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.
"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
"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.Original Citation
BMJ Quality & Safety (2013) | doi: 10.1136/bmjqs-2013-002318Further Information
Reto Caluori | Universität Basel
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