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1.  The financial losses from the migration of nurses from Malawi 
BMC Nursing  2006;5:9.
Background
The migration of health professionals trained in Africa to developed nations has compromised health systems in the African region. The financial losses from the investment in training due to the migration from the developing nations are hardly known.
Methods
The cost of training a health professional was estimated by including fees for primary, secondary and tertiary education. Accepted derivation of formula as used in economic analysis was used to estimate the lost investment.
Results
The total cost of training an enrolled nurse-midwife from primary school through nurse-midwifery training in Malawi was estimated as US$ 9,329.53. For a degree nurse-midwife, the total cost was US$ 31,726.26. For each enrolled nurse-midwife that migrates out of Malawi, the country loses between US$ 71,081.76 and US$ 7.5 million at bank interest rates of 7% and 25% per annum for 30 years respectively. For a degree nurse-midwife, the lost investment ranges from US$ 241,508 to US$ 25.6 million at 7% and 25% interest rate per annum for 30 years respectively.
Conclusion
Developing countries are losing significant amounts of money through lost investment of health care professionals who emigrate. There is need to quantify the amount of remittances that developing nations get in return from those who migrate.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-5-9
PMCID: PMC1635034  PMID: 17081302
2.  Pain, psychological distress and health-related quality of life at baseline and 3 months after radical prostatectomy 
BMC Nursing  2006;5:8.
Background
Inadequate management of postoperative pain is common, and postoperative pain is a risk factor for prolonged pain. In addition to medical and technical factors, psychological factors may also influence the experience of postoperative pain.
Methods
Pain was measured postoperatively at 24, 48, and 72 hr in hospital and after 3 months at home in 140 patients undergoing radical prostatectomy (RP). Patients answered questionnaires about anxiety and depression (HAD scale) and health-related quality of life (SF-36) at baseline and 3 months after surgery.
Results
In the first 3 postoperative days, mild pain was reported by 45 patients (32%), moderate pain by 64 (45%), and severe pain by 31 (22%) on one or more days. High postoperative pain scores were correlated with length of hospital stay and with high pain scores at home. Forty patients (29%) reported moderate (n = 35) or severe (n = 5) pain after discharge from hospital. Patients who experienced anxiety and depression preoperatively had higher postoperative pain scores and remained anxious and depressed 3 months after surgery. The scores for the physical domains in the SF-36 were decreased, while the mental health scores were increased at 3 months. Anxiety and depression were negatively correlated with all domains of the SF-36.
Conclusion
There is a need for nurses to be aware of the psychological status of RP patients and its impact upon patients' experience of postoperative pain and recovery. The ability to identify patients with psychological distress and to target interventions is an important goal for future research.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-5-8
PMCID: PMC1635551  PMID: 17078877
3.  Coping strategies, stress, physical activity and sleep in patients with unexplained chest pain 
BMC Nursing  2006;5:7.
Background
The number of patients suffering from unexplained chest pain (UCP) is increasing. Intervention programmes are needed to reduce the chest pain and suffering experienced by these patients and effective preventive strategies are also required to reduce the incidence of these symptoms. The aim of this study was to describe general coping strategies in patients with UCP and examine the relationships between coping strategies, negative life events, sleep problems, physical activity, stress and chest pain intensity.
Method
The sample consisted of 179 patients younger than 70 years of age, who were evaluated for chest pain at the emergency department daytime Monday through Friday and judged by a physician to have no organic cause for their chest pain. The study had a cross-sectional design.
Results
Emotive coping was related to chest pain intensity (r = 0.17, p = 0.02). Women used emotive coping to a greater extent than did men (p = 0.05). In the multivariate analysis was shown that physical activity decreased emotive coping (OR 0.13, p < 0.0001) while sex, age, sleep, mental strain at work and negative life events increased emotive coping. Twenty-seven percent of the patients had sleep problems 8 to14 nights per month or more. Permanent stress at work during the last year was reported by 18% of the patients and stress at home by 7%. Thirty-five percent of the patients were worried often or almost all the time about being rushed at work and 23% were worried about being unable to keep up with their workload. Concerning total life events, 20% reported that a close relative had had a serious illness and 27% had reasons to be worried about a close relative.
Conclusion
Our results indicated that patients with more intense UCP more often apply emotive coping in dealing with their pain. Given that emotive coping was also found to be related to disturbed sleep, negative life events, mental strain at work and physical activity, it may be of value to help these patients to both verbalise their emotions and to become cognizant of the influence of such factors on their pain experience.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-5-7
PMCID: PMC1635695  PMID: 17076883
4.  Breast cancer risk factor knowledge among nurses in teaching hospitals of Karachi, Pakistan: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Nursing  2006;5:6.
Background
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in both the developed and the developing world. The incidence of breast cancer in Karachi, Pakistan is 69.1 per 100,000 with breast cancer presentation in stages III and IV being common (≥ 50%). The most pragmatic solution to early detection lies in breast cancer education of women. Nurses constitute a special group having characteristics most suited for disseminating breast cancer information to the women. We assessed the level of knowledge of breast cancer risk factors among registered female nurses in teaching hospitals of Karachi. We also identified whether selected factors among nurses were associated with their knowledge of breast cancer risk factors, so that relevant measures to improve knowledge of nurses could be implemented.
