Article first published online: 9 OCT 2008
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 31, Issue 2, pages 252–253, February 2000
How to Cite
Robinson, J. (2000), Editorial. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 31: 252–253. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2648.2000.1338b.x
- Issue published online: 9 OCT 2008
- Article first published online: 9 OCT 2008
This month in JAN
Twenty-eight papers feature in this month’s issue; 50% within the category Issues and innovations in nursing practice. Breast cancer is the clinical topic in three papers, although the subject in each is addressed in very different ways. One (under Philosophical and ethical issues) considers the ethical dimensions for women entering Stage III clinical trials; a second reports the findings of a study on how women receiving adjuvant chemotherapy cope with their treatment; the third paper reports on a small but fascinating study on how news of the diagnosis of breast cancer is broken to women in two different groups, depending on whether the disease is symptomatic or screen detected.
Patient (and/or family) experiences feature in a further four papers on subjects ranging from psychiatric patients’ perceptions of seclusion, to post-polio syndrome, familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy disease; and feelings about transfer from intensive care units to the ward environment. Intensive care is the subject of a further challenging paper that examines nurses’ perspectives on children visiting their friends or family members in ICU. The findings of this small study confirm what most of us would probably feel intuitively — that despite open visiting policies, children rarely visit in this setting.
Quality issues feature in three papers: the self-administration of medicines in hospital; telephone triage for patient prioritization in ophthalmic accident and emergency services; and the development of competency standards for specialist nurses in critical care.
Mentioned above are just some of the papers in this issue that address topics either previously not researched, or else undertaken from innovative or critical perspectives. That the empirical studies concerned are frequently reported by the authors to be ‘small’ is a challenge to the funding bodies for health services research. These studies, in common with many reported by nurse researchers, open up new dimensions to our understanding of health care processes and challenge us to look at them in new ways, often from the client’s perspective. The need for much larger representative studies is therefore all the more urgent, given that the preliminary findings frequently suggest that there are ways in which the services could be improved substantially. However, for many of those working in nursing research, large-scale funding to test out the hypotheses deduced from small studies is not available. Given the importance of many of these research subjects, the question has to be asked ‘just how long can this situation be allowed to continue?’