Nursing - Research Publications
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Oral intake evaluation in patients following critical illness: an ICU cohort study
Timely and adequate nutrition improves health outcomes for the critically ill patient. Despite clinical guidelines recommending early oral nutrition, survivors of critical illness experience significant nutritional deficits. This cohort study evaluates the oral nutrition intake in intensive care unit (ICU) patients who have experienced recent critical illness. The oral nutrition intake of a convenience sample of ICU patients post-critical illness was observed during a 1-month period. Data pertaining to both the amount of oral nutrition intake and factors impacting optimal oral nutrition intake were collected and analysed. Inadequate oral intake was identified in 62% of the 79 patients assessed (n = 49). This was noted early in the ICU stay, around day 1-2, for most of the patients. A significant proportion (25%) of patients remained in the hospital with poor oral intake that persisted beyond ICU day 5. Unsurprisingly, these were the patients who had longer ICU stays. Critical illness weakness was a factor in the assessment of poor oral intake. To conclude, patients who have experienced critical illness also experience suboptimal oral nutrition. The three key factors that were identified as impacting optimal oral nutrition were early removal of nasogastric tubes, critical illness weakness and poor appetite post-critical illness. Seven key recommendations are made based on this cohort study. These recommendations are related to patient assessment, monitoring, documentation and future guidelines. Future research opportunities are highlighted, including the investigation of strategies to improve the transition of patients' post-critical illness to oral nutrition.
Incidence, trends and severity of primary postpartum haemorrhage in Australia: A population-based study using Victorian Perinatal Data Collection data for 764244 births
BACKGROUND: Increasing incidence and severity of postpartum haemorrhage, together with postpartum haemorrhage-associated morbidities, have been reported in many high-resource countries. In-depth analysis of such factors in Victorian births since 2002 was lacking. AIMS: Our aim was to determine the incidence and trends for primary postpartum haemorrhage (World Health Organization and International Classification of Diseases 10th revision, Australian Modification definitions) for all confinements in Victoria, Australia, for the years 2003-2013 and the incidence and trends for severe postpartum haemorrhage (≥1500 mL) for 2009-2013. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this population-based cross-sectional study de-identified data from the Victorian Perinatal Data Collection were analysed for confinements (excluding terminations) from 2003 to 2013 (n = 764 244). Perinatal information for all births ≥20 weeks (or of at least 400 g birthweight if gestation was unknown) were prospectively collected. RESULTS: One in five women (21.8%) who gave birth between 2009 and 2013 experienced a primary postpartum haemorrhage and one in 71 women (1.4%) experienced a severe primary postpartum haemorrhage. The increasing trends in incidence of primary postpartum haemorrhage, severe primary postpartum haemorrhage, blood transfusion, admission to an intensive care or high dependency unit and peripartum hysterectomy were significant (P < 0.001). Women who had an unassisted vaginal birth had the lowest incidence of primary postpartum haemorrhage. The highest incidence was experienced by women who had an unplanned caesarean section birth. Women who had a forceps birth had the highest incidence of severe primary postpartum haemorrhage. CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of primary postpartum haemorrhage, severe primary postpartum haemorrhage and associated maternal morbidities have increased significantly over time in Victoria.
Addressing unwarranted clinical variation: A rapid review of current evidence
INTRODUCTION: Unwarranted clinical variation (UCV) can be described as variation that can only be explained by differences in health system performance. There is a lack of clarity regarding how to define and identify UCV and, once identified, to determine whether it is sufficiently problematic to warrant action. As such, the implementation of systemic approaches to reducing UCV is challenging. A review of approaches to understand, identify, and address UCV was undertaken to determine how conceptual and theoretical frameworks currently attempt to define UCV, the approaches used to identify UCV, and the evidence of their effectiveness. DESIGN: Rapid evidence assessment (REA) methodology was used. DATA SOURCES: A range of text words, synonyms, and subject headings were developed for the major concepts of unwarranted clinical variation, standards (and deviation from these standards), and health care environment. Two electronic databases (Medline and Pubmed) were searched from January 2006 to April 2017, in addition to hand searching of relevant journals, reference lists, and grey literature. DATA SYNTHESIS: Results were merged using reference-management software (Endnote) and duplicates removed. Inclusion criteria were independently applied to potentially relevant articles by 3 reviewers. Findings were presented in a narrative synthesis to highlight key concepts addressed in the published literature. RESULTS: A total of 48 relevant publications were included in the review; 21 articles were identified as eligible from the database search, 4 from hand searching published work and 23 from the grey literature. The search process highlighted the voluminous literature reporting clinical variation internationally; yet, there is a dearth of evidence regarding systematic approaches to identifying or addressing UCV. CONCLUSION: Wennberg's classification framework is commonly cited in relation to classifying variation, but no single approach is agreed upon to systematically explore and address UCV. The instances of UCV that warrant investigation and action are largely determined at a systems level currently, and stakeholder engagement in this process is limited. Lack of consensus on an evidence-based definition for UCV remains a substantial barrier to progress in this field.
