This study examined the views and experiences of 20 physicians and 20 nurses at a major Canadian teaching hospital regarding the use of advance directives in clinical care.
The participants were purposively drawn from four clinical specialties: family and community medicine, oncology, intensive care and geriatrics. Detailed interviews were conducted in person. Content analysis was used to code the data, which were further analysed with both quantitative and qualitative techniques.
Thirty-nine of the 40 participants favoured the use of advance directives in clinical care; physicians had somewhat less positive attitudes than nurses toward such directives. Advance directives were thought by participants to be helpful in resolving disagreements between patients and their families about treatment options; in making patients more comfortable, both physically and psychologically, during the process of dying; and in opening up communication and trust among patients, their families and health care professionals. Concerns about the use of advance directives focused on the lack of clarity in some patients' instructions, the absence of legal status for directives, the possible interference with a practitioner's clinical judgement, the adequacy and appropriateness of patients' information about their circumstances, and the type of intervention (passive or active) requested by patients.
New regulations and legislation are making the use of advance directives more widespread. Health care professionals should participate in the development and implementation of these directives. Continuing professional education is essential in this regard.
In Sweden, the official policy is that life-sustaining treatment should not be denied because of chronological age. This policy is also emphasised in a recent official report on priority setting in health care. But is this policy accepted among health care professionals? Do they consider chronological age relevant when decisions to forgo life-sustaining treatment are to be made?
Questionnaire survey to physicians, registered nurses and enrolled nurses at the Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital MAS, Malmö, Sweden.
More than 65% of the respondents were of the opinion that chronological age per se influenced decisions about life-sustaining treatment. Fewer, a little more than 40%, answered that it would make a difference to their own judgment about life-sustaining treatment whether the patient is 25 or 75 years old. The respondents were also confronted with 10 different factors characterising patients in need of life-sustaining treatment. According to a majority, advance directive, decision-making capacity, and chronological age should be taken into consideration in these situations.
The results indicate that chronological age is used as a criterion when decisions to forgo life-sustaining treatment are to be made in the ICU. Many health care professionals also believe that chronological age should be used as a criterion. This is clearly discordant with the official policy in Sweden and other countries, which is that age-based rationing is never justified.
A recurrent theme in medical sociology has been the juxtaposition of emotion with scientific rationality in the delivery of health care services. However, apart from addressing this juxtaposition very little is said about the complex intertwinement of "emotional" and "rational" practices which makes up professionals' own day-to-day work experiences - and how these experiences are influenced by present ways of organising health care. This paper aims to explore the ways that hospital doctors relate emotions to their understanding of professional medical work and how they respond to recent organisational changes within the field.
Drawing upon a small series of semi-structured interviews (n = 14) with doctors from a public teaching hospital in Denmark, the paper adopts a constructivist framework to analyse personal biographies of health professionals' working lives.
The doctors represented rich accounts of professional medical work, which includes an understanding of what a doctor should feel and how he/she should make him/herself emotionally available to others. However, the impetus for making this appearance was not left unaffected by recent new public management reforms and attempts to accelerate the delivery of services.
The organisation of cancer services into a work system, which consists of a set of tasks broken down into narrow jobs, underestimates the emotional components of patient-doctor encounters. This makes the creation and maintenance of a genuine patient-doctor relationship difficult and the result is feelings of a failed encounter on behalf of the doctor.
The paper suggests that recent rearrangements of cancer services complicate doctors' ability to incorporate emotion into a stream of medical care in a "rational" way. This is shown to challenge their professional ethos and the forms emotional engagement takes in medical practice.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the different subcultures and the employees' preparedness for change at an orthopaedic clinic in a university hospital in Sweden.
Surveys were sent out to 179 nurses and physicians. The survey included the two instruments Organisational Values Questionnaire and resistance to change (RTC) Scale.
The results suggest a dominance of a human relations culture, i.e. flexibility, cohesion and trust, in the orthopaedic clinic. These characteristics seemed to decrease RTC. Opposite to this, planning, routines and goal setting appeared to increase change-resistant behaviour.
