Patient i intensivvårdsmiljö

2017-02-16 10:43

Strong investment in research on the Human Perspective in Care

How can health professionals alleviate fear and pain in children and young patients? How can they communicate better with older people? How can assessments in ambulances become more certain? And what is required of managers in elderly care? All this and more is what new doctoral students at the University of Borås will find out as a new doctoral programme on the Human Perspective in Care starts up.

As of last spring, the University of Borås has rights to grant doctoral degrees in the area of the Human Perspective in Care. Now there is to be a large investment in this area as six PhD positions are announced for the doctoral programme.

"It is very important to conduct more research in caring sciences, as society faces a variety of challenges in health care now; for example, that we are living longer and have a greater need for care," says Gunilla Carlsson, Director of Studies. "The research rests on a human science perspective and the area is a complement to and not a competitor to medical science."

The goal of the research is to make health care more human, more safe, and more secure for patients, families, and staff. This includes the study of the entire continuum of care. Everything from how care should be managed and organised to the individual patient or relative experiencing care.

At the University of Borås, research in this field has been conducted for more than 20 years, which means that there is a sound base to rely on and plenty of experienced researchers who can teach and supervise in the new doctoral programme.

"It is a very large area and we have selected six projects in areas of particular concern that we, moreover, have a solid background in. This is research that will truly benefit everyone, both patients and health professionals."

The latter is something that the hospital director at the Southern Älvsborg Hospital (SÄS), Ann-Marie Schaffrath, endorses.

"It is very gratifying that the university has been given this opportunity and it will be easier for us to work in an evidence-based way," she says. "It is very positive when we can have access to more research and science so that we act based on what actually is the best and not just what we think is best. The research done at the University of Borås is especially good for us at SÄS, as we can then easily develop our collaboration even more."

Fact: Focus areas for the six new doctoral positions

Early assessment and clinical outcomes for patients with respiratory problems in prehospital emergency care

Shortness of breath is one of the most common reasons that someone calls for an ambulance, and it is becoming increasingly common. The severity of the condition may vary, but the condition generally has a high mortality rate. Moreover, the experience of not being able to breathe arouses strong existential angst. This project will, among other things, aim at developing the assessment conversation and the actions taken in case of shortness of breath as well as developing a measurement method for ambulance personnel to evaluate the state of "breathlessness" in the best way.

Patients' perceptions and experiences of comfort in the perioperative care process

What importance does the care environment have for the patient during an operation with anaesthesia in order to feel comfortable and safe? This is one question that this project will focus on. Here, patients' experiences of social treatment, care ambience, and the care environment will be studied in order to, for example, obtain knowledge of how they are affected by being part of a highly-scheduled workflow in which changes between patients should be quick. Patients' perceptions of the physical environment, such as sound and light, must also be evaluated, as well as how the nurses’ care of the patient affected by the health care environment.

Pain-relieving interventions in healthcare - research based on children and young people's experiences

Many patients experience pain associated with treatment and care. The experience of pain can become worse if the patient is afraid. Therefore, it is important to find treatment methods that reduce both fear and pain. In this project, the focus is on children and young patients. Through, among other things, interviews with children and adolescents aged 4-18 years who have experiences of being treated in hospital, new and effective methods for alleviating fear and pain are to be developed and tested.

Close-to-patient management in municipal elderly care

This project will investigate the skills needs of managers in municipal elderly care. The proportion of people who are over 65 and who have a need for care is increasing. More knowledge is needed about how both patients and families experience care and everything around it, e.g. ethical dilemmas. Such knowledge must be coupled with society's demands for evidence, standardisation and cost efficiency, which makes heavy demands on the nurses who lead the care in close relationship to patients. The project will include, among other things, interviews with staff, patients, and their families.

Training of Attentive Communication (TACT)

Conversation and communication are of the highest importance to caring. It is through communication that caregivers gain an understanding of the patient's needs. Communication with the elderly in home care has proven to be a complex issue, and there is a need to find out how the communicative ability of nursing staff can best be trained and strengthened. This project aims to develop, test, and evaluate an education in communication and caring for the health professionals who work in home services and/or home health care.

Assessment and decision-making in ambulance services

It has previously been shown that correct assessments and decision-making are critical components when it comes to ambulance services. To promote good patient safety, ambulance nurse must take into account and focus on many different issues and factors. As many ambulance patients are not taken to the emergency department but might instead be referred to self-care or primary care, it is particularly important that the ambulance nurse has a holistic view of the patient's condition to make the right assessments. Here, past cases will be studied, and then a patient safety intervention will be developed and subsequently evaluated in a simulated environment.

Text: Rebecca Lindholm
Translation: Eva Medin
Photo: Suss Wilén