The importance of research about patient care

By Roberta Heale, Associate Editor EBN

I am working on a number of research projects, but one that is currently taking the forefront is related to advance care planning. Advance care planning has been defined as an ongoing process of reflection, communication, and documentation of a person’s values and wishes for future health and personal care in the event that they become incapable of consenting to or refusing treatment (Canadian Nurses Association, 2015). I, along with a group of researchers sent to a survey to nurse practitioners (NPs) to determine their beliefs, attitudes, and level implementation of ACP in their practice. We found that organizational culture had a significant impact on whether or not an NP implemented advance care planning discussions with her patients. Based on the findings of this study, NP Advance Care Planning Competencies were drafted. Using a modified Delphi approach, NPs are providing feedback and input to finalize the competencies.

Canadian Nurses Association. (2015). Joint position statement:The palliative approach to care and the role of the nurse. Ottawa: Canadian Nurses Association.

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