The experiences and preparedness of family carers for best interest decision-making of a relative living with advanced dementia: A qualitative study
AIM: To explore the experience and the preparedness of family carers in their caregiving role as best interest decision-makers of a relative living with advanced dementia. BACKGROUND: The prevalence of dementia is a global issue. The role of being a carer of a relative living with dementia does not necessarily lessen once they are admitted to a nursing home. Best interest decision-making including end-of-life care decisions need to be made and reaching these choices can be challenging. The preparedness of family carers in this role needs greater understanding. DESIGN: Descriptive qualitative study. METHODS: During 2015 twenty semi-structured interviews were conducted of family carers of nursing home residents living with advanced dementia, then analysed using Braun and Clarke's thematic analysis. RESULTS: Three themes were identified: (1) Caring for someone living with dementia. The impact on the carer's holistic well-being and their experience of being a best interest decision-maker; (2) Accessing support. The influential nature of formal and informal networks; (3) Perceived knowledge and understanding of the dementia trajectory of carers and nursing staff. CONCLUSION: The experiences and preparedness of informal carers is a reflection of their personal response, but the distress experienced highlights the significant need of adequate support availability and of enhancing nursing staffs' dementia expertise to maximize their role in facilitating best interest decision-making. This has significant implications for nursing practice and for service user and nursing staff education. Considering the global impact of dementia, our findings have international relevance to similar nursing homes across the world.
"I don't think we've quite got there yet": The experience of allyship for mental health consumer researchers
WHAT IS KNOWN OF THE SUBJECT: Consumer participation in mental health services is an expectation articulated through mental health policy. Consumers as researchers could contribute significantly to mental health services. Barriers to participation are significant and limit consumer involvement. WHAT THE PAPER ADDS TO EXISTING KNOWLEDGE: Enhanced understandings of collaborative relationships between consumer and nonconsumer researchers. Researchers from the health disciplines find value in consumer involvement in mental health research. These researchers can support and facilitate consumer research by being allies to consumer researchers. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Understanding the role of allies is necessary to strengthen their capacity to support consumer researchers. Involving consumers in mental health research is likely to lead to improved practice. ABSTRACT: Introduction Australia and New Zealand mental health policy requires consumer participation in all aspects of mental health services. Systemic participation informs and improves the quality of mental health services. Collaboration with consumer researchers should be similarly required. Enhanced understandings of collaborations are needed. Aim To enhance understanding of the perspectives and experiences of nonconsumer researchers in working collaboratively with consumers as researchers. Method This qualitative exploratory study involved interviews with nonconsumer mental health researchers who have worked collaboratively with consumers in research. Interviews were conducted with participants from Australia and New Zealand. Results "Allyship" emerged as a major theme. This describes nonconsumer researchers playing an actively supportive role to facilitate opportunities for the development and growth of consumer research roles and activities. Seven subthemes were identified: establishing and supporting roles, corralling resources, guiding navigation of university systems, advocacy at multiple levels, aspiring to coproduction and consumer-led research, extending connections and partnerships, and desire to do better. Discussion Allyship may have an important role to play in the broader consumer research agenda and requires further consideration. Implications for practice Embedding meaningful consumer participation within mental health services requires active consumer involvement in research. Allies can play an important facilitative role.
Culturally and linguistically diverse oncology patients' perspectives of consultation audio-recordings and question prompt lists
OBJECTIVE: Ethnicity and migrant status result in disparities with cancer burden and survival, with communication difficulties cited as the main barrier to access. Our research team tested a communication intervention package comprising consultation audio-recordings (ARs) and question prompt lists (QPLs) for low English-speaking (LES) patients with cancer. This study explored LES patient experiences, preferences, and recommendations regarding the communication package. METHODS: Participants completed a questionnaire and qualitative interview regarding ARs and QPLs. Eligibility criteria comprised aged ≥18 years old; a consultation with an oncologist between June 1, 2015 and April 1, 2016; an Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, or Mandarin professional interpreter booked for that consultation; and randomised to receive the communication intervention. RESULTS: Eighteen patients completed the qualitative interview and 17 completed the questionnaire. Fifteen reported listening to the AR at least once. Participants reported that QPLs and ARs provide support and assistance with remembering and understanding medical information. Both resources were seen as having applicability beyond the oncology setting in regards to improving health service delivery and continuity of care. However, patients felt that individual tailoring of the resources should be considered. Patients also found it useful to share ARs with family. CONCLUSIONS: The LES participants in this study considered the ARs and QPLs useful for most, but not all contexts. Recommendations regarding delivery and use highlight that these resources should be tailored and patient-driven. Further, patients foresaw a range of additional uses for consultation ARs within the broader healthcare context.
