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1.  An iterative consensus-building approach to revising a genetics/genomics competency framework for nurse education in the UK 
Journal of Advanced Nursing  2013;70(2):405-420.
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.
doi:10.1111/jan.12207
PMCID: PMC3907026  PMID: 23879662
competence; competency; consensus approach; education; genetics; genomics; nursing
2.  The impact on nurses and nurse managers of introducing PEPFAR clinical services in urban government clinics in Uganda 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1472-698X-11-S1-S8
PMCID: PMC3059480  PMID: 21411008
3.  Genetics and cardiovascular disease: Design and development of a DNA biobank 
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a complex disease with environmental and genetic determinants. Many other cardiovascular (CV) conditions also have a genetic basis. A positive family history of CV disease in first-degree relatives is a strong independent risk factor for CAD as well as several other cardiac disorders. This genetic susceptibility to CV diseases will be understood more clearly when combined with genomics, proteomics and genotyping.
The Department of Cardiology at Gold Coast Hospital (Queensland, Australia) with the Faculty of Health, Science and Medicine at Bond University (Queensland, Australia) established the Gold Coast Cardiovascular DNA bank in 2006. The dataset on each individual volunteer includes coronary angiograms, clinical information (including a coronary risk factor profile), biochemical (including cardiac biomarkers) and hematological parameters, and electrocardiograms and echocardiograms. The establishment of the DNA biobank was associated with several key challenges, both technical and logistic.
Given the comprehensive nature of the information gathered, the present study has the added potential of identifying genes associated with nonischemic cardiomyopathies, valvular heart disease, congenital heart diseases and other cardiomyopathies. Pooling data from results obtained here with multiple existing DNA biobanks and registries will help in finding answers to the genetic conundrum in CV diseases. The present DNA biobank will serve as a resource well into the future as the technology and science of medical genetics evolve.
The most frequent pathology encountered in the biobank is CAD. The significance of the familial occurrence of CAD has been the focus of research for at least 50 years, with a positive family history of CV disease emerging as an independent predictor of risk in the development of CAD. By applying the knowledge learned from studies on CV genetics together with the data from the DNA biobank, scientists may be able to effectively prevent and treat CV diseases in the future.
PMCID: PMC2807777  PMID: 20098575
Cardiovascular diseases; Genetic biobank; Single nucleotide polymorphisms
4.  Survey of Nursing Integration of Genomics Into Nursing Practice 
Purpose
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.
Design
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.
Methods
Results were tabulated and analyzed using descriptive statistical techniques.
Findings
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.
Conclusions
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.
Clinical Relevance
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.
doi:10.1111/j.1547-5069.2012.01475.x
PMCID: PMC3515630  PMID: 23205780
5.  A Blueprint for Genomic Nursing Science 
Purpose
This article reports on recommendations arising from an invitational workshop series held at the National Institutes of Health for the purposes of identifying critical genomics problems important to the health of the public that can be addressed through nursing science. The overall purpose of the Genomic Nursing State of the Science Initiative is to establish a nursing research blueprint based on gaps in the evidence and expert evaluation of the current state of the science and through public comment.
Organizing Constructs
A Genomic Nursing State of the Science Advisory Panel was convened in 2012 to develop the nursing research blueprint. The Advisory Panel, which met via two webinars and two in-person meetings, considered existing evidence from evidence reviews, testimony from key stakeholder groups, presentations from experts in research synthesis, and public comment.
Findings
The genomic nursing science blueprint arising from the Genomic Nursing State of Science Advisory Panel focuses on biologic plausibility studies as well as interventions likely to improve a variety of outcomes (e.g., clinical, economic, environmental). It also includes all care settings and diverse populations. The focus is on (a) the client, defined as person, family, community, or population; (b) the context, targeting informatics support systems, capacity building, education, and environmental influences; and (c) cross-cutting themes. It was agreed that building capacity to measure the impact of nursing actions on costs, quality, and outcomes of patient care is a strategic and scientific priority if findings are to be synthesized and aggregated to inform practice and policy.
Conclusions
The genomic nursing science blueprint provides the framework for furthering genomic nursing science to improve health outcomes. This blueprint is an independent recommendation of the Advisory Panel with input from the public and is not a policy statement of the National Institutes of Health or the federal government.
Clinical Relevance
This genomic nursing science blueprint targets research to build the evidence base to inform integration of genomics into nursing practice and regulation (such as nursing licensure requirements, institutional accreditation, and academic nursing school accreditation).
doi:10.1111/jnu.12007
PMCID: PMC3594405  PMID: 23368636
6.  Genetic educational needs and the role of genetics in primary care: a focus group study with multiple perspectives 
BMC Family Practice  2011;12:5.
Background
Available evidence suggests that improvements in genetics education are needed to prepare primary care providers for the impact of ongoing rapid advances in genomics. Postgraduate (physician training) and master (midwifery training) programmes in primary care and public health are failing to meet these perceived educational needs. The aim of this study was to explore the role of genetics in primary care (i.e. family medicine and midwifery care) and the need for education in this area as perceived by primary care providers, patient advocacy groups and clinical genetics professionals.
Methods
Forty-four participants took part in three types of focus groups: mono-disciplinary groups of general practitioners and midwives, respectively and multidisciplinary groups composed of a diverse set of experts. The focus group sessions were audio-taped, transcribed verbatim and analysed using content analysis. Recurrent themes were identified.
Results
Four themes emerged regarding the educational needs and the role of genetics in primary care: (1) genetics knowledge, (2) family history, (3) ethical dilemmas and psychosocial effects in relation to genetics and (4) insight into the organisation and role of clinical genetics services. These themes reflect a shift in the role of genetics in primary care with implications for education. Although all focus group participants acknowledged the importance of genetics education, general practitioners felt this need more urgently than midwives and more strongly emphasized their perceived knowledge deficiencies.
