Nursing - Research Publications

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    Intensive care patients receiving vasoactive medications: A retrospective cohort study.
    Hunter, S ; Manias, E ; Hirth, S ; Considine, J (Elsevier BV, 2021-09-06)
    BACKGROUND: Vasoactive medications are high-risk drugs commonly used in intensive care units (ICUs), which have wide variations in clinical management. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to describe the patient population, treatment, and clinical characteristics of patients who did and did not receive vasoactive medications while in the ICU and to develop a predictive tool to identify patients needing vasoactive medications. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study of patients admitted to a level three tertiary referral ICU over a 12-month period from October 2018 to September 2019 was undertaken. Data from electronic medical records were analysed to describe patient characteristics in an adult ICU. Chi square and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to analyse data relating to patients who did and did not receive vasoactive medications. Univariate analysis and Pearson's r2 were used to determine inclusion in multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS: Of 1276 patients in the cohort, 40% (512/1276) received a vasoactive medication for haemodynamic support, with 84% (428/512) receiving noradrenaline. Older patients (odds ratio [OR] = 1.02; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.01-1.02; p < 0.001) with higher Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) III scores (OR = 1.04; 95% CI = 1.03-1.04; p < 0.001) were more likely to receive vasoactive medications than those not treated with vasoactive medications during an intensive care admission. A model developed using multivariable analysis predicted that patients admitted with sepsis (OR = 2.43; 95% CI = 1.43-4.12; p = 0.001) or shock (OR = 4.05; 95% CI = 2.68-6.10; p < 0.001) and managed on mechanical ventilation (OR = 3.76; 95% CI = 2.81-5.02; p < 0.001) were more likely to receive vasoactive medications. CONCLUSIONS: Mechanically ventilated patients admitted to intensive care for sepsis and shock with higher APACHE III scores were more likely to receive vasoactive medications. Predictors identified in the multivariable model can be used to direct resources to patients most at risk of receiving vasoactive medications.
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    Nurse management of vasoactive medications in intensive care: A systematic review
    Hunter, S ; Considine, J ; Manias, E (WILEY, 2019-11-28)
    AIM AND OBJECTIVE: To investigate how intensive care nurses prepare, initiate, administer, titrate, and wean vasoactive medications. BACKGROUND: The management of vasoactive medications is core business for intensive care nurses, but little is known on how nurses manage these ubiquitous and potentially harmful medications. DESIGN: A systematic review of the literature with narrative synthesis of data. METHODS: The databases CINAHL Complete, Medline Complete and EMBASE were searched from 1965 to January 2019 with keywords under five concept headings and in a variety of configurations. This systematic review was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines. Studies were assessed for quality and bias, and a modified narrative synthesis was used to analyse data, investigate findings and explore relationships within and between studies. RESULTS: The review identified 13 studies: two observational studies, two pre and post intervention studies, four survey studies, two quasi-experimental studies, one longitudinal time series, one prospective controlled trial, and one interview incorporating content analysis. Four studies on preparing and initiating vasoactive medications described a lack of standardisation in infusion preparation and inconsistencies in dosing units and patient weights. Five of six studies on vasoactive medication administration examined nurses' use of syringe changeovers to reduce patient haemodynamic compromise and there were three studies on titration and weaning. CONCLUSION: Further research on nurse management of vasoactive medications is needed to develop an evidence base for specialist education and standardised practices aimed at reducing risk for patient harm. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Nurses working in intensive care units in many parts of the world are responsible for the management of vasoactive medications. There is great variation in practices that include preparation, initiation, administration, titration and weaning of vasoactive medications, which increases the risk for medication errors and adverse events in a vulnerable population of critically ill patients.
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    Exploring patient preferences for involvement in medication management in hospitals.
    Bucknall, T ; Digby, R ; Fossum, M ; Hutchinson, AM ; Considine, J ; Dunning, T ; Hughes, L ; Weir-Phyland, J ; Manias, E (Wiley, 2019-10)
    AIM: The aim of this study was to identify patient preferences for involvement in medication management during hospitalization. DESIGN: A qualitative descriptive study. METHODS: This is a study of 20 inpatients in two medical and two surgical wards at an academic health science centre in Melbourne, Australia. Semi-structured interviews were recorded and analysed using content analysis. FINDINGS: Three themes were identified: (a) 'understanding the medication' established large variation in participants' understanding of their pre-admission medication and current medication; (b) 'ownership of medication administration' showed that few patients had considered an alternative to their current regimen; only some were interested in taking more control; and (c) 'supporting discharge from hospital' showed that most patients desired written medication instructions to be explained by a health professional. Family involvement was important for many. CONCLUSION: There was significant diversity of opinion from participants about their involvement in medication management in hospital. Patient preferences for inclusion need to be identified on admission where appropriate. Education about roles and responsibilities of medication management is required for health professionals, patients and families to increase inclusion and engagement across the health continuum and support transition to discharge. IMPACT STATEMENT: Little is known about patient preferences for participation in medication administration and hospital discharge planning. Individual patient understanding of and interest in participation in medication administration varies. In accordance with individual patient preferences, patients need to be included more effectively and consistently in their own medication management when in hospital.
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    Nurses' decision-making, practices and perceptions of patient involvement in medication administration in an acute hospital setting.
    Bucknall, T ; Fossum, M ; Hutchinson, AM ; Botti, M ; Considine, J ; Dunning, T ; Hughes, L ; Weir-Phyland, J ; Digby, R ; Manias, E (Wiley, 2019-06)
    AIMS: To describe nurses' decision-making, practices and perceptions of patient involvement in medication administration in acute hospital settings. BACKGROUND: Medication errors cause unintended harm to patients. Nurses have a major role in ensuring patient safety in medication administration practices in hospital settings. Investigating nurses' medication administration decision-making and practices and their perceptions of patient involvement, may assist in developing interventions by revealing how and when to involve patients during medication administration in hospital. DESIGN: A descriptive exploratory study design. METHODS: Twenty nurses were recruited from two surgical and two medical wards of a major metropolitan hospital in Australia. Each nurse was observed for 4 hr, then interviewed after the observation. Data were collected over six months in 2015. Observations were captured on an electronic case report form; interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and content and thematic analysis. RESULTS: Ninety-five medication administration episodes, of between two and eight episodes per nurse, were observed. A total of 56 interruptions occurred with 26 of the interruptions being medication related. Four major themes emerged from the interviews: dealing with uncertainty; facilitating, framing and filtering information; managing interruptions and knowing and involving patients. CONCLUSION: Nurses work in complex adaptive systems that change moment by moment. Acknowledging and understanding the cognitive workload and complex interactions are necessary to improve patient safety and reduce errors during medication administration. Knowing and involving the patient is an important part of a nurses' medication administration safety strategies.