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Nursing staff intentions towards managing deteriorating health in nursing homes: A convergent parallel mixed-methods study using the theory of planned behaviour
journal contributionposted on 05.06.2018, 00:00 by Barbara O'Neill, Trudy Dwyer, Kerry Reid-Searl, Lynne Parkinson
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Aims and objectives: To predict the factors that are most important in explaining nursing staff intentions towards early detection of the deteriorating health of a resident and providing subacute care in the nursing home setting. Background: Nursing staff play a pivotal role in managing the deteriorating resident and determining whether the resident needs to be transferred to hospital or remain in the nursing home; however, there is a dearth of literature that explains the factors that influence their intentions. This information is needed to underpin hospital avoidance programs that aim to enhance nursing confidence and skills in this area. Design: A convergent parallel mixed-methods study, using the theory of planned behaviour as a framework. Methods: Surveys and focus groups were conducted with nursing staff (n = 75) at a 94-bed nursing home at two points in time, prior to and following the implementation of a hospital avoidance program. The quantitative and qualitative data were analysed separately and merged during final analysis. Results: Nursing staff had strong intentions, a positive attitude that became significantly more positive with the hospital avoidance program in place, and a reasonable sense of control; however, the influence of important referents was the strongest predictor of intention towards managing residents with deteriorating health. Support from a hospital avoidance program empowe red staff and increased confidence to intervene. Conclusion: The theory of planned behaviour served as an effective framework for identifying the strong influence referents had on nursing staff intentions around managing residents with deteriorating health. Although nursing staff had a reasonable sense of control over this area of their work, they believed they benefitted from a hospital avoidance program initiated by the nursing home. Relevance to clinical practice: Managers implementing hospital avoidance programs should consider the role of referents, appraise the known barriers and facilitators and take steps to identify those unique to their local situation. All levels of nursing staff play a role in preventing hospitalisation and should be consulted in the design, implementation and evaluation of any hospital avoidance strategies.