The research evidence published in high impact nursing journals between 2000 and 2006: A quantitative content analysis
Published on Apr 1, 2009in International Journal of Nursing Studies3.57
· DOI :10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2008.12.016
Abstract Background Evidence-based practice has become an imperative for efficient, effective and safe practice. Furthermore, evidences emerging from published research are considered as valid knowledge sources to guiding practice. Objectives The aim of this paper is to review all research articles published in the top 10 general nursing journals for the years 2000–2006 to identify the methodologies used, the types of evidence these studies produced and the issues upon which they endeavored. Design Quantitative content analysis was implemented to study all published research papers of the top 10 general nursing journals for the years 2000–2006. Methods The top 10 general nursing journals were included in the study. The abstracts of all research articles were analysed with regards the methodologies of enquiry, the types of evidence produced and the issues of study they endeavored upon. Percentages were developed as to enable conclusions to be drawn. Results The results for the category methodologies used were 7% experimental, 6% quasi-experimental, 39% non-experimental, 2% ethnographical studies, 7% phenomenological, 4% grounded theory, 1% action research, 1% case study, 15% unspecified, 5.5% other, 0.5% meta-synthesis, 2% meta-analysis, 5% literature reviews and 3% secondary analysis. For the category types of evidence were 4% hypothesis/theory testing, 11% evaluative, 5% comparative, 2% correlational, 46% descriptive, 5% interpretative and 27% exploratory. For the category issues of study were 45% practice/clinical, 8% educational, 11% professional, 3% spiritual/ethical/metaphysical, 26% health promotion and 7% managerial/policy. Conclusions Published studies can provide adequate evidences for practice if nursing journals conceptualise evidence emerging from non-experimental and qualitative studies as relevant types of evidences for practice and develop appropriate mechanisms for assessing their validity. Also, nursing journals need to increase and encourage the publication of studies that implement RCT methodology, systematic reviews, meta-synthesis and meta-analysis methodologies. Finally, nursing journals need to encourage more high quality research evidence that derive from interpretative, theory testing and evaluative types of studies that are practice relevant.