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Research utilization barriers for emergency medical technicians in Saudi Arabia

Authors Samarkandi OA, Bashatah AS, Khan AA, Almobrad AM, Beovich B, Williams B

Received 1 September 2017

Accepted for publication 19 March 2018

Published 17 July 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 519—526


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Majumder

Osama A Samarkandi,1 Adel S Bashatah,2 Anas A Khan,3 Abdulmajeed M Almobrad,4 Bronwyn Beovich,5 Brett Williams5,6

1Basic Science Department, eLearning and IT Unit, Prince Sultan College for Emergency Medical Services, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 2College of Nursing, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 3Emergency Medicine Department, College of Medicine, University Medical City, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 4EMS Department, Prince Sultan College for EMS, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 5Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; 6Division of Paramedicine, School of Medicine, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS, Australia

Introduction: Translation of research findings into clinical practice has potential to improve health care procedures, increase patient safety, and improve patient outcomes. However, low levels of evidence utilization in clinical practice have been widely reported. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this is also the case for emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in Saudi Arabia. This study aimed to examine the barriers to the utilization of research findings within this cohort.
Methods: The BARRIERS scale was used to gather data from a convenience sample of EMTs in Saudi Arabia.
Results: The barriers most commonly rated as “great” or “moderate” were “Implications for practice are not made clear”, “The relevant literature is not compiled in one place”, and “The EMT feels the benefits of changing practice will be minimal”. However, when responses were examined at a subscale level, reliability, as measured by Cronbach’s α, was suboptimal (range 0.20–0.62).
Discussion: No similar study has been conducted within paramedicine to enable direct comparison of our results; however, the top barriers identified in the present study are also highly rated in some previous studies of nurse cohorts. The low reliability measures of the subscales may demonstrate the importance of context specificity when utilizing this scale and that further research is required to develop a reliable and valid tool for use within this cohort.
Conclusion: The top 2 barriers identified indicate that there may be a need for improvement regarding communication of research evidence to Saudi EMTs. For future studies, translation of the BARRIERS scale may be useful. However, as these EMT courses are taught in English, careful consideration of cultural suitability and more subtle interpretation issues could also be appropriate. Once context-specific barriers are identified and examined, they may inform the development of effective strategies to increase the uptake of research evidence into Saudi EMT practice.

Keywords: emergency medical technician, paramedic, Saudi Arabia, research utilization, evidence-based practice

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