Scand J Caring Sci; 2011; 25; 303–310
Experiences and attitudes of nurse specialists in primary care regarding their role in care for patients with urinary incontinence
Aim: To explore experiences and attitudes of nurse specialists in primary care regarding their role in care for patients with urinary incontinence (UI), thereby identifying facilitators and barriers for wider implementation.
Background: Currently, primary care for patients with UI lacks sufficient adherence to existing guidelines on UI and is far from optimal. Studies in various countries show that involving nurse specialists may offer a solution to the inadequate care for UI. As qualitative studies on experiences of nurses with this type of intervention are lacking, we performed this study with a qualitative approach and data collection method within the course of a randomized controlled trial (RCT).
Method: A focus group study was conducted in 2007 with six nurse specialists who were trained in caring for patients with UI in our pragmatic RCT. The focus group interview was audio-taped and transcribed verbatim. The data were analysed using qualitative content analysis to identify themes. To understand obstacles and incentives for change, we relied on an existing ‘implementation model’.
Findings: Nurse specialists feel competent to provide advice and information, to offer possible solutions and to give attention and guidance to the process of care of people with UI. They feel appreciated by patients and feel they offer an added value to the usual care of general practitioners (GPs). Nurses sometimes notice that GPs lack interest in UI. Personal contact with the GPs, availability of enough time, adequate equipment and financial resources are important preconditions for effective nurse specialist care. Nurse specialists value continuous education and feedback in daily care for patients with UI.
Conclusion: Trained nurse specialists appeared to feel competent and satisfied to support GPs in care for patients with UI. They feel highly appreciated by both patients and GPs.