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Meanings of nurses’ lived experiences of providing care for older patients with cognitive impairment in acute care settings
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Aim. This study aimed to illuminate meanings of caring for older patients with cognitive impairment in acute care settings as experienced by nursing staff.

Background. Older people with cognitive impairment represent a large group of patients in acute care settings. Research demonstrates that these acute care environments can be unsafe and even unfriendly for frail older patients. Also research and clinical experience reveals that being a nurse in acute/specialized medical facilities means to work in a high-speed, technologically complex and demanding environment. And when providing care for older patients with cognitive impairment, nurses’ workload and responsibilities increases. This being largely dependent on how easily it is to connect with and help patients understand what to do, and what is best for them.

Method. A purposeful sample of thirteen nurses experienced in caring for older people with cognitive impairment in acute care settings participated in the study. Narrative interviews were conducted during autumn 2012 and interpreted using a phenomenological-hermeneutic method.

Findings. Caring for older, acutely ill patients with cognitive impairment was found to be very complex Meanings of caring for older patients with cognitive impairment seemed to shift depending on perception of the patients and the gap between what nurses can do (real) and want to do (ideal) in providing care for these patients. The greater this gap was experienced and the care perceived as meaningless, the more serious the treat to nurses’ personal-professional integrity which could be risked, compromised or harmed.

Comprehensive understanding- Indicates that, being a nurse and having to care for older patients in acute care settings is to provide nursing care in an environment that does not support the nurses’ possibilities to protect and develop their personal–professional integrity.

Keyword [en]
acute care, cognitive impairment, health professional, narratives, nursing, older people, perception, integrity, phenomenological hermeneutical
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Caring Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-83196OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-83196DiVA: diva2:665842
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2013-11-21 Created: 2013-11-21 Last updated: 2013-11-25Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Att vårda äldre personer med kognitiv svikt i sjukhusmiljöer: attityder, processer, innebörder
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Att vårda äldre personer med kognitiv svikt i sjukhusmiljöer: attityder, processer, innebörder
2013 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Inledning: Äldre personer med kognitiv svikt, exempelvis i form av demenssjukdom, delirium eller depression, är en vanligt förekommande population inom svensk sjukhusvård. Dessa äldre kan ha särskilda behov till följd av en försämrad kognition, men litteraturen tyder på att akutsjukhusens miljö, organisation och vårdprocesser inte alltid stödjer tillgodoseendet av dessa behov.

Syfte: Det övergripande syftet med avhandlingen var att belysa vården av äldre personer med kognitiv svikt i sjukhusmiljöer.

Metoder: Avhandlingen består av fyra delstudie. I studie I tillämpades en tvärsnittsdesign för att utforska personalens attityder till äldre patienter med kognitiv svikt, personalens tillfredsställelse med vården och arbetet samt upplevelsen av personcentrerat vårdklimat (n=391). I studie II användes en Grounded theory design för att undersöka hinder för personcentrerad vård för äldre personer med kognitiv svikt på en akutmedicinsk vårdavdelning. I studie III tillämpades en tvärsnittsdesign för att utforska de psykometriska egenskaperna i den svenska versionen av ”The Person-centred care of Older People with cognitive impairment in Acute Care scale” (POPAC) i ett urval av sjukhuspersonal (n=293). I studie IV användes en fenomenologisk hermeneutisk design för att belysa innebörder av att vårda äldre patienter med kognitiv svikt på akuta sjukvårdavdelningar utifrån vårdpersonals (n=13) berättelser.

Resultat: Studie I visade att deltagande personal skattade en neutral attityd till äldre patienter med kognitiv svikt i spektret mellan negativa och positiva attityder, samt att faktorer som att vara yngre, undersköterska och att uppleva vården av de äldre som betungande, hade samband med mer negativa attityder. Resultaten visade också att vårdpersonal upplevde att äldre patienters kognition sällan utvärderades under vårdtiden, samt att man sällan baserade vården på evidensbaserade riktlinjer för vård av äldre med kognitiv svikt. Studie II belyste att ett organisatoriskt fokus på medicinska behov, åtgärder och rutiner bidrog till att personal hamnade steget efter i relation till att synliggöra och möta dessa äldre personers multidimensionella behov, och att detta kunde medföra tecken på vårdlidande för de äldre, utanförskap för närstående och frustration för personal. Studie III stödde en fortsatt användning av POPAC-skalan för skattningar av upplevd förekomst av personcentrerade vårdprocesser för äldre patienter med kognitiv svikt, men att ytterligare studier rekommenderades framförallt av skalans olika dimensioner. Studie IV belyste att ju större avstånd som upplevs mellan vad vårdpersonalen kan göra (verklig vård) och vad de vill göra (ideal vård) för äldre patienter med kognitiv svikt i akuta vårdmiljöer, desto meningslösare upplevs vården, och desto större blir hotet mot personalens personlig-professionella integritet. Den tolkade helheten visar på att vårda äldre patienter med kognitiv svikt inom akutsjukvård betyder att försöka ge omvårdnad i miljöer som inte stödjer vårdpersonalens personlig-professionella integritet

