Facilitation of child health research in hospital settings: The views of nurses

Julie Brown, Owen Barr, Edel Ennis*, Siobhan O'Neill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aims and objectives
To explore the views of nurses towards child health research and to identify factors influencing their willingness to facilitate it in practice.

Child health research in clinical practice is increasing throughout the UK. Nurses and midwives facilitate access to patients, enact research study protocols and have a critical role in parental decisions to enrol children into research studies. Little is known about their perception of this process.

This study was a descriptive study design.

A newly designed questionnaire was completed in 2013 by 105 nurses in three neonatal and two children's units in two discrete acute hospital sites.

Overwhelming support for clinical research was reported. Participants were motivated to facilitate research in order to improve patient care and contribute to the evidence base, but discouraged by external organisational factors and ethical concerns. Training, education and a dedicated team to support research were considered important. Misconceptions regarding consent and the allocation of treatment were reported. Participants raised particular concerns about trials of investigational medicinal product.

Negative views of nurses towards research, combined with a lack of knowledge of research processes, governance and ethics, have the potential to threaten the success of clinical research studies.

Relevance to clinical practice
Focus on three main areas: staff education, improved communication and the demonstration of managerial commitment to clinical research.

What does this paper contribute to the wider global clinical community?
Clinical health research is increasing in volume globally
Whilst nurses are key stakeholders in research process in clinical practice, there is a paucity of knowledge regarding their perceptions of clinical health research.
Through understanding of the motivators and barriers to research facilitation, involvement of clinical nursing staff in research may be fostered and thereby the successful implementation of research in practice achieved.
This paper reports that whilst support for clinical research in the clinical nursing community is strong; there are environmental pressures and ethical concerns, which must be addressed through improved education, support and managerial commitment to research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1004-1014
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number5-6
Early online date19 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2018


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