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Keywords:

  • assistive devices;
  • cross-sectional design;
  • disability;
  • home care;
  • nurses;
  • questionnaires;
  • Theory of Planned Behaviour

Aims.  This paper reports a study describing home nurses’ intention and current practices regarding introducing assistive devices, and investigating whether their practice is related to social cognitive factors (attitudes, subjective norms and self-efficacy).

Background.  Home nurses not only care for patients in particular medical domains, but also educate and guide them towards more independence. Patients with age-related disabilities in mobility and self-care might benefit from the use of assistive devices. A home nurse might be the first and only person to discuss the disability and use of an assistive device. Therefore, home nurses’ beliefs about the introduction of assistive devices could affect their daily practices.

Methods.  A cross-sectional study was conducted with a convenience sample of 64 home nurses chosen from a random sample of home nursing departments. The home nurses completed a self-administered questionnaire. The Theory of Planned Behaviour framework was used to develop the social cognitive measures regarding each of the six steps distinguished in the introduction of assistive devices.

Results.  Home nurses had positive attitudes and high levels of intention, subjective norm and self-efficacy towards most steps of the decision process to introduce assistive devices. In a multiple linear regression analysis, attitude and self-efficacy predicted intention to introduce assistive devices to older clients with disabilities. Intention was correlated to home nurses’ current practices.

Conclusions.  The findings suggest that conditions are present to involve home nurses more explicitly in the introduction of assistive devices to their patients. Social cognitive factors should be taken into account when developing interventions that aim to support home nurses to do this.