Conclusion
The responsibilities of primary care providers with regard to genetics require further study. The results of this study will help to develop effective genetics education strategies to improve primary care providers' competencies in this area. More research into the educational priorities in genetics is needed to design courses that are suitable for postgraduate and master programmes for general practitioners and midwives.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-12-5
PMCID: PMC3053218  PMID: 21329524
7.  The role and practice of the genetic nurse: report of the AGNC Working Party. 
Journal of Medical Genetics  1997;34(2):141-147.
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.
Images
PMCID: PMC1050869  PMID: 9039992
8.  Reinterpreting Ethnic Patterns among White and African American Men Who Inject Heroin: A Social Science of Medicine Approach 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(10):e452.
Background
Street-based heroin injectors represent an especially vulnerable population group subject to negative health outcomes and social stigma. Effective clinical treatment and public health intervention for this population requires an understanding of their cultural environment and experiences. Social science theory and methods offer tools to understand the reasons for economic and ethnic disparities that cause individual suffering and stress at the institutional level.
Methods and Findings
We used a cross-methodological approach that incorporated quantitative, clinical, and ethnographic data collected by two contemporaneous long-term San Francisco studies, one epidemiological and one ethnographic, to explore the impact of ethnicity on street-based heroin-injecting men 45 years of age or older who were self-identified as either African American or white. We triangulated our ethnographic findings by statistically examining 14 relevant epidemiological variables stratified by median age and ethnicity. We observed significant differences in social practices between self-identified African Americans and whites in our ethnographic social network sample with respect to patterns of (1) drug consumption; (2) income generation; (3) social and institutional relationships; and (4) personal health and hygiene. African Americans and whites tended to experience different structural relationships to their shared condition of addiction and poverty. Specifically, this generation of San Francisco injectors grew up as the children of poor rural to urban immigrants in an era (the late 1960s through 1970s) when industrial jobs disappeared and heroin became fashionable. This was also when violent segregated inner city youth gangs proliferated and the federal government initiated its “War on Drugs.” African Americans had earlier and more negative contact with law enforcement but maintained long-term ties with their extended families. Most of the whites were expelled from their families when they began engaging in drug-related crime. These historical-structural conditions generated distinct presentations of self. Whites styled themselves as outcasts, defeated by addiction. They professed to be injecting heroin to stave off “dopesickness” rather than to seek pleasure. African Americans, in contrast, cast their physical addiction as an oppositional pursuit of autonomy and pleasure. They considered themselves to be professional outlaws and rejected any appearance of abjection. Many, but not all, of these ethnographic findings were corroborated by our epidemiological data, highlighting the variability of behaviors within ethnic categories.
Conclusions
Bringing quantitative and qualitative methodologies and perspectives into a collaborative dialog among cross-disciplinary researchers highlights the fact that clinical practice must go beyond simple racial or cultural categories. A clinical social science approach provides insights into how sociocultural processes are mediated by historically rooted and institutionally enforced power relations. Recognizing the logical underpinnings of ethnically specific behavioral patterns of street-based injectors is the foundation for cultural competence and for successful clinical relationships. It reduces the risk of suboptimal medical care for an exceptionally vulnerable and challenging patient population. Social science approaches can also help explain larger-scale patterns of health disparities; inform new approaches to structural and institutional-level public health initiatives; and enable clinicians to take more leadership in changing public policies that have negative health consequences.
Bourgois and colleagues found that the African American and white men in their study had a different pattern of drug use and risk behaviors, adopted different strategies for survival, and had different personal histories.
Editors' Summary
Background.
There are stark differences in the health of different ethnic groups in America. For example, the life expectancy for white men is 75.4 years, but it is only 69.2 years for African-American men. The reasons behind these disparities are unclear, though there are several possible explanations. Perhaps, for example, different ethnic groups are treated differently by health professionals (with some groups receiving poorer quality health care). Or maybe the health disparities are due to differences across ethnic groups in income level (we know that richer people are healthier). These disparities are likely to persist unless we gain a better understanding of how they arise.
Why Was This Study Done?
The researchers wanted to study the health of a very vulnerable community of people: heroin users living on the streets in the San Francisco Bay Area. The health status of this community is extremely poor, and its members are highly stigmatized—including by health professionals themselves. The researchers wanted to know whether African American men and white men who live on the streets have a different pattern of drug use, whether they adopt varying strategies for survival, and whether they have different personal histories. Knowledge of such differences would help the health community to provide more tailored and culturally appropriate interventions. Physicians, nurses, and social workers often treat street-based drug users, especially in emergency rooms and free clinics. These health professionals regularly report that their interactions with street-based drug users are frustrating and confrontational. The researchers hoped that their study would help these professionals to have a better understanding of the cultural backgrounds and motivations of their drug-using patients.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Over the course of six years, the researchers directly observed about 70 men living on the streets who injected heroin as they went about their usual lives (this type of research is called “participant observation”). The researchers specifically looked to see whether there were differences between the white and African American men. All the men gave their consent to be studied in this way and to be photographed. The researchers also studied a database of interviews with almost 7,000 injection drug users conducted over five years, drawing out the data on differences between white and African men. The researchers found that the white men were more likely to supplement their heroin use with inexpensive fortified wine, while African American men were more likely to supplement heroin with crack. Most of the white men were expelled from their families when they began engaging in drug-related crime, and these men tended to consider themselves as destitute outcasts. African American men had earlier and more negative contact with law enforcement but maintained long-term ties with their extended families, and these men tended to consider themselves as professional outlaws. The white men persevered less in attempting to find a vein in which to inject heroin, and so were more likely to inject the drug directly under the skin—this meant that they were more likely to suffer from skin abscesses. The white men generated most of their income from panhandling (begging for money), while the African American men generated most of their income through petty crime and/or through offering services such as washing car windows at gas stations.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Among street-based heroin users, there are important differences between white men and African American men in the type of drugs used, the method of drug use, their social backgrounds, the way in which they identify themselves, and the health risks that they take. By understanding these differences, health professionals should be better placed to provide tailored and appropriate care when these men present to clinics and emergency rooms. As the researchers say, “understanding of different ethnic populations of drug injectors may reduce difficult clinical interactions and resultant physician frustration while improving patient access and adherence to care.” One limitation of this study is that the researchers studied one specific community in one particular area of the US—so we should not assume that their findings would apply to street-based heroin users elsewhere.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030452.
