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1.  Critical thinking dispositions among newly graduated nurses 
Journal of Advanced Nursing  2010;66(10):2170-2181.
wangensteen s., johansson i.s., björkström m.e. & nordström g. (2010) Critical thinking dispositions among newly graduated nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing66(10), 2170–2181.
Aim
The aim of the study was to describe critical thinking dispositions among newly graduated nurses in Norway, and to study whether background data had any impact on critical thinking dispositions.
Background
Competence in critical thinking is one of the expectations of nursing education. Critical thinkers are described as well-informed, inquisitive, open-minded and orderly in complex matters. Critical thinking competence has thus been designated as an outcome for judging the quality of nursing education programmes and for the development of clinical judgement. The ability to think critically is also described as reducing the research–practice gap and fostering evidence-based nursing.
Methods
A cross-sectional descriptive study was performed. The data were collected between October 2006 and April 2007 using the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory. The response rate was 33% (n= 618). Pearson’s chi-square tests were used to analyse the data.
Results
Nearly 80% of the respondents reported a positive disposition towards critical thinking. The highest mean score was on the Inquisitiveness subscale and the lowest on the Truth-seeking subscale. A statistically significant higher proportion of nurses with high critical thinking scores were found among those older than 30 years, those with university education prior to nursing education, and those working in community health care.
Conclusion
Nurse leaders and nurse teachers should encourage and nurture critical thinking among newly graduated nurses and nursing students. The low Truth-seeking scores found may be a result of traditional teaching strategies in nursing education and might indicate a need for more student-active learning models.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05282.x
PMCID: PMC2984541  PMID: 20384637
California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory; critical thinking; newly graduated nurses; Norway; nurse education
2.  Temporal and Geographic variation in the validity and internal consistency of the Nursing Home Resident Assessment Minimum Data Set 2.0 
Background
The Minimum Data Set (MDS) for nursing home resident assessment has been required in all U.S. nursing homes since 1990 and has been universally computerized since 1998. Initially intended to structure clinical care planning, uses of the MDS expanded to include policy applications such as case-mix reimbursement, quality monitoring and research. The purpose of this paper is to summarize a series of analyses examining the internal consistency and predictive validity of the MDS data as used in the "real world" in all U.S. nursing homes between 1999 and 2007.
Methods
We used person level linked MDS and Medicare denominator and all institutional claim files including inpatient (hospital and skilled nursing facilities) for all Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries entering U.S. nursing homes during the period 1999 to 2007. We calculated the sensitivity and positive predictive value (PPV) of diagnoses taken from Medicare hospital claims and from the MDS among all new admissions from hospitals to nursing homes and the internal consistency (alpha reliability) of pairs of items within the MDS that logically should be related. We also tested the internal consistency of commonly used MDS based multi-item scales and examined the predictive validity of an MDS based severity measure viz. one year survival. Finally, we examined the correspondence of the MDS discharge record to hospitalizations and deaths seen in Medicare claims, and the completeness of MDS assessments upon skilled nursing facility (SNF) admission.
Results
Each year there were some 800,000 new admissions directly from hospital to US nursing homes and some 900,000 uninterrupted SNF stays. Comparing Medicare enrollment records and claims with MDS records revealed reasonably good correspondence that improved over time (by 2006 only 3% of deaths had no MDS discharge record, only 5% of SNF stays had no MDS, but over 20% of MDS discharges indicating hospitalization had no associated Medicare claim). The PPV and sensitivity levels of Medicare hospital diagnoses and MDS based diagnoses were between .6 and .7 for major diagnoses like CHF, hypertension, diabetes. Internal consistency, as measured by PPV, of the MDS ADL items with other MDS items measuring impairments and symptoms exceeded .9. The Activities of Daily Living (ADL) long form summary scale achieved an alpha inter-consistency level exceeding .85 and multi-item scale alpha levels of .65 were achieved for well being and mood, and .55 for behavior, levels that were sustained even after stratification by ADL and cognition. The Changes in Health, End-stage disease and Symptoms and Signs (CHESS) index, a summary measure of frailty was highly predictive of one year survival.
Conclusion
The MDS demonstrates a reasonable level of consistency both in terms of how well MDS diagnoses correspond to hospital discharge diagnoses and in terms of the internal consistency of functioning and behavioral items. The level of alpha reliability and validity demonstrated by the scales suggest that the data can be useful for research and policy analysis. However, while improving, the MDS discharge tracking record should still not be used to indicate Medicare hospitalizations or mortality. It will be important to monitor the performance of the MDS 3.0 with respect to consistency, reliability and validity now that it has replaced version 2.0, using these results as a baseline that should be exceeded.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-78
PMCID: PMC3097253  PMID: 21496257
3.  Interactions between Non-Physician Clinicians and Industry: A Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(11):e1001561.
In a systematic review of studies of interactions between non-physician clinicians and industry, Quinn Grundy and colleagues found that many of the issues identified for physicians' industry interactions exist for non-physician clinicians.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
With increasing restrictions placed on physician–industry interactions, industry marketing may target other health professionals. Recent health policy developments confer even greater importance on the decision making of non-physician clinicians. The purpose of this systematic review is to examine the types and implications of non-physician clinician–industry interactions in clinical practice.
Methods and Findings
We searched MEDLINE and Web of Science from January 1, 1946, through June 24, 2013, according to PRISMA guidelines. Non-physician clinicians eligible for inclusion were: Registered Nurses, nurse prescribers, Physician Assistants, pharmacists, dieticians, and physical or occupational therapists; trainee samples were excluded. Fifteen studies met inclusion criteria. Data were synthesized qualitatively into eight outcome domains: nature and frequency of industry interactions; attitudes toward industry; perceived ethical acceptability of interactions; perceived marketing influence; perceived reliability of industry information; preparation for industry interactions; reactions to industry relations policy; and management of industry interactions. Non-physician clinicians reported interacting with the pharmaceutical and infant formula industries. Clinicians across disciplines met with pharmaceutical representatives regularly and relied on them for practice information. Clinicians frequently received industry “information,” attended sponsored “education,” and acted as distributors for similar materials targeted at patients. Clinicians generally regarded this as an ethical use of industry resources, and felt they could detect “promotion” while benefiting from industry “information.” Free samples were among the most approved and common ways that clinicians interacted with industry. Included studies were observational and of varying methodological rigor; thus, these findings may not be generalizable. This review is, however, the first to our knowledge to provide a descriptive analysis of this literature.
