Communicate research findings effectively

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Book excerpt

Communicate research findings effectively

It takes a lot of work, but conducting nursing research projects at your facility can result in significant changes in the nursing field. You can use research findings to promote changes in patient care delivery, to establish or develop clinical guidelines, or to develop healthcare policy. But if you don’t know the best way to share the results and spread the information, you can’t achieve any of these things.

After the statistical results are calculated and analyzed, the findings need to be communicated. Relying on word of mouth alone or simply writing a summary report will not help make needed changes in clinical practice and will not energize new people to conduct or participate in research.

Refer to the following strategies to communicate your findings.

Ways to spread the word

Communication can be formal or informal and can occur in a multitude of presentations.

Ways to promote and disseminate research findings include:

  • Publication of findings in scholarly journals
  • Presentations at national or local professional conferences
  • Written clinical summary statements
  • Poster presentations at local and national conferences
  • Presentations at local unit meetings and at various hospital committee meetings
  • Presentations at journal clubs
  • Dissertations
  • Presentations at continuing educational inservices

Research councils

If your organization has a research council, this can be invaluable in communicating and circulating the findings of research to the rest of hospital.

When communicating research findings, researchers must avoid research jargon so that the audience understands the terminology. If data were collected at outside agencies, findings should be shared with them and the subjects.

Information sharing might include a thank-you letter for the support received that briefly describes the findings, along with an offer to give a presentation on the research findings. This type of letter support helps build excitement about future research.

Communicating change

When changes are proposed based on the research findings, the researcher should communicate this change with confidence to the agencies or units affected. A sense of purpose must be identified, and a commitment to help promote change should be encouraged.

When creating an effective dissemination plan, the researcher should consider:

Goals and objectives of the research. The goal should be specific and clearly communicated. Collaborate with existing relationships and networks as much as possible.

The audiences that will most benefit from the study’s findings. Remember not to overload them with statistical analysis, and use appropriate language geared toward your audience.

The most effective route of delivery to reach your intended audience. Different methods can be considered, such as written, electronic, verbal, and graphic mediums. If slides are to be used in the delivery of communication, they should be limited to the most important points.


This excerpt is adapted from HCPro’s book Nursing Research Program Builder: Strategies to Translate Findings into Practice, by Marquetta Flaugher, ARNP-BC, DSN. For more information or to order a copy, visit