being male, and low student activity.
Conclusions
A number of factors associated with nurses’ low extent of RU two years postgraduation were found, most of them potentially modifiable. These findings illustrate the multitude of factors related to low RU extent and take their interrelationships into account. This knowledge might serve as useful input in planning future studies aiming to improve nurses’, specifically newly graduated nurses’, RU.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-46
PMCID: PMC3503782  PMID: 22607663
7.  Realist synthesis: illustrating the method for implementation research 
Background
Realist synthesis is an increasingly popular approach to the review and synthesis of evidence, which focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which an intervention works (or not). There are few published examples of realist synthesis. This paper therefore fills a gap by describing, in detail, the process used for a realist review and synthesis to answer the question ‘what interventions and strategies are effective in enabling evidence-informed healthcare?’ The strengths and challenges of conducting realist review are also considered.
Methods
The realist approach involves identifying underlying causal mechanisms and exploring how they work under what conditions. The stages of this review included: defining the scope of the review (concept mining and framework formulation); searching for and scrutinising the evidence; extracting and synthesising the evidence; and developing the narrative, including hypotheses.
Results
Based on key terms and concepts related to various interventions to promote evidence-informed healthcare, we developed an outcome-focused theoretical framework. Questions were tailored for each of four theory/intervention areas within the theoretical framework and were used to guide development of a review and data extraction process. The search for literature within our first theory area, change agency, was executed and the screening procedure resulted in inclusion of 52 papers. Using the questions relevant to this theory area, data were extracted by one reviewer and validated by a second reviewer. Synthesis involved organisation of extracted data into evidence tables, theming and formulation of chains of inference, linking between the chains of inference, and hypothesis formulation. The narrative was developed around the hypotheses generated within the change agency theory area.
Conclusions
Realist synthesis lends itself to the review of complex interventions because it accounts for context as well as outcomes in the process of systematically and transparently synthesising relevant literature. While realist synthesis demands flexible thinking and the ability to deal with complexity, the rewards include the potential for more pragmatic conclusions than alternative approaches to systematic reviewing. A separate publication will report the findings of the review.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-33
PMCID: PMC3514310  PMID: 22515663
8.  FIRE (facilitating implementation of research evidence): a study protocol 
Background
Research evidence underpins best practice, but is not always used in healthcare. The Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS) framework suggests that the nature of evidence, the context in which it is used, and whether those trying to use evidence are helped (or facilitated) affect the use of evidence. Urinary incontinence has a major effect on quality of life of older people, has a high prevalence, and is a key priority within European health and social care policy. Improving continence care has the potential to improve the quality of life for older people and reduce the costs associated with providing incontinence aids.
Objectives
This study aims to advance understanding about the contribution facilitation can make to implementing research findings into practice via: extending current knowledge of facilitation as a process for translating research evidence into practice; evaluating the feasibility, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of two different models of facilitation in promoting the uptake of research evidence on continence management; assessing the impact of contextual factors on the processes and outcomes of implementation; and implementing a pro-active knowledge transfer and dissemination strategy to diffuse study findings to a wide policy and practice community.
Setting and sample
Four European countries, each with six long-term nursing care sites (total 24 sites) for people aged 60 years and over with documented urinary incontinence
Methods and design
Pragmatic randomised controlled trial with three arms (standard dissemination and two different programmes of facilitation), with embedded process and economic evaluation. The primary outcome is compliance with the continence recommendations. Secondary outcomes include proportion of residents with incontinence, incidence of incontinence-related dermatitis, urinary tract infections, and quality of life. Outcomes are assessed at baseline, then at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after the start of the facilitation interventions. Detailed contextual and process data are collected throughout, using interviews with staff, residents and next of kin, observations, assessment of context using the Alberta Context Tool, and documentary evidence. A realistic evaluation framework is used to develop explanatory theory about what works for whom in what circumstances.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN11598502.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-25
PMCID: PMC3356232  PMID: 22453077
9.  A modest start, but a steady rise in research use: a longitudinal study of nurses during the first five years in professional life 
Background
Newly graduated nurses are faced with a challenging work environment that may impede their ability to provide evidence-based practice. However, little is known about the trajectory of registered nurses' use of research during the first years of professional life. Thus, the aim of the current study was to prospectively examine the extent of nurses' use of research during the first five years after undergraduate education and specifically assess changes over time.