Conclusions
Non-physician clinicians' generally positive attitudes toward industry interactions, despite their recognition of issues related to bias, suggest that industry interactions are normalized in clinical practice across non-physician disciplines. Industry relations policy should address all disciplines and be implemented consistently in order to mitigate conflicts of interest and address such interactions' potential to affect patient care.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Making and selling health care goods (including drugs and devices) and services is big business. To maximize the profits they make for their shareholders, companies involved in health care build relationships with physicians by providing information on new drugs, organizing educational meetings, providing samples of their products, giving gifts, and holding sponsored events. These relationships help to keep physicians informed about new developments in health care but also create the potential for causing harm to patients and health care systems. These relationships may, for example, result in increased prescription rates of new, heavily marketed medications, which are often more expensive than their generic counterparts (similar unbranded drugs) and that are more likely to be recalled for safety reasons than long-established drugs. They may also affect the provision of health care services. Industry is providing an increasingly large proportion of routine health care services in many countries, so relationships built up with physicians have the potential to influence the commissioning of the services that are central to the treatment and well-being of patients.
Why Was This Study Done?
As a result of concerns about the tension between industry's need to make profits and the ethics underlying professional practice, restrictions are increasingly being placed on physician–industry interactions. In the US, for example, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act now requires US manufacturers of drugs, devices, and medical supplies that participate in federal health care programs to disclose all payments and gifts made to physicians and teaching hospitals. However, other health professionals, including those with authority to prescribe drugs such as pharmacists, Physician Assistants, and nurse practitioners are not covered by this legislation or by similar legislation in other settings, even though the restructuring of health care to prioritize primary care and multidisciplinary care models means that “non-physician clinicians” are becoming more numerous and more involved in decision-making and medication management. In this systematic review (a study that uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic), the researchers examine the nature and implications of the interactions between non-physician clinicians and industry.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 15 published studies that examined interactions between non-physician clinicians (Registered Nurses, nurse prescribers, midwives, pharmacists, Physician Assistants, and dieticians) and industry (corporations that produce health care goods and services). They extracted the data from 16 publications (representing 15 different studies) and synthesized them qualitatively (combined the data and reached word-based, rather than numerical, conclusions) into eight outcome domains, including the nature and frequency of interactions, non-physician clinicians' attitudes toward industry, and the perceived ethical acceptability of interactions. In the research the authors identified, non-physician clinicians reported frequent interactions with the pharmaceutical and infant formula industries. Most non-physician clinicians met industry representatives regularly, received gifts and samples, and attended educational events or received educational materials (some of which they distributed to patients). In these studies, non-physician clinicians generally regarded these interactions positively and felt they were an ethical and appropriate use of industry resources. Only a minority of non-physician clinicians felt that marketing influenced their own practice, although a larger percentage felt that their colleagues would be influenced. A sizeable proportion of non-physician clinicians questioned the reliability of industry information, but most were confident that they could detect biased information and therefore rated this information as reliable, valuable, or useful.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These and other findings suggest that non-physician clinicians generally have positive attitudes toward industry interactions but recognize issues related to bias and conflict of interest. Because these findings are based on a small number of studies, most of which were undertaken in the US, they may not be generalizable to other countries. Moreover, they provide no quantitative assessment of the interaction between non-physician clinicians and industry and no information about whether industry interactions affect patient care outcomes. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that industry interactions are normalized (seen as standard) in clinical practice across non-physician disciplines. This normalization creates the potential for serious risks to patients and health care systems. The researchers suggest that it may be unrealistic to expect that non-physician clinicians can be taught individually how to interact with industry ethically or how to detect and avert bias, particularly given the ubiquitous nature of marketing and promotional materials. Instead, they suggest, the environment in which non-physician clinicians practice should be structured to mitigate the potentially harmful effects of interactions with industry.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001561.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by James S. Yeh and Aaron S. Kesselheim
The American Medical Association provides guidance for physicians on interactions with pharmaceutical industry representatives, information about the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, and a toolkit for preparing Physician Payments Sunshine Act reports
The International Council of Nurses provides some guidance on industry interactions in its position statement on nurse-industry relations
The UK General Medical Council provides guidance on financial and commercial arrangements and conflicts of interest as part of its good medical practice website, which describes what is required of all registered doctors in the UK
Understanding and Responding to Pharmaceutical Promotion: A Practical Guide is a manual prepared by Health Action International and the World Health Organization that schools of medicine and pharmacy can use to train students how to recognize and respond to pharmaceutical promotion.
The Institute of Medicine's Report on Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice recommends steps to identify, limit, and manage conflicts of interest
The University of California, San Francisco, Office of Continuing Medical Education offers a course called Marketing of Medicines
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001561
PMCID: PMC3841103  PMID: 24302892
4.  Critical Thinking: The Development of an Essential Skill for Nursing Students 
Acta Informatica Medica  2014;22(4):283-286.
Critical thinking is defined as the mental process of actively and skillfully perception, analysis, synthesis and evaluation of collected information through observation, experience and communication that leads to a decision for action. In nursing education there is frequent reference to critical thinking and to the significance that it has in daily clinical nursing practice. Nursing clinical instructors know that students face difficulties in making decisions related to clinical practice. The main critical thinking skills in which nursing students should be exercised during their studies are critical analysis, introductory and concluding justification, valid conclusion, distinguish of facts and opinions, evaluation the credibility of information sources, clarification of concepts and recognition of conditions. Specific behaviors are essentials for enhancing critical thinking. Nursing students in order to learn and apply critical thinking should develop independence of thought, fairness, perspicacity in personal and social level, humility, spiritual courage, integrity, perseverance, self-confidence, interest for research and curiosity. Critical thinking is an essential process for the safe, efficient and skillful nursing practice. The nursing education programs should adopt attitudes that promote critical thinking and mobilize the skills of critical reasoning.
doi:10.5455/aim.2014.22.283-286
PMCID: PMC4216424  PMID: 25395733
critical thinking; nursing education; clinical nurse education; clinical nursing practice
5.  Assessing critical thinking in medical sciences students in two sequential semesters: Does it improve? 
Objectives:
Critical thinking is an important outcome criterion of higher education in any discipline. Medical and paramedical students always encounter with many new problems in clinical settings and medicinal laboratory, and critical thinking is an essential skill in obtaining a better approach for problem solving. We performed a pre-and post-test to evaluate the change of critical thinking skills in medical sciences students who enrolled in Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Iran during the academic years 2008-2010.
