Nurses' worry or concern and early recognition of deteriorating patients on general wards in acute care hospitals: a systematic review
SourceCritical Care, 19, (2015), pp. 230
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
INTRODUCTION: Nurses often recognize deterioration in patients through intuition rather than through routine measurement of vital signs. Adding the 'worry or concern' sign to the Rapid Response System provides opportunities for nurses to act upon their intuitive feelings. Identifying what triggers nurses to be worried or concerned might help to put intuition into words, and potentially empower nurses to act upon their intuitive feelings and obtain medical assistance in an early stage of deterioration. The aim of this systematic review is to identify the signs and symptoms that trigger nurses' worry or concern about a patient's condition. METHODS: We searched the databases PubMed, CINAHL, Psychinfo and Cochrane Library (Clinical Trials) using synonyms related to the three concepts: 'nurses', 'worry/concern' and 'deterioration'. We included studies concerning adult patients on general wards in acute care hospitals. The search was performed from the start of the databases until 14 February 2014. RESULTS: The search resulted in 4,006 records, and 18 studies (five quantitative, nine qualitative and four mixed-methods designs) were included in the review. A total of 37 signs and symptoms reflecting the nature of the criterion worry or concern emerged from the data and were summarized in 10 general indicators. The results showed that worry or concern can be present with or without change in vital signs. CONCLUSIONS: The signs and symptoms we found in the literature reflect the nature of nurses' worry or concern, and nurses may incorporate these signs in their assessment of the patient and their decision to call for assistance. The fact that it is present before changes in vital signs suggests potential for improving care in an early stage of deterioration.
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