Nursing - Research Publications

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    Self-management of medication during hospitalisation: Healthcare providers' and patients' perspectives
    Vanwesemael, T ; Boussery, K ; Manias, E ; Petrovic, M ; Fraeyman, J ; Dilles, T (WILEY, 2018-02-01)
    AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To explore healthcare providers' and patients' perspectives on self-management of medication during the patients' hospital stay. BACKGROUND: Self-administration of medications relates to the process in which hospitalised patients-instead of healthcare professionals-prepare and consume medications by themselves. Literature suggests possible advantages of medication self-management such as increased patient satisfaction, adherence to pharmacotherapy and self-care competence. DESIGN: A qualitative descriptive study design was adopted, using semistructured interviews and qualitative content analysis to examine data. METHODS: Six physicians, 11 nurses, six hospital pharmacists and seven patients were recruited from one regional hospital and two university hospitals, situated in Belgium. Interviews were conducted between October 2014-January 2015. RESULTS: Strengths of medication self-management were described by participants, relating to benefits of self-management for patients, time-saving benefits for nurses and benefits for better collaboration between patients and healthcare providers. Weaknesses were also apparent for patients as well as for nurses and physicians. Opportunities for self-management of medication were described, relating to the organisation, the patient and the process for implementing self-management. Threats for self-management of medication included obstacles related to implementation of self-managed medications and the actual process of providing medication self-management. A structured overview of conditions that should be fulfilled before allowing self-management of medication concerned patient-related conditions, the self-managed medication and the organisation of self-management of medication. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides new insights on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats from the perspectives of key stakeholders. Interpretation of these findings resulted in an overview of adaptations in the medication management process to facilitate implementation of self-management of medication. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: A medication management process for self-management of medication was proposed. Further interventional studies are needed to test and refine this process before implementing it in daily practice.
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    The impact of interruptions on medication errors in hospitals: an observational study of nurses
    Johnson, M ; Sanchez, P ; Langdon, R ; Manias, E ; Levett-Jones, T ; Weidemann, G ; Aguilar, V ; Everett, B (WILEY, 2017-10-01)
    AIM: To explore interruptions during medication preparation and administration and their consequences. BACKGROUND: Although not all interruptions in nursing have a negative impact, interruptions during medication rounds have been associated with medication errors. METHOD: A non-participant observational study was undertaken of nurses conducting medication rounds. RESULTS: Fifty-six medication events (including 101 interruptions) were observed. Most medication events (99%) were interrupted, resulting in nurses stopping medication preparation or administration to address the interruption (mean 2.5 minutes). The mean number of interruptions was 1.79 (SD 1.04). Thirty-four percent of medication events had at least one procedural failure, while 3.6% resulted in a clinical error. CONCLUSIONS: Our study confirmed that interruptions occur frequently during medication preparation and administration, and these interruptions were associated with procedural failures and clinical errors. Nurses were the primary source of interruptions with interruptions often being unrelated to patient care. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: This study has confirmed that interruptions are frequent and result in clinical errors and procedural failures, compromising patient safety. These interruptions contribute a substantial additional workload to medication tasks. Various interventions should be implemented to reduce non-patient-related interruptions. Medication systems and procedures are advocated, that reduce the need for joint double-checking of medications, indirectly avoiding interruptions.