Methods:
In a longitudinal design study, the critical thinking skills were compared in medical sciences students in two sequential semesters using the California Critical Thinking Skills Test. The test is divided into two parts (parts 1 and 2), including 17 items in each part. Based on proportional stratified sampling, a groups of students (group 1, n=159) were selected from the university population, who enrolled in medicine, pharmacy, nursing, and rehabilitation colleges. The students in group 1 were asked to complete the part 1 of the test (phase I). After one semester, another group (group 2, n=138) from the same population was randomly selected, and they were asked to complete the part two (phase II). The students’ demographic data also were recorded. The California critical thinking skills test was translated and it validity and reliability were approved before.
Results:
No significant difference was observed between the two groups in the demographic data. The students critical thinking scores in phase II significantly reduced in comparison with phase 1 (p<0.05). The phase II scores in subdivisions of analysis, inference, inductive reasoning, and deductive reasoning also failed to demonstrate improvement.
Conclusion:
It seems curriculum reform is necessary to improve the students’ critical thinking.
doi:10.4103/2277-9531.106644
PMCID: PMC3778642  PMID: 24083255
Critical thinking; curriculum; higher education; medical sciences
6.  Using psychological theory to inform methods to optimize the implementation of a hand hygiene intervention 
Background
Careful hand hygiene (HH) is the single most important factor in preventing the transmission of infections to patients, but compliance is difficult to achieve and maintain. A lack of understanding of the processes involved in changing staff behaviour may contribute to the failure to achieve success. The purpose of this study was to identify nurses’ and administrators’ perceived barriers and facilitators to current HH practices and the implementation of a new electronic monitoring technology for HH.
Methods
Ten key informant interviews (three administrators and seven nurses) were conducted to explore barriers and facilitators related to HH and the impact of the new technology on outcomes. The semi structured interviews were based on the Theoretical Domains Framework by Michie et al. and conducted prior to intervention implementation. Data were explored using an inductive qualitative analysis approach. Data between administrators and nurses were compared.
Results
In 9 of the 12 domains, nurses and administrators differed in their responses. Administrators believed that nurses have insufficient knowledge and skills to perform HH, whereas the nurses were confident they had the required knowledge and skills. Nurses focused on immediate consequences, whereas administrators highlighted long-term outcomes of the system. Nurses concentrated foremost on their personal safety and their families’ safety as a source of motivation to perform HH, whereas administrators identified professional commitment, incentives, and goal setting. Administrators stated that the staff do not have the decision processes in place to judge whether HH is necessary or not. They also highlighted the positive aspects of teams as a social influence, whereas nurses were not interested in group conformity or being compared to others. Nurses described the importance of individual feedback and self-monitoring in order to increase their performance, whereas administrators reported different views.
Conclusions
This study highlights the benefits of using a structured approach based on psychological theory to inform an implementation plan for a behavior change intervention. This work is an essential step towards systematically identifying factors affecting nurses’ behaviour associated with HH.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-77
PMCID: PMC3503739  PMID: 22929925
Hand hygiene; Knowledge translation; Compliance; Behaviour change; Electronic monitoring
7.  Practice nurses' workload and consultation patterns. 
BACKGROUND. There are calls for the role of the practice nurse to be developed and extended. Before areas for further training and education can be identified, baseline data are needed on practice nurses' current activity and workload. AIM. A study was undertaken to analyse the activity of practice nurses in two large inner city general practices and to assess the skills mix of the nursing staff required to meet the needs of the practices. METHOD. The study practices had a combined list of 26,000 patients, 80% of patients attracting a deprivation allowance. Each practice employed three practice nurses. A nurse activity index with 45 codes was constructed to describe patient-nurse consultations. Activity codes were categorized into traditional treatment tasks, extended role tasks or diagnosis and management tasks. For eight months, practice nurses in practices Y and Z recorded activity index codes for each patient consultation. Practice Y also recorded the source of referral and the age and sex of the patient. RESULTS. There were 13,898 practice nurse consultations during the study period, equivalent to an annual nurse consultation rate of 0.8 per patient. Compared with the practice population as a whole, the patients attending the practice nurses in practice Y were older (mean age 43 years versus 37 years, P < 0.001). Those attending the practice nurses in practice Y were also more likely to be female (61% of consultations were with female patients compared with 50% of the practice population as a whole, P < 0.001). In practice Y, patients referred themselves to the practice nurse in 42% of consultations, 32% were follow-up consultations and in 25% of cases the patient had been referred by a doctor. The most common reasons for nurse consultation were blood tests (15% of procedures in practice Y and 18% in practice Z) and dressings (13% in both practices). Most procedures in practices Y and Z were in the traditional treatment category (61%), 26% were in the extended role category and 9% in the diagnosis and management category (3% coded 'other', 1% uncoded). Between practices, the greatest difference in recorded procedures was for asthma check ups (7% of procedures in practice Y compared with 2% in practice Z). CONCLUSION. This study describes the workload of practice nurses in two inner city practices over eight months. Other practices could use the activity index to make comparisons over time and between practices. Up to 60% of nurses' work in the study practices could be done by a nurse without extended training and up to 30% could be done by a health care assistant, but with some loss of quality. It is suggested that half the nursing hours available to a practice should be offered by a nurse with extended training in order to undertake and develop extended role tasks and diagnosis and management tasks.
PMCID: PMC1239335  PMID: 7576846
8.  Minimal improvement of nurses’ motivational interviewing skills in routine diabetes care one year after training: a cluster randomized trial 
BMC Family Practice  2013;14:44.
Background
The effectiveness of nurse-led motivational interviewing (MI) in routine diabetes care in general practice is inconclusive. Knowledge about the extent to which nurses apply MI skills and the factors that affect the usage can help to understand the black box of this intervention. The current study compared MI skills of trained versus non-trained general practice nurses in diabetes consultations. The nurses participated in a cluster randomized trial in which a comprehensive program (including MI training) was tested on improving clinical parameters, lifestyle, patients’ readiness to change lifestyle, and quality of life.
