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1.  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
2.  Growing a Professional Network to Over 3000 Members in Less Than 4 Years: Evaluation of InspireNet, British Columbia’s Virtual Nursing Health Services Research Network 
Background
Use of Web 2.0 and social media technologies has become a new area of research among health professionals. Much of this work has focused on the use of technologies for health self-management and the ways technologies support communication between care providers and consumers. This paper addresses a new use of technology in providing a platform for health professionals to support professional development, increase knowledge utilization, and promote formal/informal professional communication. Specifically, we report on factors necessary to attract and sustain health professionals’ use of a network designed to increase nurses’ interest in and use of health services research and to support knowledge utilization activities in British Columbia, Canada.
Objective
“InspireNet”, a virtual professional network for health professionals, is a living laboratory permitting documentation of when and how professionals take up Web 2.0 and social media. Ongoing evaluation documents our experiences in establishing, operating, and evaluating this network.
Methods
Overall evaluation methods included (1) tracking website use, (2) conducting two member surveys, and (3) soliciting member feedback through focus groups and interviews with those who participated in electronic communities of practice (eCoPs) and other stakeholders. These data have been used to learn about the types of support that seem relevant to network growth.
Results
Network growth exceeded all expectations. Members engaged with varying aspects of the network’s virtual technologies, such as teams of professionals sharing a common interest, research teams conducting their work, and instructional webinars open to network members. Members used wikis, blogs, and discussion groups to support professional work, as well as a members’ database with contact information and areas of interest. The database is accessed approximately 10 times per day. InspireNet public blog posts are accessed roughly 500 times each. At the time of writing, 21 research teams conduct their work virtually using the InspireNet platform; 10 topic-based Action Teams meet to address issues of mutual concern. Nursing and other health professionals, even those who rated themselves as computer literate, required significant mentoring and support in their efforts to adopt their practice to a virtual environment. There was a steep learning curve for professionals to learn to work in a virtual environment and to benefit from the available technologies.
Conclusions
Virtual professional networks can be positioned to make a significant contribution to ongoing professional practice and to creating environments supportive of information sharing, mentoring, and learning across geographical boundaries. Nonetheless, creation of a Web 2.0 and social media platform is not sufficient, in and of itself, to attract or sustain a vibrant community of professionals interested in improving their practice. Essential support includes instruction in the use of Web-based activities and time management, a biweekly e-Newsletter, regular communication from leaders, and an annual face-to-face conference.
doi:10.2196/jmir.3018
PMCID: PMC3961696  PMID: 24566806
social networking; social media; nursing; health services; research; education
3.  Behavioural Interventions for Urinary Incontinence in Community-Dwelling Seniors 
Executive Summary
In early August 2007, the Medical Advisory Secretariat began work on the Aging in the Community project, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding healthy aging in the community. The Health System Strategy Division at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care subsequently asked the secretariat to provide an evidentiary platform for the ministry’s newly released Aging at Home Strategy.
After a broad literature review and consultation with experts, the secretariat identified 4 key areas that strongly predict an elderly person’s transition from independent community living to a long-term care home. Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these 4 areas: falls and fall-related injuries, urinary incontinence, dementia, and social isolation. For the first area, falls and fall-related injuries, an economic model is described in a separate report.
Please visit the Medical Advisory Secretariat Web site, http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/mas_about.html, to review these titles within the Aging in the Community series.
Aging in the Community: Summary of Evidence-Based Analyses
Prevention of Falls and Fall-Related Injuries in Community-Dwelling Seniors: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Behavioural Interventions for Urinary Incontinence in Community-Dwelling Seniors: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Caregiver- and Patient-Directed Interventions for Dementia: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Social Isolation in Community-Dwelling Seniors: An Evidence-Based Analysis
The Falls/Fractures Economic Model in Ontario Residents Aged 65 Years and Over (FEMOR)
Objective
To assess the effectiveness of behavioural interventions for the treatment and management of urinary incontinence (UI) in community-dwelling seniors.
Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition
Urinary incontinence defined as “the complaint of any involuntary leakage of urine” was identified as 1 of the key predictors in a senior’s transition from independent community living to admission to a long-term care (LTC) home. Urinary incontinence is a health problem that affects a substantial proportion of Ontario’s community-dwelling seniors (and indirectly affects caregivers), impacting their health, functioning, well-being and quality of life. Based on Canadian studies, prevalence estimates range from 9% to 30% for senior men and nearly double from 19% to 55% for senior women. The direct and indirect costs associated with UI are substantial. It is estimated that the total annual costs in Canada are $1.5 billion (Cdn), and that each year a senior living at home will spend $1,000 to $1,500 on incontinence supplies.
Interventions to treat and manage UI can be classified into broad categories which include lifestyle modification, behavioural techniques, medications, devices (e.g., continence pessaries), surgical interventions and adjunctive measures (e.g., absorbent products).
The focus of this review is behavioural interventions, since they are commonly the first line of treatment considered in seniors given that they are the least invasive options with no reported side effects, do not limit future treatment options, and can be applied in combination with other therapies. In addition, many seniors would not be ideal candidates for other types of interventions involving more risk, such as surgical measures.
Note: It is recognized that the terms “senior” and “elderly” carry a range of meanings for different audiences; this report generally uses the former, but the terms are treated here as essentially interchangeable.
Description of Technology/Therapy
Behavioural interventions can be divided into 2 categories according to the target population: caregiver-dependent techniques and patient-directed techniques. Caregiver-dependent techniques (also known as toileting assistance) are targeted at medically complex, frail individuals living at home with the assistance of a caregiver, who tends to be a family member. These seniors may also have cognitive deficits and/or motor deficits. A health care professional trains the senior’s caregiver to deliver an intervention such as prompted voiding, habit retraining, or timed voiding. The health care professional who trains the caregiver is commonly a nurse or a nurse with advanced training in the management of UI, such as a nurse continence advisor (NCA) or a clinical nurse specialist (CNS).
The second category of behavioural interventions consists of patient-directed techniques targeted towards mobile, motivated seniors. Seniors in this population are cognitively able, free from any major physical deficits, and motivated to regain and/or improve their continence. A nurse or a nurse with advanced training in UI management, such as an NCA or CNS, delivers the patient-directed techniques. These are often provided as multicomponent interventions including a combination of bladder training techniques, pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT), education on bladder control strategies, and self-monitoring. Pelvic floor muscle training, defined as a program of repeated pelvic floor muscle contractions taught and supervised by a health care professional, may be employed as part of a multicomponent intervention or in isolation.
Education is a large component of both caregiver-dependent and patient-directed behavioural interventions, and patient and/or caregiver involvement as well as continued practice strongly affect the success of treatment. Incontinence products, which include a large variety of pads and devices for effective containment of urine, may be used in conjunction with behavioural techniques at any point in the patient’s management.
Evidence-Based Analysis Methods
A comprehensive search strategy was used to identify systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials that examined the effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of caregiver-dependent and patient-directed behavioural interventions for the treatment of UI in community-dwelling seniors (see Appendix 1).
Research Questions
Are caregiver-dependent behavioural interventions effective in improving UI in medically complex, frail community-dwelling seniors with/without cognitive deficits and/or motor deficits?
Are patient-directed behavioural interventions effective in improving UI in mobile, motivated community-dwelling seniors?
Are behavioural interventions delivered by NCAs or CNSs in a clinic setting effective in improving incontinence outcomes in community-dwelling seniors?
Assessment of Quality of Evidence
The quality of the evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE methodology and GRADE Working Group. As per GRADE the following definitions apply:
Summary of Findings
Executive Summary Table 1 summarizes the results of the analysis.
The available evidence was limited by considerable variation in study populations and in the type and severity of UI for studies examining both caregiver-directed and patient-directed interventions. The UI literature frequently is limited to reporting subjective outcome measures such as patient observations and symptoms. The primary outcome of interest, admission to a LTC home, was not reported in the UI literature. The number of eligible studies was low, and there were limited data on long-term follow-up.
Summary of Evidence on Behavioural Interventions for the Treatment of Urinary Incontinence in Community-Dwelling Seniors
Prompted voiding
Habit retraining
Timed voiding
Bladder training
PFMT (with or without biofeedback)
Bladder control strategies
Education
Self-monitoring
CI refers to confidence interval; CNS, clinical nurse specialist; NCA, nurse continence advisor; PFMT, pelvic floor muscle training; RCT, randomized controlled trial; WMD, weighted mean difference; UI, urinary incontinence.
