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What are they talking about? Content of the communication exchanges between nurses, patients and relatives in a department of medicine for older people - An ethnographic study.
University West, Department of Health Sciences, Section for nursing - undergraduate level. School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Sweden.
School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Sweden.
University West, Department of Health Sciences, Section for nursing - graduate level.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3792-6600
University West, Department of Health Sciences, Section for nursing - undergraduate level.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2793-9937
2018 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 27, no 7-8, p. E1651-E1659Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To explore and describe the content of the communication exchanges between nurses, patients and their relatives in a department of medicine for older people in western Sweden.

BACKGROUND: Information, messages and knowledge are constantly being communicated between nurses, older patients and relatives in the healthcare sector. The quality of communication between them has a major influence on patient outcomes. A prerequisite for good care to be given and received is that there is mutual understanding between the parties involved.

DESIGN: An ethnographic study was informed by a sociocultural perspective.

METHOD: Data were collected through 40 participatory observations of meetings between nurses and older patients and/or relatives which covered 135 hours of nurse-patient-relative interaction, field notes, 40 field conversations with 24 nurses and 40 field conversations with patients (n=40) and relatives (n=26). Five semi-structured interviews were conducted with nurses. An ethnographic analysis was performed.

RESULTS: The analysis identified three categories of content of the communication exchanges: medical content focusing on the patient's medical condition, personal content focusing on the patient's life story, and explanatory content focusing on the patient's health and nursing needs. The content is influenced by the situation and context.

CONCLUSIONS: Nurses would benefit from more awareness and understanding of the importance of the communication content and of the value of asking the didactic questions (how, when, what and why) in order to improve the patients' and relatives' understanding of the information exchanges and to increase patient safety.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Nurses can use the communication content to create conditions enabling them to obtain a holistic view of the patient's life history and to develop an appropriate person-centered care plan. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 27, no 7-8, p. E1651-E1659
Keywords [en]
communication content, ethnography, nurses, older patient, person-centered care, relative, sociocultural perspective
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
NURSING AND PUBLIC HEALTH SCIENCE, Nursing science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-12201DOI: 10.1111/jocn.14315ISI: 000430825100037PubMedID: 29493840OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-12201DiVA, id: diva2:1188563
Available from: 2018-03-07 Created: 2018-03-07 Last updated: 2018-05-14Bibliographically approved

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Boman, ÅsePennbrant, Sandra

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