Method
Survey data from a prospective cohort of 1,501 Swedish newly graduated nurses within the national LANE study (Longitudinal Analyses of Nursing Education and Entry in Worklife) were used to investigate perceived use of research over the first five years as a nurse. The dependent variables consisted of three single items assessing instrumental, conceptual, and persuasive research use, where the nurses rated their use on a five-point scale, from 'never' (1) to 'on almost every shift' (5). These data were collected annually and analyzed both descriptively and by longitudinal growth curve analysis.
Results
Instrumental use of research was most frequently reported, closely followed by conceptual use, with persuasive use occurring to a considerably lower extent. The development over time showed a substantial general upward trend, which was most apparent for conceptual use, increasing from a mean of 2.6 at year one to 3.6 at year five (unstandardized slope +0.25). However, the descriptive findings indicated that the increase started only after the second year. Instrumental use had a year one mean of 2.8 and a year five mean of 3.5 (unstandardized slope +0.19), and persuasive use showed a year one mean of 1.7 and a year five mean of 2.0 (unstandardized slope +0.09).
Conclusion
There was a clear trend of increasing research use by nurses during their first five years of practice. The level of the initial ratings also indicated the level of research use in subsequent years. However, it took more than two years of professional development before this increase 'kicked in.' These findings support previous research claiming that newly graduated nurses go through a 'transition shock,' reducing their ability to use research findings in clinical work.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-19
PMCID: PMC3353845  PMID: 22429884
10.  Implementing knowledge into practice for improved neonatal survival; a cluster-randomised, community-based trial in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam 
Background
Globally, almost 4 million newborns die during the first 4 weeks of life every year. By increased use of evidence-based knowledge in the healthcare system a large proportion of these neonatal deaths could be prevented. But there is a severe lack of knowledge on effective methods for successful implementation of evidence into practice, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Recent studies have demonstrated promising results with increased survival among both mothers and newborns using community-based approaches. In Vietnam evidence-based guidelines on reproductive health were launched in 2003 and revised in 2009. The overall objective of the current project is to evaluate if a facilitation intervention on the community level, with a problem-solving approach involving local representatives if the healthcare system and the community, results in improvements of neonatal health and survival.
Methods/Design
The study, which has been given the acronym NeoKIP (Neonatal Health - Knowledge Into Practice), took place in 8 districts composed by 90 communes in a province in northern Vietnam, where neonatal mortality rate was 24/1000 in 2005. A cluster randomised design was used, allocating clusters, as defined as a commune and its correponding Commune Health Center (CHC) to either intervention or control arm. The facilitation intervention targeted staff at healthcare centres and key persons in the communes. The facilitator role was performed by lay women (Women's Union representatives) using quality improvement techniques to initiate and sustain improvement processes targeting identified problem areas. The intervention has been running over 3 years and data were collected on the facilitation process, healthcare staff knowledge in neonatal care and their behaviour in clinical practice, and reproductive and perinatal health indicators. Primary outcome is neonatal mortality.
Discussion
The intervention is participatory and dynamic, focused on developing a learning process and a problem-solving cycle. The study recognises the vital role of the local community as actors in improving their own and their newborns' health, and applies a bottom-up approach where change will be accomplished by an increasing awareness at and demand from grass root level. By utilising the existing healthcare structure this intervention may, if proven successful, be well suited for scaling up.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN44599712
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-239
PMCID: PMC3192673  PMID: 21951770
11.  A systematic review of the psychometric properties of self-report research utilization measures used in healthcare 
Background
In healthcare, a gap exists between what is known from research and what is practiced. Understanding this gap depends upon our ability to robustly measure research utilization.
Objectives
The objectives of this systematic review were: to identify self-report measures of research utilization used in healthcare, and to assess the psychometric properties (acceptability, reliability, and validity) of these measures.
Methods
We conducted a systematic review of literature reporting use or development of self-report research utilization measures. Our search included: multiple databases, ancestry searches, and a hand search. Acceptability was assessed by examining time to complete the measure and missing data rates. Our approach to reliability and validity assessment followed that outlined in the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing.
Results
Of 42,770 titles screened, 97 original studies (108 articles) were included in this review. The 97 studies reported on the use or development of 60 unique self-report research utilization measures. Seven of the measures were assessed in more than one study. Study samples consisted of healthcare providers (92 studies) and healthcare decision makers (5 studies). No studies reported data on acceptability of the measures. Reliability was reported in 32 (33%) of the studies, representing 13 of the 60 measures. Internal consistency (Cronbach's Alpha) reliability was reported in 31 studies; values exceeded 0.70 in 29 studies. Test-retest reliability was reported in 3 studies with Pearson's r coefficients > 0.80. No validity information was reported for 12 of the 60 measures. The remaining 48 measures were classified into a three-level validity hierarchy according to the number of validity sources reported in 50% or more of the studies using the measure. Level one measures (n = 6) reported evidence from any three (out of four possible) Standards validity sources (which, in the case of single item measures, was all applicable validity sources). Level two measures (n = 16) had evidence from any two validity sources, and level three measures (n = 26) from only one validity source.