Evaluation of a parent-targeted video in Portuguese to improve pain management practices in neonates
Aims and objectives To assess parents' knowledge on breastfeeding, skin to skin care and sweet solutions as neonatal analgesic strategies, and to evaluate parents' perception on the feasibility, acceptability and usefulness of the Portuguese version of the “Be Sweet to Babies” video. Background Neonatal pain management during blood sampling is suboptimal, and knowledge translation strategies are needed to improve clinical practices. The “Be Sweet to Babies” video is a parent-targeted knowledge translation tool that shows the effectiveness of breastfeeding, skin to skin contact and sweet solutions for procedural pain relief. Design Cross-sectional study. Methods Parents of infants hospitalised in an intensive care unit watched the video during their infants' hospitalisation and then answered a survey. Descriptive analyses of the data were performed. Results Hundred parents were included. The majority did not know about the analgesic effects of breastfeeding (80%), skin to skin contact (69%) and sweet solutions (93%), and a limited number of parents stated their infants had received the strategies during painful procedures (7%, 11%, 2%, respectively). After watching the video, all (100%) parents intended to use or to advocate for one of the strategies; most (90%) of the parents would use any of the methods. All parents (100%) would recommend the video and considered the video useful, easy to understand, easy to apply in real scenarios. Length of the video was considered as ideal by 92%. Conclusions The Portuguese version of the “Be Sweet to Babies” video is feasible, acceptable and useful for parental education and is a persuasive knowledge translation tool. Further studies are needed to evaluate the effects of this parent-targeted intervention on the implementation of the analgesic strategies during clinical care. Relevance to clinical practice This article highlights the importance of exploring evidence-based knowledge translation tools for improving neonatal care and outcomes.
How did I not see that? Perspectives of nonconsumer mental health researchers on the benefits of collaborative research with consumers
Coproduction of research between consumers of mental health services and nonconsumer mental health researchers is increasing. There is some research available describing consumer perspectives of this experience. However, there is a notable lack of research on other (nonconsumer) researcher experiences of and views about consumer involvement in coproduced research. A qualitative exploratory study was undertaken to examine perspectives of mental health researchers about consumer involvement in research. In-depth individual interviews were undertaken with 11 nonconsumer mental health researchers in Australia and New Zealand. Interview transcripts were analysed to identify major themes. There were three interacting themes: the salience of experiential difference, expanded learning, and enhanced research. The dynamic between different perspectives and learning had the effect of enhancing research across the spectrum of study phases and in ensuring research was of value to different groups. The findings emphasize the important contribution consumer researchers can make to mental health research by bringing their unique perspective and enhancing an environment of mutual learning. Findings also point to the need for foregrounding the numerous benefits of joint research between consumer and other researchers to enhance and improve clinical practice and the development of policy.
Externalizing depression symptoms among Canadian males with recent suicidal ideation: A focus on young men
AIM: The primary aim was to quantify, relative to older men, young men's externalizing of depression symptoms and past-month suicidal ideation. METHODS: A non-probability national sample of 1000 Canadian men self-reported internalizing and externalizing symptoms of depression and past-month suicidal ideation. Stratification quotas reflected Canadian census data to age and region. RESULTS: Young men (18-25 years) were at markedly higher risk of past-month suicidal ideation than were older men. When controlling for internalizing depression, a multivariate age × recent suicidal ideation interaction indicated higher externalizing of depression symptoms in young men relative to older men, especially for those reporting recent suicidal ideation (P < .001). Interactions were observed for drug use, anger and aggression, and risk-taking domains. A sizable proportion of younger men were uniquely identified by the MDRS-22. CONCLUSIONS: Screening tools that include assessment of externalizing symptoms may assist in improving detection of distress and suicide risk in young men.