Economic Analysis
A budget impact analysis was conducted to forecast costs for caregiver-dependent and patient-directed multicomponent behavioural techniques delivered by NCAs, and PFMT alone delivered by physiotherapists. All costs are reported in 2008 Canadian dollars. Based on epidemiological data, published medical literature and clinical expert opinion, the annual cost of caregiver-dependent behavioural techniques was estimated to be $9.2 M, while the annual costs of patient-directed behavioural techniques delivered by either an NCA or physiotherapist were estimated to be $25.5 M and $36.1 M, respectively. Estimates will vary if the underlying assumptions are changed.
Currently, the province of Ontario absorbs the cost of NCAs (available through the 42 Community Care Access Centres across the province) in the home setting. The 2007 Incontinence Care in the Community Report estimated that the total cost being absorbed by the public system of providing continence care in the home is $19.5 M in Ontario. This cost estimate included resources such as personnel, communication with physicians, record keeping and product costs. Clinic costs were not included in this estimation because currently these come out of the global budget of the respective hospital and very few continence clinics actually exist in the province. The budget impact analysis factored in a cost for the clinic setting, assuming that the public system would absorb the cost with this new model of community care.
Considerations for Ontario Health System
An expert panel on aging in the community met on 3 occasions from January to May 2008, and in part, discussed treatment of UI in seniors in Ontario with a focus on caregiver-dependent and patient-directed behavioural interventions. In particular, the panel discussed how treatment for UI is made available to seniors in Ontario and who provides the service. Some of the major themes arising from the discussions included:
Services/interventions that currently exist in Ontario offering behavioural interventions to treat UI are not consistent. There is a lack of consistency in how seniors access services for treatment of UI, who manages patients and what treatment patients receive.
Help-seeking behaviours are important to consider when designing optimal service delivery methods.
There is considerable social stigma associated with UI and therefore there is a need for public education and an awareness campaign.
The cost of incontinent supplies and the availability of NCAs were highlighted.
Conclusions
There is moderate-quality evidence that the following interventions are effective in improving UI in mobile motivated seniors:
Multicomponent behavioural interventions including a combination of bladder training techniques, PFMT (with or without biofeedback), education on bladder control strategies and self-monitoring techniques.
Pelvic floor muscle training alone.
There is moderate quality evidence that when behavioural interventions are led by NCAs or CNSs in a clinic setting, they are effective in improving UI in seniors.
There is limited low-quality evidence that prompted voiding may be effective in medically complex, frail seniors with motivated caregivers.
There is insufficient evidence for the following interventions in medically complex, frail seniors with motivated caregivers:
habit retraining, and
timed voiding.
PMCID: PMC3377527  PMID: 23074508
4.  Non-medical prescribing of chemotherapy: engaging stakeholders to maximise success? 
ecancermedicalscience  2014;8:417.
Aim
This study report examines the views and experiences of professional stakeholders about non-medical prescribing (NMP) of chemotherapy.
Background
The introduction of open formulary NMP has created opportunities to radically change health-care delivery. For chemotherapy services, the most recent advice from the National Chemotherapy Advisory Group [Department of Health (2009) Chemotherapy Services in England, ensuring quality and safety: a report from the National Chemotherapy Advisory Group, London Her Majesty’s Stationary Office] clearly endorses the development of nurse- or pharmacist-led chemotherapy clinics. This is very much welcomed but is based on very limited evidence as to their effectiveness.
Design
A fourth-generation evaluation study.
Methods
A purposeful sample of 23 stakeholders connected with the chemotherapy service was used. A serial data collection technique with individual interviews followed by uni-professional focus groups was adopted. Finally, a multi-professional focus group was held to determine the strategic way forward. Data were collected in 2009–2010.
Results
The study illuminated the key features necessary to maximise success of NMP in chemotherapy clinics and captures the importance of good working relationships. Whilst different practice models will emerge, fundamental and core to services is the need for good team working, established and effective communication strategies, and most importantly avoiding isolation in practice. This study additionally reinforced any evaluation takes place within preexisting political contexts and in particular medical dominance. Not all medical colleagues agreed with or wanted NMP for their patients, highlighting difficulties of developing new models of working within a resisting culture.
Conclusion
No objections to NMP of chemotherapy were found, but, clearly, the context of practice needs to be agreed and supportedby all professional stakeholders.
What is already known about this topic
Open formulary non-medical prescribing has been rapidly introduced over the past decade.
Little research has been conducted in acute care and none in the chemotherapy setting.
Cancer policy recommends the introduction of nurse-led chemotherapy clinics.
What this paper adds
Non-medical prescribing (NMP) in chemotherapy is appropriate with the right model of practice.
Well-established professional relationships are a key to success.
NMP is not appropriate in isolation of the multidisciplinary team (MDT).
Implications for practice and/or policy
Nurses need to demonstrate the value of non-medical prescribing in chemotherapy using available metrics.
Models of practice need to ensure good communication channels, MDT working, and transparency of prescribing.
doi:10.3332/ecancer.2014.417
PMCID: PMC3990663  PMID: 24761158
non-medical prescribing; chemotherapy; nurse-led clinic
5.  HIV and infant feeding counselling: challenges faced by nurse-counsellors in northern Tanzania 
Background
Infant feeding is a subject of worry in prevention of mother to child transmission (pMTCT) programmes in settings where breastfeeding is normative. Nurse-counsellors, expected to counsel HIV-positive women on safer infant feeding methods as defined in national/international guidelines, are faced with a number of challenges. This study aims to explore the experiences and situated concerns of nurses working as infant feeding counsellors to HIV-positive mothers enrolled in pMTCT programmes in the Kilimanjaro region, northern Tanzania.
Methods
A qualitative study was conducted using in-depth interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs) with 25 nurse-counsellors at four pMTCT sites. Interviews were handwritten and FGDs were tape-recorded and transcribed, and the programme Open Code assisted in sorting and structuring the data. Analysis was performed using 'content analysis.'
Results
The findings revealed a high level of stress and frustration among the nurse-counsellors. They found themselves unable to give qualified and relevant advice to HIV-positive women on how best to feed their infants. They were confused regarding the appropriateness of the feeding options they were expected to advise HIV-positive women to employ, and perceived both exclusive breastfeeding and exclusive replacement feeding as culturally and socially unsuitable. However, most counsellors believed that formula feeding was the right way for an HIV-positive woman to feed her infant. They expressed a lack of confidence in their own knowledge of HIV and infant feeding, as well as in their own skills in assessing a woman's possibilities of adhering to a particular method of feeding. Moreover, the nurses were in general not comfortable in their newly gained role as counsellors and felt that it undermined the authority and trust traditionally vested in nursing as a knowledgeable and caring profession.
Conclusion
The findings illuminate the immense burden placed on nurses in their role as infant feeding counsellors in pMTCT programmes and the urgent need to provide the training and support structure necessary to promote professional confidence and skills. The organisation of counselling services must to a larger extent take into account the local realities in which nurses construct their role as counsellors to HIV-positive childbearing women.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-5-18
PMCID: PMC1948016  PMID: 17650310
6.  Perception and valuations of community-based education and service by alumni at Makerere University College of Health Sciences 
Background
Training of health professionals can be deliberately structured to enhance rural recruitment by exposing the trainees to the realities of rural life and practice through Community-Based Education and Service (COBE) programs. Few studies have surveyed the alumni of these programs to establish their post-university views and whether the positive impact of COBE programs endures into the post-university life. This study surveyed the alumni of COBE at Makerere to obtain their perceptions of the management and administration of COBE and whether COBE had helped develop their confidence as health workers, competence in primary health care and willingness and ability to work in rural communities.
Objectives
• To assess the efficiency of the management and administration of COBES.
• To obtain the views of the impact of COBES on its alumni.
Methods
A mixed qualitative and quantitative study was conducted using focus group discussions (FGD) and a telephone administered questionnaire. From a total of 300 COBES alumni 150 were contacted. Twenty four Alumni (13 females and 11 males) were purposefully selected by discipline, gender and place of work, and invited for the focus group discussion. The discussions were transcribed and analyzed using a manifest content analysis table. The thematic issues from the FGDs were used to develop a structured questionnaire which was administered by telephone by the authors. The data were entered into Microsoft excel template and exported to Stata for analysis. The findings of the telephone survey were used to cross-match the views expressed during the focus group discussions.