Methods
Fifty-eight general practices were randomly assigned to usual care (35 nurses) or the intervention (30 nurses). The ratings of applying 24 MI skills (primary outcome) were based on five consultation recordings per nurse at baseline and 14 months later. Two judges evaluated independently the MI skills and the consultation characteristics time, amount of nurse communication, amount of lifestyle discussion and patients’ readiness to change. The effect of the training on the MI skills was analysed with a multilevel linear regression by comparing baseline and the one-year follow-up between the interventions with usual care group. The overall effect of the consultation characteristics on the MI skills was studied in a multilevel regression analyses.
Results
At one year follow up, it was demonstrated that the nurses improved on 2 of the 24 MI skills, namely, “inviting the patient to talk about behaviour change” (mean difference=0.39, p=0.009), and “assessing patient’s confidence in changing their lifestyle” (mean difference=0.28, p=0.037). Consultation time and the amount of lifestyle discussion as well as the patients’ readiness to change health behaviour was associated positively with applying MI skills.
Conclusions
The maintenance of the MI skills one year after the training program was minimal. The question is whether the success of MI to change unhealthy behaviour must be doubted, whether the technique is less suitable for patients with a complex chronic disease, such as diabetes mellitus, or that nurses have problems with the acquisition and maintenance of MI skills in daily practice. Overall, performing MI skills during consultation increases, if there is more time, more lifestyle discussion, and the patients show more readiness to change.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN68707773
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-14-44
PMCID: PMC3637576  PMID: 23537327
Type 2 diabetes; Primary care nurses; Motivational interviewing; Lifestyle; General practice
9.  Patterns of research utilization on patient care units 
Background
Organizational context plays a central role in shaping the use of research by healthcare professionals. The largest group of professionals employed in healthcare organizations is nurses, putting them in a position to influence patient and system outcomes significantly. However, investigators have often limited their study on the determinants of research use to individual factors over organizational or contextual factors.
Methods
The purpose of this study was to examine the determinants of research use among nurses working in acute care hospitals, with an emphasis on identifying contextual determinants of research use. A comparative ethnographic case study design was used to examine seven patient care units (two adult and five pediatric units) in four hospitals in two Canadian provinces (Ontario and Alberta). Data were collected over a six-month period by means of quantitative and qualitative approaches using an array of instruments and extensive fieldwork. The patient care unit was the unit of analysis. Drawing on the quantitative data and using correspondence analysis, relationships between various factors were mapped using the coefficient of variation.
Results
Units with the highest mean research utilization scores clustered together on factors such as nurse critical thinking dispositions, unit culture (as measured by work creativity, work efficiency, questioning behavior, co-worker support, and the importance nurses place on access to continuing education), environmental complexity (as measured by changing patient acuity and re-sequencing of work), and nurses' attitudes towards research. Units with moderate research utilization clustered on organizational support, belief suspension, and intent to use research. Higher nursing workloads and lack of people support clustered more closely to units with the lowest research utilization scores.
Conclusion
Modifiable characteristics of organizational context at the patient care unit level influences research utilization by nurses. These findings have implications for patient care unit structures and offer beginning direction for the development of interventions to enhance research use by nurses.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-3-31
PMCID: PMC2490687  PMID: 18518966
10.  Application of Nursing Process and Its Affecting Factors among Nurses Working in Mekelle Zone Hospitals, Northern Ethiopia 
Nursing Research and Practice  2014;2014:675212.
Background. Nursing process is considered as appropriate method to explain the nursing essence, its scientific bases, technologies and humanist assumptions that encourage critical thinking and creativity, and permits solving problems in professional practice. Objective. To assess the application of nursing process and it's affecting factors in Mekelle Zone Hospitals. Methods. A cross sectional design employing quantitative and qualitative methods was conducted in Mekelle zone hospitals March 2011. Qualitative data was collected from14 head nurses of six hospitals and quantitative was collected from 200 nurses selected by simple random sampling technique from the six hospitals proportional to their size. SPSS version 16.1 and thematic analysis was used for quantitative and qualitative data respectively. Results. Majority 180 (90%) of the respondents have poor knowledge and 99.5% of the respondents have a positive attitude towards the nursing process. All of the respondents said that they did not use the nursing process during provision of care to their patients at the time of the study. Majority (75%) of the respondent said that the nurse to patient ratio was not optimal to apply the nursing process. Conclusion and Recommendation. The nursing process is not yet applied in all of the six hospitals. The finding revealed that the knowledge of nurses on the nursing process is not adequate to put it in to practice and high patient nurse ratio affects its application. The studied hospitals should consider the application of the nursing process critically by motivating nurses and monitor and evaluate its progress.
doi:10.1155/2014/675212
PMCID: PMC3933400  PMID: 24649360
11.  Barriers and Benefits Associated with Nurses Information Seeking Related to Patient Education Needs on Clinical Nursing Units 
The Open Nursing Journal  2011;5:24-30.
The purpose of this study was to answer the following two questions: What are clinical nurses’ rationales for their approaches to finding patient educational materials on the web? What are perceived barriers and benefits associated with the use of web-based information resources for patient education in the context of nursing clinical practice?
Over 179 individual data units were analyzed to understand clinical nurses’ rationales for their approaches to find patient educational materials on the web. Rationales were defined as those underlying catalysts or activators leading to an information need. Analyses found that the primary reasons why clinical nurses conducted web-based information searches included direct patient requests ( 9 requests), colleague requests (6 requests), building patient materials collections (4), patients’ family requests (3), routine teaching (1), personal development (1), or staff development (1). From these data, four broad themes emerged: professional reasons, personal reasons, technology reasons, and organization reasons for selecting information resources. Content analysis identified 306 individual data units representing either ‘benefits’ (178 units) or ‘barriers’ (128) to the nurses’ use of web resources for on-unit patient care. Inter-rater reliability was assessed and found to be excellent (r = 0.943 to 0.961). The primary themes that emerged as barriers to the used of web-based resources included: 1) time requirements to perform a search, 2) nurses’ experience and knowledge about the resources or required technology, 3) specific characteristics of individuals electronic information resources, and 4) organizational procedures and policies. Three primary themes that represented the benefits of using web-based resources were also identified: 1) past experiences and knowledge of a specific resource or the required technologies, 2) availability and accessibility on the unit, and 3) specific characteristics of individual information tool. In many cases, nurses commented on specific characteristics or features of favorite information resources. Favorite sites included a variety or reputable health care organizations that displayed context in text, audio, and/or video. In addition such sites were described as easy-to read and provided content related to patient-focused information or specific content such as toll free telephone contact numbers.