Conclusions
This review reveals significant underdevelopment in the measurement of research utilization. Substantial methodological advances with respect to construct clarity, use of research utilization and related theory, use of measurement theory, and psychometric assessment are required. Also needed are improved reporting practices and the adoption of a more contemporary view of validity (i.e., the Standards) in future research utilization measurement studies.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-6-83
PMCID: PMC3169486  PMID: 21794144
12.  Newborn care and knowledge translation - perceptions among primary healthcare staff in northern Vietnam 
Background
Nearly four million neonatal deaths occur annually in the world despite existing evidence-based knowledge with the potential to prevent many of these deaths. Effective knowledge translation (KT) could help to bridge this know-do gap in global health. The aim of this study was to explore aspects of KT at the primary healthcare level in a northern province in Vietnam.
Methods
Six focus-group discussions were conducted with primary healthcare staff members who provided neonatal care in districts that represented three types of geographical areas existing in the province (urban, rural, and mountainous). Recordings were transcribed verbatim, translated into English, and analyzed using content analysis.
Results
We identified three main categories of importance for KT. Healthcare staff used several channels for acquisition and management of knowledge (1), but none appeared to work well. Participants preferred formal training to reading guideline documents, and they expressed interest in interacting with colleagues at higher levels, which rarely happened. In some geographical areas, traditional medicine (2) seemed to compete with evidence-based practices, whereas in other areas it was a complement. Lack of resources, low frequency of deliveries and, poorly paid staff were observed barriers to keeping skills at an adequate level in the healthcare context (3).
Conclusions
This study indicates that primary healthcare staff work in a context that to some extent enables them to translate knowledge into practice. However, the established and structured healthcare system in Vietnam does constitute a base where such processes could be expected to work more effectively. To accelerate the development, thorough considerations over the current situation and carefully targeted actions are required.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-6-29
PMCID: PMC3080332  PMID: 21447179
13.  Individual determinants of research utilization by nurses: a systematic review update 
Background
Interventions that have a better than random chance of increasing nurses' use of research are important to the delivery of quality patient care. However, few reports exist of successful research utilization in nursing interventions. Systematic identification and evaluation of individual characteristics associated with and predicting research utilization may inform the development of research utilization interventions.
Objective
To update the evidence published in a previous systematic review on individual characteristics influencing research utilization by nurses.
Methods
As part of a larger systematic review on research utilization instruments, 12 online bibliographic databases were searched. Hand searching of specialized journals and an ancestry search was also conducted. Randomized controlled trials, clinical trials, and observational study designs examining the association between individual characteristics and nurses' use of research were eligible for inclusion. Studies were limited to those published in the English, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian languages. A vote counting approach to data synthesis was taken.
Results
A total of 42,770 titles were identified, of which 501 were retrieved. Of these 501 articles, 45 satisfied our inclusion criteria. Articles assessed research utilization in general (n = 39) or kinds of research utilization (n = 6) using self-report survey measures. Individual nurse characteristics were classified according to six categories: beliefs and attitudes, involvement in research activities, information seeking, education, professional characteristics, and socio-demographic/socio-economic characteristics. A seventh category, critical thinking, emerged in studies examining kinds of research utilization. Positive relationships, at statistically significant levels, for general research utilization were found in four categories: beliefs and attitudes, information seeking, education, and professional characteristics. The only characteristic assessed in a sufficient number of studies and with consistent findings for the kinds of research utilization was attitude towards research; this characteristic had a positive association with instrumental and overall research utilization.