Methods
A cross-sectional survey was conducted in seven teaching hospitals of Karachi using stratified random sampling with proportional allocation. A total of 609 registered female nurses were interviewed using a structured questionnaire adapted from the Stager's Comprehensive Breast Cancer Knowledge Test. Knowledge of breast cancer risk factors was categorized into good, fair and poor categories. Ordinal regression was used to identify factors associated with risk knowledge among nurses.
Results
Thirty five percent of nurses had good knowledge of risk factors. Graduates from private nursing schools (aOR = 4.23, 95% CI: 2.93, 6.10), nurses who had cared for breast cancer patients (aOR = 1.41, 95% CI: 1.00, 1.99), those having received a breast examination themselves (aOR = 1.56, 95% CI: 1.08, 2.26) or those who ever examined a patient's breast (aOR = 1.87, 95% CI: 1.34, 2.61) were more likely to have good knowledge.
Conclusion
A relatively small proportion of the nursing population had good level of knowledge of the breast cancer risk factors. This knowledge is associated with nursing school status, professional breast cancer exposure and self history of clinical breast examination. Since only about one-third of the nurses had good knowledge about risk factors, there is a need to introduce breast cancer education in nursing schools particularly in the public sector. Continuing nursing education at the workplace can be of additional benefit.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-5-6
PMCID: PMC1599729  PMID: 16984630
5.  Drug information resources used by nurse practitioners and collaborating physicians at the point of care in Nova Scotia, Canada: a survey and review of the literature 
BMC Nursing  2006;5:5.
Background
Keeping current with drug therapy information is challenging for health care practitioners. Technologies are often implemented to facilitate access to current and credible drug information sources. In the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, legislation was passed in 2002 to allow nurse practitioners (NPs) to practice collaboratively with physician partners. The purpose of this study was to determine the current utilization patterns of information technologies by these groups of practitioners.
Methods
Nurse practitioners and their collaborating physician partners in Nova Scotia were sent a survey in February 2005 to determine the frequency of use, usefulness, accessibility, credibility, and current/timeliness of personal digital assistant (PDA), computer, and print drug information resources. Two surveys were developed (one for PDA users and one for computer users) and revised based on a literature search, stakeholder consultation, and pilot-testing results. A second distribution to nonresponders occurred two weeks following the first. Data were entered and analysed with SPSS.
Results
Twenty-seven (14 NPs and 13 physicians) of 36 (75%) recipients responded. 22% (6) returned personal digital assistant (PDA) surveys. Respondents reported print, health professionals, and online/electronic resources as the most to least preferred means to access drug information, respectively. 37% and 35% of respondents reported using "both print and electronic but print more than electronic" and "print only", respectively, to search monograph-related drug information queries whereas 4% reported using "PDA only". Analysis of respondent ratings for all resources in the categories print, health professionals and other, and online/electronic resources, indicated that the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties and pharmacists ranked highly for frequency of use, usefulness, accessibility, credibility, and current/timeliness by both groups of practitioners. Respondents' preferences and resource ratings were consistent with self-reported methods for conducting drug information queries. Few differences existed between NP and physician rankings of resources.
Conclusion
The use of computers and PDAs remains limited, which is also consistent with preferred and frequent use of print resources. Education for these practitioners regarding available electronic drug information resources may facilitate future computer and PDA use. Further research is needed to determine methods to increase computer and PDA use and whether these technologies affect prescribing and patient outcomes.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-5-5
PMCID: PMC1590010  PMID: 16822323
6.  Preoperative information for ICU patients to reduce anxiety during and after the ICU-stay: protocol of a randomized controlled trial [NCT00151554] 
BMC Nursing  2006;5:4.
Background
According to current evidence and psychological theorizing proper information giving seems to be a promising way to reduce patient anxiety. In the case of surgical patients, admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) is strongly associated with uncertainty, unpredictability and anxiety for the patient. Thus, ICU specific information could have a high clinical impact. This study investigates the potential benefits of a specifically designed ICU-related information program for patients who undergo elective cardiac, abdominal or thoracic surgery and are scheduled for ICU stay.
Methods/Design
The trial is designed as a prospective randomized controlled trial including an intervention and a control group. The control group receives the standard preparation currently conducted by surgeons and anesthetists. The intervention group additionally receives a standardized information program with specific procedural, sensory and coping information about the ICU.
A measurable clinical relevant difference regarding anxiety will be expected after discharge from ICU. Power calculation (α = 0.05; β = 0.20; Δ = 8.50 score points) resulted in a required sample size of N = 120 cardiac surgical patients (n = 60 vs. n = 60). Furthermore, N = 20 abdominal or thoracic surgical patients will be recruited (n = 10 vs. n = 10) to gain insight to a possible generalization to other patient groups.
Additionally the moderating effect of specific patient attributes (need for cognition, high trait anxiety) will be investigated to identify certain patient groups which benefit most.