Information searching is the interaction between and among information users and computer-based information systems. Information seeking is becoming an important part of the knowledge work of nurses. Information seeking and searching intersects with the field of human computer interaction (HCI), which focuses on all aspects of human, and computer interactions. Users of an information system are understood as “actors” in situations, with a set of skills and shared practices based on work experiences with others. Designing better tools and developing information searching strategies that support, extend, and transform practices, begins by asking: Who are the users? What are the tasks? What is the interplay between the technology and the organization of the task? This study contributes fundamental data and information about the rationales nurses use in information seeking tasks. In addition it provides empirical evidences regarding barriers and benefits of information seeking in the context of patient education needs in inpatient clinical settings.
doi:10.2174/1874434601105010024
PMCID: PMC3109700  PMID: 21660181
Health information systems; nurses’ information seeking; searching web-based knowledge resources; patient education.
12.  Nurses' participation in audit: a regional study 
Quality in Health Care : QHC  1998;7(1):27-36.
OBJECTIVES: To find out to what extent nurses were perceived to be participating in audit, to identify factors thought to impede their involvement, and to assess progress towards multidisciplinary audit. RESEARCH DESIGN: Qualitative. METHODS: Focus groups and interviews. PARTICIPANTS: Chairs of audit groups and audit support staff in hospital, community and primary health care and audit leads in health authorities in the North West Region. RESULTS: In total 99 audit leads/support staff in the region participated representing 89% of the primary health care audit groups, 80% of acute hospitals, 73% of community health services, and 59% of purchasers. Many audit groups remain medically dominated despite recent changes to their structure and organisation. The quality of interprofessional relations, the leadership style of the audit chair, and nurses' level of seniority, audit knowledge, and experience influenced whether groups reflected a multidisciplinary, rather than a doctor centred approach. Nurses were perceived to be enthusiastic supporters of audit, although their active participation in the process was considered substantially less than for doctors in acute and community health services. Practice nurses were increasingly being seen as the local audit enthusiasts in primary health care. Reported obstacles to nurses' participation in audit included hierarchical nurse and doctor relationships, lack of commitment from senior doctors and managers, poor organisational links between departments of quality and audit, work load pressures and lack of protected time, availability of practical support, and lack of knowledge and skills. Progress towards multidisciplinary audit was highly variable. The undisciplinary approach to audit was still common, particularly in acute services. Multidisciplinary audit was more successfully established in areas already predisposed towards teamworking or where nurses had high involvement in decision making. Audit support staff were viewed as having a key role in helping teams to adopt a collaborative approach to audit. CONCLUSION: Although nurses were undertaking audit, and some were leading developments in their settings, a range of structural and organisational, interprofessional and intraprofessional factors was still impeding progress. If the ultimate goal of audit is to improve patient care, the obstacles that make it difficult for nurses to contribute actively to the process must be acknowledged and considered.
PMCID: PMC2483584  PMID: 10178147
13.  Critical-Thinking Predisposition Among Undergraduate Athletic Training Students 
Journal of Athletic Training  2002;37(4 suppl):S-147-S-151.
Objective: To investigate the tendency of undergraduate athletic training students to think critically, to assess their likelihood of using specific components of critical thinking, and to study the effect of selected demographic and educational variables on critical-thinking tendencies in this sample of students.
Design and Setting: Data were collected before regularly scheduled athletic training classes at the beginning of the spring semester.
Subjects: Ninety-one students enrolled in 3 Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs-accredited undergraduate athletic training education programs in the southeast. The subjects ranged in age from 19 to 29 years (mean age = 22.33 ± 1.94). Forty-six (50.5%) of the subjects were men and 45 (49.5%) were women.
Measurements: The California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory contains 75 Likert-type items assessing 7 components of critical thinking: truth seeking, open mindedness, analyticity, systematicity, inquisitiveness, cognitive maturity, and critical-thinking self-confidence.
Results: The overall mean indicated a general but mild trend toward critical thinking, with weak scores on the truth-seeking subscale. One-way analysis of variance reflected significant differences among the schools for truth seeking, open mindedness, and maturity subscales and for the overall mean score for the entire inventory. Only the open-mindedness difference persisted between 2 of the schools after post hoc testing. Correlation analyses indicated no significant relationship between total score and age, sex, ethnicity, year in athletic training program, cumulative grade point average, completed semester hours, or clinical-experience hours.
Conclusions: Athletic training students are inclined toward critical thinking, but this tendency is relatively weak. Classroom and clinical instructors should use teaching methods and techniques that facilitate the components of critical thinking. The promotion of critical thinking and critical-thinking skills has implications for athletic training education and the advancement of certified athletic trainers and the profession of athletic training.
PMCID: PMC164416  PMID: 12937536
California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory; metacognition; education
14.  Adopting evidence-based practice in clinical decision making: nurses' perceptions, knowledge, and barriers 
Objective:
Evidence-based practice (EBP) provides nurses with a method to use critically appraised and scientifically proven evidence for delivering quality health care to a specific population. The objective of this study was to explore nurses' awareness of, knowledge of, and attitude toward EBP and factors likely to encourage or create barriers to adoption. In addition, information sources used by nurses and their literature searching skills were also investigated.
Method:
A total of 2,100 copies of the questionnaire were distributed to registered nurses in 2 public hospitals in Singapore, and 1,486 completed forms were returned, resulting in a response rate of 70.8%.
Results:
More than 64% of the nurses expressed a positive attitude toward EBP. However, they pointed out that due to heavy workload, they cannot keep up to date with new evidence. Regarding self-efficacy of EBP-related abilities, the nurses perceived themselves to possess moderate levels of skills. The nurses also felt that EBP training, time availability, and mentoring by nurses with EBP experience would encourage them to implement EBP. The top three barriers to adopting EBP were lack of time, inability to understand statistical terms, and inadequate understanding of the jargon used in research articles. For literature searching, nurses were using basic search features and less than one-quarter of them were familiar with Boolean and proximity operators.
