The role of the genetic nurse has evolved historically with the emergence of clinical genetics in the field of health care. During 1994, a Practice Working Party was convened by the Genetic Nurses and Social Workers Association in response to discussion about the role of the nurse within and between regional genetics centres. The Working Party conducted a study of the current nursing practice and attitudes of nurses and clinicians to the nursing role, as a basis for future discussion and planning for educational needs. This paper describes the role of the genetic nurse within the United Kingdom and offers suggestions for assessment of competency. Strong themes emerging from respondents' comments include the need and desire for multi-professional team work, and it is apparent that most respondents felt the families' needs would best be served by a skilful combination of medical and nursing input, rather than adherence to traditional roles.
Understanding change in health and illness over time is central to creating and evaluating interventions for individuals, families, and populations. The term health trajectory is a succinct and useful way to describe change in health status over time.
To define the notion of a health trajectory; comment on the usefulness and current status of health trajectory research for nursing science and practice; and identify and illustrate key elements of theory, design, and statistical models for health trajectory research.
Constructs in theory about individual change are summarized, synthesized with characteristics of longitudinal design and statistical models for change, and discussed in light of current and emerging health care priorities and trends in nursing research.
Health trajectory research is person-focused and congruent with the person-centered emphasis of nursing practice. The contribution of nursing science to the overall effort to improve health will be enhanced when change over time is explicit in nursing theory, longitudinal designs are used, and contemporary statistical approaches for modeling change in health status are incorporated into research plans.
health trajectory; applied longitudinal data analysis; nursing theory; change
To review the opportunities and possibilities for advancing oncology nursing competencies in genetic/genomics through the illustration of case scenarios in clinical care.
Literature; research reports.
Oncology nurses have the potential to influence whether or not cutting edge research discoveries are utilized at the bedside. Clinical integration of genetic/genomic information has the potential to optimize health outcomes and lengthen patient lives.
Implications for Nursing Practice
Oncology nurses need to include genetics/genomics in their practice in order to impact quality patient care today and for the future.
Competency; Genetics; Genomics; Oncology Nursing Education
The Institute of Medicine has issued numerous reports calling for the public health workforce to be adept in policy-making, communication, science translation, and other advocacy skills. Public health competencies include advocacy capabilities, but few public health graduate institutions provide systematic training for translating public health science into policy action. Specialized health-advocacy training is needed to provide future leaders with policy-making knowledge and skills in generating public support, policy-maker communications, and policy campaign operations that could lead to improvements in the outcomes of public health initiatives. Advocacy training should draw on nonprofit and government practitioners who have a range of advocacy experiences and skills. This article describes a potential model curriculum for introductory health-advocacy theory and skills based on the course, Health Advocacy, a winner of the Delta Omega Innovative Public Health Curriculum Award, at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland.
Translating clinically valid genomic discoveries into practice is hinged not only on technologic advances, but also on nurses—the largest global contingent of health providers—acquiring requisite competencies to apply these discoveries in clinical care. The study aim was to assess practicing nurse attitudes, practices, receptivity, confidence, and competency of integrating genomics into nursing practice.
A convenience sample of practicing nurses was recruited to complete an online survey that assessed domains from Roger’s Diffusion of Innovations Theory and used family history utilization as the basis for competency assessment.
Results were tabulated and analyzed using descriptive statistical techniques.
Two-hundred-thirty-nine licensed registered nurses, 22 to 72 years of age, with a median of 20 years in practice, responded, for an overall response rate of 28%. Most were White (83%), female (92%), and held baccalaureate degrees (56%). Seventy-one percent considered genetics to be very important to nursing practice; however, 81% rated their understanding of the genetics of common diseases as poor or fair. Per-question response rates varied widely. Instrument assessment indicated that modifications were necessary to decrease respondent burden.
Respondents’ perceived genomic competency was inadequate, family history was not routinely utilized in care delivery, and the extent of family history varied widely. However, most nurses indicated interest in pursuing continuing genomic education.
Findings from this study can lead to the development of targeted education that will facilitate optimal workforce preparation for the ongoing influx of genetics and genomics information, technologies, and targeted therapies into the healthcare arena. This pilot study provides a foundation on which to build the next step, which includes a national nursing workforce study.
Evidence-based practice (EBP) is one of the main professional competencies for health care professionals and a priority for medicine and nursing curriculum as well. EBP leads to improve effective and efficient care and patient outcomes. Nurse educators have responsibility to teach the future nurses, and an opportunity to promote patient outcomes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe nurse educators’ knowledge and attitude on EBP.