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    Stressors and coping resources of Australian kidney transplant recipients related to medication taking: a qualitative study
    Low, JK ; Crawford, K ; Manias, E ; Williams, A (WILEY, 2017-06-01)
    AIM AND OBJECTIVE: To understand the stressors related to life post kidney transplantation, with a focus on medication adherence, and the coping resources people use to deal with these stressors. BACKGROUND: Although kidney transplantation offers enhanced quality and years of life for patients, the management of a kidney transplant post surgery is a complex process. DESIGN: A descriptive exploratory study. METHOD: Participants were recruited from five kidney transplant units in Victoria, Australia. From March-May 2014, patients who had either maintained their kidney transplant for ≥8 months or had experienced a kidney graft loss due to medication nonadherence were interviewed. All audio-recordings of interviews were transcribed verbatim and underwent Ritchie and Spencer's framework analysis. RESULTS: Participants consisted of 15 men and 10 women aged 26-72 years old. All identified themes were categorised into: (1) Causes of distress and (2) Coping resources. Post kidney transplantation, causes of distress included the regimented routine necessary for graft maintenance, and the everlasting fear of potential graft rejection, contracting infections and developing cancer. Coping resources used to manage the stressors were first, a shift in perspective about how easy it was to manage a kidney transplant than to be dialysis-dependent and second, receiving external help from fellow patients, family members and health care professionals in addition to using electronic reminders. CONCLUSION: An individual well-equipped with coping resources is able to deal with stressors better. It is recommended that changes, such as providing regular reminders about the lifestyle benefits of kidney transplantation, creating opportunities for patients to share their experiences and promoting the usage of a reminder alarm to take medications, will reduce the stress of managing a kidney transplant. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Using these findings to make informed changes to the usual care of a kidney transplant recipient is likely to result in better patient outcomes.
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    Medication communication between nurses and doctors for paediatric acute care: An ethnographic study
    Borrott, N ; Kinney, S ; Newall, F ; Williams, A ; Cranswick, N ; Wong, I ; Manias, E (WILEY, 2017-07-01)
    AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To examine how communication between nurses and doctors occurred for managing medications in inpatient paediatric settings. BACKGROUND: Communication between health professionals influences medication incidents' occurrence and safe care. DESIGN: An ethnographic study was undertaken. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews, observations and focus groups were conducted in three clinical areas of an Australian tertiary paediatric hospital. Data were transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed using the Medication Communication Model. RESULTS: The actual communication act revealed health professionals' commitment to effective medication management and the influence of professional identities on medication communication. Nurses and doctors were dedicated to providing safe, effective medication therapy for children, within their scope of practice and perceived role responsibilities. Most nurses and junior doctors used tentative language in their communication while senior doctors tended to use direct language. Irrespective of language style, nurses actively engaged with doctors to promote patients' needs. Yet, the medical hierarchical structure, staffing and attendant expectations influenced communication for medication management, causing frustration among nurses and doctors. Doctors' lack of verbal communication of documented changes to medication orders particularly troubled nurses. Nurses persisted in their efforts to acquire appropriate orders for safe medication administration to paediatric patients. CONCLUSIONS: Collaborative practice between nurses and doctors involved complex, symbiotic relationships. Their dedication to providing safe medication therapy to paediatric patients facilitated effective medication management. At times, shortcomings in interdisciplinary communication impacted on potential and actual medication incidents. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Understanding of the complexities affecting medication communication between nurses and doctors helps to ensure interprofessional respect for each other's roles and inherent demands. Interdisciplinary education delivered in healthcare organisations would facilitate greater clarity in communication related to medications. Encouraging the use of concise, clear words in communication would help to promote improved understanding between parties, and accuracy and efficacy of medication management.
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    Pain assessment and management in paediatric oncology: a cross-sectional audit
    Plummer, K ; McCarthy, M ; McKenzie, I ; Newall, F ; Manias, E (WILEY, 2017-10-01)
    AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To describe the pain assessment and management practices documented by health professionals within a tertiary-level Children's Cancer Centre and to evaluate how these practices were compared with international recommendations. BACKGROUND: Children with cancer are vulnerable to pain due to the intensity of antineoplastic therapy. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that current pain management practices provided to paediatric oncology inpatients are of a high quality. DESIGN: A single-site cross-sectional audit. METHODS: A 24-hour period of documented pain-related care in randomly selected inpatients of an Australian tertiary-level Children's Cancer Centre was examined. The current pain management practices were audited over a two-month period resulting in 258 episodes of pain-related care being reviewed. RESULTS: Pain related to medical treatment for cancer was common (n = 146/258, 57%) and persistent. The presence of pain was not consistently recorded by health professionals (n = 75/146, 51%). Pain was mild (n = 26/75, 35%) and opioids were the mainstay of pain management interventions (n = 63/112, 56%). Adjuvants were an important component of pain management (n = 47/112, 42%), and nonpharmacological methods of managing pain were under-represented in this audit (n = 38/146, 26%). According to the Pain Management Index, pain was appropriately managed for the majority of children (n = 65/76, 87%). CONCLUSIONS: Pain management practices did not fully reflect the recommendations of contemporary paediatric pain management. Due to limitations in the documentation of children's pain, it was difficult to determine the effectiveness of pain management interventions. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: This study highlights the ongoing problem of pain for children receiving antineoplastic therapy. It is recommended that health professionals routinely screen for the presence of pain during hospitalisation and assess the efficacy of pain-related care.