The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a web page on HIV prevention among injection drug users
The World Health Organization has collected documents on reducing the risk of HIV in injection drug users and on harm reduction approaches
The International Harm Reduction Association has information relevant to a global audience on reducing drug-related harm among individuals and communities
US-focused information on harm reduction is available via the websites of the Harm Reduction Coalition and the Chicago Recovery Alliance
Canada-focused information can be found at the Street Works Web site
The Harm Reduction Journal publishes open-access articles
The CDC has a web page on eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities
The Drug Policy Alliance has a web page on drug policy in the United States
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030452
PMCID: PMC1621100  PMID: 17076569
9.  Born Too Soon: Care for the preterm baby 
Reproductive Health  2013;10(Suppl 1):S5.
As part of a supplement entitled "Born Too Soon", this paper focuses on care of the preterm newborn. An estimated 15 million babies are born preterm, and the survival gap between those born in high and low income countries is widening, with one million deaths a year due to direct complications of preterm birth, and around one million more where preterm birth is a risk factor, especially amongst those who are also growth restricted. Most premature babies (>80%) are between 32 and 37 weeks of gestation, and many die needlessly for lack of simple care. We outline a series of packages of care that build on essential care for every newborn comprising support for immediate and exclusive breastfeeding, thermal care, and hygienic cord and skin care. For babies who do not breathe at birth, rapid neonatal resuscitation is crucial. Extra care for small babies, including Kangaroo Mother Care, and feeding support, can halve mortality in babies weighing <2000 g. Case management of newborns with signs of infection, safe oxygen management and supportive care for those with respiratory complications, and care for those with significant jaundice are all critical, and are especially dependent on competent nursing care. Neonatal intensive care units in high income settings are de-intensifying care, for example increasing use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and this makes comprehensive preterm care more transferable. For health systems in low and middle income settings with increasing facility births, district hospitals are the key frontier for improving obstetric and neonatal care, and some large scale programmes now include specific newborn care strategies. However there are still around 50 million births outside facilities, hence home visits for mothers and newborns, as well as women's groups are crucial for reaching these families, often the poorest. A fundamental challenge is improving programmatic tracking data for coverage and quality, and measuring disability-free survival. The power of parent's voices has been important in high-income countries in bringing attention to preterm newborns, but is still missing from the most affected countries.
Declaration
This article is part of a supplement jointly funded by Save the Children's Saving Newborn Lives programme through a grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and March of Dimes Foundation and published in collaboration with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and the World Health Organization (WHO). The original article was published in PDF format in the WHO Report "Born Too Soon: the global action report on preterm birth" (ISBN 978 92 4 150343 30), which involved collaboration from more than 50 organizations. The article has been reformatted for journal publication and has undergone peer review according to Reproductive Health's standard process for supplements and may feature some variations in content when compared to the original report. This co-publication makes the article available to the community in a full-text format.
doi:10.1186/1742-4755-10-S1-S5
PMCID: PMC3828583  PMID: 24625233
10.  Motives for entering nursing in Iran: A qualitative study 
Context:
Choosing a career is an important decision for each individual, which is affected by many different factors. The process of entering nursing, as one of the pivotal healthcare discipline, certainly affects quality of care, and retention of nurses in the profession.
Aims:
Exploring factors affecting the students’ decision to enter nursing.
Setting and Design:
This qualitative content analysis was carried at the school of Nursing and Midwifery of Tehran University of medical sciences.
Materials and Methods:
The semi structured interview method was used to conduct this qualitative study on 11 nursing freshmen in 2010. We transcribed the interviews verbatim and analyzed them using the conventional content analysis approach.
Results:
Four main categories, reflecting the factors affecting the participants’ decision to enter nursing emerged in this study: Capabilities of the profession, coercion, having an interest in the medical and allied health fields, and receiving positive feedbacks. The participants had tried to gather information about nursing through different sources, including nurses and other health care professionals, counselors and Internet, which almost all the time, yielded to no useful information and sometimes with negative feedback.
Conclusions:
Findings revealed that, unlike other countries, few participants had entered nursing with a real interest in helping and caring for others, and other factors such as having an interest in the medical and allied health fields, coercion, and good employment opportunities were the most important motives. Students’ lack of knowledge about the profession deserves special attention. Nursing managers’ should try to introduce the reality of nursing to the public and as a result, attract more competent students to the profession.
PMCID: PMC3748557  PMID: 23983730
Career choice; Iran; Nursing; and Qualitative research
11.  Clinical Benefits, Costs, and Cost-Effectiveness of Neonatal Intensive Care in Mexico 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(12):e1000379.
Joshua Salomon and colleagues performed a cost-effectiveness analysis using health and economic outcomes following preterm birth in Mexico and showed that neonatal intensive care provided high value for the money in this setting.
Background
Neonatal intensive care improves survival, but is associated with high costs and disability amongst survivors. Recent health reform in Mexico launched a new subsidized insurance program, necessitating informed choices on the different interventions that might be covered by the program, including neonatal intensive care. The purpose of this study was to estimate the clinical outcomes, costs, and cost-effectiveness of neonatal intensive care in Mexico.
Methods and Findings
A cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted using a decision analytic model of health and economic outcomes following preterm birth. Model parameters governing health outcomes were estimated from Mexican vital registration and hospital discharge databases, supplemented with meta-analyses and systematic reviews from the published literature. Costs were estimated on the basis of data provided by the Ministry of Health in Mexico and World Health Organization price lists, supplemented with published studies from other countries as needed. The model estimated changes in clinical outcomes, life expectancy, disability-free life expectancy, lifetime costs, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for neonatal intensive care compared to no intensive care. Uncertainty around the results was characterized using one-way sensitivity analyses and a multivariate probabilistic sensitivity analysis. In the base-case analysis, neonatal intensive care for infants born at 24–26, 27–29, and 30–33 weeks gestational age prolonged life expectancy by 28, 43, and 34 years and averted 9, 15, and 12 DALYs, at incremental costs per infant of US$11,400, US$9,500, and US$3,000, respectively, compared to an alternative of no intensive care. The ICERs of neonatal intensive care at 24–26, 27–29, and 30–33 weeks were US$1,200, US$650, and US$240, per DALY averted, respectively. The findings were robust to variation in parameter values over wide ranges in sensitivity analyses.
