How well do nurses know their patients? Agreement between patients' degree-of-worry and nurses' estimation of patients' degree-of-worry: An observational study

Hejdi Gamst-Jensen, Tordis Tróndarson, Thomas Kallemose, Ingrid Poulsen

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Abstract

Aim: To assess the agreement between patients' self- reported degree- of- worry (DOW) and nurses' evaluation of patients' DOW.
Design: An observational cohort study with patients and their primary nurses.
Methods: Between 22 February and 27 March 2021, data collection among patients and their nurses in an emergency department was carried out. Patients ≥18 years, cognitively intact and Danish or English speaking were eligible to participate. Nurses regardless of seniority and gender were eligible for participation. The single- item degree- of- worry measure, ‘how worried are you about the condition you are here today on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is minimally worried and 10 is maximum wor-ried’ as well as information on gender, age, comorbidity, triage level and medical reason for encounter was collected from patients. The corresponding nurses were asked; ‘how worried do you think your patient is about the condition he/she is there today on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is minimally worried and 10 is maximum wor-ried?’ Nurses also supplied data on gender, age, seniority as a Registered Nurse and in the ED. Agreement between patients' self- reported degree- of- worry and nurses' evaluation of patients' degree- of- worry was assessed with weighted Cohen's Kappa.Results: A total of 194 patient– nurse pairs were included for analysis. The agree-ment between patients' DOW and nurses' evaluation of patients' DOW categorised as DOWlow, DOWmiddle and DOWhigh was in total agreement in n= 85 pairs (43.8%) of the ratings, which corresponds to a weighted Cohen's Kappa of 0.19 (0.08– 0.30; p< 0.001).
Conclusion: Nurses estimate of their patients' DOW was in very poor agreement. This indicates that nurses are not able to assess the patient's DOW to a satisfactory level. This result is troubling as it may have serious consequences for patient care as it indicates that the nurses do not know their patients' perspectives.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • emergency medicine
  • nursing
  • patient-centred care
  • public health
  • self-rated worry

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