Materials and Methods:
This was a descriptive study conducted in nursing faculties of two major universities of medical sciences affiliated to Ministry of Health and Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran. Data were gathered using a three-section questionnaire. Content and face validity was further enhanced by submitting it to nursing research and education experts. Statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS 11 software.
According the results, nursing faculties’ knowledge of EBP was mainly moderate (47.1%). Significant statistical relationship was found between the level of knowledge with education and teaching experience in different nursing programs. Nurses generally held positive attitudes toward EBP (88.6%) and there was no statistical significant relationship with demographic variables.
Nursing educators are in a position to influence nursing research in clinical practice in the future. Therefore, it is critical to achieve implementation of EBP and be a change agent for a paradigm shift toward EBP.
Attitude; evidence-based practice; Iran; knowledge
The Human Genome Project will change how health is defined and how disease is prevented, diagnosed and treated. As the largest group of health care providers in contact with patients nurses need to be competent in the science of genetics. Beyond this nurses need to understand the complexities that arise in genomic health care. Ethical, legal and social issues are integral to the delivery of genomic health care and nurses must have an astute understanding of such complexities. What it means to know, to reason and to act in this post-genomic age is explored.
ethics; genetics; genomics; nursing advocacy; nursing competencies
As the emphasis on individuals' active partnership in health care grows, so does the public's need for effective, comprehensible consumer health resources. Consumer health informatics has the potential to provide frameworks and strategies for designing effective health communication tools that empower users and improve their health decisions. This article presents an overview of the consumer health informatics field, discusses promising approaches to supporting health communication, and identifies challenges plus direction for future research and development. The authors' recommendations emphasize the need for drawing upon communication and social science theories of information behavior, reaching out to consumers via a range of traditional and novel formats, gaining better understanding of the public's health information needs, and developing informatics solutions for tailoring resources to users' needs and competencies. This article was written as a scholarly outreach and leadership project by members of the American Medical Informatics Association's Consumer Health Informatics Working Group.
Improving provider performance is central to strengthening health services in developing countries. Because of critical shortages of physicians, many clinics in sub-Saharan Africa are led by nurses. In addition to clinical skills, nurse managers need practical managerial skills and adequate resources to ensure procurement of essential supplies, quality assurance implementation, and productive work environment. Giving nurses more autonomy in their work empowers them in the workplace and has shown to create positive influence on work attitudes and behaviors. The Infectious Disease Institute, an affiliate of Makerere University College of Health Science, in an effort to expand the needed HIV services in the Ugandan capital, established a community-university partnership with the Ministry of Health to implement an innovative model to build capacity in HIV service delivery. This paper evaluates the impact on the nurses from this innovative program to provide more health care in six nurse managed Kampala City Council (KCC) Clinics.
A mixed method approach was used. The descriptive study collected key informant interviews from the six nurse managers, and administered a questionnaire to 20 staff nurses between September and December 2009. Key themes were manually identified from the interviews, and the questionnaire data were analyzed using SPSS.
Introducing new HIV services into six KCC clinics was positive for the nurses. They identified the project as successful because of perceived improved environment, increase in useful in-service training, new competence to manage patients and staff, improved physical infrastructure, provision of more direct patient care, motivation to improve the clinic because the project acted on their suggestions, and involvement in role expansion. All of these helped empower the nurses, improving quality of care and increasing job satisfaction.
This community-university HIV innovative model was successful from the point of view of the nurses and nurse managers. This model shows promise in increasing effective, quality health service; HIV and other programs can build capacity and empower nurses and nurse managers to directly implement such services. It also demonstrates how MakCHS can be instrumental through partnerships in designing and testing effective strategies, building human health resources and improving Ugandan health outcomes.
KIRK M., TONKIN E. & SKIRTON H. (2014) An iterative consensus-building approach to revising a genetics/genomics competency framework for nurse education in the UK. Journal of Advanced Nursing 70(2), 405–420. doi: 10.1111/jan.12207
AimTo report a review of a genetics education framework using a consensus approach to agree on a contemporary and comprehensive revised framework.
BackgroundAdvances in genomic health care have been significant since the first genetics education framework for nurses was developed in 2003. These, coupled with developments in policy and international efforts to promote nursing competence in genetics, indicated that review was timely.