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    Creating opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and patient-centred care: how nurses, doctors, pharmacists and patients use communication strategies when managing medications in an acute hospital setting
    Liu, W ; Gerdtz, M ; Manias, E (WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2016-10-01)
    AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: This paper examines the communication strategies that nurses, doctors, pharmacists and patients use when managing medications. BACKGROUND: Patient-centred medication management is best accomplished through interdisciplinary practice. Effective communication about managing medications between clinicians and patients has a direct influence on patient outcomes. There is a lack of research that adopts a multidisciplinary approach and involves critical in-depth analysis of medication interactions among nurses, doctors, pharmacists and patients. DESIGN: A critical ethnographic approach with video reflexivity was adopted to capture communication strategies during medication activities in two general medical wards of an acute care hospital in Melbourne, Australia. METHODS: A mixed ethnographic approach combining participant observations, field interviews, video recordings and video reflexive focus groups and interviews was employed. Seventy-six nurses, 31 doctors, 1 pharmacist and 27 patients gave written consent to participate in the study. Data analysis was informed by Fairclough's critical discourse analytic framework. FINDINGS: Clinicians' use of communication strategies was demonstrated in their interpersonal, authoritative and instructive talk with patients. Doctors adopted the language discourse of normalisation to standardise patients' illness experiences. Nurses and pharmacists employed the language discourses of preparedness and scrutiny to ensure that patient safety was maintained. Patients took up the discourse of politeness to raise medication concerns and question treatment decisions made by doctors, in their attempts to challenge decision-making about their health care treatment. In addition, the video method revealed clinicians' extensive use of body language in communication processes for medication management. CONCLUSIONS: The use of communication strategies by nurses, doctors, pharmacists and patients created opportunities for improved interdisciplinary collaboration and patient-centred medication management in an acute hospital setting. Language discourses shaped and were shaped by complex power relations between patients and clinicians and among clinicians themselves. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Clinicians need to be encouraged to have regular conversations to talk about and challenge each other's practices. More emphasis should be placed on ensuring that patients are given opportunities to voice their concerns about how their medications are managed.
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    Communicating about the management of medications as patients move across transition points of care: an observation and interview study
    Manias, E ; Gerdtz, M ; Williams, A ; McGuiness, J ; Dooley, M (WILEY, 2016-10-01)
    RATIONALE, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: As patients move across transition points, effective medication management is critical for patient safety. The aims of this study were to examine how health professionals, patients and family members communicate about managing medications as patients moved across transition points of care and to identify possible sources of communication failure. METHOD: A descriptive approach was used involving observations and interviews. The emergency departments and medical wards of two hospitals were involved. Observations focused on how health professionals managed medications during interactions with other health professionals, patients and family members, as patients moved across clinical settings. Follow-up interviews with participants were also undertaken. Thematic analysis was completed of transcribed data, and descriptive statistics were used to analyse characteristics of communication failure. RESULTS: Three key themes were identified: environmental challenges, interprofessional relationships, and patient and family beliefs and responsibilities. As patients moved between environments, insufficient tracking occurred about medication changes. Before hospital admission, patients participated in self-care medication activities, which did not always involve exemplary behaviours or match the medications that doctors prescribed. During observations, 432 instances of communication failure (42.8%) were detected, which related to purpose, content, audience and occasion of the communication. CONCLUSIONS: Extensive challenges exist involving the management of medications at transition points of care. Bedside handovers and ward rounds can be utilized as patient counselling opportunities about changes in the medication regimen. Greater attention is needed on how patients in the community make medication-related decisions.
