Nursing Students’ Self‐Perceived Competence and Barriers to Evidence-Based Practice

28 April, 2019

Dear HIFA colleagues,

(with thanks to LRC Network)

Below are the citation and abstract of a new paper in World Views on Evidence-Based Nursing, and a comment from me. Unfortunately the full text is restricted access.

CITATION: A Multicountry Study on Nursing Students’ Self‐Perceived Competence and Barriers to Evidence-Based Practice

Leodoro J. Labrague DM, RN Denise McEnroe-Petitte PhD, RN Melba Sheila D'Souza PhD, RN Helen Shaji John Cecily PhD, RN Dennis C. Fronda MAN, RN Olaide B. Edet PhD, RN et al.


Aims: This study compared self-perceived EBP competence among nursing students in four selected countries (India, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Oman) as well as perceived barriers to EBP adoption.

Methods: A descriptive, cross‐sectional, and comparative survey of 1,383 nursing students from India, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Oman participated in the study. The Evidence‐Based Practice Questionnaire (EBP‐COQ) and the BARRIERS scale were used to collect data during the months of January 2016 to August 2017.

Results: Cross‐country comparisons revealed significant differences in EBP competence (F = 24.437, p < .001), knowledge (F = 3.621, p = .013), skills (F = 9.527, p < .001), and attitudes (F = 74.412, p < .001) among nursing students. Three variables including nursing students’ gender (β = .301, p < .001), type of institution, (β = −0.339, p = .001), and type of nursing student (β = .321, p < .001) were associated with EBP competence. Barriers to EBP adoption included having no authority to change patient care policies (M = 1.65, SD = 1.05), slow publication of evidence (M = 1.59, SD = 1.01), and paucity of time in the clinical area to implement the evidence (M = 1.59, SD = 1.05).

Linking Evidence to Action: Both academe and hospital administration can play a pivotal role in the successful acquisition of EBP competence in nursing students.

COMMENT (NPW): 'Having no authority to change patient care policies' is reported to be a key barrier to evidence-based practice. It would be interesting to know more about this. How much of this is due to senior clinicians being resistant to change? How much is due to professional hierarchies where nurses are not given a voice? When I was in India in 2005 I was struck by the reticence of nurses (and pharmacists) to question senior clinicians, even when they knew the clinicians were making a mistake. Evidence can and should be used by nurses and other health professionals as a basis to question outdated or inappropriate healthcare practice in their health facility. How can senior clinicians and their clinical teams be encouraged to be more responsive and to work together as a team to improve practice?

Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: