Orthopaedic Cursing Research Priorities: A Replication and Extension

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Orthopaedic Nursing Journal


Purpose: This study identified current orthopaedic nursing research priorities that should be investigated to advance the practice of orthopaedic nursing. The study was accomplished by the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses' (NAON) Research Committee via a national survey of selected NAON members.

Design: A descriptive design was used to determine research priorities.

Sample: The sample consisted of a random sample of 133 NAON members. The sample was stratified for either graduate degrees (> or = master's), other than a graduate degree (< or = bachelor's) (to insure representation from "frontline" practicing nurses), and registrants in the NAON Researcher Database and recipients of NAON Foundation or American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)/NAON grants.

Method: A three round Delphi survey technique was used to build consensus by systematically generating, synthesizing, and analyzing opinions of a group of experts while maintaining confidentiality of the individuals.

Main research classifications: Nursing research priorities, Delphi method, Orthopaedic nursing.

Findings: The nine target research questions for orthopaedic nursing identified as high priority were grouped into the following categories: patient acuity, care delivery models, staffing issues, patient complications, pain management (in the elderly and those with altered mental status), and patient mobility. These research priority items are intended to direct the orthopaedic nurse researcher to study specific questions within these categories.

Conclusion: Results reflect the dramatic changes occurring in orthopaedic nursing practice. Research priorities reveal the need for more research on pain and patient complications (e.g., deep vein thrombosis (DVT)) despite a preponderance of existing, published research on these topics.

Implications for nursing research: This study identified target research questions for orthopaedic nursing. These questions may be used by orthopaedic nurses to develop nursing research proposals as well as collaborative research endeavors with other members of the orthopaedic health care team. An ongoing and wider dissemination of results of existing research to the NAON membership needs to be implemented.