Conclusions
Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios for neonatal intensive care imply very high value for money on the basis of conventional benchmarks for cost-effectiveness analysis.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Most pregnancies last about 40 weeks but increasing numbers of babies are being born preterm, before they reach 37 weeks of gestation (the period during which a baby develops in its mother). In developed countries and some middle-income countries such as Mexico, improvements in the care of newborn babies (neonatal intensive care) mean that more preterm babies survive now than in the past. Nevertheless, preterm birth is still a major cause of infant death worldwide that challenges attainment of Target 5 of Millennium Development Goal 4—the reduction of the global under-five mortality rate by two-thirds of the 1990 rate by 2015 (the Millennium Development Goals, which were agreed by world leaders in 2000, aim to reduce world poverty). Furthermore, many preterm babies who survive have long-term health problems and disabilities such as cerebral palsy, deafness, or learning difficulties. The severity of these disabilities and their long-term costs to families and to society depend on the baby's degree of prematurity.
Why Was This Study Done?
Mexico recently reformed its health system in an effort to improve access to care, particularly for the poorest sections of its population, and to improve the quality of its health care. The central component of this health care reform is the System of Social Protection of Health (SSPH). The SSPH contains a family health insurance program—Seguro Popular—that aims to provide the 50 million uninsured people living in Mexico with free access to an explicit set of health care interventions. As with any insurance program, decisions have to be made about which interventions Seguro Poplar should cover. Should neonatal intensive care be covered, for example? Do the benefits of this intervention (increased survival of babies) outweigh the costs of neonatal care and of long-term care for survivors with disabilities? In other words, is neonatal intensive care cost-effective? In this study, the researchers investigate this question by estimating the clinical benefits, costs, and cost-effectiveness of neonatal intensive care in Mexico.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers built a decision analytic model, a mathematical model that combines evidence on the outcomes and costs of alternative treatments to help inform decisions about health care policy. They gathered data about the health outcomes of preterm births in Mexico from registers of births and deaths and from hospital discharge databases, and estimated the costs of neonatal intensive care and long-term care for disabled survivors using data from the Mexican Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization. They then applied their model, which estimates changes in parameters such as life expectancy, lifetime costs, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs; one DALY represents the loss of a year of healthy life), and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs; the additional cost expended for each DALY averted) for neonatal intensive care compared to no intensive care, to a group of 2 million infants. Neonatal intensive care for infants born at 24–26, 27–29, and 30–33 weeks gestation prolonged life expectancy by 28, 43, and 34 years and averted 9, 15, and 12 DALYs at incremental costs of US$11,000, US$10,000, and US$3000, respectively, compared to no intensive care. The ICERs of neonatal intensive care for babies born at these times were US$1200, US$700, and US$300 per DALY averted, respectively.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Interventions with ICERs of less than a country's per capita gross domestic product (GDP) are highly cost-effective; those with ICERs of 1–3 times the per capita GDP are potentially cost-effective. Mexico's per capita GDP in 2005 was approximately US$8,200. Thus, neonatal intensive care could provide exceptional value for money in Mexico (and maybe in other middle-income countries), even for very premature babies. The accuracy of these findings inevitably depends on the assumptions used to build the decision analytic model and on the accuracy of the data fed into it, but the findings were little changed by a wide range of alterations that the researchers made to the model. Importantly, however, this cost-effectiveness analysis focuses on health and economic consequences of different intervention choices, and does not capture all aspects of well-being. Decisions regarding neonatal intensive care will need to be based on a full consideration of all relevant factors, including ethical issues, and cost-effectiveness analyses should continue to be updated as new data emerge on health outcomes and costs associated with neonatal intensive care.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000379.
The March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health, provides information on preterm birth (in English and Spanish)
The Nemours Foundation, another nonprofit organization for child health, also provides information on premature babies (in English and Spanish)
MedlinePlus provides links to other information on premature babies (in English and Spanish)
The United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) works for children's rights, survival, development and protection around the world; it provides information on Millennium Development Goal 4 and its Childinfo website provides detailed statistics about child survival and health (some information in several languages)
A PLoS Medicine Policy Forum by Núria Homedes and Antonio Ugalde discusses health care reforms in Mexico
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000379
PMCID: PMC3001895  PMID: 21179496
12.  Strengthening the emergency healthcare system for mothers and children in The Gambia 
Reproductive Health  2010;7:21.
A system to improve the management of emergencies during pregnancy, childbirth, infancy and childhood in a region of The Gambia (Brikama) with a population of approximately 250,000 has been developed.
This was accomplished through formal partnership between the Gambian Ministry of Health, the World Health Organisation, Maternal Childhealth Advocacy International and the Advanced Life Support Group.
Since October 2006, the hospital in Brikama has been renovated and equipped and more efficiently provided with emergency medicines. An emergency ambulance service now links the community with the hospital through a mobile telephone system. Health professionals from community to hospital have been trained in obstetric, neonatal and paediatric emergency management using skills' based education. The programme was evaluated in log books detailing individual resuscitations and by external assessment.
The hospital now has constant water and electricity, a functioning operating theatre and emergency room; the maternity unit and children's wards have better emergency equipment and there is a more reliable supply of oxygen and emergency drugs, including misoprostol (for treating post partum haemorrhage) and magnesium sulphate (for severe pre-eclampsia). There is also a blood transfusion service.