DesignA structured, iterative, primarily qualitative approach, based on a nominal group technique.
MethodA meeting convened in 2010 involved stakeholders in UK nursing education, practice and management, including patient representatives (n = 30). A consensus approach was used to solicit participants' views on the individual/family needs identified from real-life stories of people affected by genetic conditions and the nurses' knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to meet those needs. Five groups considered the stories in iterative rounds, reviewing comments from previous groups. Omissions and deficiencies were identified by mapping resulting themes to the original framework. Anonymous voting captured views. Educators at a second meeting developed learning outcomes for the final framework.
FindingsDeficiencies in relation to Advocacy, Information management and Ongoing care were identified. All competencies of the original framework were revised, adding an eighth competency to make explicit the need for ongoing care of the individual/family.
ConclusionModifications to the framework reflect individual/family needs and are relevant to the nursing role. The approach promoted engagement in a complex issue and provides a framework to guide nurse education in genetics/genomics; however, nursing leadership is crucial to successful implementation.
competence; competency; consensus approach; education; genetics; genomics; nursing
Background. Nurses who provide end of life and bereavement care to neonates and their families are potentially at risk for developing stress-related health problems. These health problems can negatively affect nurses' ability to care for their patients. Purpose. Nurses need to be knowledgeable about end of life and bereavement issues to provide quality care. This study sought to evaluate the effect of a bereavement seminar on the attitudes of nurses regarding end of life and palliative care of neonates. Design. A convenience sample of fourteen neonatal nurses completed a Bereavement/End of Life Attitudes about Care of Neonatal Nurses Scale after a bereavement seminar designed to provide information on end of life care. A pre- and posttest design with an intervention and control group was used to assess changes in nurse bereavement attitudes in relationship to comfort, role, and involvement. Results. After bereavement seminar, the seminar attendees had higher levels of comfort in providing end of life care than nurses in the control group (t = −0.214; P = 0.04). Discussion. Nurses' comfort levels can be improved by attending continuing education on end of life care and having their thoughts on ethical issues in end of life care acknowledged by their peers.
Pregnancy and the early years of the child’s life offer an opportune time to prevent a host of adverse maternal and child outcomes that are important in their own right, but that also have significant implications for the development of criminal behaviour. This paper summarizes a 30-year programme of research that has attempted to improve the health and development of mothers and infants and their future life prospects with prenatal and infancy home visiting by nurses. The programme, known today as the Nurse-Family Partnership, is designed for low-income mothers who have had no previous live births. The home visiting nurses have three major goals: to improve the outcomes of pregnancy by helping women improve their prenatal health; to improve the child’s health and development by helping parents provide more sensitive and competent care of the child; and to improve parental life-course by helping parents plan future pregnancies, complete their educations, and find work. Given consistent effects on prenatal health behaviours, parental care of the child, child abuse and neglect, child health and development, maternal life-course, and criminal involvement of the mothers and children, the programme is now being offered for public investment throughout the United States, where careful attention is being given to ensuring that the programme is being conducted in accordance with the programme model tested in the randomized trials. The programme also is being adapted, developed, and tested in five countries outside of the US: the Netherlands, Germany, England, Australia, and Canada, where programmatic adjustments are being made to accommodate different populations served and health and human service contexts. We believe it is important to test this programme in randomized controlled trials in these new settings before it is offered for public investment.
Crime; Development; Health; Home visiting; Nurses
Nurses comprise the largest health professional group in terms of number, and they can be found in almost every health care setting, including homes, schools, work sites, and hospitals. To a large extent, nurses have always been aware of environmental factors when doing their job, but the definition of environmental health nursing is being expanded. Today, in addition to considering the possibility of environmental influences when taking patient health histories, evaluating symptoms, and conducting community assessments, nurses may change environmental conditions of affected individuals or populations through direct care, teaching, advocacy, and public policy initiatives. Nurses are helping patients evaluate the relative risks of various types of environmental exposures, such as lead. And they are also playing a key role in establishing a national tracking system of environmental health as well as in conducting patient research.
Today the development of a unique professional language and publishing of professional and scientific publications is the basis of every profession, including the nursing profession. The task of the unique language specific to the nursing profession is to describe the nursing profession (to make it more familiar to the other team members and clients/customers), improve communication between nurses and other team members, help in health care improvement and administration, enable comparison of health care results, improve health care outcomes, as well as facilitate health care documentation and encourage research related to nursing. From the historical point of view, the development of nursing practice in Croatia was not accompanied by professional writings until the end of the 20th century, especially not by professional articles written by nurses themselves. By analyzing old writings and handbooks, the historical development of the written word of nurses is reconstructed for the first time in the region.
