w articles (n = 7).

4.5. Theoretical or Conceptual Framework

Of the 57 studies included in this review, 86% did not use any nursing theory or conceptual framework to guide their research (n = 49). On the other hand, only 14% of the identified studies utilized nursing theory or conceptual framework (n = 8).

4.6. Study Design

Sixty-three percent (63%) of the studies utilized a quantitative approach (n = 36); whereas, 18% of the revised articles used a qualitative approach (n = 10). Almost 19% of articles were literature reviews (n = 11).

4.7. Funding Source

Funding was reported in 25% of the studies (n = 14). This funding was primarily through Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC). No funding or no specification of the source of funding was found in 75% of the studies (n = 43). None of the articles noted an external regional or international source of funding. This might be due to the availability of internal or local funding sources, which removes any serious motivation to apply for external funding.

4.8. External Collaboration

Nursing research in Qatar has largely been done in collaboration with other disciplines (60%; n = 34). This collaboration was mostly with physicians (65%), allied health professionals (15%), and pharmacists (12%). The remaining 8% of collaborative articles included multiple professions. Forty percent (40%) of the 57 articles included in this review were written solely by nurses (n = 23).

4.9. Research Topic

Clinical practice issues were the focus of 42% of the revised studies (n = 24). This was a favorite topic for nurses, especially when conducting research studies in collaboration with physicians. The remaining 58% of the revised articles focused on five main topics: nursing education (17.5%; n = 10); public health (16%; n = 9); nursing management (12%; n = 7); occupational health (9%; n = 5); and sociocultural issues (3.5%; n = 2).

4.10. Study Participants

The results of this review indicated that revised studied population included participants from hospitals (63%; n = 36), community settings (18%; n = 10), and academic settings, such as nursing students (7%; n = 4). The remaining 12% of the included studies were literature reviews papers (n = 7).

5. Discussion

5.1. History of Research Development

The present review paper could be considered worthy for nursing scholars internationally especially for those in the Arab world because it evaluates and tracks the development of nursing research in Qatar. The results of this review revealed that the evolution of nursing research in Qatar is very recent; real scientific research work did not start until the 2000s. The growth of scientific research in the twentieth century has matched the development of nursing education in Qatar and the arrival of qualified expatriates from different regions in the world. It’s difficult to compare the progress of nursing inquiry in Qatar to other states around the world, in particular with a lack of supporting evidence and huge differences in population, educational systems, and nursing professions, Eighty- four percent (84%) of the research articles published over the last 15 years have been published in the previous five years (n = 48), and 87% of the articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals (n = 50).

5.2. Factors Affecting Research Development

The 16-fold growth rate in research in Qatar over the last five years happened due to several changes and challenges in the healthcare system. These changes including social acceptance of nursing, technological advancements such as availability of access to regional and international journals, consumer demands of high-quality care, and emergent of complex bioethical dilemmas. Such environmental requires that nurses should be educationally qualified, capable of transforming evidence into practice in order to satisfy the needs of the clients from different backgrounds as well as deliver the best quality of care.

5.3. Importance of Nursing Education

Nurses with higher academic qualifications (such as those with master’s and doctoral degrees) are more competent to expand and refine nursing research than other nurses with lower educational qualifications [7] . Nelms and Lane illustrated that in 1965 the American Association of Colleges of Nursing documented that it is imperative that to prepare nurses with essential knowledge in nursing, psychology, sociology, humanities and other health sciences fields in order to be able to think creatively, critically and find solutions to the complex and diverse nursing practices [14] . Recent trends in hiring highly qualified nurses and Academic Health System (AHS) could be another reason for the research boom in Qatar over the past few years [15] . This can be seen in the present study wherein 40% of authors had doctoral degrees in nursing, and 26% of them had a master’s degree.