Conclusions
This review reinforced conclusions in the previous review with respect to positive relationships between general research utilization and: beliefs and attitudes, and current role. Furthermore, attending conferences/in-services, having a graduate degree in nursing, working in a specialty area, and job satisfaction were also identified as individual characteristics important to research utilization. While these findings hold promise as potential targets of future research utilization interventions, there were methodological problems inherent in many of the studies that necessitate their findings be replicated in further research using more robust study designs and multivariate assessment methods.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-6-1
PMCID: PMC3024963  PMID: 21208425
14.  Monitoring the newly qualified nurses in Sweden: the Longitudinal Analysis of Nursing Education (LANE) study 
Background
The Longitudinal Analysis of Nursing Education (LANE) study was initiated in 2002, with the aim of longitudinally examining a wide variety of individual and work-related variables related to psychological and physical health, as well as rates of employee and occupational turnover, and professional development among nursing students in the process of becoming registered nurses and entering working life. The aim of this paper is to present the LANE study, to estimate representativeness and analyse response rates over time, and also to describe common career pathways and life transitions during the first years of working life.
Methods
Three Swedish national cohorts of nursing students on university degree programmes were recruited to constitute the cohorts. Of 6138 students who were eligible for participation, a total of 4316 consented to participate and responded at baseline (response rate 70%). The cohorts will be followed prospectively for at least three years of their working life.
Results
Sociodemographic data in the cohorts were found to be close to population data, as point estimates only differed by 0-3% from population values. Response rates were found to decline somewhat across time, and this decrease was present in all analysed subgroups. During the first year after graduation, nearly all participants had qualified as nurses and had later also held nursing positions. The most common reason for not working was due to maternity leave. About 10% of the cohorts who graduated in 2002 and 2004 intended to leave the profession one year after graduating, and among those who graduated in 2006 the figure was almost twice as high. Intention to leave the profession was more common among young nurses. In the cohort who graduated in 2002, nearly every fifth registered nurse continued to further higher educational training within the health professions. Moreover, in this cohort, about 2% of the participants had left the nursing profession five years after graduating.
Conclusion
Both high response rates and professional retention imply a potential for a thorough analysis of professional practice and occupational health.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-8-10
PMCID: PMC2880980  PMID: 20423491
15.  The BARRIERS scale -- the barriers to research utilization scale: A systematic review 
Background
A commonly recommended strategy for increasing research use in clinical practice is to identify barriers to change and then tailor interventions to overcome the identified barriers. In nursing, the BARRIERS scale has been used extensively to identify barriers to research utilization.
Aim and objectives
The aim of this systematic review was to examine the state of knowledge resulting from use of the BARRIERS scale and to make recommendations about future use of the scale. The following objectives were addressed: To examine how the scale has been modified, to examine its psychometric properties, to determine the main barriers (and whether they varied over time and geographic locations), and to identify associations between nurses' reported barriers and reported research use.
Methods
Medline (1991 to September 2009) and CINHAL (1991 to September 2009) were searched for published research, and ProQuest® digital dissertations were searched for unpublished dissertations using the BARRIERS scale. Inclusion criteria were: studies using the BARRIERS scale in its entirety and where the sample was nurses. Two authors independently assessed the study quality and extracted the data. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used.
Results
Sixty-three studies were included, with most using a cross-sectional design. Not one study used the scale for tailoring interventions to overcome identified barriers. The main barriers reported were related to the setting, and the presentation of research findings. Overall, identified barriers were consistent over time and across geographic locations, despite varying sample size, response rate, study setting, and assessment of study quality. Few studies reported associations between reported research use and perceptions of barriers to research utilization.
Conclusions
The BARRIERS scale is a nonspecific tool for identifying general barriers to research utilization. The scale is reliable as reflected in assessments of internal consistency. The validity of the scale, however, is doubtful. There is no evidence that it is a useful tool for planning implementation interventions. We recommend that no further descriptive studies using the BARRIERS scale be undertaken. Barriers need to be measured specific to the particular context of implementation and the intended evidence to be implemented.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-5-32
PMCID: PMC2883534  PMID: 20420696
16.  Evidence-based practice in neonatal health: knowledge among primary health care staff in northern Viet Nam 
Background
An estimated four million deaths occur each year among children in the neonatal period. Current evidence-based interventions could prevent a large proportion of these deaths. However, health care workers involved in neonatal care need to have knowledge regarding such practices before being able to put them into action.
The aim of this survey was to assess the knowledge of primary health care practitioners regarding basic, evidence-based procedures in neonatal care in a Vietnamese province. A further aim was to investigate whether differences in level of knowledge were linked to certain characteristics of community health centres, such as access to national guidelines in reproductive health care, number of assisted deliveries and geographical location.
Methods
This cross-sectional survey was completed within a baseline study preparing for an intervention study on knowledge translation (Implementing knowledge into practice for improved neonatal survival: a community-based trial in Quang Ninh province, Viet Nam, the NeoKIP project, ISRCTN44599712). Sixteen multiple-choice questions from five basic areas of evidence-based practice in neonatal care were distributed to 155 community health centres in 12 districts in a Vietnamese province, reaching 412 primary health care workers.