Countrywide, 217 doctors, nurses, and midwives have undergone accredited training in the provision of emergency maternal, newborn and child care, including for major trauma. 33 have received additional education through Generic Instructor Courses and 15 have reached full instructor status. 83 Traditional Birth Attendants and 48 Village Health Workers have been trained in the recognition and initial management of emergencies, including resuscitation of the newborn. Eleven and ten nurses underwent training in peri-operative nursing and anaesthetics respectively, to address the acute shortage required for emergency Caesarean section.
Between May 2007 and March 2010, 109 patients, mostly pregnant mothers, were stabilised and transported to hospital by the new emergency ambulance service.
293 resuscitation attempts were documented in personal logbooks.
A sustainable system for better managing emergencies has been established and is helping to negate the main obstacle impeding progress: the country's lack of available trained medical and nursing staff. However, insufficient attention was paid to improving staff morale and accommodation representing significant failings of the programme.
doi:10.1186/1742-4755-7-21
PMCID: PMC2931483  PMID: 20718979
13.  Evaluation of health workforce competence in maternal and neonatal issues in public health sector of Pakistan: an Assessment of their training needs 
Background
More than 450 newborns die every hour worldwide, before they reach the age of four weeks (neonatal period) and over 500,000 women die from complications related to childbirth. The major direct causes of neonatal death are infections (36%), Prematurity (28%) and Asphyxia (23%). Pakistan has one of the highest perinatal and neonatal mortality rates in the region and contributes significantly to global neonatal mortality. The high mortality rates are partially attributable to scarcity of trained skilled birth attendants and paucity of resources. Empowerment of health care providers with adequate knowledge and skills can serve as instrument of change.
Methods
We carried out training needs assessment analysis in the public health sector of Pakistan to recognize gaps in the processes and quality of MNCH care provided. An assessment of Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices of Health Care Providers on key aspects was evaluated through a standardized pragmatic approach. Meticulously designed tools were tested on three tiers of health care personnel providing MNCH in the community and across the public health care system. The Lady Health Workers (LHWs) form the first tier of trained cadre that provides MNCH at primary care level (BHU) and in the community. The Lady Health Visitor (LHVs), Nurses, midwives) cadre follow next and provide facility based MNCH care at secondary and tertiary level (RHCs, Taluka/Tehsil, and DHQ Hospitals). The physician/doctor is the specialized cadre that forms the third tier of health care providers positioned in secondary and tertiary care hospitals (Taluka/Tehsil and DHQ Hospitals). The evaluation tools were designed to provide quantitative estimates across various domains of knowledge and skills. A priori thresholds were established for performance rating.
Results
The performance of LHWs in knowledge of MNCH was good with 30% scoring more than 70%. The Medical officers (MOs), in comparison, performed poorly in their knowledge of MNCH with only 6% scoring more than 70%. All three cadres of health care providers performed poorly in the resuscitation skill and only 50% were able to demonstrate steps of immediate newborn care. The MOs performed far better in counselling skills compare to the LHWs. Only 50 per cent of LHWs could secure competency scale in this critical component of skills assessment.
Conclusions
All three cadres of health care providers performed well below competency levels for MNCH knowledge and skills. Standardized training and counselling modules, tailored to the needs and resources at district level need to be developed and implemented. This evaluation highlighted the need for periodic assessment of health worker training and skills to address gaps and develop targeted continuing education modules. To achieve MDG4 and 5 goals, it is imperative that such deficiencies are identified and addressed.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-319
PMCID: PMC3012669  PMID: 21110888
14.  Swedish Child Health Care nurses conceptions of overweight in children: a qualitative study 
BMC Family Practice  2012;13:57.
Background
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.
Method
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-13-57
PMCID: PMC3426496  PMID: 22697580
Child; Conceptions; Nurses; Overweight; Perceptions; Primary health care; Qualitative research
15.  Professional Uncertainty and Disempowerment Responding to Ethnic Diversity in Health Care: A Qualitative Study 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(11):e323.
Background
While ethnic disparities in health and health care are increasing, evidence on how to enhance quality of care and reduce inequalities remains limited. Despite growth in the scope and application of guidelines on “cultural competence,” remarkably little is known about how practising health professionals experience and perceive their work with patients from diverse ethnic communities. Using cancer care as a clinical context, we aimed to explore this with a range of health professionals to inform interventions to enhance quality of care.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a qualitative study involving 18 focus groups with a purposeful sample of 106 health professionals of differing disciplines, in primary and secondary care settings, working with patient populations of varying ethnic diversity in the Midlands of the UK. Data were analysed by constant comparison and we undertook processes for validation of analysis. We found that, as they sought to offer appropriate care, health professionals wrestled with considerable uncertainty and apprehension in responding to the needs of patients of ethnicities different from their own. They emphasised their perceived ignorance about cultural difference and were anxious about being culturally inappropriate, causing affront, or appearing discriminatory or racist. Professionals' ability to think and act flexibly or creatively faltered. Although trying to do their best, professionals' uncertainty was disempowering, creating a disabling hesitancy and inertia in their practice. Most professionals sought and applied a knowledge-based cultural expertise approach to patients, though some identified the risk of engendering stereotypical expectations of patients. Professionals' uncertainty and disempowerment had the potential to perpetuate each other, to the detriment of patient care.
Conclusions
This study suggests potential mechanisms by which health professionals may inadvertently contribute to ethnic disparities in health care. It identifies critical opportunities to empower health professionals to respond more effectively. Interventions should help professionals acknowledge their uncertainty and its potential to create inertia in their practice. A shift away from a cultural expertise model toward a greater focus on each patient as an individual may help.
From a qualitative study, Joe Kai and colleagues have identified opportunities to empower health professionals to respond more effectively to challenges in their work with patients from diverse ethnic communities.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Communities are increasingly diverse in terms of ethnicity (belonging to a group of people defined by social characteristics such as cultural tradition or national origin) and race (belonging to a group identified by inherited physical characteristics). Although health professionals and governments are striving to ensure that everybody has the same access to health care, there is increasing evidence of ethnic inequalities in health-care outcomes. Some of these inequalities reflect intrinsic differences between groups of people—Ashkenazi Jews, for example, often carry an altered gene that increases their chance of developing aggressive breast cancer. Often, however, these differences reflect inequalities in the health care received by different ethnic groups. To improve this situation, “cultural competence” has been promoted over recent years. Cultural competence is the development of skills by individuals and organizations that allow them to work effectively with people from different cultures. Health professionals are now taught about ethnic differences in health beliefs and practices, religion, and communication styles to help them provide the best service to all their patients.
