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1.  Young carers in Germany: to live on as normal as possible – a grounded theory study 
BMC Nursing  2008;7:15.
Background
In contrast to a growing body of research on the situation of adult family care givers, in Germany hardly anything is known about the situation of children and teenagers who are involved in the care of their relatives.
Methods
In this Grounded Theory study 81 semi structured interviews have been carried out with children and their parents in 34 families, in which one member is chronically ill. 41 children and 41 parents participated and the sample is heterogeneous and diverse.
Results
On the one hand, there is the phenomenon 'keeping the family together", which describes how families themselves cope with the chronic illness and also, which tasks to what extent are being shifted and redistributed within the family in order to manage daily life. Influencing factors, the children's motives as well as the impact on the children also belong to this phenomenon. The second phenomenon 'to live a normal course of life' describes concrete wishes and expectations of support for the family to manage the hindered daily life. These two phenomena linked together constitute the 'model of experience and construction of familial care, in which children take over an active role'.
Conclusion
It will be discussed, that the more families are in dire need of support, the more their distress becomes invisible, furthermore, that management of chronic illness is a process, in which the entire family is involved, and thus needs to be considered, and finally, that young carer's relief is not possible without relief of their parents.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-7-15
PMCID: PMC2627850  PMID: 19108719
2.  Prediction of postoperative pain after radical prostatectomy 
BMC Nursing  2008;7:14.
Background
There is a belief that the amount of pain perceived is merely directly proportional to the extent of injury. The intensity of postoperative pain is however influenced by multiple factors aside from the extent of trauma. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the relationship between preoperative factors that have been shown to predict postoperative pain and the self-reports of pain intensity in a population of 155 men undergoing radical prostatectomy (RP), and also to investigate if previous pain score could predict the subsequent pain score.
Methods
The correlation between potential pain predictors and the postoperative pain experiences during three postoperative days was tested (Pitmans' test). By use of a logistic regression analysis the probability that a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) score at one occasion would exceed 30 mm or 70 mm was studied, depending on previous VAS score, age, depression and pain treatment method.
Results
Age was found to be a predictor of VAS > 30 mm, with younger patients at higher risk for pain, and preoperative depression predicted VAS > 70 mm. The probability that VAS would exceed 30 mm and 70 mm was predicted only by previous VAS value. Day two however, patients with epidural analgesia were at higher risk for experiencing pain than patients with intrathecal or systemic opioid analgesia.
Conclusion
The results show that it would be meaningful to identify RP patients at high risk for severe postoperative pain; i.e. younger and/or depressive patients who might benefit from a more aggressive therapy instituted in the very early postoperative period.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-7-14
PMCID: PMC2635357  PMID: 19068111
3.  Night nursing – staff's working experiences 
BMC Nursing  2008;7:13.
Background
Although the duties and working conditions of registered, and enrolled nurses have previously been described from different perspectives, they have not been examined from the night nursing aspect. The aim of the study was to describe the night nursing staff's working experiences.
Methods
The design of the study is qualitative and descriptive. Interviews were conducted with 10 registered and 10 enrolled nurses working as night staff at a Swedish University Hospital. The interview guide was thematic and concerned the content of their tasks, as well as the working conditions that constitute night nursing. In addition, the interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using content analysis.
Results
The night duties have to be performed under difficult conditions that include working silently in dimmed lighting, and making decisions when fatigue threatens. According to the night staff, its main goals are to provide the patients with rest and simultaneously ensure qualified care. Furthermore, the night nursing staff must prepare the ward for the daytime activities.
Conclusion
The most important point is the team work, which developed between the registered and enrolled nurses and how necessary this team work is when working at night. In order for nurses working at night to be fully appreciated, the communication between day and night staff in health care organizations needs to be developed. Furthermore, it is important to give the night staff opportunities to use its whole field of competence.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-7-13
PMCID: PMC2606673  PMID: 18976475
4.  Development and evaluation of a cancer-related fatigue patient education program: protocol of a randomized controlled trial 
BMC Nursing  2008;7:12.
