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1.  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
2.  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
3.  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
4.  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
5.  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
6.  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
7.  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
8.  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
9.  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
10.  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.
11.  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
12.  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
13.  Improvement in self-reported confidence in nurses’ professional skills in the emergency department 
Background
The aim of this study was to assess nurses’ self-reported confidence in their professional skills before and after an extensive Emergency Department (ED) reform in Kanta-Häme Central Hospital.
Methods
Emergency nurses participated in transitional training commencing two years before the establishment of the new organization in 2007. Training was followed by weekly practical educational sessions in the new ED. During this process nurses improved their transition skills, defined house rules for the new clinic and improved their knowledge of new technology and instruments. The main processes involving critically ill ED patients were described and modelled with an electronic flow chart software.
During the transitional training nurses compiled lists of practical skills and measures needed in the ED. These were updated after feedback from physicians in primary and secondary care and head physicians in Kanta-Häme Central Hospital. The final 189-item list comprised 15 different categories, each containing from 4 to 35 items. Based on the work described above, a questionnaire was developed to reflect ED nurses’ skills in clinical measures but also to estimate the need for professional education and practical training. Nurses working in the ED were asked to fill the questionnaire in January 2007 (response rate 97%) and in January 2011 (response rate 98%).
Results
Nurses’ self-reported confidence in their professional skills improved significally in eight classes out of fifteen. These classes were cannulations, urinary catheterizations, patient monitoring, cardiac patients, equipment, triage and nurse practising, psychiatric patients as well as infection risk. Best results were noted in urinary catheterizations, patient monitoring and infection risk. When studying the group of nurses participating in both surveys in 2007 and 2011, improvements were observed in all fifteen categories. All but two of these changes were significant (p<0.05).
Conclusions
During an extensive reform of emergency services, we noted a significant improvement in the professional skills of nurses. This improvement was especially consistent among nurses working in the ED during the whole transition process. Nurses’ education and training program in the ED may be successfully put into practice when based on co-operation between nurses and physicians dedicated to emergency services.
doi:10.1186/1757-7241-21-16
PMCID: PMC3599318  PMID: 23497683
14.  Survey of critical thinking and clinical decision making in nursing student of Kerman University 
Context:
The ability to think critically is an essential element in nursing education and more specifically in nurses’ clinical decision making (CDM).
Aims:
Critical thinking (CT) and CDM ability as well as their relationship were examined among nursing students of Kerman University.
Settings and Design:
Study was designed in four towns: Kerman, Bam, Jiroft, and Zarand, settled in Kerman province.
Materials and Methods:
This research was a cross-sectional descriptive correlation study. 300 nursing students with different level of education were asked to fill two questionnaires including: (1) California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) and (2) Lauri and Salantera (2002) CDM instrument. Statistical Analysis Used: Data were analyzed with SPSS12 and descriptive and inferential statistics.
Results:
Nursing students yielded a low score (mean = 5/40 from 20) of CT and a mild score (mean = 12.8 from 20) of CDM. We found positively correlation between male and CT and CDM score with mean score of the nursing student. Also CDM score in male was more than female but not significant, and Jirofts CDM nursing student was significantly better than other city.
Conclusions:
Although students that answers evaluation question in CCTST better can gave better CDM score but there isn’t relationship between CT and CDM of nursing student. The finding showed that mean score of nursing student CT was low. Reason can be either due to the defects of nursing education program, teaching, and learning strategies.
PMCID: PMC3733290  PMID: 23922586
Clinical research; decision making; nursing education; nursing students; thinking
15.  Development and validation of the competence in evidence based practice questionnaire (EBP-COQ) among nursing students 
BMC Medical Education  2013;13:19.
Background
Nursing educators need rigorously developed instruments to assess competency in evidence based practice (EBP) at undergraduate level. This concept is defined as the capability to choose and use an integrated combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes with the intention to develop a task in a certain context. Also, we understand that EBP is gaining knowledge and skills, as well as increasing positive attitudes toward EBP that will promote a change in behaviour to implement EBP in practice. This study aims to develop a psychometric test of the Evidence Based Practice Evaluation Competence Questionnaire (EBP-COQ) among undergraduate nursing students.
Methods
The questionnaire was developed by item generation through a review of scientific literature and focus groups. The instrument was validated in terms of content validity through an expert review. The EBP-COQ was administered to a cohort of nursing students (n =100) to evaluate test reliability and select the best items. Psychometric properties of the final instrument were assessed in a sample of 261 nursing students.
Results
The EBP-COQ consisted of 25 items. A factorial analysis grouped the items into the three categories that define competence relating to EBP: attitude, knowledge and skills. Cronbach’s alpha was 0.888 for the entire questionnaire. The factor solution explained 55.55% of the variance.
Conclusions
EBP-COQ appears to measure with adequate reliability the attributes of undergraduate nursing students’ competence in EBP. The instrument is quick to disseminate and easy to score, making it a suitable instrument for nursing educators to evaluate students’ self-perceived competence in EBP.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-13-19
PMCID: PMC3598337  PMID: 23391040
Competence; Evidence-based practice; Undergraduate nursing; Questionnaire; Validation
16.  Effects of training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation on competence and patient outcome. 
Between 1981 and 1985 we carried out a study in two medium-sized nonteaching community hospitals to determine the rate of deterioration of knowledge and skills in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) among physicians and nurses, the accuracy of their perceptions of their knowledge and skills, the effects of practice on retention and the effect of CPR training on mortality. The participants' knowledge and skills were measured before training and immediately after, 6 months after and 12 months after training. Information on all attempts at CPR involving hospital staff was collected from medical records and from interviews with the participants. A total of 31 physicians and 54 nurses were followed during the study. Six months after training there was no difference in CPR knowledge or skills between the physicians and the nurses. In both groups CPR skills had deteriorated to near pretraining levels. By 6 months the physicians' knowledge had deteriorated to a level not significantly different from that before training. The nurses maintained a significant improvement in knowledge test scores at 12 months over those before training (p = 0.037). The physicians had an accurate perception of their knowledge but not their skills 6 months and 12 months after training, whereas the nurses did not accurately perceive either their knowledge or their skills after training. Experience with CPR did not contribute to post-training knowledge or skills in either group. There was no evidence that death rates were lower when basic life support (BLS) was begun by trained staff than when it was begun by untrained staff. The probability of survival was greater when BLS was begun within 4 minutes of arrest than when it was begun after 4 minutes, regardless of whether advanced cardiac life support was begun within 10 minutes.
PMCID: PMC1492673  PMID: 3651910
17.  Teaching Medical Students the Important Connection between Communication and Clinical Reasoning 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2005;20(12):1108-1113.
Background
Medical students are rarely taught how to integrate communication and clinical reasoning. Not understanding the relation between these skills may lead students to undervalue the connection between psychosocial and biomedical aspects of patient care.
Objective
To improve medical students' communication and clinical reasoning and their appreciation of how these skills interrelate in medical practice.
Design
In 2003, we conducted a randomized trial of a curricular intervention at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In a 6-week course, participants learned communication and clinical reasoning skills in an integrative fashion using small group exercises with role-play, reflection and feedback through a structured iterative reflective process.
Participants
Second-year medical students.
Measurements
All students interviewed standardized patients who evaluated their communication skills in establishing rapport, data gathering and patient education/counseling on a 5-point scale (1=poor; 5=excellent). We assessed clinical reasoning through the number of correct problems listed and differential diagnoses generated and the Diagnostic Thinking Inventory. Students rated the importance of learning these skills in an integrated fashion.
Results
Standardized patients rated curricular students more favorably in establishing rapport (4.1 vs 3.9; P=.05). Curricular participants listed more psychosocial history items on their problem lists (65% of curricular students listing ≥1 item vs 44% of controls; P=.008). Groups did not differ significantly in other communication or clinical reasoning measures. Ninety-five percent of participants rated the integration of these skills as important.
