Planning for research impact

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Several drivers are currently leading to an increased emphasis on the importance of ensuring impact from research. In the context of nursing research, which aims to improve patient care, safety, and well-being, it might be assumed that research findings with the potential to effect such changes would automatically impact on clinical practice. However, experience suggests that this is not the case and careful attention is needed if impact is to be achieved.

This paper presents the example of one project commissioned to develop a health communication tool to support people with learning (intellectual) disabilities when accessing healthcare. The importance of a planned approach to impact is explored through reference to existing frameworks and the provision of examples of strategies used in the context of this project. The importance of framing the question, using a range of approaches to actively engage stakeholders, and the use of diverse strategies to embed the development in practice are discussed.

It is concluded that if impact is to be maximised then a planned approach is required, that such planning and associated actions need to commence at the very beginning of the research project, and continue beyond the point of delivering the project report. This paper relates to a specific context and patient group but the principles discussed are transferable to other clinical settings and patient groups.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1888
Number of pages8
JournalNurse Researcher
Issue number00
Early online date9 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2023


  • accessible information
  • clinical guidelines
  • communication
  • evidence-based practice
  • learning disability
  • nurse-patient relations
  • nursing care
  • research impact


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