Results
The alumni almost unanimously agree that the initial three years of COBES were very successful in terms of administration and coordination. COBES was credited for contributing to development of confidence as health workers, team work, communication skills, competence in primary health care and willingness to work in rural areas. The COBES alumni also identified various challenges associated with administration and coordination of COBES at Makerere.
Conclusions
This study has established that the positive impact of COBES endures with the alumni of the program. Health planners should take advantage of the impact of COBES and provide it with more support.
doi:10.1186/1472-698X-11-S1-S5
PMCID: PMC3059477  PMID: 21411005
7.  Psychosocial Factors That Shape Patient and Carer Experiences of Dementia Diagnosis and Treatment: A Systematic Review of Qualitative Studies 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(10):e1001331.
A systematic review of qualitative studies conducted by Frances Bunn and colleagues identifies and describes the experiences of patients and caregivers on receiving and adapting to a diagnosis of dementia.
Background
Early diagnosis and intervention for people with dementia is increasingly considered a priority, but practitioners are concerned with the effects of earlier diagnosis and interventions on patients and caregivers. This systematic review evaluates the qualitative evidence about how people accommodate and adapt to the diagnosis of dementia and its immediate consequences, to guide practice.
Methods and Findings
We systematically reviewed qualitative studies exploring experiences of community-dwelling individuals with dementia, and their carers, around diagnosis and the transition to becoming a person with dementia. We searched PubMed, PsychINFO, Embase, CINAHL, and the British Nursing Index (all searched in May 2010 with no date restrictions; PubMed search updated in February 2012), checked reference lists, and undertook citation searches in PubMed and Google Scholar (ongoing to September 2011). We used thematic synthesis to identify key themes, commonalities, barriers to earlier diagnosis, and support identified as helpful. We identified 126 papers reporting 102 studies including a total of 3,095 participants. Three overarching themes emerged from our analysis: (1) pathways through diagnosis, including its impact on identity, roles, and relationships; (2) resolving conflicts to accommodate a diagnosis, including the acceptability of support, focusing on the present or the future, and the use or avoidance of knowledge; and (3) strategies and support to minimise the impact of dementia. Consistent barriers to diagnosis include stigma, normalisation of symptoms, and lack of knowledge. Studies report a lack of specialist support particularly post-diagnosis.
Conclusions
There is an extensive body of qualitative literature on the experiences of community-dwelling individuals with dementia on receiving and adapting to a diagnosis of dementia. We present a thematic analysis that could be useful to professionals working with people with dementia. We suggest that research emphasis should shift towards the development and evaluation of interventions, particularly those providing support after diagnosis.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
Editors' Summary
Background
Dementia is a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer disease is the most common type of dementia. People with dementia usually have problems with two or more cognitive functions—thinking, language, memory, understanding, and judgment. Dementia is rare before the age of 65, but about a quarter of people over 85 have dementia. Because more people live longer these days, the number of patients with dementia is increasing. It is estimated that today between 40 and 50 million people live with dementia worldwide. By 2050, this number is expected to triple.
One way to study what dementia means to patients and their carers (most often spouses or other family members) is through qualitative research. Qualitative research aims to develop an in-depth understanding of individuals' experiences and behavior, as well as the reasons for their feelings and actions. In qualitative studies, researchers interview patients, their families, and doctors. When the studies are published, they usually contain direct quotations from interviews as well as summaries by the scientists who designed the interviews and analyzed the responses.
Why Was This Study Done?
This study was done to better understand the experiences and attitudes of patients and their carers surrounding dementia diagnosis. It focused on patients who lived and were cared for within the community (as opposed to people living in senior care facilities or other institutions). Most cases of dementia are progressive, meaning symptoms get worse over time. Diagnosis often happens at an advanced stage of the disease, and some patients never receive a formal diagnosis. This could have many possible reasons, including unawareness or denial of symptoms by patients and people close to them. The study was also trying to understand barriers to early diagnosis and what type of support is useful for newly diagnosed patients and carers.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers conducted a systematic search for published qualitative research studies that reported on the experience, beliefs, feelings, and attitudes surrounding dementia diagnosis. They identified and reviewed 102 such studies. Among the quotations and summaries of the individual studies, they looked for prominent and recurring themes. They also compared and contrasted the respective experiences of patients and carers.
Overall, they found that the complexity and variety of responses to a diagnosis of dementia means that making the diagnosis and conveying it to patients and carers is challenging. Negative connotations associated with dementia, inconsistent symptoms, and not knowing enough about the signs and symptoms were commonly reported barriers to early dementia diagnosis. It was often the carer who initiated the search for help from a doctor, and among patients, willingness and readiness to receive a diagnosis varied. Being told one had dementia had a big impact on a patient's identity and often caused feelings of loss, anger, fear, and frustration. Spouses had to adjust to increasingly unequal relationships and the transition to a role as carer. The strain associated with this often caused health problems in the carers as well. On the other hand, studies examining the experience of couples often reported that they found ways to continue working together as a team.
Adjusting to a dementia diagnosis is a complex process. Initially, most patients and carers experienced conflicts, for example, between autonomy and safety, between recognizing the need for help but reluctance to accept it, or between living in the present and dealing with anxiety about and preparing for the future. As these were resolved and as the disease progressed, the attitudes of patients and carers towards dementia often became more balanced and accepting. Many patients and their families adopted strategies to cope with the impact of dementia on their lives in order to manage the disease and maintain some sort of normal life. These included practical strategies involving reminders, social strategies such as relying on family support, and emotional strategies such as using humor. At some point many patients and carers reported that they were able to adopt positive mindsets and incorporate dementia in their lives.
The studies also pointed to an urgent need for support from outside the family, both right after diagnosis and subsequently. General practitioners and family physicians have important roles in helping patients and carers to get access to information, social and psychological support, and community care. The need for information was reported to be ongoing and varied, and meeting it required a variety of sources and formats. Key needs for patients and carers mentioned in the studies include information on financial aids and entitlements early on, and continued access to supportive professionals and specialists.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Qualitative studies to date on how patients and carers respond to a diagnosis of dementia provide a fairly detailed picture of their experiences. The summary provided here should help professionals to understand better the challenges patients and carers face around the time of diagnosis as well as their immediate and evolving needs. The results also suggest that future research should focus on the development and evaluation of ways to meet those needs.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001331.
Wikipedia has pages on dementia and qualitative research (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit)
Alzheimer Europe, an umbrella organization of 34 Alzheimer associations from 30 countries across Europe, has a page on the different approaches to research
The UK Department of Health has pages on dementia, including guidelines for carers of people with dementia
MedlinePlus also has information about dementia
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001331
PMCID: PMC3484131  PMID: 23118618
8.  Registered Nurses´ View of Performing Pain Assessment among Persons with Dementia as Consultant Advisors 
The Open Nursing Journal  2012;6:62-70.
Background:
Pain assessment in persons with dementia is well known as a challenging issue to professional caregivers, because of these patients´ difficulties in verbalising pain problems. Within municipal dementia care in Sweden, pain assessment has become problematic for registered nurses, as they have entered a new role in their nursing profession, from being clinical practitioners to becoming consultant advisers to other health care staff.
Aim:
To present municipal registered nurses´ view of pain assessment in persons with dementia in relation to their nursing profession as consultant advisers.
Methods:
Purposive sampling was undertaken with 11 nurses invited to participate. Data were collected by focus groups. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the data.
Findings:
Four categories were identified to describe registered nurses´ view of pain assessment: estrangement from practical nursing care, time consuming and unsafe pain documentation, unfulfilled needs of reflection possibilities, and collaboration and coordination.
Conclusions:
The performance of pain assessment through a consultant advising function is experienced as frustrating and as an uncomfortable nursing situation. The nurses feel resistance to providing nursing in this way. They view nursing as a clinical task demanding daily presence among patients to enable them to make accurate and safe assessments. However, due to the consultative model, setting aside enough time for the presence seems difficult to accomplish. It is necessary to promote the quality of systematic routines in pain assessment and reflection, as well as developing professional knowledge of how pain can be expressed by dementia patients, especially those with communication difficulties.
doi:10.2174/1874434601206010062
PMCID: PMC3362856  PMID: 22655002
Municipal dementia care; pain assessment; registered nurses.
9.  What is needed to implement a computer-assisted health risk assessment tool? An exploratory concept mapping study 
Background
Emerging eHealth tools could facilitate the delivery of comprehensive care in time-constrained clinical settings. One such tool is interactive computer-assisted health-risk assessments (HRA), which may improve provider-patient communication at the point of care, particularly for psychosocial health concerns, which remain under-detected in clinical encounters. The research team explored the perspectives of healthcare providers representing a variety of disciplines (physicians, nurses, social workers, allied staff) regarding the factors required for implementation of an interactive HRA on psychosocial health.