Conclusions
Intervention students performed better in certain communication and clinical reasoning skills. These students recognized the importance of biomedical and psychosocial issues in patient care. Educators may wish to teach the integration of these skills early in medical training.
doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2005.0244.x
PMCID: PMC1490291  PMID: 16423099
communication skills; clinical reasoning; medical education (undergraduate); reflection; feedback
18.  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
19.  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
20.  Knowledge Claims, Jurisdictional Control and Professional Status: The Case of Nurse Prescribing 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e77279.
Over the past decades, professional boundaries in health care have come under pressure, and the expansion of prescriptive authority to include nurses touches on issues of professional domains and interprofessional competition. Knowledge claims play an important role in achieving jurisdictional control. Knowledge can take on multiple forms, ranging from indeterminate to technical (I/T ratio) and from everyday to exclusive knowledge. To investigate the interrelatedness of jurisdiction, knowledge claims and professional status, we examine which knowledge claims were made by the medical and nursing professions in the Netherlands to secure or obtain, respectively, jurisdictional control over prescribing, and which form this knowledge took. The study is based on thirteen semi-structured stakeholder interviews and an extensive document analysis. We found that the nursing profession in its knowledge claims strongly emphasized the technicality and everyday knowledge character of the prescribing task, by asserting that nurses were already prescribing medicines, albeit on an illegal basis. Their second claim focused on the indeterminate knowledge skills of nurses and stated that nurse prescribing would do justice to nurses’ skills and expertise. This is a strong claim in a quest for (higher) professional status. Results showed that the medical profession initially proclaimed that prescribing should be reserved for doctors as it is a task requiring medical knowledge, i.e. indeterminate knowledge. Gradually, however, the medical profession adjusted its claims and tried to reduce nurse prescribing to a task almost exclusively based on technicality knowledge, among others by stating that nurses could prescribe in routine cases, which would generate little professional status. By investigating the form that professional knowledge claims took, this study was able to show the interconnectedness of jurisdictional control, knowledge claims and professional status. Knowledge claims are not mere rhetoric, but actively influence the everyday realities of professional status, interprofessional competition and jurisdictional division between professions.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077279
PMCID: PMC3790745  PMID: 24124613
21.  Professional Ethical Competence in nursing: the role of nursing instructors 
Teaching ethics to nurses leads to their involvement in providing high quality care, enable them to duly encounter ethical issues. One of the key elements of educational systems is nursing instructors. Even though lots of studies show the role of instructors in students’ learning, their role in promotion of professional ethics has been attended to less.
The objective of this study is surveying the experience of nursing students with respect to the role of instructors in promotion of professional ethics.
This qualitative study enrolled 15 undergraduate nursing students from three nursing schools in Teheran whom depth interview was performed. The interview was semi-structured with open ended questions. The analysis was accomplished by use of qualitative content-analysis method.
Data analysis demonstrated 2 main themes and 7 subcategories in regard to the role of instructors in promotion of professional ethics in nursing students including: 1) the effective professional role model 2) facilitating creative learning. The effective professional role model encompasses individual characteristics and beliefs, clinical skills and professional commitment of role model. Creative learning facilitates by encouraging critical thinking and decision-making, Providing supportive learning conditions, providing proper space for sharing knowledge followed by evaluation and creative feedback.
The findings of this study provides a background for strengthening the role of instructors in promotion of professional ethics with more emphasis on research which increase capability of instructors at nursing education centers.
PMCID: PMC3714123  PMID: 23908738
Nursing; Nursing student; Ethics
22.  Perception of evidence-based practice and the professional environment of Primary Health Care nurses in the Spanish context: a cross-sectional study 
Background
The study of the factors that encourage evidence-based clinical practice, such as structure, environment and professional skills, has contributed to an improvement in quality of care. Nevertheless, most of this research has been carried out in a hospital context, neglecting the area of primary health care. The main aim of this work was to assess the factors that influence an evidence-based clinical practice among nursing professionals in Primary Health Care.
Methods
A multicentre cross-sectional study was designed, taking the 619 Primary Care staff nurses at the Balearic Islands’ Primary Health Care Service, as the study population. The methodology applied consisted on a self-administered survey using the instruments Evidence-Based Practice Questionnaire (EBPQ) and Nursing Work Index (NWI).
Results
Three hundred and seventy seven surveys were received (60.9% response rate). Self-assessment of skills and knowledge, obtained 66.6% of the maximum score. The Knowledge/Skills factor obtained the best scores among the staff with shorter professional experience. There was a significant difference in the Attitude factor (p = 0.008) in favour of nurses with management functions, as opposed to clinical nurses.
Multivariate analysis showed a significant positive relationship between NWI and level of evidence-based practice (p < 0,0001).
Conclusions
Institutions ought to undertake serious reflection on the lack of skills of senior nurses about Evidence-Based Clinical Practice, even when they have more professional experience. Leadership emerge as a key role in the transferral of knowledge into clinical practice.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-227
PMCID: PMC3444388  PMID: 22849698
23.  The effect of improving task representativeness on capturing nurses’ risk assessment judgements: a comparison of written case simulations and physical simulations 
Background
The validity of studies describing clinicians’ judgements based on their responses to paper cases is questionable, because - commonly used - paper case simulations only partly reflect real clinical environments. In this study we test whether paper case simulations evoke similar risk assessment judgements to the more realistic simulated patients used in high fidelity physical simulations.
Methods
97 nurses (34 experienced nurses and 63 student nurses) made dichotomous assessments of risk of acute deterioration on the same 25 simulated scenarios in both paper case and physical simulation settings. Scenarios were generated from real patient cases. Measures of judgement ‘ecology’ were derived from the same case records. The relationship between nurses’ judgements, actual patient outcomes (i.e. ecological criteria), and patient characteristics were described using the methodology of judgement analysis. Logistic regression models were constructed to calculate Lens Model Equation parameters. Parameters were then compared between the modeled paper-case and physical-simulation judgements.
Results
Participants had significantly less achievement (ra) judging physical simulations than when judging paper cases. They used less modelable knowledge (G) with physical simulations than with paper cases, while retaining similar cognitive control and consistency on repeated patients. Respiration rate, the most important cue for predicting patient risk in the ecological model, was weighted most heavily by participants.
Conclusions
To the extent that accuracy in judgement analysis studies is a function of task representativeness, improving task representativeness via high fidelity physical simulations resulted in lower judgement performance in risk assessments amongst nurses when compared to paper case simulations. Lens Model statistics could prove useful when comparing different options for the design of simulations used in clinical judgement analysis. The approach outlined may be of value to those designing and evaluating clinical simulations as part of education and training strategies aimed at improving clinical judgement and reasoning.
doi:10.1186/1472-6947-13-62
PMCID: PMC3674950  PMID: 23718556
Written case simulation; Physical simulation; Representative design; Clinical judgement analysis; Risk assessment; Lens model equation; Logistic regression; Clinical vignettes
24.  Introducing quality improvement to pre-qualification nursing students: evaluation of an experiential programme 
Quality in Health Care : QHC  2001;10(4):204-210.
Objective—To evaluate a programme introducing quality improvement (QI) in nursing education.
Settings—Betanien College of Nursing and clinical practices at hospitals in Bergen.
Subjects—52 nursing students from a second year class working in 16 groups undertaking hospital based practical studies.
Intervention—Second year nursing students were assigned to follow a patient during a day's work and to record the processes of care from the patient's perspective. Data collected included waiting times, patient information, people in contact with the patient, investigations, and procedures performed. Students also identified aspects of practice that could be improved. They then attended a 2 day theoretical introductory course in QI and each group produced flow charts, cause/effect diagrams, and outlines of quality goals using structure, process, and results criteria to describe potential improvements. Each group produced a report of their findings.
Main measures—A two-part questionnaire completed by the students before and after the intervention was used to assess the development of their understanding of QI. Evidence that students could apply a range of QI tools and techniques in the specific setting of a hospital ward was assessed from the final reports of their clinical attachments.
Results—The students had a significantly better knowledge of QI after the introductory course and group work than before it, and most students indicated that they considered the topic highly relevant for their later career. They reported that it was quite useful to observe one patient throughout one shift and, to some extent, they learned something new. Students found the introductory course and working in groups useful, and most thought the programme should be included in the curriculum for other nursing students. They considered it important for nurses in general to have knowledge about QI, indicating a high perceived relevance of the course. All 16 groups delivered reports of their group work which were approved by the tutors. Through the reports, all the groups demonstrated knowledge and ability to apply tools and techniques in their practical studies in a hospital setting.
Conclusions—The introduction of a short experience-based programme into the practical studies of second year nursing students enabled them to learn about the concepts, tools, and techniques of continuous QI in a way that should provide them with the skills to undertake it as part of routine practice.
Key Words: learning; quality improvement; nursing education; intervention
doi:10.1136/qhc.0100204..
PMCID: PMC1743458  PMID: 11743148
25.  Oncology Nursing Minimum Data Set (ONMDS): can we hypothesize a set of prevalent Nursing Sensitive Outcomes (NSO) in cancer patients? 
ecancermedicalscience  2013;7:345.
Background
The nursing minimum data set (NMDS) was created in 1977 in the United States to collect uniform standardised data that could be comparable among different nursing areas or patients. So far, in the literature, an NMDS in an oncology setting has not yet been described. Considering an oncology nursing minimum data set (ONMDS), which data could be chosen to define this tool regarding cancer patient care?
Material and methods
At the European Institute of Oncology (IEO), 20 experienced oncology nurses representing surgical, medical, and critical areas participated in a nursing record working group. All nurses followed an educational course on NMDS, and they shared clinical experiences to find which data common among different areas could be useful to care. To identify these data, nurses considered three issues: what is nursing care for nurses in the IEO? What is the nurses’ responsibility in the IEO? What is the organisational nursing model in the IEO? Nurses in the IEO are autonomous in decision making and recognised by patients and by a multi-professional team; the organisational nursing model is primary nursing with patient-centred care. Nursing data must therefore show the quality and results of this care. With this in mind, the working group decided to orient the ONMDS toward nursing-sensitive outcomes (NSOs), meeting also with psychologists, physiotherapists, and dieticians. Nurses analysed Oncology Nursing Society outcomes, and through focus groups, experiential meetings, role playing, and case studies, they integrated them with other NSOs.
Results
The ONMDS is composed of 49 NSOs recognised as the most common and frequent oncologic outcomes regardless of the treatment that the patient undergoes. These outcomes were clustered into 15 categories. The categories are: gastrointestinal outcomes, genitourinary outcomes, respiratory outcomes, skin outcomes, fluid and electrolyte balance outcomes, neurological outcomes, security, functional status, vascular access outcomes, nutritional status, pain, psychosocial discomfort, activities of daily living (ADL), instrumental activities daily living (IADL), and self-care outcomes.
Conclusions
Efforts to identify an ONMDS based on NSOs allow us to develop an tool that can standardise language, assessment, and intervention, but overall could be used to measure nursing care. To evaluate these potentialities, the ONMDS was introduced into nursing records, and it was tested with a pre–post research study.
doi:10.3332/ecancer.2013.345
PMCID: PMC3757958  PMID: 24009644
cancer patient; oncology nursing; Nursing Minimum Data Set; ONMDS; Nursing Sensitive Outcome; NMDS; NSO; nursing record; documentation

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