Background
Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) and its impact on patients' quality of life has been an increasing subject of research. However, in Germany there is a lack of evidence-based interventions consistent with the multidimensional character of fatigue. The objective of this study is to develop and evaluate a self-management program for disease-free cancer patients to cope with CRF.
Methods
Based on evidence extracted from a literature review, a curriculum for the self-management program was elaborated. The curriculum was reviewed and validated by an interdisciplinary expert group and the training-modules will be pretested with a small number of participants and discussed in terms of feasibility and acceptance.
To determine the efficacy of the program a randomised controlled trial will be carried out: 300 patients will be recruited from oncological practices in Bremen, Germany, and will be allocated to intervention or control group. The intervention group participates in the program, whereas the control group receives standard care and the opportunity to take part in the program after the end of the follow-up (waiting control group). Primary outcome measure is the level of fatigue, secondary outcome measures are quality of life, depression, anxiety, self-efficacy and physical activity. Data will be collected before randomisation, after intervention, and after a follow-up of 6 months.
Discussion
Because there are no comparable self-management programs for cancer survivors with fatigue, the development of the curriculum has been complex; therefore, the critical appraisal by the experts was an important step to validate the program and their contributions have been integrated into the curriculum. The experts appreciated the program as filling a gap in outpatient cancer care.
If the results of the evaluation prove to be satisfactory, the outpatient care of cancer patients can be broadened and supplemented.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials NCT00552552
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-7-12
PMCID: PMC2491613  PMID: 18651943
5.  Dignity in the care of older people – a review of the theoretical and empirical literature 
BMC Nursing  2008;7:11.
Background
Dignity has become a central concern in UK health policy in relation to older and vulnerable people. The empirical and theoretical literature relating to dignity is extensive and as likely to confound and confuse as to clarify the meaning of dignity for nurses in practice. The aim of this paper is critically to examine the literature and to address the following questions: What does dignity mean? What promotes and diminishes dignity? And how might dignity be operationalised in the care of older people?
This paper critically reviews the theoretical and empirical literature relating to dignity and clarifies the meaning and implications of dignity in relation to the care of older people. If nurses are to provide dignified care clarification is an essential first step.
Methods
This is a review article, critically examining papers reporting theoretical perspectives and empirical studies relating to dignity. The following databases were searched: Assia, BHI, CINAHL, Social Services Abstracts, IBSS, Web of Knowledge Social Sciences Citation Index and Arts & Humanities Citation Index and location of books a chapters in philosophy literature. An analytical approach was adopted to the publications reviewed, focusing on the objectives of the review.
Results and discussion
We review a range of theoretical and empirical accounts of dignity and identify key dignity promoting factors evident in the literature, including staff attitudes and behaviour; environment; culture of care; and the performance of specific care activities. Although there is scope to learn more about cultural aspects of dignity we know a good deal about dignity in care in general terms.
Conclusion
We argue that what is required is to provide sufficient support and education to help nurses understand dignity and adequate resources to operationalise dignity in their everyday practice. Using the themes identified from our review we offer proposals for the direction of future research.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-7-11
PMCID: PMC2483981  PMID: 18620561
6.  A randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of a single session of nurse administered massage for short term relief of chronic non-malignant pain 
BMC Nursing  2008;7:10.
Background
Massage is increasingly used to manage chronic pain but its benefit has not been clearly established. The aim of the study is to determine the effectiveness of a single session of nurse-administered massage for the short term relief of chronic non-malignant pain and anxiety.
Methods
A randomised controlled trial design was used, in which the patients were assigned to a massage or control group. The massage group received a 15 minute manual massage and the control group a 15 minute visit to talk about their pain. Adult patients attending a pain relief unit with a diagnosis of chronic pain whose pain was described as moderate or severe were eligible for the study. An observer blind to the patients' treatment group carried out assessments immediately before (baseline), after treatment and 1, 2, 3 and 4 hours later. Pain was assessed using 100 mm visual analogue scale and the McGill Pain Questionnaire. Pain Relief was assessed using a five point verbal rating scale. Anxiety was assessed with the Spielberger short form State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.