Methods
The research team employed a semi-qualitative participatory method known as Concept Mapping, which involved three distinct phases. First, in face-to-face and online brainstorming sessions, participants responded to an open-ended central question: “What factors should be in place within your clinical setting to support an effective computer-assisted screening tool for psychosocial risks?” The brainstormed items were consolidated by the research team. Then, in face-to-face and online sorting sessions, participants grouped the items thematically as ‘it made sense to them’. Participants also rated each item on a 5-point scale for its ‘importance’ and ‘action feasibility’ over the ensuing six month period. The sorted and rated data was analyzed using multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analyses which produced visual maps. In the third and final phase, the face-to-face Interpretation sessions, the concept maps were discussed and illuminated by participants collectively.
Results
Overall, 54 providers participated (emergency care 48%; primary care 52%). Participants brainstormed 196 items thought to be necessary for the implementation of an interactive HRA emphasizing psychosocial health. These were consolidated by the research team into 85 items. After sorting and rating, cluster analysis revealed a concept map with a seven-cluster solution: 1) the HRA’s equitable availability; 2) the HRA’s ease of use and appropriateness; 3) the content of the HRA survey; 4) patient confidentiality and choice; 5) patient comfort through humanistic touch; 6) professional development, care and workload; and 7) clinical management protocol. Drawing insight from the theoretical lens of Sociotechnical theory, the seven clusters of factors required for HRA implementation could be read as belonging to three overarching aspects : Technical (cluster 1, 2 and 3), Social-Patient (cluster 4 and 5), and Social-Provider (cluster 6 and 7). Participants rated every one of the clusters as important, with mean scores from 4.0 to 4.5. Their scores for feasibility were somewhat lower, ranging from 3.4 to. 4.3. Comparing the scores for importance and feasibility, a significant difference was found for one cluster from each region (cluster 2, 5, 6). The cluster on professional development, care and workload was perceived as especially challenging in emergency department settings, and possible reasons were discussed in the interpretation sessions.
Conclusion
A number of intertwined multilevel factors emerged as important for the implementation of a computer-assisted, interactive HRA with a focus on psychosocial health. Future developments in this area could benefit from systems thinking and insights from theoretical perspectives, such as sociotechnical system theory for joint optimization and responsible autonomy, with emphasis on both the technical and social aspects of HRA implementation.
doi:10.1186/1472-6947-12-149
PMCID: PMC3577493  PMID: 23253913
Computer-assisted; Risk assessment; Psychosocial health; Decision-support; Qualitative; Canada; Underserved urban population
10.  Implementation of patient portals: the perspective of the professional care provider 
Introduction
A few hospitals in the Netherlands have been introducing digital patient portals. Patient portals are secured internet environments for patients to log into from their homes to exchange information with their care provider. Such portals can be seen as an application of e-health that encourages patient’s self management. User acceptance is an important precondition for successful implementation. Research on patient user acceptance has already occurred. This project is about the user acceptance of the professional healthcare provider. The focus is on nurses, because in the Netherlands nurses play a crucial role in developing and implementing a portal, as well as in introducing the portal to the patient. Besides that, they have to integrate the portal tasks with their other work.
Aim
This qualitative research describes the extent to which and the manner in which nurses accept digital patient portals. It is investigated how the portals are developed and implemented, how nurses use and appreciate the portals and which factors are important for realizing user acceptance of professional health care providers.
Method
In-depth interviews were executed with 18 respondents of two University Medical Centers in the Netherlands. The group consisted of 12 nurses and nursing specialists, 2 doctors, 2 researchers, 1 communication officer and 1 manager. Interview topics were derived from the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and the Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT).
Results
The results show that the degree of acceptance among nurses is great. Nurses see the introduction of patient portals as an inevitable development. Essential for nurses’ acceptance is the ‘perceived usefulness’, especially from patient’s perspective. Perceived usefulness from their own perspective (ease-to-use) also plays a role but this is of less importance. The e-consult is relevant. However, it will not substitute usual (face-to-face or telephone) contacts, unless e-consult is part of the scheduled treatment plan. But this is still rarely the case and actually a cultural change in professional practice, a digital revolution is needed. Moreover, the work is not yet designed for e-health; time and costs for e-health are not yet reimbursed in the Dutch context. Nurses see the portal as an additional service for patients, because it offers them the possibility for asking questions at any time and place suitable for the patient. Some nurses experience an increase in work load, because patients ask more non-urgent questions that otherwise would not be asked. Other nurses observe a decrease of workload, because of a decrease of consultations about laboratory test results.
Conclusion
The user acceptance from nurses is great. Most important motive is the perceived usefulness for the patient. The patient portal is seen as an extra service for the patient, and the nurses are prepared to deliver this service. There is a risk of increased workload. Exploiting the potentials for greater efficiency requires a cultural change in professional practice.
PMCID: PMC3571155
e-health; patient portal; nurse; usability; implementation
11.  Palliative care at home: an audit of cancer deaths in Grampian region. 
The British Journal of General Practice  1998;48(431):1299-1302.
BACKGROUND: Ninety per cent of the last year of life of cancer patients is spent at home. Some studies have suggested that care in this setting is often suboptimal. Information on the standard of palliative care delivered at home by general practitioners (GPs) and their teams is limited, and clarification of the problems faced is needed. AIM: To audit the home-based palliative care of patients dying of cancer. METHOD: Matched postal questionnaires were sent to the GPs and nurses of 1086 successive patients dying of cancer in whatever setting in the Grampian region of Scotland some six weeks after the death to establish the professionals' perception of symptom control, communication problems, use of services, and information given to patients and relatives. RESULTS: Response rates were 88.8% for GPs (964 out of 1086) and 87.1% for nurses (325 out of 375 that were passed on to nurses). Two-thirds of patients received palliative care at home. Pain was poorly controlled in 15.7%, and poor control of other symptoms ranged from 13.8% (nausea and vomiting) to 21% (depression and dyspnoea). Communication difficulties were present in 93.7% of cases, although only 5.2% of these were of a major nature. District nurses were involved in 76.7% of cases and Macmillan nurses in 28.0%. Twenty-six per cent of referrals to district nurses were assessed as being late in the course of the illness. Patients were fully informed about the diagnosis in 66.3% of cases and about the prognosis in 55.4%. General practitioners were more likely to report the presence of communication problems between themselves and the patient (when compared with nurses: 43.9% versus 28.0%), more likely to report that patients were 'not at all informed' about self-help groups (57.5% versus 36.3%), and were less likely to report the involvement of occupational therapists (21.8% versus 39.7%). CONCLUSIONS: Levels of reporting of poor symptom control by professionals was much lower than levels reported by relatives in other studies, but there was no difference between the reporting of GPs and nurses. However, a number of areas were identified where care could be enhanced by improved teamwork and further education and training in symptom control, as well as in communication, use of services, and information provision.
PMCID: PMC1410136  PMID: 9747545
12.  Multidisciplinary integrated Parent and Child Centres in Amsterdam: a qualitative study 
Background
In several countries centres for the integrated delivery of services to the parent and child have been established. In the Netherlands family health care service centres, called Parent and Child Centres (PCCs) involve multidisciplinary teams. Here doctors, nurses, midwives, maternity help professionals and educationists are integrated into multidisciplinary teams in neighbourhood-based centres. To date there has been little research on the implementation of service delivery in these centres.
Study design
A SWOT analysis was performed by use of triangulation data; this took place by integrating all relevant published documents on the origin and organization of the PCCs and the results from interviews with PCC experts and with PCC professionals (n=91). Structured interviews were performed with PCC-professionals [health care professionals (n=67) and PCC managers n=12)] and PCC-experts (n=12) in Amsterdam and qualitatively analysed thematically. The interview themes were based on a pre-set list of codes, derived from a prior documentation study and a focus group with PCC experts.
Results
Perceived advantages of PCCs were more continuity of care, shorter communication lines, low-threshold contact between professionals and promising future perspectives. Perceived challenges included the absence of uniform multidisciplinary guidelines, delays in communication with hospitals and midwives, inappropriate accommodation for effective professional integration, differing expectations regarding the PCC-manager role among PCC-partners and the danger of professionals’ needs dominating clients’ needs.
