Nursing - Research Publications

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    Triage, treatment and transfer of patients with stroke in emergency department trial (the T-3 Trial): a cluster randomised trial protocol
    Middleton, S ; Levi, C ; Dale, S ; Cheung, NW ; McInnes, E ; Considine, J ; D'Este, C ; Cadilhac, DA ; Grimshaw, J ; Gerraty, R ; Craig, L ; Schadewaldt, V ; McElduff, P ; Fitzgerald, M ; Quinn, C ; Cadigan, G ; Denisenko, S ; Longworth, M ; Ward, J (BMC, 2016-10-18)
    BACKGROUND: Internationally recognised evidence-based guidelines recommend appropriate triage of patients with stroke in emergency departments (EDs), administration of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), and proactive management of fever, hyperglycaemia and swallowing before prompt transfer to a stroke unit to maximise outcomes. We aim to evaluate the effectiveness in EDs of a theory-informed, nurse-initiated, intervention to improve multidisciplinary triage, treatment and transfer (T3) of patients with acute stroke to improve 90-day death and dependency. Organisational and contextual factors associated with intervention uptake also will be evaluated. METHODS: This prospective, multicentre, parallel group, cluster randomised trial with blinded outcome assessment will be conducted in EDs of hospitals with stroke units in three Australian states and one territory. EDs will be randomised 1:1 within strata defined by state and tPA volume to receive either the T3 intervention or no additional support (control EDs). Our T3 intervention comprises an evidence-based care bundle targeting: (1) triage: routine assignment of patients with suspected stroke to Australian Triage Scale category 1 or 2; (2) treatment: screening for tPA eligibility and administration of tPA where applicable; instigation of protocols for management of fever, hyperglycaemia and swallowing; and (3) transfer: prompt admission to the stroke unit. We will use implementation science behaviour change methods informed by the Theoretical Domains Framework [1, 2] consisting of (i) workshops to determine barriers and local solutions; (ii) mixed interactive and didactic education; (iii) local clinical opinion leaders; and (iv) reminders in the form of email, telephone and site visits. Our primary outcome measure is 90 days post-admission death or dependency (modified Rankin Scale >2). Secondary outcomes are health status (SF-36), functional dependency (Barthel Index), quality of life (EQ-5D); and quality of care outcomes, namely, monitoring and management practices for thrombolysis, fever, hyperglycaemia, swallowing and prompt transfer. Outcomes will be assessed at the patient level. A separate process evaluation will examine contextual factors to successful intervention uptake. At the time of publication, EDs have been randomised and the intervention is being implemented. DISCUSSION: This theoretically informed intervention is aimed at addressing important gaps in care to maximise 90-day health outcomes for patients with stroke. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12614000939695 . Registered 2 September 2014.
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    Testing a systematic approach to identify and prioritise barriers to successful implementation of a complex healthcare intervention
    Craig, LE ; Churilov, L ; Olenko, L ; Cadilhac, DA ; Grimley, R ; Dale, S ; Martinez-Garduno, C ; McInnes, E ; Considine, J ; Grimshaw, JM ; Middleton, S (BMC, 2017-02-07)
    BACKGROUND: Multiple barriers may inhibit the adoption of clinical interventions and impede successful implementation. Use of standardised methods to prioritise barriers to target when selecting implementation interventions is an understudied area of implementation research. The aim of this study was to describe a method to identify and prioritise barriers to the implementation of clinical practice elements which were used to inform the development of the T3 trial implementation intervention (Triage, Treatment [thrombolysis administration; monitoring and management of temperature, blood glucose levels, and swallowing difficulties] and Transfer of stroke patients from Emergency Departments [ED]). METHODS: A survey was developed based on a literature review and data from a complementary trial to identify the commonly reported barriers for the nine T3 clinical care elements. This was administered via a web-based questionnaire to a purposive sample of Australian multidisciplinary clinicians and managers in acute stroke care. The questionnaire addressed barriers to each of the nine T3 trial clinical care elements. Participants produced two ranked lists: on their perception of: firstly, how influential each barrier was in preventing clinicians from performing the clinical care element (influence attribute); and secondly how difficult the barrier was to overcome (difficulty attribute). The rankings for both influence and difficulty were combined to classify the barriers according to three categories ('least desirable', desirable' or 'most desirable' to target) to assist interpretation. RESULTS: All invited participants completed the survey; (n = 17; 35% medical, 35% nursing, 18% speech pathology, 12% bed managers). The barriers classified as most desirable to target and overcome were a 'lack of protocols for the management of fever' and 'not enough blood glucose monitoring machines'. CONCLUSIONS: A structured decision-support procedure has been illustrated and successfully applied to identify and prioritise barriers to target within an implementation intervention. This approach may prove to be a useful in other studies and as an adjunct to undertaking barrier assessments within individual sites when planning implementation interventions.