5.4. Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) Status

In the last few years, HMC started and maintained its dynamic process of transformation that directed toward upgrading its clinical settings into factual Academic and Research Health Centers [15] . Establishing a successful Academic Health System is the ultimate goal of HMC. Such academic system can make connections between research, education and clinical practices, as well as can empower HMC by linking relevant academic partners and stakeholders in health arena with HMC. Nowadays, HMC has partnership agreements with several academic organizations in Qatar as well as around the world such as Sidra Medical and Research Center (SMRC), Qatar University, College of the North Atlantic―Qatar, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q), the University of Calgary―Qatar, and numerous primary health care centers [15] .

5.5. Contribution of Other Disciplines in Nursing Science

Nursing scholars reported that researchers from other disciplines played a major role in establishing the early foundation of nursing knowledge through conducting of different studies that contribute to the nursing field [7] . This happens because most of the early nurses were not qualified to conduct research [16] . Beginning with the Gold Mark Report in 1923, non-nurses became involved in studying nursing related issues [17] . The process of “living, learning, and working” that adopted by numerous nurses is borrowed from the sociologists [18] . The research conducted by sociologists and behavioral scientists added to their respective bodies of knowledge but did not necessarily expand nursing’s body of knowledge [19] . This is reflected in the current body of nursing literature based in Qatar; 60% of the nursing research from Qatar has been done in collaboration with other disciplines, and only 40% has been done by only by nurses.

5.6. Research Focus Area

In the Canadian context, more than half of the conducted studies were addressed health promotion, health issues, and health service organization [16] . Few Canadian studies have investigated instruments’ development, research dissemination, and utilization, environment, in addition to patient safety [16] . Australian authors focused mainly on the nursing education practice, as well as other professional topics [20] . In 2013, Dr. Khalaf found that nursing management was the most researched area in Jordan, followed by health promotion. On the other hand, nursing education, the gap between practice and education, best strategies in teaching and learning were received little attention in the Jordanian literature [13] . The current literature review indicated that the highest percentage of studies conducted in Qatar was focused on clinical practice issues, especially in collaboration with physicians. Nursing education (17.5%), public health (16%), nursing management (12%), occupational health (9%), and sociocultural studies (3.5%) were also investigated.

5.7. Research Setting and Context

Most studies in Qatar were conducted in hospital settings (63%). This may be because most of the researchers were working in hospital settings (88%). Other studies recruited the participants from community settings (12%), academic settings (8%), as well as community settings (5%), while 7% were literature reviews with no sample identification. These results are congruent with the Khalafs’ study (2013). Moreover, Borbasi and colleagues’ study reported that major health issues were received little attention in the Australian literature because the collected data were used mainly to describe nurse and patients [20] . While Moreno-Casbas recommended that nursing research should pay more attention to the clinical issues and patients’ needs [21] . Nevertheless, current research is more associated with the nursing profession instead of clients’ needs.

5.8. Research Theoretical Framework

Analysis of all the research studies done in Qatar showed that only 14% of them utilized a conceptual or theoretical framework that derived from nursing field. Similarly, in the Jordanian context, Khalafs’ study revealed that only a few studies (11%) used a theoretical framework from nursing field [13] . On the other hand, Bond and colleagues reported that about half of the revised studies in their literature review utilized nursing theoretical or conceptual framework [22] . Other scholars like Barrett [23] and Fawcett [24] documented that conducting nursing studies depending on theories from fields other than nursing will not make any progress in nursing science, skills, nor practice.

5.9. Research Design

Walker reported that descriptive and correlational designs can be set as the baseline for future research in the same field and can promote nursing profession development; however; there is a massive need for experimental or interventional research designs [25] . Sixty-three percent (63%) of the authors of articles revised for this study selected quantitative approach for their studies. The qualitative approach was used in 18% of the articles, and the remaining 19% of reviewed articles were literature reviews. These results are comparable to the previous literature results in different countries [13] [20] [26] .

