Research

Following a survey of ARNA members in 2016, ARNA has developed agreed priority areas of research and priority research questions of national significance for rehabilitation nursing to guide the allocation of ARNA resources for the support of research. These priority areas and questions will be used to inform the allocation of ARNA funded Research Training Scholarships and Research Grants.

Research priority areas

  • The practice of rehabilitation in nursing
  • Nurse-sensitive rehabilitation outcomes
  • Nursing care delivery models

Research priority questions

  • What is the impact of increasing patient acuity within inpatient rehabilitation units on the rehabilitative role of nursing?
  • What are the core skills of an effective rehabilitation nurse?
  • What are the nursing-sensitive rehabilitation outcomes?

Survey of ARNA members

In September 2016 all ARNA members were invited to complete a web based survey to indicate the extent of their agreement with the proposed priority research areas and priority research questions. They were also asked to list any additional priority areas of research and priority research questions of national significance for rehabilitation nursing.

Description of survey respondents

95 responses were received; 98.95% (n=94) of which identified themselves as ARNA members. Most were registered nurses (88.42%, n=84); the others were enrolled nurses (10.52%, n=10) and an occupational therapist (1.05%, n=1). Most (92.63%, n=88) worked in Australia; the remainder (7.37%, n=7) worked in New Zealand. The distribution of Australian respondents is detailed in Table 1. Survey respondents worked in capital cities (56.38%, n=53), regional centres (36.17%, n=34) and rural settings (7.45%, n=7). Most worked in public compared to private services (80.85%, n=76 versus 19.15%, n=18).

 

Table 1 Distribution of survey respondents by workplace across Australia

Location of workplace

 

Number (%)

New South Wales

 

19 (20.65%)

Northern Territory

 

2 (2.17%)

Queensland

 

12 (13.04%)

South Australia

 

7 (7.61%)

Tasmania

 

6 (6.52%)

Western Australia

 

10 (10.87%)

Victoria

 

31 (33.70%)

N/A

 

5 (5.43%)

 

Research priority areas

  • The practice of rehabilitation in nursing – 88.42% agreed (57.89% strongly)
  • Nurse-sensitive rehabilitation outcomes – 80.86% agreed (47.87% strongly)
  • Nursing care delivery models – 82.10% agreed (45.26% strongly)

Research priority questions

  • What is the impact of increasing patient acuity within inpatient rehabilitation units on the rehabilitative role of nursing? – 87.09% agreed (53.76% strongly)
  • What are the core skills of an effective rehabilitation nurse? – 89.25% agreed (54.84% strongly)
  • What are the nursing-sensitive rehabilitation outcomes? – 84.95% agreed (44.09% strongly)

Many additional priority areas of research (n=28 responses) and priority research questions (n=14 responses) of national significance for rehabilitation nursing were identified. After review, it was apparent that these responses could all fall within the identified priority areas of research and priority research questions.