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    Identifying the barriers and enablers for a triage, treatment, and transfer clinical intervention to manage acute stroke patients in the emergency department: a systematic review using the theoretical domains framework (TDF)
    Craig, LE ; McInnes, E ; Taylor, N ; Grimley, R ; Cadilhac, DA ; Considine, J ; Middleton, S (BMC, 2016-11-28)
    BACKGROUND: Clinical guidelines recommend that assessment and management of patients with stroke commences early including in emergency departments (ED). To inform the development of an implementation intervention targeted in ED, we conducted a systematic review of qualitative and quantitative studies to identify relevant barriers and enablers to six key clinical behaviours in acute stroke care: appropriate triage, thrombolysis administration, monitoring and management of temperature, blood glucose levels, and of swallowing difficulties and transfer of stroke patients in ED. METHODS: Studies of any design, conducted in ED, where barriers or enablers based on primary data were identified for one or more of these six clinical behaviours. Major biomedical databases (CINAHL, OVID SP EMBASE, OVID SP MEDLINE) were searched using comprehensive search strategies. The barriers and enablers were categorised using the theoretical domains framework (TDF). The behaviour change technique (BCT) that best aligned to the strategy each enabler represented was selected for each of the reported enablers using a standard taxonomy. RESULTS: Five qualitative studies and four surveys out of the 44 studies identified met the selection criteria. The majority of barriers reported corresponded with the TDF domains of "environmental, context and resources" (such as stressful working conditions or lack of resources) and "knowledge" (such as lack of guideline awareness or familiarity). The majority of enablers corresponded with the domains of "knowledge" (such as education for physicians on the calculated risk of haemorrhage following intravenous thrombolysis [tPA]) and "skills" (such as providing opportunity to treat stroke cases of varying complexity). The total number of BCTs assigned was 18. The BCTs most frequently assigned to the reported enablers were "focus on past success" and "information about health consequences." CONCLUSIONS: Barriers and enablers for the delivery of key evidence-based protocols in an emergency setting have been identified and interpreted within a relevant theoretical framework. This new knowledge has since been used to select specific BCTs to implement evidence-based care in an ED setting. It is recommended that findings from similar future reviews adopt a similar theoretical approach. In particular, the use of existing matrices to assist the selection of relevant BCTs.
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    Development of a theory-informed implementation intervention to improve the triage, treatment and transfer of stroke patients in emergency departments using the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF): the T-3 Trial
    Craig, LE ; Taylor, N ; Grimley, R ; Cadilhac, DA ; McInnes, E ; Phillips, R ; Dale, S ; O'Connor, D ; Levi, C ; Fitzgerald, M ; Considine, J ; Grimshaw, JM ; Gerraty, R ; Cheung, NW ; Ward, J ; Middleton, S (BMC, 2017-07-17)
    BACKGROUND: Theoretical frameworks and models based on behaviour change theories are increasingly used in the development of implementation interventions. Development of an implementation intervention is often based on the available evidence base and practical issues, i.e. feasibility and acceptability. The aim of this study was to describe the development of an implementation intervention for the T3 Trial (Triage, Treatment and Transfer of patients with stroke in emergency departments (EDs)) using theory to recommend behaviour change techniques (BCTs) and drawing on the research evidence base and practical issues of feasibility and acceptability. METHODS: A stepped method for developing complex interventions based on theory, evidence and practical issues was adapted using the following steps: (1) Who needs to do what, differently? (2) Using a theoretical framework, which barriers and enablers need to be addressed? (3) Which intervention components (behaviour change techniques and mode(s) of delivery) could overcome the modifiable barriers and enhance the enablers? A researcher panel was convened to review the list of BCTs recommended for use and to identify the most feasible and acceptable techniques to adopt. RESULTS: Seventy-six barriers were reported by hospital staff who attended the workshops (step 1: thirteen TDF domains likely to influence the implementation of the T3 Trial clinical intervention were identified by the researchers; step 2: the researcher panellists then selected one third of the BCTs recommended for use as appropriate for the clinical context of the ED and, using the enabler workshop data, devised enabling strategies for each of the selected BCTs; and step 3: the final implementation intervention consisted of 27 BCTs). CONCLUSIONS: The TDF was successfully applied in all steps of developing an implementation intervention for the T3 Trial clinical intervention. The use of researcher panel opinion was an essential part of the BCT selection process to incorporate both research evidence and expert judgment. It is recommended that this stepped approach (theory, evidence and practical issues of feasibility and acceptability) is used to develop highly reportable implementation interventions. The classifying of BCTs using recognised implementation intervention components will facilitate generalisability and sharing across different conditions and clinical settings.