Conclusion:
Although nurses showed a positive attitude toward EBP, certain barriers were hindering their smooth adoption. It is, therefore, desirable that hospital management in Southeast Asia, particularly in Singapore, develop a comprehensive strategy for building EBP competencies through proper training. Moreover, hospital libraries should also play an active role in developing adequate information literacy skills among the nurses.
doi:10.3163/1536-5050.99.3.010
PMCID: PMC3133901  PMID: 21753915
15.  Feasibility and validity of telephone triage for adverse events during a voluntary medical male circumcision campaign in Swaziland 
BMC Public Health  2014;14(1):858.
Background
Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) reduces HIV acquisition among heterosexual men by approximately 60%. VMMC is a surgical procedure and some adverse events (AEs) are expected. Swaziland’s Ministry of Health established a toll-free hotline to provide general information about VMMC and to manage post-operative clinical AEs through telephone triage.
Methods
We retrospectively analyzed a dataset of telephone calls logged by the VMMC hotline during a VMMC campaign. The objectives were to determine reasons clients called the VMMC hotline and to ascertain the accuracy of telephone-based triage for VMMC AEs. We then analyzed VMMC service delivery data that included date of surgery, AE type and severity, as diagnosed by a VMMC clinician as part of routine post-operative follow-up. Both datasets were de-identified and did not contain any personal identifiers. Proportions of AEs were calculated from the call data and from VMMC service delivery data recorded by health facilities. Sensitivity analyses were performed to assess the accuracy of phone-based triage compared to clinically confirmed AEs.
Results
A total of 17,059 calls were registered by the triage nurses from April to December 2011. Calls requesting VMMC education and counseling totaled 12,492 (73.2%) and were most common. Triage nurses diagnosed 384 clients with 420 (2.5%) AEs. According to the predefined clinical algorithms, all moderate and severe AEs (153) diagnosed through telephone-triage were referred for clinical management at a health facility. Clinicians at the VMMC sites diagnosed 341 (4.1%) total clients as having a mild (46.0%), moderate (47.8%), or severe (6.2%) AE. Eighty-nine (26%) of the 341 clients who were diagnosed with AEs by clinicians at a VMMC site had initially called the VMMC hotline. The telephone-based triage system had a sensitivity of 69%, a positive predictive value of 83%, and a negative predictive value of 48% for screening moderate or severe AEs of all the AEs.
Conclusions
The use of a telephone-based triage system may be an appropriate first step to identify life-threatening and urgent complications following VMMC surgery.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-858
PMCID: PMC4150954  PMID: 25134856
16.  The role of critical thinking skills and learning styles of university students in their academic performance 
Introduction: The Current world needs people who have a lot of different abilities such as cognition and application of different ways of thinking, research, problem solving, critical thinking skills and creativity. In addition to critical thinking, learning styles is another key factor which has an essential role in the process of problem solving. This study aimed to determine the relationship between learning styles and critical thinking of students and their academic performance in Alborz University of Medical Science.
Methods: This cross-correlation study was performed in 2012, on 216 students of Alborz University who were selected randomly by the stratified random sampling. The data was obtained via a three-part questionnaire included demographic data, Kolb standardized questionnaire of learning style and California critical thinking standardized questionnaire. The academic performance of the students was extracted by the school records. The validity of the instruments was determined in terms of content validity, and the reliability was gained through internal consistency methods. Cronbach's alpha coefficient was found to be 0.78 for the California critical thinking questionnaire. The Chi Square test, Independent t-test, one way ANOVA and Pearson correlation test were used to determine relationship between variables. The Package SPSS14 statistical software was used to analyze data with a significant level of p<0.05.
Results: Our findings indicated the significant difference of mean score in four learning style, suggesting university students with convergent learning style have better performance than other groups. Also learning style had a relationship with age, gender, field of study, semester and job. The results about the critical thinking of the students showed that the mean of deductive reasoning and evaluation skills were higher than that of other skills and analytical skills had the lowest mean and there was a positive significant relationship between the students’ performance with inferential skill and the total score of critical thinking skills (p<0.05). Furthermore, evaluation skills and deductive reasoning had significant relationship. On the other hand, the mean total score of critical thinking had significant difference between different learning styles.
Conclusion: The results of this study showed that the learning styles, critical thinking and academic performance are significantly associated with one another. Considering the growing importance of critical thinking in enhancing the professional competence of individuals, it's recommended to use teaching methods consistent with the learning style because it would be more effective in this context.
PMCID: PMC4235550  PMID: 25512928
Learning; Performance; Student
17.  Impact of an educational program on nursing students’ caring and self-perception in intensive clinical training in Jordan 
Background
Framing and development of clinical skills in nursing students during their clinical practice is critical because this can shape their future caring skills. Professional caring empowers patients and contributes to their well-being and health. Education may enhance the capacity of nurses to be effective caring practitioners. Their study program encourages caring behavior in nursing students, consequently affecting their professional self-perception.
Methods
The present study investigated the effect of an educational program on caring behavior and professional self-perception in nursing students using a controlled pre/post test study design. The study sample consisted of 50 nursing students undertaking their final year in 2010–2011. Subjects were randomly assigned to either an experimental or a control group. The study was conducted in two critical care units affiliated to the Ma’an and Queen Rania hospitals in the south of Jordan. The instruments utilized were the Caring Dimensions Inventory, Nursing Students Attitude Observational Checklist, and Professional Self-Concept of Nurses Instrument.
Results
The study findings favor the effect of the educational program because there was increased knowledge and understanding of caring theory and related concepts, a more holistic approach to care, enhanced caring practices, and improved self-perception in the study group compared with the control group during different periods of assessment. The study group showed significantly better caring perception in psychological, technical, and professional terms than the control group during different periods of assessment. There was a significant positive trend of overall professional self-perception for the study group compared with the control group.
