A Study of the Impact of an Educational Intervention on Nurse Attitudes and Behaviours toward Mobile Device Use in Hospital Settings

Lori Giles-Smith, Andrea Spencer, Christine Shaw, Ceceile Porter, Michelle Lobchuk


Introduction: Mobile applications (apps) provide nurses with evidence-based information at the bedside. Librarians encourage app use by purchasing licenses and promoting their features. While many high-quality nursing apps exist, there is inconsistency in published reports on whether nurses use them in patient care. The aim of this research is to describe the use of mobile apps by nurses at two urban hospitals and to examine the impact of educational sessions led by hospital librarians and educators on nurse usage, attitudes and behaviour as they relate to mobile apps.

Methods: Phase I consisted of a descriptive, cross-sectional survey of in-patient nurses to determine mobile app use and attitudes. Phase II involved a one-group pre/post-test design to examine the impact of education sessions led by librarians and hospital educators on nurse attitudes, usage and behaviours. A post-intervention focus group captured thoughts on using mobile apps at the bedside.

Results: Results indicate that most nurses who have a personal mobile device are interested in using them at the bedside though few are currently doing so. While nurses cite many conveniences and uses, they also highlight a number of barriers associated with using mobile devices that must be addressed in order to realize the benefits in patient-centred care.

Discussion: Hospital librarians and educators should work together to provide the education and support nurses require to realize the benefits of using apps at the bedside. Larger studies are needed to determine the impact of educational sessions on patient and health provider satisfaction with mobile device use.


interprofessional collaboration; instruction; mobile communication devices; mobile apps; patient-centred care; survey design

Full Text:



Hader R. How connected are you? Nurs Manage. 2013 Feb;44(2):18-25. doi:10.1097/01.NUMA.000 0426136.37915.b2.

Johansson P, Petersson G, Saveman B, Nilsson G. Using advanced mobile devices in nursing practice – the views of nurses and nursing students. Health Informa J. 2014 Sept;20(3):220-31. doi:10.1177/1460458213491512.

Mobasheri MH, King D, Johnston M, Gautama S, Purkayastha S, Darzi A. The ownership and clinical use of smartphones by doctors and nurses in the UK: a multicentre survey study. BMJ Innov. 2015;1:174-181. doi:10.1136/bmjinnov-2015000062.

Day-Black C. Using mobile devices in nursing education. ABNF J. 2015 Fall;26(4):78-84.

Koehler N, Vujovic O, McMenamin C. Healthcare professionals’ use of mobile phones and the internet in clinical practice. J Mob Technol Med. 2013;2(1):3-13. doi:10.7309/jmtm.76.

Mather C, Cummings E, Allen P. Nurses' use of mobile devices to access information in health care environments in Australia: a survey of

undergraduate students. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2014 Dec 10;2(4):e56. doi:10.2196/mhealth.3467.

Thomairy NA, Mummaneni M, Alsalamah S, Moussa N, Coustasse A. Use of smartphones in hospitals. Health Care Manag (Frederick). 2015 Oct-Dec;34(4):297-307. doi:10.1097/HCM.0000000000000080.

Raman J. Mobile technology in nursing education: where do we go from here? A review of the literature. Nurse Educ Today. 2015 May;35(5):663-72. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2015.01.018.

Duncan V, Vokey S, Gordon S, Helwig M, Chatterley T. Mobile device use in pharmacy: a multi-institutional study of pharmacy students and faculty in Canada. J Can Health Libr Assoc. 2015 Dec;36(3):106-13. doi:10.5596/c15-021.

Koivunen M, Niemi A, Hupli M. The use of electronic devices for communication with colleagues and other healthcare professionals - nursing professionals' perspectives. J Adv Nurs. 2014 Mar;71(3):620-31. doi:10.1111/jan.12529.

Doran DM, Haynes RB, Kushniruk A, Straus S, Grimshaw J, Hall LM, Dubrowski A, Di Pietro T, Newman K, Almost J, Nguyen H, Carryer J, Jedras D. Supporting evidence-based practice for nurses through information technologies. Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2010;7(1):4-15. doi:10.1111/j.1741-6787.2009.00179.x.

Garrett B, Klein G. Value of wireless personal digital assistants for practice: perceptions of advanced practice nurses. J Clin Nurs. 2008 08/15;17(16):2146-54. doi:10.1111/j.13652702.2008.02351.x.

Stroud SD, Erkel EA, Smith CA. The use of personal digital assistants by nurse practitioner students and faculty. J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2005;17(2):67-75. doi:10.1111/j.10412972.2005.00013.x.

Stroud SD, Smith CA, Erkel EA. Personal digital assistant use by nurse practitioners: a descriptive study. J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2009;21(1):31-8. doi:10.1111/j.1745-7599.2008.00368.x.

Bautista JR, Lin TT. Sociotechnical analysis of nurses' use of personal mobile phones at work. Int J Med Inform. 2016 Nov;95:71-80. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2016.09.002.

McBride D, LeVasseur SA, Li D. Nursing performance and mobile phone use: are nurses aware of their performance decrements? JMIR Hum Factors. 2015 Apr 23;2(1):e6. doi:10.2196/humanfactors.4070.

McBride DL, LeVasseur SA, Li D. Non-workrelated use of personal mobile phones by hospital registered nurses. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2015 Jan;13;3(1):e3. doi:10.2196/mhealth.4001.

McBride DL. Distraction of clinicians by smartphones in hospitals: a concept analysis. J Adv Nurs. 2015;71(9):2020-30. doi:10.1111/jan.12674.

Gill PS, Kamath A, Gill TS. Distraction: an assessment of smartphone usage in health care work settings. Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2012;5:105-14. doi:10.2147/RMHP.S34813.

Radoslovich N. Do you need a cell phone policy? Plast Surg Nurs. 2012 Apr-Jun;32(2):67-8. doi:10.1097/PSN.0b013e318257379f.

Visvanathan A, Gibb AP, Brady RR. Increasing clinical presence of mobile communication technology: avoiding the pitfalls. Telemed J E

Health. 2011 Oct;17(8):656-61. doi:10.1089/tmj.2011.0018.

Crowell K, Shaw-Kokot J. Extending the hand of knowledge: promoting mobile technologies. Med Ref Serv Q. 2003 Spring;22(1):1-9. doi:10.1300/J115v22n01_01.

Stokes A, Light J, Haines LL. Library support of mobile resources during clinical clerkships. Med Ref Serv Q. 2014;33(2):179-94. doi:10.1080/02763869.2014.897519.

Elo S, Kyngas H. The qualitative content analysis process. J Adv Nurs. 2008 Apr;62(1):107-15. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04569.x.

Graneheim UH, Lundman B. Qualitative content analysis in nursing research: concepts, procedures and measures to achieve trustworthiness. Nurse Educ Today. 2004 Feb;24(2):105-12. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2003.10.001.

Sandelowski M. The problem of rigor in qualitative research. ANS Adv Nurs Sci. 1986 Apr;8(3):27-37. PubMed PMID 3083765.

Mi M, Wu W, Qiu M, Zhang Y, Wu L, Li J. Use of mobile devices to access resources among Health professions students: a systematic review. Med Ref Serv Q. 2016;35(1):64-82. doi:10.1080/02763869.2016.111729.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5596/c17-003


  • There are currently no refbacks.