Conclusions
Professionals perceive PCCs as a promising development in the integration of services. Remaining challenges involved improvements at the managerial and organizational level. Quantitative research into the improvements in quality of care and child health is recommended.
PMCID: PMC3718270  PMID: 23882163
child health; family centres; integrated services; multidisciplinary cooperation; health professionals; Netherlands
13.  Perception and Expectation of Iran Neonatal Transport Expert Regard to Developing Neonatal Transport System in Iran: A Qualitative Research 
Introduction:
This study was aimed to reach expert's expectations of neonatal transport system for developing neonatal transport system in Iran.
Materials and Methods:
This is a qualitative study conducted by using focus group discussion (FGD) to present expert's perspectives and expectancy about neonatal transport system. Participants was selected from all experts and specialist about neonatal transport in Iran countryside. Finally 48 experts, participate in this study. To data collection 4 FGD were conducted, data were analyzed by content analyses. All subthemes were categorized in main themes according to conceptual relationship as an expert panels opinions. In order to comply with the ethical issues involved in the study was voluntary, also permission for the recording session were taken and confidentiality was also ensured.
Result:
According to FGD results, 11 themes and 90 subthemes were founded related to neonatal transport system, the main identified themes included: Aims, necessity and models of neonatal transport system, organizing the transport system, management and quality of instruments in the transport system, Neonatal transport system staff, Human resource management and issue related to human resources, conditions and requirements of neonatal transport system, facilitating factors in neonatal transport system, information management and communication system and weakness of neonatal transport system.
Conclusion:
Neonatal transport systems in different countries must adapted according to situation and component of each country have different strength and weakness and in implementing a system must attend to geographical conditions, financial ability and access to professionals, health system structure, facilities related to neonatal health care, antenatal services in regain, health care related, health care program about neonates and pregnant women and epidemiological status and mortality and morbidity in deferent locals and regains in countryside.
doi:10.4103/2249-4847.128726
PMCID: PMC3982336  PMID: 24741537
Neonatal transport system; focus group discussion; qualitative research; Iran
14.  Barriers and facilitators to change in the organisation and delivery of endoscopy services in England and Wales: a focus group study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(3):e001009.
Objective
Explore professional views of changes to gastroenterology service organisation and delivery and barriers and facilitators impacting on change. The work was undertaken as part of an evaluation in endoscopy service provision catalysed by the Modernising Endoscopy Services Programme of the Modernisation Agency.
Design
Focus groups followed by analysis and group-working activities identifying key themes.
Setting
English and Welsh secondary care gastroenterology units.
Participants
20 professionals working in gastroenterology in England and Wales. Medical, surgical and nursing specialists including endoscopy nurses. Opportunistic sampling to include senior people in leadership and management roles who were directly involved in service modernisation, excluding those involved in the Modernisation Endoscopy Services Programme.
Results
Four 1.5 h focus groups took place in 2007. Summative and thematic analyses captured essential aspects of text and achieved consensus on key themes. 4 themes were revealed: ‘loss of personal autonomy and erosion of professionalism’, ‘lack of senior management understanding’, ‘barriers and facilitators to change’ and ‘differences between English and Welsh units’. Themes indicated that low staff morale, lack of funding and senior management support were barriers to effective change. Limitations to the study include the disproportionately low number of focus group attendees from English units and the time delay in reporting these findings.
Conclusions
Despite ambitions to implement change, ineffective management support continued to hamper modernisation of service organisation and delivery. While the National Health Service Modernisation Agency Modernising Endoscopy Services Programme acted as a catalyst for change, affecting the way staff work, communicate and think, it was not effective in heralding change itself. However, gastroenterologists were keen to consider the potential for change and future service modernisation. The methodological framework of innovative qualitative enquiry offers comprehensive and rigorous enhancement of quantitative studies, including randomised trials, when a mixed methods approach is needed.
Article summary
Article focus
Examine the opinions of gastroenterologists and endoscopy nurses regarding the effects of change on service organisation and delivery.
Establish views regarding the impact of change on professional practice and self-identity.
Describe barriers and facilitators to change in gastroenterological endoscopy services and across units in England and Wales to explore differences.
Key messages
GI consultants, surgeons and endoscopy nurses described barriers to change and service modernisation resulting largely from lack-lustre senior management support, inadequate funding and low staff morale.
The Modernising Endoscopy Services Programme raised the profile of change but was not effective in catalysing change itself. Nevertheless, participants saw real potential in overcoming barriers to change in order to promote future service modernisation.
The methodological framework of innovative qualitative enquiry used in this study offers the opportunity for comprehensive and rigorous enhancement of quantitative studies, including randomised trials, when a mixed methods approach is needed.
Strengths and limitations of this study
The study took place in 2007 but the findings offer a unique historical perspective on professional views at that time.
This was a time when further efforts to promote modernisation of endoscopy services in England, through quality monitoring and accreditation of units was starting.
The number of people participating in focus groups was small; however, the qualitative study was looking for depth rather than breadth of data disclosure.
Participants covered a wide range of medical, surgical and nursing professions working in gastroenterology, and there is no reason to believe their views are not reliable and applicable to the wider gastroenterology professional population.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001009
PMCID: PMC3383987  PMID: 22734116
15.  A study of patient attitudes towards decentralisation of HIV care in an urban clinic in South Africa 
Background
In South Africa, limited human resources are a major constraint to achieving universal antiretroviral therapy (ART) coverage. Many of the public-sector HIV clinics operating within tertiary facilities, that were the first to provide ART in the country, have reached maximum patient capacity. Decentralization or "down-referral" (wherein ART patients deemed stable on therapy are referred to their closest Primary Health Clinics (PHCs) for treatment follow-up) is being used as a possible alternative of ART delivery care. This cross-sectional qualitative study investigates attitudes towards down-referral of ART delivery care among patients currently receiving care in a centralized tertiary HIV clinic.
Methods
Ten focus group discussions (FGDs) with 76 participants were conducted in early 2008 amongst ART patients initiated and receiving care for more than 3 months in the tertiary HIV clinic study site. Eligible individuals were invited to participate in FGDs involving 6-9 participants, and lasting approximately 1-2 hours. A trained moderator used a discussion topic guide to investigate the main issues of interest including: advantages and disadvantages of down-referral, potential motivating factors and challenges of down-referral, assistance needs from the transferring clinic as well as from PHCs.
Results
Advantages include closeness to patients' homes, transport and time savings. However, patients favour a centralized service for the following reasons: less stigma, patients established relationship with the centralized clinic, and availability of ancillary services. Most FGDs felt that for down-referral to occur there needed to be training of nurses in patient-provider communication.
Conclusion
Despite acknowledging the down-referral advantages of close proximity and lower transport costs, many participants expressed concerns about lack of trained HIV clinical staff, negative patient interactions with nurses, limited confidentiality and stigma. There was consensus that training of nurses and improved health systems at the local clinics were needed if successful down-referral was to take place.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-205
PMCID: PMC3167749  PMID: 21871068
decentralization; down-referral; South Africa; ART; level of care
16.  Team Dynamics, Decision Making, and Attitudes Toward Multidisciplinary Cancer Meetings: Health Professionals' Perspectives 
Journal of Oncology Practice  2010;6(6):e17-e20.
As the complexity of cancer treatment increases so too has the need for coordination between health care professionals. Multidisciplinary meetings are a useful tool in treating patients with cancer and are shown to improve survival and adherence to evidence based-guidelines.
Purpose:
Multidisciplinary cancer care is a standard feature of high quality care. In many centers, the multidisciplinary meeting (MDM) is an integral component. A qualitative study was performed to explore health professionals' attitudes towards this model of care, the decision making processes, and dynamics among team members.
Methods:
A series of focus groups was conducted with health professionals who attend MDMs at our institution. Focus groups followed a semistructured format with open-ended questions. A thematic analysis was performed.
Results:
Four focus groups were held, attended by 23 participants including allied health professionals, specialist nurses, medical oncologists, and surgeons. All participants believed the primary objective of the MDM was to develop an individualized treatment plan. Several other key themes emerged. The MDM provided opportunities to improve communication, efficiency, and education as well as enhance professional relationships. Medical information was prioritized ahead of psychosocial details, with allied health professionals describing difficulty contributing to MDM discussion. Patient attendance at MDMs was opposed by health professionals because of concerns about the patient's ability to cope with the information discussed and the effect their presence would have on the dynamics of the decision-making process.
