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What patient problems nurses encounter, and which of these can they influence? A nation-wide questionnaire survey.

Kieft, R., Francke, A.L., Delnoij, D. What patient problems nurses encounter, and which of these can they influence? A nation-wide questionnaire survey. Abstract. In: abstractbook 5th European Nursing Congress: 'Caring for older people: how can we do the right things right?' 4-7 oktober 2016, Rotterdam. 90
Background
In order to enhance the nursing profession and its scientific foundation, nurses need to demonstrate how they contribute to quality of care and good outcomes in their patients. This requires systematic, standardized data collection about patient problems, nursing interventions and patient outcomes. However, currently little is known about which patient problems nurses encounter in daily practice, how they help their patients in dealing with these problems, and with which result. As a first steptowards systematic and standardized data collection.

Aim
The objective of this study is to identify which patient problems are most frequently encountered by nurses, and how much influence nurses report to have on these problems.

Materials and method
Data were collected through an online questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used for the data analysis.

Results
A total of 440 nurses, active in various health care settings, completed the questionnaire. The majority of patient problems fall into the following categories: mental functions, self-care, functions of the cardiovascular, haematological, immunological and respiratory systems, sensory functions and pain and mobility. Nurses report having the most influence on patient problems in respect of self-care, mobility, functions of the skin and related structures, functions of the digestive, metabolic and endocrine systems and general tasks and demands. In general, nurses report having little influence on problems related to mental functions, even though such problems are relatively common.

Conclusion
This study identifies the most common patient problems in daily nursing practice. The extent to which nurses feel they contribute to the prevention or minimization of patient problems was also determined. It has provided a valuable insight into the daily nursing practice. The patient problems identified in this study can serve as a foundation to establish a standardized core set of patient problems. A standardized core set of patient problems is necessary to collect uniform data, in order to facilitate research into the actual influence of nurses on quality of care and the health and quality of life of their patients.