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Nurses' attitudes towards medical devices in healthcare delivery: a systematic review

Authors

  • Wei Zhang BSc, MSc, RN,

    PhD Student
    1. Department of Emergency Nursing, School of Nursing, 2nd Military Medical University, Shanghai, China
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  • K Louise Barriball BA, PhD, RN,,

    Head of Postgraduate Taught Studies, Corresponding author
    1. King's College London, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, London, UK
    • Correspondence: K Louise Barriball, Head of Postgraduate Taught Studies, King's College London, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, 57 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8WA, UK. Telephone: +44 (0)20 7848 3029.

      E-mail: louise.barriball@kcl.ac.uk

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  • Alison E While PhD, RGN

    Professor of Community Nursing, Visiting Professor
    1. King's College London, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, London, UK
    2. School of Nursing, 2nd Military Medical University, Shanghai, China
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Abstract

Aims and objectives

To describe nurses' attitudes towards medical devices and the factors influencing these attitudes.

Background

Nurses work in an increasingly technological environment with many medical devices supporting healthcare delivery. Understanding nurses' attitudes towards medical devices is important for their successful use. There has been no published systematic review which has examined nurses' attitudes towards the use of medical devices within nursing practice.

Design

A systematic review including all study designs.

Methods

A search of six databases was undertaken for publications written in English dating from 1985–June 2013. The search yielded 30 studies.

Results

Nurses reported a multidimensional perception of medical devices. While some nurses recognised the potential contribution of medical devices to better outcomes for patients and themselves, the use of medical devices was also associated with increased personal stress, decreased autonomy and increased administrative time. The design of devices, knowledge and training relating to device management and use were identified as key factors influencing nurses' attitudes.

Conclusion

To ensure adequate knowledge and skill, the provision of training on device management and use, together with good device designs, is essential to foster positive attitudes. Further studies focusing on developing improved understanding of nurses' attitudes are needed.

Relevance to clinical practice

Healthcare delivery increasingly incorporates the use of medical devices so that understanding nurses' attitudes towards medical devices is essential for their safe implementation.

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