Nurses’ Perceived Barriers to and Facilitators of Research Utilization in Mainland China: A Cross-Sectional Survey

Wai-Tong Chien*, 1, Qin Bai2, Wai-Kit Wong1, Huizhen Wang3, Xueqin Lu2
1 School of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
2 Nursing College of Henan University, Kaifeng, Henan Province, P.R. China
3 Nursing College of Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, P.R. China

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© Chien et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, SAR, P.R. China; Tel: (852)2766 5648; Fax: (852)2364 9663; E-mail:


Despite the drive towards evidence-based practice, the extent to which research evidence is being implemented in nursing practice is unclear, particularly in developing countries. This study was to assess the levels of perceived barriers to and facilitators of research utilization in practice among Chinese nurses and inter-relationships between these barriers and facilitators and their socio-demographiccharacteristics. A cross-sectional, descriptive survey was conducted in 2011 with 743 registered nurses randomly selected from four general hospitals in China. They completed the Barriers to Research Utilization and Facilitators of Research Utilization scales. Correlation tests were used to test the relationships between the nurses’ perceived barriers and facilitators, their demographic characteristics and research training and involvement. The Chinese nurses’ level of perceived barriers was moderate on average and lower than that in previous research. Among the 10 top-ranked items, six were from the subscale ‘Organizational Characteristics’. Their perceived barriers were correlated positively with age and post-registration experience and negatively with research training undertaken. Junior diplomatic nurses reported a significantly higher degree of barriers than those senior ones with postgraduate education. Higher and more diverse barriers to research utilization in practice are perceived by Chinese nurses than those in Western countries and they are associated with a few socio-demographicfactors. Future research on these barriers/facilitators and their relationships with occupational and socio-cultural factors in Chinese and other Asian nurses is recommended.

Keywords:: Cross-sectional survey, perceived barriers, perceived facilitators, research utilization, registered nurses, Chinese..