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Evidence-Based Practice Beliefs and Behaviors of Nurses Providing Cancer Pain Management: A Mixed-Methods Approach

Linda H. Eaton
Alexa R. Meins
Pamela H. Mitchell
Joachim Voss
Ardith Z. Doorenbos
ONF 2015, 42(2), 165-173 DOI: 10.1188/15.ONF.165-173

Purpose/Objectives: To describe evidence-based practice (EBP) beliefs and behaviors of nurses who provide cancer pain management.

Design: Descriptive, cross-sectional with a mixed-methods approach.

Setting: Two inpatient oncology units in the Pacific Northwest.

Sample: 40 RNs.

Methods: Data collected by interviews and web-based surveys.

Main Research Variables: EBP beliefs, EBP implementation, evidence-based pain management.

Findings: Nurses agreed with the positive aspects of EBP and their implementation ability, although implementation level was low. They were satisfied with their pain management practices. Oncology nursing certification was associated with innovativeness, and innovativeness was associated with EBP beliefs. Themes identified were (a) limited definition of EBP, (b) varied evidence-based pain management decision making, (c) limited identification of evidence-based pain management practices, and (d) integration of nonpharmacologic interventions into patient care.

Conclusions: Nurses’ low level of EBP implementation in the context of pain management was explained by their trust that standards of care and medical orders were evidence-based.

Implications for Nursing: Nurses’ EBP beliefs and behaviors should be considered when developing strategies for sustaining evidence-based pain management practices. Implementation of the EBP process by nurses may not be realistic in the inpatient setting; therefore, hospital pain management policies need to be evidence-based and reinforced with nurses.

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