Conclusion:
Health professionals endorse MDMs as a useful tool in treating patients with cancer. Within this forum, both opportunities and constrains exist, with many benefits extending beyond the meeting itself into other clinical areas. Further study is warranted to establish an evidence base to ensure that both the possibilities and the limitations of this model of care are fully understood.
doi:10.1200/JOP.2010.000023
PMCID: PMC2988673  PMID: 21358945
17.  P24 - Geriatric Medicine: An Innovative Care Strategy in Orthopaedics and Traumatology 
For many years, the administration of the Careggi University Hospital (CUH), in agreement with the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Florence, has pressed for the creation of a department of general medicine within its othopaedic traumatology centre. In its decision n.243 of May 5, 2009, the administration of the CUH, along the lines of similar experiences already in place, set up a simple departmental unit (SDU) of geriatric medicine (GM) within the hospital’s department of orthopaedics.
The aim of this unit is to guarantee continuity of care to orthopaedics inpatients, through the identification of a specific care pathway for clinically unstable patients. The clinical activity carried out, mainly in the context of the provision of continuity of care, takes the form of daily consultancy. The SDU has a series of objectives, organisational (less postponement of surgery due to medical problems, better integration of healthcare through a multidisciplinary team, provision of internal medicine and geriatric consultancy to guarantee continuity of care), clinical (reduction of peri-operative medical complications and adverse events) and strategic (improvement of the quality of geriatric and internal medicine care, better communication with patients and families). The unit strives to exploit to the full the multi-professional (doctors, rehabilitation therapists, registered nurses, social workers) and interdisciplinary (internal medicine, geriatrics, orthopaedics, physical medicine, anaesthesiology, cardiology, angiology etc.) intervention and, in the fragile elderly, applies a multi-dimensional geriatric assessment instrument.
Clinical activity:
The physicians working in the GM SDU provide daily consultancy, including Saturday mornings. Constant telephone contact is available, also on Sundays and holidays.
In the period from 1/9/2009 to 31/7/2010, a total of 1867 consultancies were provided, spread over 268 days, which corresponds to a mean of 6.97 examinations/day. Of these, 652 (34.92%) were first visits and 1215 (65.08%) were follow ups. The assessments were always conducted in a spirit of multi-professional and multidisciplinary collaboration.
The assessments were carried out in the following departments: general orthopaedics II (25.98%), general orthopaedics I (21.26%), general orthopaedics III (18.26%), traumatology-orthopaedics (13.55%), orthopaedic oncology and reconstruction (11.25%) as well as, in smaller percentages, in all the other SDUs of the orthopaedics department, in the neurosurgery department, the plastic surgery department and the spinal unit.
In particular, internal and geriatric medicine consultancy for patients was requested in connection with high levels of co-morbidity, polypharmacy regimens, acute confusional state, dehydration, hydro-electrolytic disorders, uncompensated type 2 diabetes mellitus, pulmonary embolism, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, pneumonia and bronchitis causing respiratory insufficiency, decompensated congestive heart failure, targeted antibiotic therapy, chronic renal insufficiency, and management of anti-aggregant and anticoagulant therapies.
Positive aspects: the clinical assessments were made using a multidisciplinary approach, based on the fundamental collaboration of specialists in orthopaedics, anaesthesiology-resuscitation, angiology, cardiology, radiology and physical medicine; excellent collaboration with services (radiology, neuroradiology, angiology, cardiology, etc.).
Negative aspects: constant difficulties transferring clinically unstable patients to the hospital’s medical specialty SDUs due to lack of beds; lack of intermediate care beds as a sort of “buffer” between the intensive care and inpatient departments; scope for improving the internal medicine skills of the nursing staff.
Research projects:
In synergy the hospital’s other SDUs, the GM SDU takes part in projects aiming to improve care and clinical management. It currently has collaborations with the geriatrics clinic, regional centre of reference for haemostasis and thrombosis, the bone metabolism clinic, the orthopaedics clinics, the geriatrics agency, the radiology service, the continuity-of-care agency, the clinical management, and the general affairs unit. Furthermore, on the instigation of the regional health council, a working group has recently been set up on the reorganisation of the “Care pathway of elderly patients with proximal femur fracture (orthogeriatrics)”.
Prospects for implementation and improvement:
The aims of the “Project to reorganise and upgrade the orthopaedics and traumatology centre of the Careggi University Hospital” include: the institution of a medical geriatrics department providing medium and high intensity of care; the presence, 24 hours/day, of a specialist from the medical area in the traumatology open space; the involvement of the internal medicine specialist in pre-hospitalisation procedures.
PMCID: PMC3213796
18.  The perception of health care risk: patients, health care staff and society 
Blood Transfusion  2008;6(2):93-100.
Introduction
The Nuovo Zingarelli, dictionary of the Italian language, defines risk as “the possibility of harmful or negative consequences following not always predictable circumstances”. A statistical-epidemiological type of definition is far removed from the social and psychological conception that the population attributes to the risk of harm, which is related to interior processes and emotional reactions. Information on risks interacts with knowledge, personal values and beliefs to produce a subjective expression that is perception.
Materials and methods
Two years after instituting the Hospital Quality and Risk Management Unit at S. Giovanni Battista Molinette Hospital (Turin, Italy) it became clear that it was necessary to determine the perception of health care risk among nursing staff. Therefore, nursing teams from eight sub-departmental units in six departments were invited to participate in an assessment project.
Results
The project was undertaken by four nursing teams composed of four head nurses (project representatives) and 45 professional nurses. The aims of the project were understood by all four groups; three participated with interest, one only in part. Three groups considered that it would be useful to continue the project, while the other group did not discuss this point.
Conclusions
The project on the perception of health care risk by nursing staff revealed that mistaken identification of the patient, errors during the administration of treatment and poor communication among colleagues and with doctors and patients were the risks of error perceived as most important by nurses. Heavy work loads, staff shortages, technical and structural problems, and gaps in professional knowledge were identified as the factors related to the occurrence of adverse events. These data differed from management’s perception because no incident report forms had ever been received from these nursing teams.
doi:10.2450/2008.0045-07
PMCID: PMC2626843  PMID: 18946953
risk management; risk assessment; hospital incident reporting
19.  Community-Based Care for Chronic Wound Management 
Executive Summary
In August 2008, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) presented a vignette to the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) on a proposed targeted health care delivery model for chronic care. The proposed model was defined as multidisciplinary, ambulatory, community-based care that bridged the gap between primary and tertiary care, and was intended for individuals with a chronic disease who were at risk of a hospital admission or emergency department visit. The goals of this care model were thought to include: the prevention of emergency department visits, a reduction in hospital admissions and re-admissions, facilitation of earlier hospital discharge, a reduction or delay in long-term care admissions, and an improvement in mortality and other disease-specific patient outcomes.
OHTAC approved the development of an evidence-based assessment to determine the effectiveness of specialized community based care for the management of heart failure, Type 2 diabetes and chronic wounds.
Please visit the Medical Advisory Secretariat Web site at: www.health.gov.on.ca/ohtas to review the following reports associated with the Specialized Multidisciplinary Community-Based care series.
Specialized multidisciplinary community-based care series: a summary of evidence-based analyses
Community-based care for the specialized management of heart failure: an evidence-based analysis
Community-based care for chronic wound management: an evidence-based analysis
Please note that the evidence-based analysis of specialized community-based care for the management of diabetes titled: “Community-based care for the management of type 2 diabetes: an evidence-based analysis” has been published as part of the Diabetes Strategy Evidence Platform at this URL: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/tech/ohtas/tech_diabetes_20091020.html
Please visit the Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment Collaborative Web site at: http://theta.utoronto.ca/papers/MAS_CHF_Clinics_Report.pdf to review the following economic project associated with this series:
Community-based Care for the specialized management of heart failure: a cost-effectiveness and budget impact analysis.
Objective
The objective of this evidence-based review is to determine the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary wound care team for the management of chronic wounds.
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Chronic wounds develop from various aetiologies including pressure, diabetes, venous pathology, and surgery. A pressure ulcer is defined as a localized injury to the skin/and or underlying tissue occurring most often over a bony prominence and caused, alone or in combination, by pressure, shear, or friction. Up to three fifths of venous leg ulcers are due to venous aetiology.
Approximately 1.5 million Ontarians will sustain a pressure ulcer, 111,000 will develop a diabetic foot ulcer, and between 80,000 and 130,000 will develop a venous leg ulcer. Up to 65% of those afflicted by chronic leg ulcers report experiencing decreased quality of life, restricted mobility, anxiety, depression, and/or severe or continuous pain.
