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Type: Journal article
Title: Filling the gaps: identifying nursing research priorities through the analysis of completed systematic reviews
Author: Averis, A.
Pearson, A.
Citation: International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare, 2003; 1(3):49-126
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Asia
Issue Date: 2003
ISSN: 1744-1595
Statement of
Andrea Averis and Alan Pearson
Abstract: <jats:title>Executive summary</jats:title><jats:p><jats:bold>Background </jats:bold> This report describes the results of a study designed to identify research priorities in nursing arising out of the analysis of 22 systematic review reports published by the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) from 1998 to 2002. A feature of the systematic review of evidence is the noticeable lack of high‐quality evidence to support a large proportion of nursing interventions and activities. Systematic review topics are selected as areas of concern about practice by nurses comprising the individual and corporate membership of JBI at Professional Advisory Forums and meetings held annually throughout Australia and internationally in conjunction with JBI's collaborating centres. Such selection prioritises nurses’ views about what ‘matters in their daily practice’.</jats:p><jats:p><jats:bold>Objective and Methods </jats:bold> The study comprised a content analysis of the 22 systematic review reports and set out to:</jats:p><jats:p> <jats:list list-type="explicit-label"> <jats:list-item><jats:p>• identify any striking gaps in evidence for frequently used practices;</jats:p></jats:list-item> <jats:list-item><jats:p>• generate research questions to address the gaps; and</jats:p></jats:list-item> <jats:list-item><jats:p>• suggest research approaches appropriate to the research questions generated.</jats:p></jats:list-item> </jats:list> </jats:p><jats:p><jats:bold>Results </jats:bold> The results of the analysis identified in excess of 200 important gaps in the evidence base available for nursing practice in relation to the 22 discrete areas of practice examined. Recommendations included the wide dissemination of this report to promote the results of systematic reviews as an important resource in setting research priorities. Policy makers, the Commonwealth Government, State and Territory Governments, research funding bodies, organisations and individuals involved in decision‐making and the funding of research in health care have received little substantive direction in setting priorities for nursing research. This lack of well founded advice is evidenced by the incredibly low level of support for nursing research in Australia and the large number of gaps in evidence for nursing practice.</jats:p><jats:p><jats:bold>Conclusions </jats:bold> Knowledge transfer – of evidence into practice – has the potential to improve health outcomes, but the delivery of ‘best practice’ care based on sound evidence is dependant upon the generation of evidence to fill systematically identified gaps.</jats:p>
Description: The definitive version is available at
DOI: 10.1046/j.1479-6988.2003.00003.x
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 7
Nursing publications

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