Interrelationships Between Theory, Knowledge, Research, And Evidence

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The interrelationship between theory, knowledge, research and evidence-based practice (EBP) is an area where doctoral researchers and scholars have explored extensively. In general, research yields knowledge necessary for the formulation of theory that eventually informs evidence-based practice in any field. According to Fawcett and Garity (2009), the quality of evidence-based practice is directly reliant on high quality research. In other words, quality research yields quality knowledge, which informs highly feasible and plausible theoretical frameworks. Fawcett and Garity (2009) add that the ongoing emphasis on evidence in practice is, in itself, proof supporting the criticality of nursing theory, which guides critical and creative thinking in the decisions involved in EBP. They define evidence-based practice as the deliberate application of theories about health experiences of human beings as guidance to elements of the nursing process, including assessment, planning, intervention, and evaluation. Research comprises theories, conceptual models, and methods. The conceptual models are meant to guide research, which generates testable middle-range theories. It is through the use of vital frameworks in nursing practice decision-making that application of evidence-based and best practices can improve (Fawcett & Garity, 2009). The interrelationship means that all the components can only function properly when all of them are applied. None of them can be ignored if evidence-based practice is meant to inform top-quality nursing outcomes.

The definitions that Fawcett and Garity (2009) provided are concurrent with my understanding of the subject. They define research as a formal and intensive inquiry process, assisting in the generation and testing of theories. Therefore, nursing research becomes a rigorous inquest for the generation and testing of theoretical frameworks associated with human health in a nursing environment. While Fawcett and Garity (2009) expressly state that theory is a product of research, my understanding of knowledge is that it is a product of both research and theory. In particular, the findings of research comprise individual knowledge bases that can be used to craft useful nursing theories. Similarly, testing and evaluation of the theories yield a body of research-based knowledge, which act as evidence for particular nursing practice. Leung, Trevena and Waters (2016) posit that there is a need to create a proper competency-framework for the success of the nursing evidence-based practice. The currently evolving nursing environment needs newer, advanced, and more effective practices (Djulbegovic, 2014). While such efficiency is often connected with high-quality patient outcomes, they also create competitive advantages for hospitals and health facilities from a business point of view. Therefore, the definitions and explanations provided by Fawcett and Garity (2009) complement my knowledge on the importance of this subject both from the perspectives of patient-care and running of modern healthcare facilities.

Furthermore, the interrelationship greatly supports and guide my EBP assignment. My area of specialty is the proactive nursing management of urinary tract infection in skilled nursing facilities. The primary strategy includes using a plan to decrease the number of UTIs in the skilled nursing facility. That strategy is wholly dependent on evidence-based practice. Given Fawcett and Garity’s (2009) interrelationship, I understand the role and influence of research, theory, and knowledge in evidence-based practice. Through this understanding, I will be able to critically evaluate all the existing options and pick the ones that are grounded in high-quality research and theories. Comprehensive knowledge of the interrelationship will also help me establish a framework to narrow the existing gap between evidence-based practice and nursing health outcomes (Djulbegovic, 2014). Above all, the interrelationship will help in the application of the relevant evidence-based practices to my specific nursing context by understanding its influence while avoiding generalizations that are irrelevant or could turn fatal to my EBP assignment (Adams & Natarajan, 2016). Broadly, it plays a central and significant role in my EBP assignment.

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GradShark (2023). Interrelationships between Theory, Knowledge, Research, and Evidence. GradShark.

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