1. Carroll, V. Susan MS, RN, CNE

Article Content

M. A. Mateo & K. T. Kirchhoff (Editors), New York: Springer Publishing Company, 2009, 480 pages, $60.00, ISBN 978-0-8261-207-0.


In this book, the editors address the ever-present, increasingly important need to provide evidence for the practice decisions we make as nurses. They argue that any nurse who uses results from an individual or series of research reports needs a solid working knowledge of the conduct of research to evaluate the scientific merit, relevance, and generalizability of others' work. Mateo and Kirchoff focused specifically on the research and evidence-based practice (EBP) concepts necessary in preparing graduate students for advanced practice nursing roles.


The book is divided into four parts: evidence-based practice, building blocks for evidence, using available evidence, and evaluating the impact of EBP and communicating results. Each part has EBP concepts and examples related to patient care woven into the narrative. Each chapter includes clear, useful tables and exhibits that highlight, or expand, on critical concepts. Also included are suggested learning activities that allow readers to apply the content and test their understanding.


Part I: EBP includes an overview of EBP definitions and models, general searching strategies, and the links between research, EBP, healthcare quality, and patient safety. Each chapter builds on those that preceded it and guide the reader clearly through the introductory material.


Part II: Building Blocks for Evidence includes a discussion of strategies for appraising a single research article, identifying a focus of study, understanding and using theoretical and conceptual frameworks, and making a comprehensive review of various components of scientific research. The chapters focused on sampling methods, data collection tools and their design, and physiological data collection methods are particularly strong.


In Part III: Using Available Evidence, the editors have included discussions of how to use meta-analyses, systematic reviews, and clinical practice guidelines as tools for implementing EBP. The inclusion of appraisal how-tos allow less experienced practitioners or novice researchers to gain a better understanding of the need for evaluation prior to any attempt to integrate research into practice.


Finally, Part IV: Evaluating the Impact of EBP and Communicating Results teaches readers how to complete the research process. Costs, outcomes, and ethical aspects are highlighted as essential components of EBP. Discussed are oral and written methods of communicating outcomes. The chapter related to reporting via publication provides readers with a timely discussion of not just print but also Web-based and cyberspace publishing options; it also outlines clearly the typical publication process.


This book will be a valuable addition to any nurse interested in either research or EBP because it effortlessly weaves the two into an understandable whole. It is easily read and well referenced and includes abundant tools and examples to illustrate and support the content.


Reviewed by V. Susan Carroll, MS, RN, CNE, Editor-in-Chief