What are research nurses’ experiences of obtaining consent from or for patients participating in emergency care research? A qualitative review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Gloucestershire Royal NHS Trust


Introduction: If studies are to be valid, recruitment of representative samples is essential. In 2012 28% of UK emergency departments met the 80% standard for recruitment to trials set by the National Institute for Health Research. Research nurses play a vital role in the conduct of high‐quality research and it has been argued that dedicated research nurses are needed if clinical trials are to recruit successfully to target.

Review Question: What are research nurses' experiences of obtaining consent from or for patients participating in emergency care research? A qualitative evidence review.

Methods: A qualitative integrative literature review with a narrative synthesis of the evidence. PRISMA guidelines for reporting systematic qualitative reviews (Supplementary File 1) were followed. A search of five electronic data bases was performed in December 2018 along with a hand search which yielded 125 citations: 10 papers and 1 PhD thesis met the review eligibility criteria. Methodological quality of the selected studies was evaluated and data were extracted and synthesised.

Results: Three themes were identified: Access, Organisation, and Timing. Research nurses encountered both general and specific barriers when seeking to obtain consent for participation in research. In particular it was found there was lack of experience among staff of working in emergency research and with securing deferred consent. The distinction between nurse researchers with a clinical role and those dedicated to solely to research only is often not clear and warrants further investigation.

Conclusion: Nurse Researchers with and without a clinical role can make a positive difference in recruitment to trials in emergency care. The involvement of dedicated research nurses in the consent process can increase recruitment to emergency care research. Experience of recruiting to clinical trials in non‐emergency settings does not seem to help when recruiting for trials in emergency care.

Relevance to clinical practice: There is a need for greater understanding of the experiences of dedicated research nurses in emergency care settings and in particular with regard to deferred consent.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4155-4165
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number23-24
Early online date26 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • accident and emergency, competence, nurse roles, research

ASJC Scopus subject areas