Slutsatser: En rimlig konklusion av dessa resultat är att det i sjukhusmiljöer där äldre patienter ofta vårdas kan finnas anledning att diskutera och ytterligare studera hur attityder, synsätt på och målsättningar för vården och dess innehåll, åtgärder och interventioner kan främja eller motverka en god omvårdnad för de äldre med kognitiv svikt. Det kan också finnas anledning att se över hur personalen kan stödjas i att ge person-centrerad vård till de äldre, exempelvis genom riktlinjer för vård av äldre personer med kognitiv svikt, standardiserade skattningar av kognition, samt implementering av vårdprocesser som stödjer en personcentrerad vård för dessa patienter. Det kan också finnas behov av att ytterligare kritiskt granska hur organisatoriska och miljömässiga faktorer på avdelningar stödjer eller motverkar en personcentrerad vård för äldre patienter med kognitiv svikt. Därtill kan det finnas behov av att skapa ytterligare förutsättningar för vårdpersonalen att bevara och utveckla sin personlig-professionella integritet genom att utveckla miljöer som ger möjligheter för dem att ge en god omvårdnad till dessa äldre.

Abstract [en]

Introduction: Older people with cognitive impairment such as dementia, delirium or depression, are commonly cared for in acute hospital wards. These older people may have specific needs associated with a cognitive impairment. However, literature indicates that the milieu, organisation and care processes in acute care not always support in meeting these needs.

Aim: The overall aim of the thesis was to illuminate care of older people with cognitive impairment in hospital environments.

Methods: The thesis consists of four studies. Study I used a cross-sectional design to explore staff attitudes toward older people with cognitive impairment, staff satisfaction with care and work and perceived person-centeredness of the ward (n=391). Study II used a Grounded theory design to explore barriers to person-centred care for older people with cognitive impairment at an acute medical ward. Study III used a cross-sectional design to explore the psychometric properties of the Swedish version person-centred care for older people with cognitive impairment scale (POPAC) in a sample of acute hospital staff (n=293). Study IV used a phenomenological hermeneutic design to explore the meanings of caring for older people with cognitive impairment in acute hospital wards as narrated by nursing staff (n=13).

Results: Study I showed that participating staff estimated a neutral attitude to older people with cognitive impairment in the spectrum between negative and positive attitudes, and that factors such as being younger, a nurse assistant and experiencing the care of older people with cognitive impairment as burdensome, were associated with more negative attitudes. The results also showed that healthcare professionals felt that older patients' cognitive ability was rarely evaluated during hospitalisation, and that care were rarely based on evidence-based guidelines for care of older people with cognitive impairment. Study II illuminated that an organizational focus on medical needs, interventions and routines contributed to staff falling behind in relation to meeting these older patients' multidimensional needs, and that this could lead to signs of suffering for older patients, feelings of being excluded for relatives, and a frustration for staff. Study III supported a continued use of the POPAC scale for ratings of perceived prevalence of person-centred care processes for older people with cognitive impairment, but further studies was recommended to explore scale dimensionality. Study IV illuminated that the greater a gap that is experienced between what nurses can do (real) and what they want to do (ideal) in caring for older patients with cognitive impairment in acute care settings, the more meaningless care is experienced and the greater a threat is experienced to the nurses personal-professional integrity. The comprehensive understanding indicated that caring for older people with cognitive impairment in acute care settings means to provide nursing care in an environment that does not support the nurses’ possibilities to protect and develop their personal-professional integrity.

Conclusions: A reasonable conclusion from these studies is that there may be reasons to further discuss and study how attitudes, perspectives, and goals for care, together with the content, procedures and interventions that can support or obstruct good nursing care for older people with cognitive impairment in hospital settings. There may also be reasons to explore how staff can be supported to provide person-centred care to these older patients, for example through guidelines for care of older people with cognitive impairment, standardised assessments of cognitive ability, and implementation of care processes that supports person-centred care. In addition, to further critically examine how organisational and environmental factors in hospital wards can support or obstruct person-centred care for older patients seems needed. There may also be a need to further develop conditions that can support nursing staff to maintain and develop their personal-professional integrity, by developing environments that provides further possibilities to provide good care for these older patients.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2013. 75 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1618
Keyword
acute care, attitudes, care management, cognitive impairment, grounded theory, health professionals, measurements, nursing, older people, perception, personal-professional integrity, person-centred care, phenomenological hermeneutical, akutsjukvård, attityder, fenomenologisk hermeneutik, grounded theory, kognitiv svikt, organisation, omvårdnad, personcentrerad vård, personlig-professionell integritet, skattningar, vårdpersonal, äldre personer
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Caring Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-83174 (URN)978-91-7459-748-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-12-13, Aulan, Vårdvetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Note

Centrum för personcentrerad vård vid Göteborgs universitet 

Available from: 2013-11-22 Created: 2013-11-20 Last updated: 2013-11-22Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, AnitaRasmussen, BirgitEdvardsson, David

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