Results
101 patients were randomised and evaluated, 50 in the massage and 51 in the control group. There were no statistically significant differences between the groups at baseline interview. Patients in the massage but not the control group had significantly less pain compared to baseline immediately after and one hour post treatment. 95% confidence interval for the difference in mean pain reduction at one hour post treatment between the massage and control groups is 5.47 mm to 24.70 mm. Patients in the massage but not the control group had a statistically significant reduction in anxiety compared to baseline immediately after and at 1 hour post treatment.
Conclusion
Massage is effective in the short term for chronic pain of moderate to severe intensity.
Trial Registration
[ISRCTN98406653]
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-7-10
PMCID: PMC2533334  PMID: 18601729
7.  Symptom recognition and health care seeking among immigrants and native Swedish patients with heart failure 
BMC Nursing  2008;7:9.
Background
It is not known what patient perceptions or beliefs lead to beneficial decisions or response patterns in symptom interpretation among heart failure (HF) patients, especially immigrants. The aim of this study was to explore and compare symptom recognition and health care seeking patterns among immigrants and native Swedes with HF.
Methods
The study used a qualitative design. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 42 patients with HF, of whom 21 were consecutively selected immigrants and 21 were randomly selected Swedish patients. The interviews were analysed using content analysis.
Results
A majority of the immigrant patients sought health care for symptoms and signs, such as breathing difficulties, fatigue and swelling. Twice as many immigrants as Swedes were unaware of "what the illness experience entailed" and which symptoms indicated worsening of HF.
Conclusion
The symptoms that patients sought care for, were similar among immigrants and Swedes. However, when interpreting symptoms more immigrants were unaware of the connection between the symptoms/signs and their HF condition. More tailored educational interventions might improve recognition of worsening symptoms in immigrant patients with chronic heart failure.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-7-9
PMCID: PMC2447827  PMID: 18590538
8.  Memories of being injured and patients' care trajectory after physical trauma 
BMC Nursing  2008;7:8.
Background
The purpose of this study was to acquire a deeper understanding of patients' memories of being injured and the trajectory of care before, during and after their Intensive Care Unit (ICU) stay.
Methods
Interviews were conducted with eighteen informants who after physical trauma had been cared for in the ICU. The interviews were analyzed by using a phenomenological hermeneutical method.
Results
The memories of injury during the trajectory of care are illustrated in a figure in which the injured informants have memories from five scenes; the scene of the accident, emergency unit, ICU, nursing ward and of coming home. Twelve subthemes were abstracted and four themes emerged; a surrealistic world, an injured body, care, and gratitude for life. After the accident, a "surrealistic world" appeared along with bad memories of being in a floating existence where plans had to be changed. This world was unfamiliar, sometimes including delusional and fragmentary memories from the ICU, and it was experienced as uncontrollable. They felt connected to an "injured body", experiencing bad memories from the ICU of being injured, from the nursing ward of simply enduring and of being in a No Man's Land when coming home; their lives had become limited. At the same time they were "connected to care" with good memories of receiving attention from others at the scene of the accident, being taken cared of at the emergency unit and cared for in the ICU. This care made them realise that people are responsible for each other, and they felt comforted but also vulnerable. Finally, they experienced "gratitude for life". This included good memories of being loved together with support from their families at the ICU, wanting to win life back at the nursing ward and acceptance when returning home. The support from their families made them realise that they fit in just as they are.
Conclusion
When bad memories of a surrealistic world and of being injured are balanced by good ones of care and love with a gratitude for life, there are more possibilities to move on despite an uncertain future following the injury.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-7-8
PMCID: PMC2443793  PMID: 18559089
9.  Job satisfaction trends during nurses' early career 
BMC Nursing  2008;7:7.
Background
Job satisfaction is an important component of nurses' lives that can impact on patient safety, productivity and performance, quality of care, retention and turnover, commitment to the organisation and the profession. Little is known about job satisfaction in early career and how it varies for different groups of nurses. This paper investigates how the components of job satisfaction vary during early career in newly qualified UK nurses.
Methods
Nurses were sampled using a combined census and multi-stage approach (n = 3962). Data were collected by questionnaire at 6 months, 18 months and 3 years after qualification between 1998 and 2001. Scores were calculated for seven job satisfaction components and a single item that measured satisfaction with pay. Scores were compared longitudinally and between nursing speciality (general, children's, mental health) using a mixed model approach.
Results
No single pattern across time emerged. Trends varied by branch and job satisfaction component. Rank order of job satisfaction components, from high to low scores, was very similar for adult and child branch nurses and different for mental health. Nurses were least satisfied with pay and most satisfied with relationships at 6 and 18 months and with resources (adult and child) and relationships (mental health) at 3 years. Trends were typically upwards for adult branch nurses, varied for children's nurses and downwards for mental health nurses.
Conclusion
The impact of time on job satisfaction in early career is highly dependent on specialism. Different contexts, settings and organisational settings lead to varying experiences. Future research should focus on understanding the relationships between job characteristics and the components of job satisfaction rather than job satisfaction as a unitary construct. Research that further investigates the benefits of a formal one year preceptorship or probationary period is needed.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-7-7
PMCID: PMC2435528  PMID: 18534023
10.  Nursing students motivation toward their studies – a survey study 
BMC Nursing  2008;7:6.
Background
This study focuses on Swedish nursing students' motivation toward their studies during their three year academic studies. Earlier studies show the importance of motivation for study commitment and result. The aim was to analyze nursing students' estimation of their degree of motivation during different semester during their education and to identify reasons for the degree of motivation.
Methods
A questionnaire asking for scoring motivation and what influenced the degree of motivation was distributed to students enrolled in a nursing programme. 315 students who studied at different semesters participated. Analyzes were made by statistical calculation and content analysis.
Results
The mean motivation score over all semesters was 6.3 (ranked between 0–10) and differed significantly during the semesters with a tendency to lower score during the 5th semester. Students (73/315) with motivation score <4 reported explanations such as negative opinion about the organisation of the programme, attitude towards the studies, life situation and degree of difficulty/demand on studies. Students (234/315) with motivation score >6 reported positive opinions to becoming a nurse (125/234), organization of the programme and attitude to the studies. The mean score value for the motivation ranking differed significantly between male (5.8) and female (6.8) students.
Conclusion
Conclusions to be drawn are that nursing students mainly grade their motivation positive distributed different throughout their entire education. The main motivation factor was becoming a nurse. This study result highlights the need of understanding the students' situation and their need of tutorial support.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-7-6
PMCID: PMC2386463  PMID: 18439276
11.  Design and process of the EMA Cohort Study: the value of antenatal education in childbirth and breastfeeding 
BMC Nursing  2008;7:5.
Background
Antenatal education (AE) started more than 30 years ago with the purpose of decreasing pain during childbirth. Epidural anaesthesia has achieved this objective, and the value of AE is therefore currently questioned. This article describes the protocol and process of a study designed to assess AE results today.
Methods/Design
A prospective study was designed in which a cohort of 616 nulliparous pregnant women attending midwife offices of the Basque Health Service were followed for 13 months. Three exposure groups were considered based on the number of AE sessions attended: (a) women attending no session, (b) women attending 1 to 4, and (c) women attending 5 or more sessions. Sociodemographic, personality, and outcome variables related to childbirth and breastfeeding were measured.
It was expected 40% of pregnant women not to have participated in any AE session. However, 93% had attended at least one session. This low exposure variability decreased statistical power of the study as compared to the initially planned power. Despite this, there was a greater than 80% power for detecting as significant differences between exposure groups of, for instance, 10% in continuation of breastfeeding at one and a half months and in visits for false labour. Women attending more sessions were seen to have a mean higher age and educational level, and to belong to a higher socioeconomic group (p < 0.01). Follow-up was completed in 99% of participants.
Discussion
Adequate prior estimation of variability in the exposure under study is essential for designing cohort studies. Sociodemographic characteristics may play a confounding role in studies assessing AE and should be controlled in design and analyses. Quality control during the study process and continued collaboration from both public system midwives and eligible pregnant women resulted in a negligible loss rate.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-7-5
PMCID: PMC2386782  PMID: 18435856
12.  Detection of delirium by nurses among long-term care residents with dementia 
BMC Nursing  2008;7:4.
Background
Delirium is a prevalent problem in long-term care (LTC) facilities where advanced age and cognitive impairment represent two important risk factors for this condition. Delirium is associated with numerous negative outcomes including increased morbidity and mortality. Despite its clinical importance, delirium often goes unrecognized by nurses. Although rates of nurse-detected delirium have been studied among hospitalized older patients, this issue has been largely neglected among demented older residents in LTC settings. The goals of this study were to determine detection rates of delirium and delirium symptoms by nurses among elderly residents with dementia and to identify factors associated with undetected cases of delirium.
Methods
In this prospective study (N = 156), nurse ratings of delirium were compared to researcher ratings of delirium. This procedure was repeated for 6 delirium symptoms. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were computed. Logistic regressions were conducted to identify factors associated with delirium that is undetected by nurses.
Results
Despite a high prevalence of delirium in this cohort (71.5%), nurses were able to detect the delirium in only a minority of cases (13%). Of the 134 residents not identified by nurses as having delirium, only 29.9% of them were correctly classified. Detection rates for the 6 delirium symptoms varied between 39.1% and 58.1%, indicating an overall under-recognition of symptoms of delirium. Only the age of the residents (≥ 85 yrs) was associated with undetected delirium (OR: 4.1; 90% CI: [1.5–11.0]).
Conclusion
Detection of delirium is a major issue for nurses that clearly needs to be addressed. Strategies to improve recognition of delirium could result in a reduction of adverse outcomes for this very vulnerable population.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-7-4
PMCID: PMC2277396  PMID: 18302791
13.  Identification of ICF categories relevant for nursing in the situation of acute and early post-acute rehabilitation 
BMC Nursing  2008;7:3.
Background
The recovery of patients after an acute episode of illness or injury depends both on adequate medical treatment and on the early identification of needs for rehabilitation care. The process of early beginning rehabilitation requires efficient communication both between health professionals and the patient in order to effectively address all rehabilitation goals. The currently used nursing taxonomies, however, are not intended for interdisciplinary use and thus may not contribute to efficient rehabilitation management and an optimal patient outcome. The ICF might be the missing link in this communication process. The objective of this study was to identify the categories of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) categories relevant for nursing care in the situation of acute and early post-acute rehabilitation.
Methods
First, in a consensus process, "Leistungserfassung in der Pflege" (LEP) nursing interventions relevant for the situation of acute and early post-acute rehabilitation were selected. Second, in an integrated two-step linking process, two nursing experts derived goals of LEP nursing interventions from their practical knowledge and selected corresponding ICF categories most relevant for patients in acute and post-acute rehabilitation (ICF Core Sets).
Results
Eighty-seven percent of ICF Core Set categories could be linked to goals of at least one nursing intervention variable of LEP. The ICF categories most frequently linked with LEP nursing interventions were respiration functions, experience of self and time functions and focusing attention. Thirteen percent of ICF Core Set categories could not be linked with LEP nursing interventions. The LEP nursing interventions which were linked with the highest number of different ICF-categories of all were "therapeutic intervention", "patient-nurse communication/information giving" and "mobilising".
Conclusion
The ICF Core Sets for the acute hospital and early post-acute rehabilitation facilities are highly relevant for rehabilitation nursing. Linking nursing interventions with ICF Core Set categories is a feasible way to analyse nursing. Using the ICF Core Sets to describe goals of nursing interventions both facilitates inter-professional communication and respects patient's needs. The ICF may thus be a useful framework to set nursing intervention goals.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-7-3
PMCID: PMC2276191  PMID: 18282288
14.  Pharmacology education for nurse prescribing students – a lesson in reusable learning objects 
BMC Nursing  2008;7:2.
Background
The shift away from a biological science to a social science model of nursing care has resulted in a reduction in pharmacology knowledge and understanding in pre-registration nursing students. This has a significant impact on nurse prescribing training where pharmacology is a critical component of the course from a patient safety perspective.
Methods
Reusable learning objects (RLOs) are electronic resources based on a single learning objective which use high quality graphics and audio to help engagement with the material and to facilitate learning. This study used questionnaire data from three successive cohorts of nurse prescribing students (n = 84) to evaluate the use of RLOs focussed around pharmacology concepts to promote the understanding of these concepts in students. A small number of students (n = 10) were followed up by telephone interview one year after qualification to gain further insight into students' perceptions of the value of RLOs as an educational tool.
Results
Students' perceptions of their own understanding of pharmacology concepts increased substantially following the introduction of RLOs to supplement the pharmacology component of the course. Student evaluation of the RLOs themselves was extremely positive with a number of students continuing to access these tools post-qualification.
Conclusion
The use of RLOs to support the pharmacology component of nurse prescribing courses successfully resulted in a perceived increase in pharmacology understanding, with some students directly implicating these educational tools in developing confidence in their own prescribing abilities.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-7-2
PMCID: PMC2263034  PMID: 18215261
15.  Nurse-led implementation of an insulin-infusion protocol in a general intensive care unit: improved glycaemic control with increased costs and risk of hypoglycaemia signals need for algorithm revision 
BMC Nursing  2008;7:1.
Background
Strict glycaemic control (SGC) has become a contentious issue in modern intensive care. Physicians and nurses are concerned about the increased workload due to SGC as well as causing harm through hypoglycaemia. The objective of our study was to evaluate our existing degree of glycaemic control, and to implement SGC safely in our ICU through a nurse-led implementation of an algorithm for intensive insulin-therapy.
Methods
The study took place in the adult general intensive care unit (11 beds) of a 44-bed department of intensive care at a tertiary care university hospital. All patients admitted during the 32 months of the study were enrolled. We retrospectively analysed all arterial blood glucose (BG) results from samples that were obtained over a period of 20 months prior to the implementation of SGC. We then introduced an algorithm for intensive insulin therapy; aiming for arterial blood-glucose at 4.4 – 6.1 mmol/L. Doctors and nurses were trained in the principles and potential benefits and risks of SGC. Consecutive statistical analyses of blood samples over a period of 12 months were used to assess performance, provide feedback and uncover incidences of hypoglycaemia.
Results
Median BG level was 6.6 mmol/L (interquartile range 5.6 to 7.7 mmol/L) during the period prior to implementation of SGC (494 patients), and fell to 5.9 (IQR 5.1 to 7.0) mmol/L following introduction of the new algorithm (448 patients). The percentage of BG samples > 8 mmol/L was reduced from 19.2 % to 13.1 %. Before implementation of SGC, 33 % of samples were between 4.4 to 6.1 mmol/L and 12 patients (2.4 %) had one or more episodes of severe hypoglycaemia (< 2.2 mmol/L). Following implementation of SGC, 45.8 % of samples were between 4.4 to 6.1 mmol/L and 40 patients (8.9 %) had one or more episodes of severe hypoglycaemia. Of theses, ten patients died while still hospitalised (all causes).
Conclusion
The retrospective part of the study indicated ample room for improvement. Through the implementation of SGC the fraction of samples within the new target range increased from 33% to 45.8%. There was also a significant increase in severe hypoglycaemic episodes. There continues to be potential for improved glycaemic control within our ICU. This might be achieved through an improved algorithm and continued efforts to increase nurses' confidence and skills in achieving SGC.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-7-1
PMCID: PMC2245923  PMID: 18205930

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