Essential ingredients of engagement when working alongside people after their first episode of psychosis: A qualitative meta-synthesis
AIM: Early intervention services (EISs) for first-episode psychosis (FEP) have been established internationally, however, service disengagement is a recurrent concern resulting in unplanned treatment cessation. The implications of this are far-reaching due to the financial and personal costs associated with untreated symptoms. The aim of this meta-synthesis was to collect, interpret and synthesize qualitative research about how engagement is experienced within EISs for FEP. METHODS: A systematic search was conducted in PsycINFO, Ovid MEDLINE and Ovid Emcare from date of conception to November 2016. Following initial screening, 91 abstracts and 13 full texts were reviewed for eligibility. Nine studies were then critically appraised using the CASP tool for qualitative studies, data were systematically extracted and results were synthesized using constant comparison and reciprocal translational analysis. RESULTS: Nine qualitative studies explored engagement with EISs, from the perspectives of service users and their caregivers. No studies were found from the perspectives of clinicians or services. All 9 studies employed an inductive methodology, within an interpretivist epistemology. Five main themes were identified: experiences of finding help; factors promoting engagement; the therapeutic relationship; the role of caregivers in supporting engagement; and factors impacting ongoing engagement. CONCLUSIONS: There is a critical need to stimulate discussion around this multifaceted phenomenon, including a continued focus on the roles of key stakeholders and clinical models that may further facilitate collaboration in treatment plans and recovery.
Anticoagulant prophylaxis and therapy in children: current challenges and emerging issues.
This review is aimed at describing the unique challenges of anticoagulant prophylaxis and treatment in children, and highlighting areas for research for improving clinical outcomes of children with thromboembolic disease. The evidence presented demonstrates the challenges of advancing the evidence base informing optimal management of thromboembolic disease in children. Recent observational studies have identified risk factors for venous thromboembolism in children, but there are few interventional studies assessing the benefit-risk balance of using thromboprophylaxis in risk-stratified clinical subgroups. A risk level-based framework is proposed for administering mechanical and pharmacological thromboprophylaxis. More research is required to refine the assignment of risk levels. The anticoagulants currently used predominantly in children are unfractionated heparin, low molecular weight heparin, and vitamin K antagonists. There is a paucity of robust evidence on the age-specific pharmacology of these agents, and their efficacy and safety for prevention and treatment of thrombosis in children. The available literature is heterogeneous, reflecting age-specific differences, and the various clinical settings for anticoagulation in children. Monitoring assays and target ranges are not well established. Nevertheless, weight-based dosing appears to achieve acceptable outcomes in most indications. Given the limitations of the classical anticoagulants for children, there is great interest in the direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs), whose properties appear to be particularly suitable for children. All DOACs currently approved for adults have Pediatric Investigation Plans ongoing or planned. These are generating age-specific formulations and systematic dosing information. The ongoing pediatric studies still have to establish whether DOACs have a positive benefit-risk balance in the various pediatric indications and age groups.
"A quiet still voice that just touches": music's relevance for adults living with life-threatening cancer diagnoses
PURPOSE: Music has historically aided health and loss-adaptation, however, cancer patients' experience of music for self-care is not well understood. This study examines adult cancer patients' views about music's role before and after diagnosis. METHODS: Constructivist approach, with grounded theory informed design using convenience, snowball and theoretical sampling. Patients from Australian metropolitan cancer and hospice settings completed demographic questionnaires and participated in semi-structured interviews. Qualitative inter-rater reliability was applied. RESULTS: Fifty-two patients reported comparable time spent experiencing music pre-post diagnosis. Music may remain incidental; however, many patients adapt music usage to ameliorate cancer's aversive effects. Patients often draw from their musical lives and explore unfamiliar music to: remain connected with pre-illness identities; strengthen capacity for enduring treatment, ongoing survival (even when knowing "you're going to die"), or facing death; reframe upended worlds; and live enriched lives. Patients can ascribe human or physical properties to music when describing its transformative effects. Familiar lyrics maybe reinterpreted, and patients' intensified emotional reactions to music can reflect their threatened mortality. Sometimes music becomes inaccessible, elusive, and/or intensifies distress and is avoided. Families', friends' and professionals' recognition of patients' altered musical lives and music-based suggestions can extend patients' use of music for self-care. CONCLUSION: Health professionals can support patients by inquiring about their music behaviours and recognising that altered music usage may signify vulnerability. Although commonly recommended, hospital concerts and music broadcasts need sensitive delivery. Patients' preferred music should be available in diagnostic, treatment and palliative settings because it can promote endurance and life enrichment.