Biobanks can have a pivotal role in elucidating disease etiology, translation, and
advancing public health. However, meeting these challenges hinges on a critical shift in
the way science is conducted and requires biobank harmonization. There is growing
recognition that a common strategy is imperative to develop biobanking globally and
effectively. To help guide this strategy, we articulate key principles, goals, and
priorities underpinning a roadmap for global biobanking to accelerate health science,
patient care, and public health. The need to manage and share very large amounts of data
has driven innovations on many fronts. Although technological solutions are allowing
biobanks to reach new levels of integration, increasingly powerful data-collection tools,
analytical techniques, and the results they generate raise new ethical and legal issues
and challenges, necessitating a reconsideration of previous policies, practices, and
ethical norms. These manifold advances and the investments that support them are also
fueling opportunities for biobanks to ultimately become integral parts of health-care
systems in many countries. International harmonization to increase interoperability and
sustainability are two strategic priorities for biobanking. Tackling these issues requires
an environment favorably inclined toward scientific funding and equipped to address
socio-ethical challenges. Cooperation and collaboration must extend beyond systems to
enable the exchange of data and samples to strategic alliances between many organizations,
including governmental bodies, funding agencies, public and private science enterprises,
and other stakeholders, including patients. A common vision is required and we articulate
the essential basis of such a vision herein.
End-of-life nursing encompasses many aspects of care: pain and symptom management, culturally sensitive practices, assisting patients and their families through the death and dying process, and ethical decisionmaking. Advocacy has been identified as a key core competency for the professional nurse, yet the literature reveals relevant barriers to acquiring this skill. Challenges exist, such as limitations in nursing school curricula on the death and dying process, particularly in multicultural settings; differing policies and practices in healthcare systems; and various interpretations of end-of-life legal language. Patricia Benner's conceptual model of advocacy behaviors in end-of-life nursing provides the framework in which nurses can become effective patient advocates. Developing active listening and effective communication skills can enhance the nurse-patient trust relationship and create a healing environment.
Advance directives; advocacy; comfort measures; dignity; end-of-life care; stages of grief
In practicing existential and human advocacy, or engaging in a relational narrative, nurses may assist persons who experience health inequalities to clarify their values, and, in becoming more fully their authentic selves, community members who ordinarily feel powerless in the public space may act with confidence in influencing the distribution of health-care resources. In this paper, the writers describe research characterizing nurses’ advocacy practices and review the concepts of respect and self-interpretation as a foundation for arguing that nurses who engage in relational narratives with the persons they serve may encourage continuing acts of self-understanding. Investigators indicated that nurses characterized their practices as a therapeutic endeavor, and that their practices were grounded in respect. Practicing nurses may need self-awareness to habitually convey respect for human dignity, in addition, nurse educators ought to attend to the professional development of student nurses, providing opportunities for the formation of character traits or qualities.
Health inequalities; existential advocacy; relational narrative; respect; discernment of values; character formation.
In recognition of the entry into the era of personalized medicine, a new set of genetics and genomics competencies for nurses was introduced in 2006. Since then, there have been a number of reports about the critical importance of these competencies for nursing practices and about the challenges of addressing these competencies in the preservice (basic science) nursing curriculum. At least one suggestion has been made to infuse genetics and genomics throughout the basic science curriculum for prenursing students. Based on this call and a review of the competencies, this study sought to assess the impact of incorporation of genetics and genomics content into a prenursing microbiology course. Broadly, two areas that address the competencies were incorporated into the course: 1) the biological basis and implications of genetic diversity and 2) the technological aspects of assessing genetic diversity in bacteria and viruses. These areas address how genetics and genomics contribute to healthcare, including diagnostics and selection of treatment. Analysis of learning gains suggests that genetics and genomics content can be learned as effectively as microbiology content in this setting. Future studies are needed to explore the most effective ways to introduce genetics and genomics technology into the prenursing curriculum.
Emerging genetic information and the availability of genetic testing has the potential to increase understanding of the disease and improve clinical management of some types of epilepsy. However, genetic testing is also likely to raise significant ethical, legal, and social issues for people with epilepsy, their family members, and their health care providers. We review the genetic and social dimensions of epilepsy relevant to understanding the complex questions raised by epilepsy genetics.
