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Centres of evidence-based nursing: directions and challenges
  1. Donna Ciliska, RN, PhD1,
  2. Alba Dicenso, RN, PhD1,
  3. Nicky Cullum, RN, PhD2
  1. 1School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Centre for Evidence Based Nursing, Department of Health Studies, University of York, York, UK

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Dramatic changes in healthcare delivery, along with an increased emphasis on quality care and cost containment, have led to the need for reliable, up to date evidence about effective healthcare interventions on the part of clinicians, policy makers, consumers, and researchers. However, barriers to using evidence exist for all groups and include those related to the individual, organisation, environment, and the characteristics of the innovation.1 For nurses specifically, lack of time, poor access to the literature, and lack of ability to judge the quality of the research are major barriers.2, 3 To address these barriers and to facilitate evidence-based practice, several evidence-based nursing centres havebeen created worldwide. In this editorial, we willhighlight the activities of these centres and challenges they face.

We sent a brief questionnaire by email to evidence-based nursing centres in Australasia (Joanna Briggs Institute [JBI], which includes several sites in Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong), United States, Germany, UK, and Canada. For the JBI, we contacted the coordinating centre in Adelaide, as well as centres in New Zealand and Victoria. The Victorian Centre of Joanna Briggs is incorporated within the Victorian Centre for Nursing Practice Research. Below, we summarise the information provided by the centres.

Purpose and activities of the centres

All of the centres have a statement of purpose that relates to improvement of nursing practice and healthcare outcomes through the use of evidence. Although similarities and differences exist in the strategies used by the various centres, most prepare systematic reviews and conduct workshops.


Each centre has done or plans to do systematic reviews related to nursing practice. The UK centre, the longest established, has been the most productive in this area, with completed reviews of compression treatment for venous leg ulcers, laser treatment for venous leg ulcers, pressure relieving beds, mattresses and cushions for prevention of pressure …

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