Why Was This Study Done?
Numerous guidelines aim to improve cultural competency but little is known about how health professionals experience and perceive their work with patients from diverse ethnic groups. Is their behavior influenced by ethnicity in ways that might contribute to health care disparities? For example, do doctors sometimes avoid medical examinations for fear of causing offence because of cultural differences? If more were known about how health professionals handle ethnic diversity (a term used here to include both ethnicity and race) it might be possible to reduce ethnic inequalities in health care. In this qualitative study, the researchers have explored how health professionals involved in cancer care are affected by working with ethnically diverse patients. A qualitative study is one that collects nonquantitative data such as how doctors “feel” about treating people of different ethnic backgrounds; a quantitative study might compare clinical outcomes in different ethnic groups.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers enrolled 106 doctors, nurses, and other health-related professionals from different health-service settings in the Midlands, an ethnically diverse region of the UK. They organized 18 focus groups in which the health professionals described their experiences of caring for people from ethnic minority backgrounds. The participants were encouraged to recall actual cases and to identify what they saw as problems and strengths in their interactions with these patients. The researchers found that the health professionals wrestled with many challenges when providing health care for patients from diverse ethnic backgrounds. These challenges included problems with language and with general communication (for example, deciding when it was acceptable to touch a patient to show empathy). Health professionals also worried they did not know enough about cultural differences. As a result, they said they often felt uncertain of their ability to avoid causing affront or appearing racist. This uncertainty, the researchers report, disempowered the health professionals, sometimes making them hesitate or fail to do what was best for their patient.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings reveal that health professionals often experience considerable uncertainty when caring for ethnically diverse patients, even after training in cultural competency. They also show that this uncertainty can lead to hesitancy and inertia, which might contribute to ethnic health care inequalities. Because the study participants were probably already interested in ethnic diversity and health care, interviews with other health professionals (and investigations of patient experiences) are needed to confirm these findings. Nevertheless, the researchers suggest several interventions that might reduce health care inequalities caused by ethnic diversity. For example, health professionals should be encouraged to recognize their uncertainty and should have access to more information and training about ethnic differences. In addition, there should be a shift in emphasis away from relying on knowledge-based cultural information towards taking an “ethnographic” approach. In other words, health professionals should be helped to feel able to ask their patients about what matters most to them as individuals about their illness and treatment.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040323.
Information on cultural competence and health care is available from the US National Center for Cultural Competence (in English and Spanish) and DiversityRx
PROCEED (Professionals Responding to Cancer in Ethnic Diversity) is a multimedia training tool for educators within the health and allied professions developed from the results of this study; a press release on PROCEED is available from the University of Nottingham
Transcultural Health Care Practice: An educational resource for nurses and health care practitioners is available on the web site of the UK Royal College of Nursing
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040323
PMCID: PMC2071935  PMID: 18001148
16.  Men’s knowledge and awareness of maternal, neonatal and child health care in rural Bangladesh: a comparative cross sectional study 
Reproductive Health  2012;9:18.
Background
The status of men’s knowledge of and awareness to maternal, neonatal and child health care are largely unknown in Bangladesh and the effect of community focused interventions in improving men’s knowledge is largely unexplored. This study identifies the extent of men’s knowledge and awareness on maternal, neonatal and child health issues between intervention and control groups.
Methods
This cross sectional comparative study was carried out in six rural districts of Bangladesh in 2008. BRAC health programme operates ‘improving maternal, neonatal and child survival’ intervention in four of the above-mentioned six districts. The intervention comprises a number of components including improving awareness of family planning, identification of pregnancy, providing antenatal, delivery and postnatal care, newborn care, under-5 child healthcare, referral of complications and improving clinical management in health facilities. In addition, communities are empowered through social mobilization and advocacy on best practices in maternal, neonatal and child health. Three groups were identified: intervention (2 years exposure); transitional (6 months exposure) and control. Data were collected by interviewing 7,200 men using a structured questionnaire.
Results
Men prefer to gather in informal sites to interact socially. Overall men’s knowledge on maternal care was higher in intervention than control groups, for example, advice on tetanus injection should be given during antenatal care (intervention = 50%, control = 7%). There were low levels of knowledge about birth preparedness (buying delivery kit = 18%, arranging emergency transport = 13%) and newborn care (wrapping = 25%, cord cutting with sterile blade = 36%, cord tying with sterile thread = 11%) in the intervention. Men reported joint decision-making for delivery care relatively frequently (intervention = 66%, control = 46%, p < 0.001).
Conclusion
Improvement in men’s knowledge in intervention district is likely. Emphasis of behaviour change communications messages should be placed on birth preparedness for clean delivery and referral and on newborn care. These messages may be best directed to men by targeting informal meeting places like market places and tea stalls.
doi:10.1186/1742-4755-9-18
PMCID: PMC3453489  PMID: 22943448
Men’s knowledge; Improving Maternal; Neonatal and Child Survival (IMNCS); Women’s reproductive health; Essential newborn care; Bangladesh
17.  Assessing the Nursing and Midwifery Students Competencies in Communication With Patients With Severe Communication Problems 
Nursing and Midwifery Studies  2014;3(2):e18143.
Background:
Clients with communication impairment are at risk for health disparity. Hence, health care workers should be knowledgeable and skillful in communication. However, no studies are available on Iranian nursing and midwifery students’ communication skills with patients with severe communication problems.
Objectives:
The present study was conducted to investigate Iranian nursing and midwifery students' competencies in communication with patients with severe communication problems.
Materials and Methods:
This study was performed on all senior nursing and midwifery students of Kashan University of Medical Sciences in spring 2013. Data were collected through a knowledge questionnaire and two checklists for evaluation of skills needed for communication with patients with severe communication problems. Data analysis was performed through independent samples t test, and Fisher’s exact test.
