SCHOLARLY PAPER: Defining the fundamentals of care

Authors

  • Alison Kitson RN BSc (Hons) DPhil FRCN FAAN,

    Corresponding author
    1. Professor of Nursing and Head, Discipline of Nursing, School of Population Health and Clinical Practice, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, Associate Fellow, Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, and Director, Centre for Evidence based Practice, South Australia, a Collaborating Centre of the Joanna Briggs Institute, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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  • Tiffany Conroy RN BN MNSc FRCNA,

    1. Lecturer, Discipline of Nursing, School of Population Health and Clinical Practice, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, and Education Coordinator, Centre for Evidence based Practice, South Australia, a Collaborating Centre of the Joanna Briggs Institute, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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  • Yvonne Wengstrom OCN PhD,

    1. Associate Professor, Department of Neurobiology, Care Science and Society, Division of Nursing, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden
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  • Joanne Profetto-McGrath PhD RN,

    1. Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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  • Suzi Robertson-Malt BHSc (Hons) PhD

    1. Senior Clinical Planning Consultant—Education, Sidra Medical and Research Centre, Doha, Qatar
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Alison Kitson, School of Population Health and Clinical Practice, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia. Email: alison.kitson@adelaide.edu.au

Abstract

Kitson A, Conroy T, Wengstrom Y, Profetto-McGrath J, Robertson-Malt S. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2010; 16: 423–434
Defining the fundamentals of care

A three-stage process is being undertaken to investigate the fundamentals of care. Stage One (reported here) involves the use of a met a-narrative review methodology to undertake a thematic analysis, categorization and synthesis of selected contents extracted from seminal texts relating to nursing practice. Stage Two will involve a search for evidence to inform the fundamentals of care and a refinement of the review method. Stage Three will extend the reviews of the elements defined as fundamentals of care. This introductory paper covers the following aspects: the conceptual basis upon which nursing care is delivered; how the fundamentals of care have been defined in the literature and in practice; an argument that physiological aspects of care, self-care elements and aspects of the environment of care are central to the conceptual refinement of the term fundamentals of care; and that efforts to systematize such information will enhance overall care delivery through improvements in patient safety and quality initiatives in health systems.

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