Comparing the Funk and Stetler Research Models

The Stetler model of evidence-based practice (2001) and the model for the dissemination of nursing research developed by Funk and colleagues are both approaches to optimizing the inclusion of investigative findings in the everyday activities of medical practitioners. Both offer an organized method of integrating existing research into the delivery of healthcare, and each of these systems include components related to the choice of research to be considered, along with components to guide the application of the selected information. These models also differ in a variety of ways, including some that appear to have a drastic impact upon the practicality of their usage.

The desired outcome of the Stetler model is an improvement in the ability of individual healthcare professionals to incorporate only high-quality research in the construction of an evidence-informed approach to practice. In stark contrast, the Funk model is designed to improve the dissemination of applicable findings throughout the medical profession. As a result of this fundamental divergence, the Funk approach can be exposed as the inferior method on the basis of practicality due to the significant expenses and complicated logistics that are likely to be associated with coordinating conferences and the creation of an information center.

There are also theoretical deficiencies Funk’s model that could prevent the system from delivering the desired improvement in researchers’ preliminary literature considerations. The most harmful aspect of this approach is the recommended communication process. Relying on other professionals for this type of information introduces the risk of biased influence, and assumptions based on authority. The Stetler model eliminates this possibility by placing the onus squarely on the individual practitioner to form their own conclusion. The corruption of the processes associated with information dissemination leaves Funk’s approach ineffective.


Funk, S. G., Tornquist, E. M., & Champagne, M. T. (1989). A model for improving the dissemination of nursing research. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 11(3), 361-367.

Stetler, C. B. (2001). Updating the Stetler model of research utilization to facilitate evidence – based practice. Nursing Outlook, 49(6), 272-279.