• nursing practice;
  • theoretical models;
  • adherence;
  • North American Nursing Diagnosis Association (NANDA)

An investigation into the description of patients’ problems by nurses using two different needs-based nursing models¶ This paper describes an investigation into how nurses describe patients’ problems and the possible effects of an espoused nursing model on these descriptions. A descriptive study was conducted on two medical wards in a Welsh District General Hospital. Data collected were subjected to content analysis using Gordon’s Functional Health Patterns to order the data. The two wards investigated, whilst being very similar in many ways, utilized different nursing models. Findings showed that the nurses studied, when describing patients’ problems, most commonly used medical diagnoses or the medical reasons for admission. Patients’ problems identified predominately addressed bio-physical needs with scant attention given to psycho-social needs. Despite the use of two different nursing models the language and emphasis of problem description were very similar and there was no evidence of the application of the conceptual underpinnings of the two models. It is suggested that although the use of a ready-made nursing language may have drawbacks, the British nurse should understand and assess the value of the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association’s (NANDA) nursing diagnoses. Without such involvement this system may be implemented in the United Kingdom (UK) without the input and influence of practising nurses.