By predicting potential obstacles in a certain context prior to a change process, resources can be used in a more optimal way. An instrument that pinpoints the culture of a particular healthcare setting may be a useful tool in order to anticipate the possible outcome of change.
The rational goal/internal processes dimension exerted a stronger association with RTC than in earlier studies. Deeply rooted standards and routinised care models, governed by work schedules, could be an obstacle to introducing a care model based on the individual needs of the patient. There was, however, a surprisingly low RTC. The results are contrary to the accepted understanding of public organisations known to be slow to change.
Establishment of the Acute Care Surgical Service (ACSS) has dramatically changed the management of acute, nontrauma surgical patients in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Its formation was partially driven by increasing strain on surgeons and surgical services. We sought to determine surgeon level of burnout and satisfaction with the ACSS.
All Winnipeg ACSS surgeons were mailed surveys. Burnout was established using the Maslach Burnout Inventory Human Services Survey. Satisfaction was ascertained with a series of questions.
We attained a response rate of 76%. Most surgeons were married men with children. A burnout level of 61% was determined. Although most surgeons felt the ACSS was a positive change in their careers, they felt that operating room accessibility and teaching opportunities were lacking.
Although a high level of burnout exists among ACSS surgeons, most are satisfied with its establishment. Factors such as operating room accessibility and teaching opportunities must be addressed.
More than one-third of out-patient physicians (36.8%) do not believe in the possibility of realizing the programme of overall dispensarization. 32.1 percent of physicians think themselves trained enough to carry out dispensarization. The majority of the interviewed (70.3%) got their basic training on dispensarization issues on the job, 37.1 percent at the courses of advanced training and only 7.2% during resident training. 71.9% of physicians are acquainted with methodological instructions concerning dispensarization.
eHealth applications for out-of-hospital monitoring and treatment follow-up have been advocated for many years as a promising tool to improve treatment compliance, promote individualized care and obtain a person-centred care. Despite these benefits and a large number of promising projects, a major breakthrough in everyday care is generally still lacking. Inappropriate organization for eHealth technology, reluctance from users in the introduction of new working methods, and resistance to information and communication technology (ICT) in general could be reasons for this. Another reason may be attitudes towards the potential in out-of-hospital eHealth applications. It is therefore of interest to study the general opinions among healthcare professionals to ICT in healthcare, as well as the attitudes towards using ICT as a tool for patient monitoring and follow-up at home. One specific area of interest is in-home follow-up of elderly patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). The aim of this paper is to investigate the attitudes towards ICT, as well as distance monitoring and follow-up, among healthcare professionals working with this patient group.
This paper covers an attitude survey study based on responses from 139 healthcare professionals working with CHF care in Swedish hospital departments, i.e. cardiology and medicine departments. Comparisons between physicians and nurses, and in some cases between genders, on attitudes towards ICT tools and follow-up at home were performed.
Out of the 425 forms sent out, 139 were collected, and 17 out of 21 counties and regions were covered in the replies. Among the respondents, 66% were nurses, 30% physicians and 4% others. As for gender, 90% of nurses were female and 60% of physicians were male. Internet was used daily by 67% of the respondents. Attitudes towards healthcare ICT were found positive as 74% were positive concerning healthcare ICT today, 96% were positive regarding the future of healthcare ICT, and 54% had high confidence in healthcare ICT. Possibilities for distance monitoring/follow-up are good according to 63% of the respondents, 78% thought that this leads to increased patient involvement, and 80% thought it would improve possibilities to deliver better care. Finally, 72% of the respondents said CHF patients would benefit from home monitoring/follow-up to some extent, and 19% to a large extent. However, the best method of follow-up was considered to be home visits by nurse, or phone contact.
The results indicate that a majority of the healthcare professionals in this study are positive to both current and future use of ICT tools in healthcare and home follow-up. Consequently other factors have to play an important role in the slow penetration of out-of-hospital eHealth applications in daily healthcare practice.
Cites: Int J Med Inform. 2007 May-Jun;76(5-6):480-317064955
Cites: Telemed J E Health. 2006 Jun;12(3):363-916796505