Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

When care is omitted: New research on a taboo topic

Date:
November 11, 2013
Source:
Universität Basel
Summary:
Registered nurses in hospitals often lack the time for nursing care activities, such as comfort or talk with patients or educating patients and relatives. A study shows that all European countries are affected, but variability in these and other important aspects of nursing care between and within countries was found.

Registered nurses in hospitals often lack the time for nursing care activities, such as comfort or talk with patients or educating patients and relatives. A study by the Institute of Nursing Sciences at the University of Basel shows that all European countries are affected, but variability in these and other important aspects of nursing care between and within countries was found. The results have been published in the journal BMJ Quality & Safety.

Due to budget constraints, registered nurses are often confronted with difficult decisions: They have to decide which care activities they can offer to their patients and which to omit. Recent studies have analyzed this international phenomenon and revealed a correlation between omitted nursing care and increased patient mortality.

The Institute of Nursing Sciences at the University of Basel has for the first time conducted a study on the prevalence and nature of omitted nursing activities on general medical/surgical wards in acute care hospitals across Europe. Data analysis included responses of 33'659 nurses in 488 hospitals across twelve European countries, namely Belgium, England, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain and Switzerland. These survey data were originally collected for the international RN4CAST study (Nurse forecasting in Europe), which was funded within the European Union's Seventh Framework Program.

Four out of thirteen care activities are left undone

Across Europe four out of thirteen nursing activities were omitted by healthcare professionals on average. However, high between-country and within-country variability was observed. The results show a similar pattern across Europe: Psychoeducational care (for example talking with patients or the education of patients and their relatives) were more often omitted than activities, such as the documenting and planning of care, patient monitoring, the turning of patients or administering medications on time.

"Although psychoeducational care activities have always been part of the core tasks of nursing our study demonstrates that they are often left undone due to limited resources and lack of time. Nurses give them lower priority, because they are time-consuming and the required time-effort is difficult to estimate," explains Dr. René Schwendimann, head of the Swiss research group.

Negative Influence on job satisfaction

Leaving nursing care undone is a taboo topic among healthcare professionals, since it potentially creates situations of moral and role conflict, which may erode job satisfaction and even increase job-related burnout. Thus, according to the authors, an open and honest discourse on this topic would be of great importance for health policy-makers and providers of health services to have.

Good management required

The study also showed that nursing care activities are omitted less often in hospitals with more favorable nurse work environments irrespective of national jurisdiction. The quality of the work environment is significantly influenced by aspects, such as the leadership skills of the nursing management, the teamwork between physicians and nurses and the amount nurses carry out non-nursing duties, such as cleaning.

"By optimizing the nurse work environment, the hospital management can help nurses avoid having to leave nursing care undone," says Schwendimann. However, current financial constraints on healthcare in many European countries could lead to greater prevalence of nursing care left undone. Regular surveys among the nurses could serve as a warning system to identify deficits early in the care process.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universität Basel. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. Ausserhofer, B. Zander, R. Busse, M. Schubert, S. De Geest, A. M. Rafferty, J. Ball, A. Scott, J. Kinnunen, M. Heinen, I. Stromseng Sjetne, T. Moreno-Casbas, M. Kozka, R. Lindqvist, M. Diomidous, L. Bruyneel, W. Sermeus, L. H. Aiken, R. Schwendimann, W. Sermeus, K. Van den Heede, L. Bruyneel, E. Lesaffre, L. Diya, L. Aiken, H. Smith, D. Sloane, A. M. Rafferty, J. Ball, S. Jones, P. Griffiths, J. Kinnunen, A. Ensio, V. Jylha, R. Busse, B. Zander, M. Blumel, J. Mantas, D. Zikos, M. Diomidous, A. Scott, A. Matthews, A. Staines, I. S. Sjetne, T. Brzostek, M. Kozka, P. Brzyski, T. Moreno-Casbas, C. Fuentelsaz-Gallego, E. Gonzalez-Maria, T. Gomez-Garcia, C. Tishelman, R. Lindqvist, L. Smeds, S. D. Geest, M. Schubert, R. Schwendimann, D. Ausserhofer, M. Heinen, L. Schoonhoven, T. van Achterberg. Prevalence, patterns and predictors of nursing care left undone in European hospitals: results from the multicountry cross-sectional RN4CAST study. BMJ Quality & Safety, 2013; DOI: 10.1136/bmjqs-2013-002318

Cite This Page:

Universität Basel. "When care is omitted: New research on a taboo topic." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131111091349.htm>.
Universität Basel. (2013, November 11). When care is omitted: New research on a taboo topic. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131111091349.htm
Universität Basel. "When care is omitted: New research on a taboo topic." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131111091349.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) — The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins