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Using Nonparticipant Observation as a Method to Understand Implementation Context in Evidence-Based Practice

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>29/06/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing
Issue number3
Volume17
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)185-192
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date19/06/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Background: The uptake of evidence-based knowledge in practice is influenced by context. Observations are suggested as a valuable but under-used approach in implementation research for gaining a holistic understanding of contexts. Aim: The aim of this paper is to demonstrate how data from observations can provide insights about context and evidence use in implementation research. Methods: Data were collected over 24 months in a randomised trial with an embedded realist evaluation in 24 nursing homes across four European countries; notes from 183 observations (representing 335 hours) were triangulated with interview transcripts and context survey data (from 357 staff interviews and 725 questionnaire responses, respectively). Results: Although there were similarities in several elements of context within survey, interview and observation data, the observations provided additional features of the implementation context. In particular, observations demonstrated if and how the resources (staffing and supplies) and leadership (formal and informal, teamwork, and professional autonomy) affected knowledge use and implementation. Further, the observations illuminated the influence of standards and the physical nursing environment on evidence-based practice, and the dynamic interaction between different aspects of context. Linking Evidence to Action: Although qualitative observations are resource-intensive, they add value when used with other data collection methods, further enlightening the understanding of the implementation context and how evidence use and sharing are influenced by context elements. Observations can enhance an understanding of the context, evidence use and knowledge-sharing triad in implementation research. © 2020 The Authors. Worldviews on Evidence-based Nursing published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Sigma Theta Tau International