The state of European nursing research: dead, alive, or chronically diseased? A systematic literature review
Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing
© 2014 Sigma Theta Tau International
Reason for embargo
Background: Reviews of nursing research have suggested that most is descriptive; with no more than 15% providing strong evidence for practice. No studies have examined this from the perspective of nursing research conducted in Europe. Objective: The aim of this study was to review reports of European clinical nursing research in the top 20 nursing journals in 2010 to establish a baseline of nursing research activity in the year immediately prior to the launch of a European Science Foundation network to increase the proportion of intervention research in Europe. Methods: We identified eligible reports that were then data-extracted by two independent reviewers. Disagreements were resolved through pair discussion and independent arbitration. We appraised and synthesized topics, methods, and the extent to which studies were programmatic. We synthesized data as proportions of study reports meeting our a priori categorization criteria. Results: We identified 1995 published reports and included 223 from 21 European countries, of which 193 (86.6%) reported studies of primary research only, 30 (13.5%) secondary research, and three (1.4%) a mix of primary and secondary. Methodological description was often poor, misleading, or even absent. One hundred (44.8%) articles reported observational studies, 87 (39.0%) qualitative studies. We found 26 (11.7%) articles reporting experimental studies, 10 (4.5%) of which were randomized controlled trials. We found 29 (13.0%) reports located within a larger program of research. Seventy-six (34.1%) articles reported studies of nursing interventions. Linking Evidence to Action: European research in nursing reported in the leading nursing journals remains descriptive and poorly described. Only a third of research reports concerned nursing interventions, and a tiny proportion were part of a programmatic endeavor. Researchers in nursing must become better educated and skilled in developing, testing, evaluating, and reporting complex nursing interventions. Editors of nursing journals should insist on systematic reporting of research designs and methods in published articles
European Science Foundation Re-search Network Programme ‘REFLECTION’
This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the article, which has been published in final form at DOI: 10.1111/wvn.12039.
Volume 11, Issue 3, pages 147–155