Results
All health care workers approached for the survey responded. Overall, they achieved 60% of the maximum score of the questionnaire. Staff level of knowledge on evidence-based practice was linked to the geographical location of the CHC, but not to access to the national guidelines or the number of deliveries at the community level. Two separated geographical areas were identified with differences in staff level of knowledge and concurrent differences in neonatal survival, antenatal care and postnatal home visits.
Conclusion
We have identified a complex pattern of associations between knowledge, geography, demographic factors and neonatal outcomes. Primary health care staff knowledge regarding neonatal health is scarce. This is a factor that is possible to influence and should be considered in future efforts for improving the neonatal health situation in Viet Nam.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-7-36
PMCID: PMC2678076  PMID: 19393073
17.  The intellectual structure and substance of the knowledge utilization field: A longitudinal author co-citation analysis, 1945 to 2004 
Background
It has been argued that science and society are in the midst of a far-reaching renegotiation of the social contract between science and society, with society becoming a far more active partner in the creation of knowledge. On the one hand, new forms of knowledge production are emerging, and on the other, both science and society are experiencing a rapid acceleration in new forms of knowledge utilization. Concomitantly since the Second World War, the science underpinning the knowledge utilization field has had exponential growth. Few in-depth examinations of this field exist, and no comprehensive analyses have used bibliometric methods.
Methods
Using bibliometric analysis, specifically first author co-citation analysis, our group undertook a domain analysis of the knowledge utilization field, tracing its historical development between 1945 and 2004. Our purposes were to map the historical development of knowledge utilization as a field, and to identify the changing intellectual structure of its scientific domains. We analyzed more than 5,000 articles using citation data drawn from the Web of Science®. Search terms were combinations of knowledge, research, evidence, guidelines, ideas, science, innovation, technology, information theory and use, utilization, and uptake.
Results
We provide an overview of the intellectual structure and how it changed over six decades. The field does not become large enough to represent with a co-citation map until the mid-1960s. Our findings demonstrate vigorous growth from the mid-1960s through 2004, as well as the emergence of specialized domains reflecting distinct collectives of intellectual activity and thought. Until the mid-1980s, the major domains were focused on innovation diffusion, technology transfer, and knowledge utilization. Beginning slowly in the mid-1980s and then growing rapidly, a fourth scientific domain, evidence-based medicine, emerged. The field is dominated in all decades by one individual, Everett Rogers, and by one paradigm, innovation diffusion.
Conclusion
We conclude that the received view that social science disciplines are in a state where no accepted set of principles or theories guide research (i.e., that they are pre-paradigmatic) could not be supported for this field. Second, we document the emergence of a new domain within the knowledge utilization field, evidence-based medicine. Third, we conclude that Everett Rogers was the dominant figure in the field and, until the emergence of evidence-based medicine, his representation of the general diffusion model was the dominant paradigm in the field.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-3-49
PMCID: PMC2621243  PMID: 19014512
18.  Barriers to research utilization and research use among registered nurses working in the care of older people: Does the BARRIERS Scale discriminate between research users and non-research users on perceptions of barriers? 
Background
One strategy to enhance research use and change current practice is to identify barriers and then implement tailored interventions to reduce these barriers. In nursing, the BARRIERS scale has been frequently used to identify nurses' perceptions of barriers to research utilization. However, this scale has not been applied to care of older people, and only one study has investigated how identified barriers link to research utilization. Therefore, the purpose of this study was twofold: to describe RNs' perceptions of barriers to and facilitators of research utilization and to examine the validity of the BARRIERS scale in relation to research use.
Methods
A cross-sectional survey design was used and registered nurses (RNs) working in the care of older people participated (response rate 67%, n = 140/210). Two questionnaires, the BARRIERS scale and the Research Utilization Questionnaire (RUQ), were used. Data were analyzed using descriptive and bivariate inferential statistics.
Results
Characteristics of the organization and the presentation of research findings were rated as the most prominent barriers. The three items most frequently reported as barriers were: the nurse is isolated from knowledgeable colleagues with whom to discuss the research (89%); the facilities are inadequate for implementation (88%); and, the relevant literature is not compiled in one place (81%). Surveyed RNs suggested more support from unit managers and better availability of user-friendly reports in Swedish to enhance research use.