Conclusion
Nursing curricula should incorporate concepts and principles that guide students in developing caring, safe, competent, and professional behavior. Nursing students must seek educational opportunities to acquire knowledge for role preparation, to participate in knowledge generation, and for personal and professional development.
doi:10.2147/AMEP.S21201
PMCID: PMC3661257  PMID: 23745088
caring; nursing students; clinical training; educational program; self-perception; self-identity
18.  Effectiveness of “Palliative Care Information Booklet” in Enhancing Nurses’ Knowledge 
Indian Journal of Palliative Care  2010;16(3):164-167.
Context:
Patients diagnosed with a disease like cancer require not only physical control of disease but also they need psychological reassurance, social and spiritual support in coming to terms with their disease. Nurses working in the specialized cancer hospitals play a significant role in the care of terminally ill patients. They must be knowledgeable, skilled and sensitive to the needs of these patients and their families in order to provide active, holistic care.
Aims:
In this study, we attempted to assess the level of knowledge about palliative care among nurses working in the oncology department using a self administered structured questionnaire and also to assess the effectiveness of information booklet designed on various aspects of palliative care on their knowledge.
Settings and Design:
Indo American Cancer Hospital, Hyderabad, AP, India. The design adopted for this study was One Group pretest – posttest, pre - experimental design.
Materials and Methods:
Hundred nurses working in Indo American Cancer Hospital, Hyderabad, AP, India were selected by using the non probability purposive sampling technique. A structured self administered questionnaire was prepared and administered as a pretest. An information booklet was developed pertaining to the general concepts of palliative care, care components (physical, social, emotional and spiritual) and role of the nurse in palliative care and it was given to the participants. As a post test, the same questionnaire was re-administered after four days to the same study subjects. Pretest and post test knowledge scores were compared and the findings were analyzed statistically.
Statistical analysis used:
Microsoft Excel and Statistical Package for Social Science package.
Results:
The post test scores were significantly higher than the pretest knowledge scores, which indicate that the developed information booklet regarding palliative care was highly effective in enhancing the knowledge levels of the nurses.
Conclusions:
The information booklet was effective in enriching the knowledge of nurses on palliative care. Enhancing the nurse’s knowledge about palliative care will promote their understanding of the needs of the advanced stage patients and will enable them to provide quality care.
doi:10.4103/0973-1075.73647
PMCID: PMC3012240  PMID: 21218007
Information booklet regarding palliative care; Knowledge of nurses; Advanced disease
19.  The Heart Truth Professional Education Campaign on Women and Heart Disease: Needs Assessment and Evaluation Results 
Journal of Women's Health  2009;18(10):1541-1547.
Abstract
Background
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. Research has identified that women are less likely than men to receive medical interventions for the prevention and treatment of heart disease.
Methods and Results
As part of a campaign to educate healthcare professionals, 1245 healthcare professionals in 11 states attended a structured 1-hour continuing medical education (CME) program based on the 2004 AHA Evidence-Based Guidelines for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Women and completed a pretest and posttest evaluation. We identified significant knowledge deficits in the pretest: 45% of attendees would initially recommend lifestyle changes alone, rather than statin therapy, for women diagnosed with coronary artery disease (CAD); 38% identified statin therapy as less effective in women compared with men for preventing CAD events; 27% identified Asian American women at low risk (rather than high risk) for type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM); and 21% identified processed meat (rather than baked goods) as the principal dietary source of trans fatty acids. Overall, healthcare professionals answered 5.1 of 8 knowledge questions correctly in the pretest, improving to 6.8 questions in the posttest (p < 0.001). Family physicians, obstetrician/gynecologists, general internists, nurse practitioners/physician assistants, and registered nurses all statistically significantly improved knowledge and self-assessed skills and attitudes as measured by the posttest.
Conclusions
Significant knowledge deficits are apparent in a cross-section of healthcare providers attending a CME lecture on women and heart disease. A 1-hour presentation was successful in improving knowledge and self-assessed skills and attitudes among primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and registered nurses.
doi:10.1089/jwh.2008.1260
PMCID: PMC2864468  PMID: 19772369
20.  Nurse Leaders as Stewards: The Beginning of Change 
The Open Nursing Journal  2009;3:39-44.
In understanding fully persons’ moral predicaments, a core component of forming perceptual judgments, nurses may need to shift the epistemology of their practice from instrumental reasoning, or means-ends thinking, integrating a virtue-based practical reasoning. A bearing witness that achieves understanding of clients’ moral qualities is attained through the articulation of nurses’ self-identities within matrices, such as MacIntyre’s theory of virtue ethics and standards and codes of ethics. Moreover, nurse leaders who exercise stewardship could apply the concept of communities of inquiry to structure learning conditions by which nurses may engage in experiential learning. This leadership enhanced by the nurse steward’s phronetic knowledge, or practical wisdom, which guides understanding of how the clockwork of practical reasoning may evolve within such communities, is critical to nurses’ shift in reasoning. Nonetheless, nurse leaders need empirical evidence to comprehend how stewards’ accumulated moral insights may shape their character qualities, hence selection of values upon which to act in facilitating nurses’ self-expression.
doi:10.2174/1874434600903010039
PMCID: PMC2737121  PMID: 19738914
Bearing witness; moral agents; nurse stewards; practical reasoning; virtue-ethics.
21.  A comparative study on effect of e-learning and instructor-led methods on nurses’ documentation competency 
BACKGROUND:
Accurate recording of the nursing care indicates the care performance and its quality, so that, any failure in documentation can be a reason for inadequate patient care. Therefore, improving nurses’ skills in this field using effective educational methods is of high importance. Since traditional teaching methods are not suitable for communities with rapid knowledge expansion and constant changes, e-learning methods can be a viable alternative. To show the importance of e-learning methods on nurses’ care reporting skills, this study was performed to compare the e-learning methods with the traditional instructor-led methods.
METHODS:
This was a quasi-experimental study aimed to compare the effect of two teaching methods (e-learning and lecture) on nursing documentation and examine the differences in acquiring competency on documentation between nurses who participated in the e-learning (n = 30) and nurses in a lecture group (n = 31).
RESULTS:
The results of the present study indicated that statistically there was no significant difference between the two groups. The findings also revealed that statistically there was no significant correlation between the two groups toward demographic variables. However, we believe that due to benefits of e-learning against traditional instructor-led method, and according to their equal effect on nurses’ documentation competency, it can be a qualified substitute for traditional instructor-led method.