We reviewed two literatures: (a) research on the genetics of epilepsy, and (b) social science research on the social experience and social consequences of epilepsy. For each, we note key empiric findings and discuss their implications with regard to the consequences of emerging genetic information about epilepsy. We also briefly review available principles and guidelines from professional and advocacy groups that might help to direct efforts to ascertain and address the ethical, legal, and social dimensions of genetic testing for epilepsy.
Genetic information about epilepsy may pose significant challenges for people with epilepsy and their family members. Although some general resources are available for navigating this complex new terrain, no guidelines specific to epilepsy have yet been developed to assist people with epilepsy, their family members, or their health care providers.
Research is needed on the ethical, legal, and social concerns raised by genetic research on epilepsy and the advent of genetic testing. This research should include the perspectives of people with epilepsy and their family members, as well as those of health care professionals, policymakers, and bioethicists.
Epilepsy; Genetics; Genetic testing; Stigma; Discrimination
To provide a picture of the unique role and competencies of family practice registered nurses (FP-RNs).
Case-study approach using interviews and focus groups.
Seven FP-RNs identified as exemplary by family medicine and nursing peers.
An e-mail was sent to 9200 health care providers from nursing and family medicine, asking them to identify names of exemplary family practice nurses. Using a purposive sampling methodology, 7 exemplary FP-RNs were selected, taking into consideration the number of years in practice as a nurse, location of practice, length of practice as an FP-RN, and type of family practice. Individual interviews were held, and focus groups were organized with colleagues. Narratives were analyzed iteratively by the project team.
Four main themes emerged: The first theme relates to the relationship-centred approach to care delivered by FP-RNs, founded upon trust. The second theme highlights the FP-RN’s unique skills in balancing the priorities of patients, colleagues, and the clinic as a whole. The third theme capitalizes on the nurses’ commitment to advancing their learning to enhance their abilities to be FP-RNs. The fourth theme illuminates the perspectives shared by FP-RNs that family practice is uniquely different from acute care in the manner in which care is delivered. We draw attention to the approach and role of FP-RNs in Ontario. The 4 themes that emerged have striking similarities to stories shared by family physicians and to the evolutionary development of the discipline of family medicine.
We believe the findings from this paper can help shape the role of the FP-RN within clinical practice and that they will propagate discussion among nursing educators to consider the necessary educational preparation required to develop the FP-RNs needed in this country.
Registered Sick Children’s Nurses and District Nurses employed at Child Health Care centres are in a position to help prevent childhood overweight and obesity. Prevention of this challenging public health threat could be improved through having a better understanding of how this group of nurses perceives childhood obesity. The aim of this study was to elucidate the conceptions of childhood overweight, including obesity, among nurses working in Child Health Care.
A qualitative study using a phenomenographic approach, based on open-ended interviews with 18 Child Health Care nurses (CHC-nurses) strategically selected from 17 Child Health Care Centres in the southern part of Sweden.
Four categories of description emerged from the data: Perception of childhood overweight changes, Overweight in younger children a neglected concern, Overweight a delicate issue and Importance of family lifestyle. The participating CHC-nurses conceived overweight in children, primarily obesity in children to be an extensive and serious problem which affects children, families and the surrounding society. Overweight in children was further perceived as a consequence of their parent’s lifestyle and their awareness of the problem, which was considered by the CHC-nurses as a sensitive and a provoking issue. It was also perceived that overweight in children is not taken seriously during the pre-school period and that concerns regarding overweight in younger children were mainly about the appearance and not the health of the child. The CHC-nurses perceived that the proportion of overweight children has increased, which Swedish society and the CHC-nurses have adapted to. This adaptation makes it difficult for CHC-nurses to define those children who are overweight.
CHC-nurses provide a comprehensive and complex picture of childhood overweight, which includes several difficulties dealing with this issue. Attention to CHC-nurse’s conceptions of overweight in children is important since it can affect the parent-nurse relationship and thereby the nurse’s, as well as the parent’s efforts to influence the children’s weight. It is suggested that CHC- nurses should work with person centered counseling and empowerment concerning parent to child relations in cases involving overweight.