Discussion
The proposed study promises to strengthen evidence on effects of a specific, concise information program that addresses the information needs of patients scheduled for ICU stay.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-5-4
PMCID: PMC1431533  PMID: 16524468
7.  Patient advocacy: barriers and facilitators 
BMC Nursing  2006;5:3.
Background
During the two recent decades, advocacy has been a topic of much debate in the nursing profession. Although advocacy has embraced a crucial role for nurses, its extent is often limited in practice. While a variety of studies have been generated all over the world, barriers and facilitators in the patient advocacy have not been completely identified. This article presents the findings of a study exploring the barriers and facilitators influencing the role of advocacy among Iranian nurses.
Method
This study was conducted by grounded theory method. Participants were 24 Iranian registered nurses working in a large university hospital in Tehran, Iran. Semi-structured interviews were used for data collection. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and simultaneously Constant comparative analysis was used according to the Strauss and Corbin method.
Results
Through data analysis, several main themes emerged to describe the factors that hindered or facilitated patient advocacy. Nurses in this study identified powerlessness, lack of support, law, code of ethics and motivation, limited communication, physicians leading, risk of advocacy, royalty to peers, and insufficient time to interact with patients and families as barriers to advocacy. As for factors that facilitated nurses to act as a patient advocate, it was found that the nature of nurse-patient relationship, recognizing patients' needs, nurses' responsibility, physician as a colleague, and nurses' knowledge and skills could be influential in adopting the advocacy role.
Conclusion
Participants believed that in this context taking an advocacy role is difficult for nurses due to the barriers mentioned. Therefore, they make decisions and act as a patient's advocate in any situation concerning patient needs and status of barriers and facilitators. In most cases, they can not act at an optimal level; instead they accept only what they can do, which we called 'limited advocacy' in this study. It is concluded that advocacy is contextually complex, and is a controversial and risky component of the nursing practice. Further research is needed to determine the possibility of a correlation between identified barriers/ facilitators and the use of advocacy.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-5-3
PMCID: PMC1420298  PMID: 16509969
8.  Questionnaire survey of working relationships between nurses and doctors in University Teaching Hospitals in Southern Nigeria 
BMC Nursing  2006;5:2.
Background
Smooth working relationships between nurses and doctors are necessary for efficient health care delivery. However, previous studies have shown that this is often absent with negative impact on the quality of health care delivery. In 2002, we studied factors that affect nurse-doctor working relationships in University Teaching Hospitals (UTH) in Southern Nigeria in order to characterize it and identify managerial and training needs that might be used to improve it.
Method
Questionnaire survey of doctors and nurses working in four UTH in Southern Nigeria was done in 2002. The setting and subjects were selected by random sampling procedures. Information on factors in domains of work, union activities, personnel and hospital management were studied using closed and open-ended questionnaires.
Results
Nurse-doctor working relationships were statistically significantly affected by poor after-work social interaction, staff shortages, activist unionism, disregard for one's profession, and hospital management and government policies. In general, nurses had better opinion of doctors' work than doctors had about nurses' work.
Conclusion
Working relationships between doctors and nurses need to be improved through improved training and better working conditions, creation of better working environment, use of alternative methods of conflict resolution and balanced hospital management and government policies. This will improve the retention of staff, job satisfaction and efficiency of health care delivery in Nigeria.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-5-2
PMCID: PMC1471789  PMID: 16504039
9.  Nurses' perceptions and experiences of communication in the operating theatre: a focus group interview 
BMC Nursing  2006;5:1.
Abstract
Nurses' perceptions and experiences of communication in the operating theatre: a focus group interview
Background
Communication programmes are well established in nurse education. The focus of programmes is most often on communicating with patients with less attention paid to inter-professional communication or skills essential for working in specialised settings. Although there are many anecdotal reports of communication within the operating theatre, there are few empirical studies. This paper explores communication behaviours for effective practice in the operating theatre as perceived by nurses and serves as a basis for developing training.
Methods
A focus group interview was conducted with seven experienced theatre nurses from a large London teaching hospital. The interview explored their perceptions of the key as well as unique features of effective communication skills in the operating theatre. Data was transcribed and thematically analysed until agreement was achieved by the two authors.
Results
There was largely consensus on the skills deemed necessary for effective practice including listening, clarity of speech and being polite. Significant influences on the nature of communication included conflict in role perception and organisational issues. Nurses were often expected to work outside of their role which either directly or indirectly created barriers for effective communication. Perceptions of a lack of collaborative team effort also influenced communication.
Conclusion
Although fundamental communication skills were identified for effective practice in the operating theatre, there were significant barriers to their use because of confusion over clarity of roles (especially nurses' roles) and the implications for teamwork. Nurses were dissatisfied with several aspects of communication. Future studies should explore the breadth and depth of this dissatisfaction in other operating theatres, its impact on morale and importantly on patient safety. Interprofessional communication training for operating theatre staff based in part on the key issues identified in this study may help to create clarity in roles and focus attention on effective teamwork and promote clinical safety.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-5-1
PMCID: PMC1397831  PMID: 16466581

Results 1-9 (9)