CONCLUSIONS:
E-learning as a student-centered method as well as lecture method equally promote competency of the nurses on documentation. Therefore, e-learning can be used to facilitate the implementation of nursing educational programs.
PMCID: PMC3249805  PMID: 22224113
Knowledge; attitude; practice; nursing documentation; lectures; e-learning
22.  Online training course on critical appraisal for nurses: adaptation and assessment 
BMC Medical Education  2014;14:136.
Background
Research is an essential activity for improving quality and efficiency in healthcare. The objective of this study was to train nurses from the public Basque Health Service (Osakidetza) in critical appraisal, promoting continuous training and the use of research in clinical practice.
Methods
This was a prospective pre-post test study. The InfoCritique course on critical appraisal was translated and adapted. A sample of 50 nurses and 3 tutors was recruited. Educational strategies and assessment instruments were established for the course. A course website was created that contained contact details of the teaching team and coordinator, as well as a course handbook and videos introducing the course. Assessment comprised the administration of questionnaires before and after the course, in order to explore the main intervention outcomes: knowledge acquired and self-learning readiness. Satisfaction was also measured at the end of the course.
Results
Of the 50 health professionals recruited, 3 did not complete the course for personal or work-related reasons. The mean score on the pre-course knowledge questionnaire was 70.5 out of 100, with a standard deviation of 11.96. In general, participants’ performance on the knowledge questionnaire improved after the course, as reflected in the notable increase of the mean score, to 86.6, with a standard deviation of 10.00. Further, analyses confirmed statistically significant differences between pre- and post-course results (p < 0.001). With regard to self-learning readiness, after the course, participants reported a greater readiness and ability for self-directed learning. Lastly, in terms of level of satisfaction with the course, the mean score was 7 out of 10.
Conclusions
Participants significantly improved their knowledge score and self-directed learning readiness after the educational intervention, and they were overall satisfied with the course. For the health system and nursing professionals, this type of course has the potential to provide methodological tools for research, promote a research culture, and encourage critical thinking for evidence-based decision making.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-136
PMCID: PMC4107575  PMID: 24996951
Evidence-based practice; Critical appraisal; Nursing; E-learning
23.  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
24.  The effect of clinical experience, judgment task difficulty and time pressure on nurses’ confidence calibration in a high fidelity clinical simulation 
Background
Misplaced or poorly calibrated confidence in healthcare professionals’ judgments compromises the quality of health care. Using higher fidelity clinical simulations to elicit clinicians’ confidence 'calibration' (i.e. overconfidence or underconfidence) in more realistic settings is a promising but underutilized tactic. In this study we examine nurses’ calibration of confidence with judgment accuracy for critical event risk assessment judgments in a high fidelity simulated clinical environment. The study also explores the effects of clinical experience, task difficulty and time pressure on the relationship between confidence and accuracy.
Methods
63 student and 34 experienced nurses made dichotomous risk assessments on 25 scenarios simulated in a high fidelity clinical environment. Each nurse also assigned a score (0–100) reflecting the level of confidence in their judgments. Scenarios were derived from real patient cases and classified as easy or difficult judgment tasks. Nurses made half of their judgments under time pressure. Confidence calibration statistics were calculated and calibration curves generated.
Results
Nurse students were underconfident (mean over/underconfidence score −1.05) and experienced nurses overconfident (mean over/underconfidence score 6.56), P = 0.01. No significant differences in calibration and resolution were found between the two groups (P = 0.80 and P = 0.51, respectively). There was a significant interaction between time pressure and task difficulty on confidence (P = 0.008); time pressure increased confidence in easy cases but reduced confidence in difficult cases. Time pressure had no effect on confidence or accuracy. Judgment task difficulty impacted significantly on nurses’ judgmental accuracy and confidence. A 'hard-easy' effect was observed: nurses were overconfident in difficult judgments and underconfident in easy judgments.
Conclusion
Nurses were poorly calibrated when making risk assessment judgments in a high fidelity simulated setting. Nurses with more experience tended toward overconfidence. Whilst time pressure had little effect on calibration, nurses’ over/underconfidence varied significantly with the degree of task difficulty. More research is required to identify strategies to minimize such cognitive biases.
doi:10.1186/1472-6947-12-113
PMCID: PMC3547784  PMID: 23034048
High fidelity clinical simulation; Confidence calibration; Clinical experience; Overconfidence; Underconfidence; Time pressure; Clinical judgment; Hard-easy effect
25.  Knowledge, instruction and behavioural change: building a framework for effective eczema education in clinical practice 
Journal of Advanced Nursing  2014;70(11):2483-2494.
Aims
A discussion on the reasons educational interventions about eczema, by nurses, are successful, with the subsequent development of a theoretical framework to guide nurses to become effective patient educators.
Background
Effective child and parent education is the key to successful self-management of eczema. When diagnosed, children and parents should learn to understand the condition through clear explanations, seeing treatment demonstrations and have ongoing support to learn practical skills to control eczema. Dermatology nurses provide these services, but no one has proposed a framework of the concepts underpinning their successful eczema educational interventions.
Design
A discussion paper.
Data Sources
A literature search of online databases was undertaken utilizing terms ‘eczema OR atopic dermatitis’, ‘education’, ‘parent’, ‘nurs*’, ‘framework’, ‘knowledge’, motivation’, in Scopus, CINAHL, Web of Science, Medline and Pubmed. Limits were English language and 2003–2013.
Implications for Nursing
The framework can inform discussion on child and parent education, provide a scaffold for future research and guide non-specialist nurses, internationally, in providing consistent patient education about eczema.
Conclusion
Founded on an understanding of knowledge, the framework utilizes essential elements of cognitive psychology and social cognitive theory leading to successful self-management of eczema. This framework may prove useful as a basis for future research in child and parent education, globally, in the healthcare community. A framework has been created to help nurses understand the essential elements of the learning processes at the foundation of effective child and parent education. The framework serves to explain the improved outcomes reported in previous nurse-led eczema educational interventions.
doi:10.1111/jan.12439
PMCID: PMC4305279  PMID: 25312442
atopic dermatitis; behaviour; declarative knowledge; eczema; education; framework; procedural knowledge

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