Influences on clinical reasoning in family and psychosocial interventions in nursing practice with patients and their families living with chronic kidney disease

Authors


Abstract

Aims

To explore how Registered Nurses address psychosocial issues for patients and their families living with chronic kidney disease.

Background

It is in the scope of registered nursing practice to address the emotional, psychological and relational implications of living with chronic disease through psychosocial and family interventions. Patients living with chronic kidney disease frequently report poor quality of life and numerous psychosocial issues; however, they do not find that these issues are always adequately addressed.

Design

This research was hermeneutic inquiry as guided by Gadamer's philosophy of understanding.

Methods

Family/psychosocial nursing practices are examined from the perspective of self-reports of Registered Nurses working in acute care nephrology units. Interviews with nurses were conducted throughout 2012.

Results

Nurses attribute, or explain, patient and family member behaviour in a variety of ways. These explanations may or may not align with actual patient/family reasons for behaviour. Nurses' explanations influence subsequent nursing practice. While there is some evidence of practices that overcome biased attributions of patient behaviour, the cognitive processes by which nurses develop these explanations are more complex than previously reported in nursing literature.

Conclusion

Clinical reasoning and subsequent nursing practice are influenced by how nurses explain patients'/families' behaviour. Exploration of this issue with the support of social cognition literature suggests a need for further research with significant implications for nursing education and practice to improve family/psychosocial interventions.

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