Results:
In total, 68.8% of the participants were female, 37.6% had a history of part-time job as a nurse or midwife. The mean score of knowledge were 4.41 ± 1.42 and 4.77 ± 1.77 for nursing and midwifery students, respectively and the difference was not significant (P = 0.312). In addition, the mean score of communication skills with deaf patients was 13.23 ± 4.68 and 11.86 ± 5.55 for nursing and midwifery students, respectively and the difference was not significant (P = 0.258). Also, the mean score of communication skills with stutter patients was 23.91 ± 4.17 and 21.25 ± 3.91 for nursing and midwifery students, respectively but the difference was not significant (P = 0.269).
Conclusions:
Nursing and midwifery students did not significantly differ in terms of communication with patients with severe communication problems. Most of the students had low or very low knowledge and skills in communication with patients with hearing impairment. However, they had better skills in communication with patient with speech problem. Special workshops or training programs are recommended to empower nursing and midwifery students in communication with patients with communication problems.
PMCID: PMC4228534  PMID: 25414902
Nursing; Midwifery; Students; Competency-Based Education; Patients; Hearing Loss
18.  Nurses’ Competencies in Disaster Nursing: Implications for Curriculum Development and Public Health 
The purpose of this study was to explore Hong Kong nurses’ perceptions of competencies required for disaster nursing. Focus group interviews and written inquiry were adopted to solicit nurses’ perceived required competencies for disaster care. A total of 15 nurses were interviewed and 30 nurses completed the written inquiry on their perceived competencies related to disaster nursing. The International Council for Nurses’ (ICN) framework of disaster nursing competencies, consisting of four themes and ten domains, was used to tabulate the perceived competencies for disaster nursing reported by nurses. The most mentioned required competencies were related to disaster response; with the ethical and legal competencies for disaster nursing were mostly neglected by nurses in Hong Kong. With the complexity nature of disasters, special competencies are required if nurses are to deal with adverse happenings in their serving community. Nurses’ perceived disaster nursing competencies reported by nurses were grossly inadequate, demonstrating the needs to develop a comprehensive curriculum for public health. The establishment of a set of tailor-made disaster nursing core competencies for the community they served is the first step in preparing nurses to deal with disastrous situations for the health of the public.
doi:10.3390/ijerph110303289
PMCID: PMC3987035  PMID: 24658409
competencies; disaster nursing; disaster nursing curriculum
19.  Health and Illness Over Time: The Trajectory Perspective in Nursing Science 
Nursing research  2011;60(3 Suppl):S5-14.
Background
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.
Objectives
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.
Approach
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.
Recommendations
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.
doi:10.1097/NNR.0b013e318216dfd3
PMCID: PMC3131847  PMID: 21543961
health trajectory; applied longitudinal data analysis; nursing theory; change
20.  Introducing a New Competency Into Nursing Practice 
Journal of nursing regulation  2014;5(1):40-47.
As science advances, new competencies must be integrated into nursing practice to ensure the provision of safe, responsible, and accountable care. This article utilizes a model for integrating a new complex competency into nursing practice, using genomics as the exemplar competency. Nurses working at 23 Magnet® Recognition Program hospitals participated in a 1-year new competency integration effort.The aim of the study was to evaluate nursing workforce attitudes, receptivity, confidence, competency, knowledge, and practices regarding genomics. Results were analyzed using descriptive statistical techniques. Respondents were 7,798 licensed registered nurses. The majority (89%) said it was very or somewhat important for nurses to become more educated in the genetics of common diseases. Overall, the respondents felt genomics was important, but a genomic nursing competency deficit affecting all nurses regardless of academic preparation or role was observed. The study findings provide essential information to help guide the integration of a new competency into nursing practice.
PMCID: PMC4204730  PMID: 25343056
21.  A model for empowerment of nursing in Iran 
Background
While the Iranian nursing profession tries to reach to its full capacity for participating in the maintenance of public health, its desire to develop is strongly influenced by cultural, economic, and religious factors. The concept of empowerment is frequently used in nursing and the health services, particularly in relation to the quality of care, since the mission of nursing is to provide safe and quality nursing care thereby enabling patients to achieve their maximum level of wellness. When considering the importance of nursing services in any health system, the 54th World Health Assembly recommended that programs be designed to strengthen and promote the nursing profession. Since empowerment is crucial to the role of nurses, a qualitative study was conducted and aimed at designing a model for empowering nurses in Iran.
Methods
A grounded theory approach was used for analyzing the participants' experiences, their perceptions and the strategies affecting empowerment. Data collection was done through Semi-structured interviews and participant observation. Forty-four participants were interviewed and 12 sessions of observation were carried out.
Results
Three main categories emerged from the data collected; these are "personal empowerment", "collective empowerment", and "the culture and structure of the organization." From the participants' perspective, empowerment is a dynamic process that results from mutual interaction between personal and collective traits of nurses as well as the culture and the structure of the organization. Impediments, such as power dynamics within the health care system hinder nurses from demonstrating that they possess the essential ingredients of empowerment.
Conclusion
A model was designed for empowering the nursing profession in Iran. Implementing this model will not only define nursing roles, identify territories in the national healthcare system, but it will restructure nursing systems, sub-systems, and services. Currently no such model exists; therefore, restructuring of the nursing system, including its services, education and research subsystems is recommended.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-5-24
PMCID: PMC1079834  PMID: 15769297
22.  The factors facilitating and inhibiting effective clinical decision-making in nursing: a qualitative study 
BMC Nursing  2004;3:2.
Background
Nurses' practice takes place in a context of ongoing advances in research and technology. The dynamic and uncertain nature of health care environment requires nurses to be competent decision-makers in order to respond to clients' needs. Recently, the public and the government have criticized Iranian nurses because of poor quality of patient care. However nurses' views and experiences on factors that affect their clinical function and clinical decision-making have rarely been studied.
