Academic journal article Contemporary Nurse : a Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession

Developing a Research Agenda for Nursing and Midwifery: A Modified Delphi Study

Academic journal article Contemporary Nurse : a Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession

Developing a Research Agenda for Nursing and Midwifery: A Modified Delphi Study

Article excerpt

Evidence-based practice (EBP) has become the expected standard in health care delivery and is recognised as the framework to guide clinical decision making and the delivery of high-quality care (Melnyk, Fineout-Overholt, Gallagher-Ford, & Kaplan, 2012). EBP is a judicious process that incorporates the best evidence from health research, clinical expertise, and patient preferences to guide health care decisions (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2015). High-quality; empirically based; and clinically relevant research is considered to provide the best evidence and can determine the most clinical and cost-effective approaches to nursing care (Melnyk et al., 2012). A fundamental step in the EBP process is to convert information needs from practice into focused, structured questions that can be studied empirically (Balakas & Sparks, 2010; Melnyk et al., 2012). An understanding of the context in which care is provided is essential to ensure questions reflect specific patient and/or service focus (Balakas & Sparks, 2010).

Literature review

Arguably the main use of the Delphi technique in nursing research has been and continues to be the identification of research priorities (Wilkes, 2015). Over the last decade, nurse researchers have increasingly used the Delphi technique to identify research priorities within nursing and midwifery (Brenner et al., 2014; Green, Gance, Smith, Ely, & McDowell, 2014; Jordan, Slavin, & Fenwick, 2013; Wielenga, Tume, Latour, & van den Hoogen, 2015; Wilson, Hauck, Bremner, & Finn, 2012). The identification of clinical priorities in nursing research can be traced back to the Oberst (1978) study. As well as the identification of clinical priorities, research priority setting is widely advocated to assist researchers and to ensure the alignment of funding with national evidence needs (Tong et al., 2015) whilst enhancing practice outcomes and policy (Sheikh, George, & Gibson, 2014). Studies using the Delphi technique have set national and international research and development priorities with the aim of influencing nursing policy (Ramelet & Gill, 2012; Tume, van den Hoogen, Wielenga, & Latour, 2014). Other studies have been undertaken to establish research priorities for particular nursing organisations, for example, the European federation of Critical Care Nursing associations (Blackwood, Albarran, & Latour, 2011). In addition, the Delphi technique has also been used to establish research priorities for specific conditions and diseases, for example, palliative care (de Vries, Walton, Nelson, & Knox, 2015), haemato-oncology nursing (Grundy & Ghazi, 2009) and mental health nursing (Wynaden et al., 2014).

Research priorities in healthcare are dynamic and constantly changing in response to developments in health systems; patient health outcomes; and priorities set by key advisory bodies concerned with the health and wellbeing of consumers. In Australia the current expectation is that nursing and midwifery research priorities should be aligned with national priorities for the health and wellbeing of the Australian community (Australian College of Nursing, 2013; Department of Health Ageing, 2013). However, it is argued that research should also continue across the spectrum of healthcare where nurses and midwives practice. This study sought to identify and prioritise research topics as perceived by nurses and midwives in a large tertiary hospital in Australia to inform and advance evidence-based clinical practice, influence policy development and improve outcomes for patients, their families and clinicians. The study was aligned with the recently endorsed Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Research's commitment to actively engage nurses and midwives in the research process at all levels of the organisation. With the imminent launch of the Centre it was important to set a research agenda by exploring, documenting and comparing our research priorities with those reported internationally. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.