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    Open disclosure of adverse events: exploring the implications of service and policy structures on practice.
    Harrison, R ; Walton, M ; Smith-Merry, J ; Manias, E ; Iedema, R (Informa UK Limited, 2019)
    PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to explore the service and policy structures that impact open disclosure (OD) practices in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: An explorative study using semi-structured interviews was undertaken with 12 individuals closely involved in the implementation of OD in hospitals at policy or practice levels within the state of NSW, Australia. Interviews explored the service and policy structures surrounding OD and the perceived impact of these on the implementation of the OD policy. These data were thematically analyzed to understand the factors facilitating and creating barriers to openness after adverse events. RESULTS: The data identified three key areas in which greater alignment between OD policy and the wider service and policy structures may enhance the implementation of OD practice: 1) alignment between OD and root cause analysis processes, 2) holistic training that links to other relevant processes such as communicating bad news, risk management, and professional regulation and insurance, and 3) policy clarification regarding the disclosure of incidents that result in no or low-level harm. CONCLUSION: Evidence from this study indicates that formal OD processes are not routinely applied after adverse events in NSW, despite clear guidelines for OD. The reasons for this are unclear as the service-level and policy-level phenomena that support or hinder OD are understudied. This knowledge is critical to addressing the policy-practice gap. Our paper provides insights regarding the influence of current service-level and policy-level phenomena on the delivery of OD and how policy clarification may contribute to addressing some of the challenges for implementing OD policy. The principles of virtue ethics - specifically, openness and the involvement of service users - may contribute to progressing in this area.
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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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    Overseas qualified nurses' communication with other nurses and health professionals: An observational study
    Philip, S ; Woodward-Kron, R ; Manias, E (WILEY, 2019-06-30)
    AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To understand the interprofessional and intraprofessional communication patterns of overseas qualified nurses as they coordinate care for patients in Australian hospitals. BACKGROUND: Numerous studies have informed the transitioning experiences of overseas qualified nurses with non-English-speaking backgrounds working in English-speaking workplaces. Only a few observational studies have involved examining the intercultural communication experiences of overseas qualified nurses, and none have considered their intra- and interprofessional communication patterns. DESIGN: A qualitative design was adopted, using participant observation and discourse analysis. METHODS: This study was from January 2017 to March 2017. Thirteen overseas qualified nurses working in acute, subacute and interventional cardiology settings in a Melbourne metropolitan hospital were shadowed over a period of 12 weeks to collect data that inform their communication patterns. The COREQ checklist was used. RESULTS: This observational study informed by genre analysis revealed that intra- and interprofessional communication occurred more commonly under the clinical communication goals of coordinating care and less commonly under facilitating intervention. Communication strategies ranged from structured interactions with use of communication tools to unstructured ad hoc interactions. Analysis of the discourse patterns demonstrated that effectiveness of interactions was affected by hesitancy, lack of assertion and few strategies to manage inadequate or aggressive communication by other team members. Poor clinical communication with peers was not always caused by the nurses from non-English-speaking backgrounds. Positive interpersonal interactions with laughter, language-switching and small talk were evident in interactions with nurses from similar cultural backgrounds but were rare with local colleagues. CONCLUSION: The linguistic evidence from this study shows variations in communication competency between participants, which emphasises the importance of not viewing overseas qualified nurses' communication training needs as homogenous. With the growing multicultural nature of healthcare teams, this study underscores the need for intercultural communication training for team integration and patient safety. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Continuous professional development should incorporate intercultural communication training to ensure team effectiveness within nursing teams as well as interprofessional teams.