Multidisciplinary Wound Care Teams
The term ‘multidisciplinary’ refers to multiple disciplines on a team and ‘interdisciplinary’ to such a team functioning in a coordinated and collaborative manner. There is general consensus that a group of multidisciplinary professionals is necessary for optimum specialist management of chronic wounds stemming from all aetiologies. However, there is little evidence to guide the decision of which professionals might be needed form an optimal wound care team.
Evidence-Based Analysis Methods
Literature Search
A literature search was performed on July 7, 2009 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, OVID EMBASE, Wiley Cochrane, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination/International Agency for Health Technology Assessment, and on July 13, 2009 using the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies pertaining to leg and foot ulcers. A similar literature search was conducted on July 29’ 2009 for studies pertaining to pressure ulcers. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. Articles with an unknown eligibility were reviewed with a second clinical epidemiologist and then a group of epidemiologists until consensus was established.
Inclusion Criteria
Randomized controlled trials and Controlled clinical Trials (CCT)
Systematic review with meta analysis
Population includes persons with pressure ulcers (anywhere) and/or leg and foot ulcers
The intervention includes a multidisciplinary (two or more disciplines) wound care team.
The control group does not receive care by a wound care team
Studies published in the English language between 2004 and 2009
Exclusion Criteria
Single centre retrospective observational studies
Outcomes of Interest
Proportion of persons and/or wounds completely healed
Time to complete healing
Quality of Life
Pain assessment
Summary of Findings
Two studies met the inclusion and exclusion criteria, one a randomized controlled trial (RCT), the other a CCT using a before and after study design. There was variation in the setting, composition of the wound care team, outcome measures, and follow up periods between the studies. In both studies, however, the wound care team members received training in wound care management and followed a wound care management protocol.
In the RCT, Vu et al. reported a non-significant difference between the proportion of wounds healed in 6 months using a univariate analysis (61.7% for treatment vs. 52.5% for control; p=0.074, RR=1.19) There was also a non-significant difference in the mean time to healing in days (82 for treatment vs. 101 for control; p=0.095). More persons in the intervention group had a Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) score equal to zero (better pain control) at 6 months when compared with the control group (38.6% for intervention vs. 24.4% for control; p=0.017, RR=1.58). By multivariate analysis a statistically significant hazard ratio was reported in the intervention group (1.73, 95% CI 1.20-1.50; p=0.003).
In the CCT, Harrison et al. reported a statistically significant difference in healing rates between the pre (control) and post (intervention) phases of the study. Of patients in the pre phase, 23% had healed ulcers 3 months after study enrolment, whereas 56% were healed in the post phase (P<0.001, OR=4.17) (Figure 3). Furthermore, 27% of patients were treated daily or more often in the pre phase whereas only 6% were treated at this frequency in the post phase (P<0.001), equal to a 34% relative risk reduction in frequency of daily treatments. The authors did not report the results of pain relief assessment.
The body of evidence was assessed using the GRADE methodology for 4 outcomes: proportion of wounds healed, proportion of persons with healed wounds, wound associated pain relief, and proportion of persons needing daily wound treatments. In general, the evidence was found to be low to very low quality.
Conclusion
The evidence supports that managing chronic wounds with a multidisciplinary wound care team significantly increases wound healing and reduces the severity of wound-associated pain and the required daily wound treatments compared to persons not managed by a wound care team. The quality of evidence supporting these outcomes is low to very low meaning that further research is very likely to have an important impact on our confidence in the estimate of effect and is likely to change the estimate.
PMCID: PMC3377537  PMID: 23074522
20.  Situational analysis of teaching and learning of medicine and nursing students at Makerere University College of Health Sciences 
Background
Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS) in Uganda is undergoing a major reform to become a more influential force in society. It is important that its medicine and nursing graduates are equipped to best address the priority health needs of the Ugandan population, as outlined in the government’s Health Sector Strategic Plan (HSSP). The assessment identifies critical gaps in the core competencies of the MakCHS medicine and nursing and ways to overcome them in order to achieve HSSP goals.
Methods
Documents from the Uganda Ministry of Health were reviewed, and medicine and nursing curricula were analyzed. Nineteen key informant interviews (KII) and seven focus group discussions (FGD) with stakeholders were conducted. The data were manually analyzed for emerging themes and sub-themes. The study team subsequently used the checklists to create matrices summarizing the findings from the KIIs, FGDs, and curricula analysis. Validation of findings was done by triangulating information from the different data collection methods.
Results
The core competencies that medicine and nursing students are expected to achieve by the end of their education were outlined for both programs. The curricula are in the process of reform towards competency-based education, and on the surface, are well aligned with the strategic needs of the country. But implementation is inadequate, and can be changed:
• Learning objectives need to be more applicable to achieving competencies.
• Learning experiences need to be more relevant for competencies and setting in which students will work after graduation (i.e. not just clinical care in a tertiary care facility).
• Student evaluation needs to be better designed for assessing these competencies.
Conclusion
MakCHS has made a significant attempt to produce relevant, competent nursing and medicine graduates to meet the community needs. Ways to make them more effective though deliberate efforts to apply a competency-based education are possible.
doi:10.1186/1472-698X-11-S1-S3
PMCID: PMC3059475  PMID: 21411003
21.  “Research participants want to feel they are better off than they were before research was introduced to them”: engaging cameroonian rural plantation populations in HIV research 
Background
During a period of evolving international consensus on how to engage communities in research, facilitators and barriers to participation in HIV prevention research were explored in a rural plantation community in the coastal region of Cameroon.
Methods
A formative rapid assessment using structured observations, focus group discussions (FGD), and key informant interviews (KIIs) was conducted with a purposive non-probabilistic sample of plantation workers and their household members. Eligibility criteria included living or working >1 year within the plantation community and age >18 years. Both rapid and in-depth techniques were used to complete thematic analysis.
Results
Sixty-five persons participated in the study (6 FGDs and 12 KIIs). Participants viewed malaria and gastrointestinal conditions as more common health concerns than HIV. They identified three factors as contributing to HIV risk: concurrent sexual relationships, sex work, and infrequent condom use. Interviewees perceived that the community would participate in HIV research if it is designed to: (1) improve community welfare, (2) provide comprehensive health services and treatment for illnesses, (3) protect the personal information of participants, especially those who test positive for HIV, (4) provide participant incentives, (5) incorporate community input, and (6) minimize disruptions to “everyday life”. Barriers to participation included: (1) fear of HIV testing, (2) mistrust of researchers given possible disrespect or intolerance of plantation community life and lack of concern for communication, (3) time commitment demands, (3) medical care and treatment that would be difficult or costly to access, and (4) life disruptions along with potential requirements for changes in behaviour (i.e., engage in or abstain from alcohol use and sex activities).
Conclusions
Consistent with UNAIDS guidelines for good participatory practice in HIV prevention research, study participants placed a high premium on researchers’ politeness, trust, respect, communication, tolerance and empathy towards their community. Plantation community members viewed provision of comprehensive health services as an important community benefit likely to enhance HIV research participation.
doi:10.1186/1472-698X-12-8
PMCID: PMC3460749  PMID: 22726937
22.  Community-Based Care for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes 
Executive Summary
In June 2008, the Medical Advisory Secretariat began work on the Diabetes Strategy Evidence Project, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding strategies for successful management and treatment of diabetes. This project came about when the Health System Strategy Division at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care subsequently asked the secretariat to provide an evidentiary platform for the Ministry’s newly released Diabetes Strategy.
After an initial review of the strategy and consultation with experts, the secretariat identified five key areas in which evidence was needed. Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these five areas: insulin pumps, behavioural interventions, bariatric surgery, home telemonitoring, and community based care. For each area, an economic analysis was completed where appropriate and is described in a separate report.
To review these titles within the Diabetes Strategy Evidence series, please visit the Medical Advisory Secretariat Web site, http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/mas_about.html,
Diabetes Strategy Evidence Platform: Summary of Evidence-Based Analyses
Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion Pumps for Type 1 and Type 2 Adult Diabetics: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Behavioural Interventions for Type 2 Diabetes: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Bariatric Surgery for People with Diabetes and Morbid Obesity: An Evidence-Based Summary
Community-Based Care for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Home Telemonitoring for Type 2 Diabetes: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Application of the Ontario Diabetes Economic Model (ODEM) to Determine the Cost-effectiveness and Budget Impact of Selected Type 2 Diabetes Interventions in Ontario
Objective
The objective of this report is to determine the efficacy of specialized multidisciplinary community care for the management of type 2 diabetes compared to usual care.
Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition
Diabetes (i.e. diabetes mellitus) is a highly prevalent chronic metabolic disorder that interferes with the body’s ability to produce or effectively use insulin. The majority (90%) of diabetes patients have type 2 diabetes. (1) Based on the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS), intensive blood glucose and blood pressure control significantly reduce the risk of microvascular and macrovascular complications in type 2 diabetics. While many studies have documented that patients often do not meet the glycemic control targets specified by national and international guidelines, factors associated with glycemic control are less well studied, one of which is the provider(s) of care.
Multidisciplinary approaches to care may be particularly important for diabetes management. According guidelines from the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA), the diabetes health care team should be multi-and interdisciplinary. Presently in Ontario, the core diabetes health care team consists of at least a family physician and/or diabetes specialist, and diabetes educators (registered nurse and registered dietician).
Increasing the role played by allied health care professionals in diabetes care and their collaboration with physicians may represent a more cost-effective option for diabetes management. Several systematic reviews and meta-analyses have examined multidisciplinary care programs, but these have either been limited to a specific component of multidisciplinary care (e.g. intensified education programs), or were conducted as part of a broader disease management program, of which not all were multidisciplinary in nature. Most reviews also do not clearly define the intervention(s) of interest, making the evaluation of such multidisciplinary community programs challenging.
Evidence-Based Analysis Methods
Research Questions
What is the evidence of efficacy of specialized multidisciplinary community care provided by at least a registered nurse, registered dietician and physician (primary care and/or specialist) for the management of type 2 diabetes compared to usual care? [Henceforth referred to as Model 1]
What is the evidence of efficacy of specialized multidisciplinary community care provided by at least a pharmacist and a primary care physician for the management of type 2 diabetes compared to usual care? [Henceforth referred to as Model 2]
Inclusion Criteria
English language full-reports
Published between January 1, 2000 and September 28, 2008
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), systematic reviews and meta-analyses
Type 2 diabetic adult population (≥18 years of age)
Total sample size ≥30
Describe specialized multidisciplinary community care defined as ambulatory-based care provided by at least two health care disciplines (of which at least one must be a specialist in diabetes) with integrated communication between the care providers.
Compared to usual care (defined as health care provision by non-specialist(s) in diabetes, such as primary care providers; may include referral to other health care professionals/services as necessary)
≥6 months follow-up
Exclusion Criteria
Studies where discrete results on diabetes cannot be abstracted
Predominantly home-based interventions
Inpatient-based interventions
Outcomes of Interest
The primary outcomes for this review were glycosylated hemoglobin (rHbA1c) levels and systolic blood pressure (SBP).
Search Strategy
A literature search was performed on September 28, 2008 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published between January 1, 2000 and September 28, 2008. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. Articles with unknown eligibility were reviewed with a second clinical epidemiologist, then a group of epidemiologists until consensus was established. The quality of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low or very low according to GRADE methodology.
Given the high clinical heterogeneity of the articles that met the inclusion criteria, specific models of specialized multidisciplinary community care were examined based on models of care that are currently being supported in Ontario, models of care that were commonly reported in the literature, as well as suggestions from an Expert Advisory Panel Meeting held on January 21, 2009.
Summary of Findings
The initial search yielded 2,116 unique citations, from which 22 RCTs trials and nine systematic reviews published were identified as meeting the eligibility criteria. Of these, five studies focused on care provided by at least a nurse, dietician, and physician (primary care and/or specialist) model of care (Model 1; see Table ES 1), while three studies focused on care provided by at least a pharmacist and primary care physician (Model 2; see Table ES 2).
Based on moderate quality evidence, specialized multidisciplinary community care Model 2 has demonstrated a statistically and clinically significant reduction in HbA1c of 1.0% compared with usual care. The effects of this model on SBP, however, are uncertain compared with usual care, based on very-low quality evidence. Specialized multidisciplinary community care Model 2 has demonstrated a statistically and clinically significant reduction in both HbA1c of 1.05% (based on high quality evidence) and SBP of 7.13 mm Hg (based on moderate quality evidence) compared to usual care. For both models, the evidence does not suggest a preferred setting of care delivery (i.e., primary care vs. hospital outpatient clinic vs. community clinic).
Summary of Results of Meta-Analyses of the Effects of Multidisciplinary Care Model 1
Mean change from baseline to follow-up between intervention and control groups
Summary of Results of Meta-Analyses of the Effects of Multidisciplinary Care Model 2
Mean change from baseline to follow-up between intervention and control groups
PMCID: PMC3377524  PMID: 23074528
23.  Nurse-Physician Communication in the Long-Term Care Setting: Perceived Barriers and Impact on Patient Safety 
Journal of patient safety  2009;5(3):145-152.
Purpose
Clear and complete communication between health care providers is a prerequisite for safe patient management and is a major priority of the Joint Commission's 2008 National Patient Safety Goals. The goal of this study was to describe nurses' perceptions of nurse-physician communication in the long-term care (LTC) setting.
Methods
Mixed-method study including a self-administered questionnaire and qualitative semi-structured telephone interviews of licensed nurses from 26 LTC facilities in Connecticut. The questionnaire measured perceived openness to communication, mutual understanding, language comprehension, frustration, professional respect, nurse preparedness, time burden and logistical barriers. Qualitative interviews focused on identifying barriers to effective nurse-physician communication that may not have previously been considered and eliciting nurses' recommendations for overcoming those barriers.
Results
Three-hundred seventy-five (375) nurses completed the questionnaire and 21 nurses completed qualitative interviews. Nurses identified several barriers to effective nurse-physician communication: lack of physician openness to communication, logistic challenges, lack of professionalism, and language barriers. Feeling hurried by the physician was the most frequent barrier (28%), followed by finding a quiet place to call (25%) and difficulty reaching the physician (21%). In qualitative interviews, there was consensus that nurses needed to be brief and prepared with relevant clinical information when communicating with physicians and that physicians needed to be more open to listening.
Conclusions
A combination of nurse and physician behaviors contributes to ineffective communication in the LTC setting. These findings have important implications for patient safety and support the development of structured communication interventions to improve quality of nurse-physician communication.
doi:10.1097/PTS.0b013e3181b53f9b
PMCID: PMC2757754  PMID: 19927047
Communication; physician-nurse relationships; patient safety; nursing home; telephone
24.  Transmural care in the rehabilitation sector: implementation experiences with a transmural care model for people with spinal cord injury 
Abstract
Purposes
The purpose of this article is first to describe the development and content of a transmural care model in the rehabilitation sector, which aims to reduce the number and severity of health problems of people with spinal cord injury (SCI) and improve the continuity of care. Second, the purpose is to describe the applicability and implementation experiences of a transmural care model in the rehabilitation sector.
Methods
The transmural care model was developed in cooperation with the Dutch Association of Spinal Cord Injured Patients, community nurses, general practitioners, rehabilitation nurses, rehabilitation managers, physiatrists and researchers. The core component of the care model consists of a transmural nurse, who ‘liaises’ between people with SCI living in the community, professional primary care professionals and the rehabilitation centre. The transmural care model provides a job description containing activities to support people with SCI and their family/partners and activities to promote continuity of care.
The transmural care model was implemented in two Dutch rehabilitation centres. The following three aspects, as experienced by the transmural nurses, were evaluated: the extent to which the care model was implemented; enabling factors and barriers for implementation; strength and weakness of the care model.
Results
The transmural care model was not implemented in all its details, with a clear difference between the two rehabilitation centres. Enabling factors and barriers for implementation were found at three levels: 1. the level of the individual professional (e.g. competencies, attitude and motivation), 2. the organisational and financing level (e.g. availability of facilities and finances), and 3. the social context (the opinion of colleagues, managers and other professionals involved with the care). The most important weakness experienced was that there was not enough time to put all the activities into practice. The strength of the care model lies in the combination of support of patients after discharge, support of and cooperation with primary care professionals, and feedback of experiences to the clinical rehabilitation teams.
Conclusion
We recommend further improving and implementing the care model and encourage other care professionals and researchers to share their implementation experiences of follow-up care innovations for people with SCI.
PMCID: PMC1395505  PMID: 16773154
transmural care; follow-up care; process evaluation; spinal cord injury
25.  The history of written word in Croatian nursing 
Croatian Medical Journal  2012;53(6):631-634.
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.
doi:10.3325/cmj.2012.53.631
PMCID: PMC3541590  PMID: 23275330

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