5.10. Funding Source

It has been reported that European nursing research is funded by three major methods: public sector fund; non-profit organizations; and National Nurses’ Associations (NNAs) [11] . The authors’ reported that Canadian national organizations are responsible for funding nursing research in Canada [16] . Concerning Arab world, nursing research fund in Jordan can be obtained from national and international organizations [13] . In Qatar, most of the revised studies (75%) did not mention the specific source of fund. The rest studies (25%) were mainly obtained fund through the Medical Research Center (MRC) at HMC. No external regional or international funding was specified, which might be due to the availability of internal funding sources and the resultant lack of serious motivation to apply for funding. Although, funding of researchers can come from the Centers or the institutes where the researchers are conducted for instance; Qatar University. Researchers can also be granted by governmental agencies and councils such as Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), SMRC, HMC, Barwa & Qatari Diar Research Institute (BQDRI), and other funding facilities [27] .

6. Limitations and Recommendations

While this literature review has presented information about nursing research in Qatar, in-depth analysis of the articles were not possible due to the massive variability in the articles reviewed. This might be considered as a limitation. Therefore, future work on the quality of published research and contribution to nursing practice is highly recommended. While the authors of this article have done an exhaustive search, they may have missed some eligible publications, which may also limit the findings of this study. Dr. Khalaf strongly recommended building local research databases for published nursing studies all states over the world; such databases could help in establishing priorities for nursing research at the national level, revising what has been explored in the past, and suggest recommendations for future research topics that may build up a robust nursing knowledge [13] . If these strategies are successfully implemented, they will promote nursing education, research, practice, and the overall nursing profession in Qatar and the Middle East region. Clinical relevance includes investigations about regional needs, primary care, as well as community-based services (like rehabilitation, geriatrics, and maternity services). Building collaboration affairs between academic institutions and clinical settings (such partnerships) can aid in determining research areas that required immediate attention [20] . Research utilization that incorporates implementing research results in the clinical practice is the most important step to advance the nursing profession.

7. Conclusions

This study was modeled on Dr. Khalaf’s study [13] . It was found that only a few studies were carried out by nurses in Qatar. Research characteristics and authorship were analyzed, including what and how nurses are conducting research studies, with whom they are doing research, where they are conducting their research, and whether or not they receive funding.

The results indicate that the publishing rate of nurses has increased 16-fold between 2000 and 2015. Nurses in Qatar have published predominantly in peer- reviewed journals. Clinical practice remained the favorite topic of research. A low percentage of research was funded, and nurses received little national grant funding. The increase in the number of post-graduate nurses in Qatar has positively affected the development of research, in particular with the establishment of the University of Calgary campus in Qatar (UCQ) in 2007 and the introduction of undergraduate and graduate programs which are sponsored by HMC and focus on Nursing Leadership and Oncology [28] .

8. Implications for Nursing and Health Policy

Today’s sophisticated, multifaceted healthcare challenges are not amenable to “isolated-islands” research approaches, where each profession/discipline is conducting their research. Building and sustaining nursing research infrastructure considered as a top priority for nursing leaders (in collaboration with other disciplines), academic bodies, and Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in Qatar.

Serious effort should be made to encourage nurses to study, implement, and utilize evidenced-based research by providing administrative support as the most influencing and facilitating factor for research implementation and utilization. Strategies need to be put in place to encourage the dissemination of research by providing professional writing assistance, conducting evidenced-based practice workshops and supporting nurses to attend and contribute to national, regional and international conferences.

Funds should be made available by governments through funding organizations for increased support of nursing and healthcare research priorities. An appraisal of research capability and outcomes needs to be conducted periodically to come up with recommendations to stakeholders and government for any necessary action plan.


Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Qatar provided facilities and support for this project. However, this research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Cite this paper
J. Nashwan, A. , Mansour, D. , Alzayyat, A. , K. Nair, S. and Zawahreh, A. (2017) Development of Nursing Research in Qatar: 15-Year Status Report. Open Journal of Nursing, 7, 242-252. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2017.72020.
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