Methods
Grounded theory methodology was used to analyze the participants' lived experiences and their viewpoints regarding the factors affecting their clinical function and clinical decision-making. Semi-structured interviews and participant observation methods were used to gather the data. Thirty-eight participants were interviewed and twelve sessions of observation were carried out. Constant comparative analysis method was used to analyze the data.
Results
Five main themes emerged from the data. From the participants' points of view, "feeling competent", "being self-confident", "organizational structure", "nursing education", and "being supported" were considered as important factors in effective clinical decision-making.
Conclusion
As participants in this research implied, being competent and self-confident are the most important personal factors influencing nurses clinical decision-making. Also external factors such as organizational structure, access to supportive resources and nursing education have strengthening or inhibiting effects on the nurses' decisions. Individual nurses, professional associations, schools of nursing, nurse educators, organizations that employ nurses and government all have responsibility for developing and finding strategies that facilitate nurses' effective clinical decision-making. They are responsible for identifying barriers and enhancing factors within the organizational structure that facilitate nurses' clinical decision-making.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-3-2
PMCID: PMC411049  PMID: 15068484
23.  Clinical Care at the Genomic Interface: Current Genetic Issues in Neonatal Nursing 
Although only one in 33 infants is born with a genetic condition, neonatal nurses have a growing responsibility to integrate genetic competency into their clinical practice. This review article outlines the specific aspects of assessment, genetic screening and testing, and communication of genetic information between provider and patient in both the newborn and pregnancy period. Essential nursing competencies are introduced as a framework for building a skill and knowledge set in clinical genetics as it applies to neonatal care. The potential development of inquiry and research oriented practice problems are also highlighted. The exponential growth of human genetic and genomic information drives the need for neonatal nursing to embrace the interface of clinical care and genetic issues.
doi:10.1053/j.nainr.2007.12.013
PMCID: PMC3981068  PMID: 24729745
Neonate; NICU; Perinatal; Genetic; Genomic; Genetic consultation; Genetic testing; Parent support; Nursing competency
24.  Detection of alcohol use in the second trimester among low-income pregnant women in the prenatal care settings in Jefferson County, Alabama 
Background
Prenatal alcohol use, a leading preventable cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities, remains a prevalent public health concern in the United States. This study aims to detect the proportion and correlates of prenatal alcohol use in the prenatal care settings in Alabama. Prenatal care settings were chosen because of their potential as stable locations to screen for and to reduce prenatal alcohol use within a community.
Methods
We conducted a cross-sectional study of 3,046 women in the 22 and 23 weeks of gestation who sought prenatal care in eight community-based public clinics and participated in the Perinatal Emphasis Research Center project in Jefferson County, Alabama, in 1997–2001. Frequency and quantity of alcohol use in the past 3 months were assessed by research nurses during face-to-face interviews. We conducted logistic regression analyses to calculate adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of correlates of prenatal alcohol use.
Results
Participants were predominantly young, African American, and unmarried, 86.5% on Medicaid. The proportion of alcohol use in the second trimester of pregnancy was 5.1%; 0.3% of women reported 4 or more drinks on a drinking day to research nurses. Older maternal age (OR=1.11; 95% CI=1.08–1.15), use of welfare (OR=1.43; 95% CI=1.02–2.02), and male partner–perpetrated violence (OR=2.96; 95% CI=1.92–4.56) were positively associated with elevated risk of prenatal alcohol use. Protective factors included higher levels of self-esteem (OR=0.94; 95% CI=0.89–0.98) and more years of education (OR=0.88; 95% CI=0.78–0.98).
Conclusions
Prenatal alcohol use remains a public health issue among low-income pregnant women in Jefferson County, Alabama. Research nurses detected it in the second trimester. Future studies need to encourage screening for prenatal alcohol use in the prenatal care settings by obstetrician-gynecologists, family physicians, nurses, and midwifes. Combined interventions to educate and empower women and strengthen families are needed.
doi:10.1111/j.1530-0277.2012.01745.x
PMCID: PMC3506173  PMID: 22375628
Alcohol Use; Pregnancy; Screening; Prenatal care settings; Epidemiology
25.  Value of intensified nursing 
The concept "intensified nursing" is mentioned in differentiation to concepts of "nursing care" or "nursing" which intensifies resources or patient contact. Especially psychic and social needs of patients are very appreciated in nursing. A similar type of nursing is known under the concept "advanced nursing practice" (ANP) which means, that a specialised, academically trained nurse offers an extended nursing care in which a focus on the published knowledge of evidence based research is made.
From the thin literature to this topic a selection of predetermined topics was analysed where at least two articles with a sufficient high methodical quality were available. The selected topic groups were: „Infant and paediatric nursing", "gerontology" and "oncology". Generally the five publications concerning infant and paediatric nursing could conclusive show a benefit of intensified nursing. Further research is still needed to prove intensified nursing care. Two publications could be found to the gerontological intensified nursing; both used an extended nursing model and an enlarged use of resources. Both studies demonstrated a measurable success in the applied parameters. Two studies also could be analysed in the oncological field in which successes were also provable by the applied parameters. The success was given especially in a higher patient satisfaction, one study showed an improved scheduling (time planning) of nurses.
There was not one article concerning economic questions of intensified nursing care. It has to be taken into account that the financial resources have to be used effectively also in nursing nowadays. It has to be assumed that the costs are driven by increased use of resources. Savings can be achieved, however, in the form of avoided therapies and days in hospital by intensified nursing. The intensified nursing can be considered as similar cost-effective as conventional models of nursing.
Ethically it is necessary to consider that the possibilities of the intensified nursing should be exhausted as much as possible for the patients. The daily work is limited, due to restrictions of resource. This means a conflict for nurses between knowledge and the predefined resource requirements which often leaded to overtaxing and dissatisfaction. It is desirable that decision makers of the health policy appreciate the evidence and promote intensified nursing care models.
Nursing science has to do special research to prove the meaning and effectiveness of intensified nursing and establish this in the health care delivery system.
PMCID: PMC3011351  PMID: 21289955

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