The RNs reported a modest use of research. A weak but significant correlation was found between the Research Use index in RUQ and the Presentation subscale in the BARRIERS scale (r = -0.289, p < 0.01), suggesting that the RNs reporting more research use were less likely to perceive presentation of research as a barrier. Dividing the sample into research users (n = 29) and non-research users (n = 105), the research users rated significantly lower on the subscales Presentation, Nurse and Research in the BARRIERS scale.
Conclusion
The BARRIERS scale revealed differences in the perception of barriers between research users and non-research users. Thus, methodologically the scale appears useful in identifying some types of barriers to research utilization but not organizational barriers. The identified barriers, however, are general and wide-ranging, making it difficult to design useful specific interventions.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-3-24
PMCID: PMC2405784  PMID: 18452603
19.  Unreported births and deaths, a severe obstacle for improved neonatal survival in low-income countries; a population based study 
Background
In order to improve child survival there is a need to target neonatal mortality. In this pursuit, valid local and national statistics on child health are essential. We analyze to what extent births and neonatal deaths are unreported in a low-income country and discuss the consequences at local and international levels for efforts to save newborn lives.
Methods
Information on all births and neonatal deaths in Quang Ninh province in Northern Vietnam in 2005 was ascertained by systematic inventory through group interviews with key informants, questionnaires and examination of health facility records. Health care staff at 187 Community Health Centers (CHC) and 18 hospitals, in addition to 1372 Village Health Workers (VHW), were included in the study. Results were compared with the official reports of the Provincial Health Bureau.
Results
The neonatal mortality rate (NMR) was 16/1000 (284 neonatal deaths/17 519 births), as compared to the official rate of 4.2/1000. The NMR varied between 44/1000 and 10/1000 in the different districts of the province. The under-reporting was mainly attributable to a dysfunctional reporting system and the fact that families, not the health system, were made responsible to register births and deaths. This under-reporting has severe consequences at local, national and international levels. At a local level, it results in a lack of awareness of the magnitude and differentials in NMR, leading to an indifference towards the problem. At a national and international level the perceived low mortality rate is manifested in a lack of investments in perinatal health programs.
Conclusion
This example of a faulty health information system is reportedly not unique in low and middle income countries where needs for neonatal health reforms are greatest. Improving reporting systems on births and neonatal deaths is a matter of human rights and a prerequisite for reducing neonatal mortality in order to reach the fourth millennium goal.
doi:10.1186/1472-698X-8-4
PMCID: PMC2292136  PMID: 18373839
20.  Interventions aimed at increasing research use in nursing: a systematic review 
Background
There has been considerable interest recently in developing and evaluating interventions to increase research use by clinicians. However, most work has focused on medical practices; and nursing is not well represented in existing systematic reviews. The purpose of this article is to report findings from a systematic review of interventions aimed at increasing research use in nursing.
Objective
To assess the evidence on interventions aimed at increasing research use in nursing.
Methods
A systematic review of research use in nursing was conducted using databases (Medline, CINAHL, Healthstar, ERIC, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Psychinfo), grey literature, ancestry searching (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews), key informants, and manual searching of journals. Randomized controlled trials and controlled before- and after-studies were included if they included nurses, if the intervention was explicitly aimed at increasing research use or evidence-based practice, and if there was an explicit outcome to research use. Methodological quality was assessed using pre-existing tools. Data on interventions and outcomes were extracted and categorized using a pre-established taxonomy.
Results
Over 8,000 titles were screened. Three randomized controlled trials and one controlled before- and after-study met the inclusion criteria. The methodological quality of included studies was generally low. Three investigators evaluated single interventions. The most common intervention was education. Investigators measured research use using a combination of surveys (three studies) and compliance with guidelines (one study). Researcher-led educational meetings were ineffective in two studies. Educational meetings led by a local opinion leader (one study) and the formation of multidisciplinary committees (one study) were both effective at increasing research use.
Conclusion
Little is known about how to increase research use in nursing, and the evidence to support or refute specific interventions is inconclusive. To advance the field, we recommend that investigators: (1) use theoretically informed interventions to increase research use, (2) measure research use longitudinally using theoretically informed and psychometrically sound measures of research use, as well as, measuring patient outcomes relevant to the intervention, and (3) use more robust and methodologically sound study designs to evaluate interventions. If investigators aim to establish a link between using research and improved patient outcomes they must first identify those interventions that are effective at increasing research use.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-2-15
PMCID: PMC1878499  PMID: 17498301

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