Child; Conceptions; Nurses; Overweight; Perceptions; Primary health care; Qualitative research
The development of genomics has dramatically expanded the scope of genetic research, and collections of genetic biosamples have proliferated in countries with active genomics research programs. In this essay, we consider a particular kind of collection, national biobanks. National biobanks are often presented by advocates as an economic “resource” that will be used by both basic researchers and academic biologists, as well as by pharmaceutical diagnostic and clinical genomics companies. Although national biobanks have been the subject of intense interest in recent social science literature, most prior work on this topic focuses either on bioethical issues related to biobanks, such as the question of informed consent, or on the possibilities for scientific citizenship that they make possible. We emphasize, by contrast, the economic aspect of biobanks, focusing specifically on the way in which national biobanks create biovalue. Our emphasis on the economic aspect of biobanks allows us to recognize the importance of what we call clinical labor—that is, the regularized, embodied work that members of the national population are expected to perform in their role as biobank participants—in the creation of biovalue through biobanks. Moreover, it allows us to understand how the technical way in which national biobanks link clinical labor to databases alters both medical and popular understandings of risk for common diseases and conditions.
biobank; clinical labor; database; risk; biovalue
Refugee families face a complex transition due to the nature of involuntary migration and the process of acculturation. There are several risk factors to the family adaptation process during the transition period, which are sociocontextually environmental dependant. Facilitating a healthy transition for refugee families, therefore, requires the role of nursing to incorporate sociopolitics into the discipline. This paper introduces a sociopolitically oriented and community-driven assessment and intervention model which is based on a family systematic approach. Interventions that aid the families in their acculturation process as well as empowers them to a well-functioning daily life, as per the SARFI model, should be adopted. As such, the future of nursing may provide additional primary health care services for refugee families; this is through a team-led “family nurse” who provides quality care for the family unit in collaboration with other health care professionals and societal authorities.
The problem of training human resources in health is a real concern in public health in Central Africa. What can be changed in order to train more competent health professionals? This is of utmost importance in primary health care.
Taking into account the level of training of secondary-level nurses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a systemic approach, based on the PRECEDE PROCEED model of analysis, led to a better understanding of the educational determinants and of the factors favourable to a better match between training in health sciences and the expected competences of the health professionals. This article must be read on two complementary levels: one reading, focused on the methodological process, should allow our findings to be transferred to other problems (adaptation of a health promotion model to the educational sphere). The other reading, revolving around the specific theme and results, should provide a frame of reference and specific avenues for action to improve human resources in the health field (using the results of its application in health science teaching in the DRC).
The results show that it is important to start this training with a global and integrated approach shared by all the actors. The strategies of action entail the need for an approach taking into account all the aspects, i.e. sociological, educational, medical and public health.
The analysis of the results shows that one cannot bring any change without integrated strategies of action and a multidisciplinary approach that includes all the complex determinants of health behaviour, and to do it within the organization of local structures and institutions in the ministry of health in the DRC.
Medical care for asylum seekers is a complex and critical issue worldwide. It is influenced by social, political, and economic pressures, as well as premigration conditions, the process of migration, and postmigration conditions in the host country. Increasing needs and healthcare costs have led public health authorities to put nurse practitioners in charge of the management of a gatekeeping system for asylum seekers. The quality of this system has never been evaluated. We assessed the competencies of nurses and physicians in identifying the medical needs of asylum seekers and providing them with appropriate treatment that reflects good clinical practice.
This cross-sectional descriptive study evaluated the appropriateness of care provided to asylum seekers by trained nurse practitioners in nursing healthcare centers and by physicians in private practices, an academic medical outpatient clinic, and the emergency unit of the university hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland. From 1687 asylum seeking patients who had consulted each setting between June and December 2003, 450 were randomly selected to participate. A panel of experts reviewed their medical records and assessed the appropriateness of medical care received according to three parameters: 1) use of appropriate procedures to identify medical needs (medical history, clinical examination, complementary investigations, and referral), 2) provision of access to treatment meeting medical needs, and 3) absence of unnecessary medical procedures.
In the nurse practitioner group, the procedures used to identify medical needs were less often appropriate (79% of reports vs. 92.4% of reports; p < 0.001). Nevertheless, access to treatment was judged satisfactory and was similar (p = 0.264) between nurse practitioners and physicians (99% and 97.6% of patients, respectively, received adequate care). Excessive care was observed in only 2 physician reports (0.8%) and 3 nurse reports (1.5%) (p = 0.481).
Although the nursing gatekeeping system provides appropriate treatment to asylum seekers, it might be improved with further training in recording medical history and performing targeted clinical examination.