• Is primary care a neglected piece of the jigsaw in ensuring optimal stroke care? Results of a national study.

      Whitford, David L; Hickey, Anne; Horgan, Frances; O'Sullivan, Bernadette; McGee, Hannah; O'Neill, Desmond; Department of Family & Community Medicine, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland-Medical University of Bahrain, PO Box 15503, Adliya, Kingdom of Bahrain. dwhitford@rcsi-mub.com (2009)
      BACKGROUND: Stroke is a major cause of mortality and morbidity with potential for improved care and prevention through general practice. A national survey was undertaken to determine current resources and needs for optimal stroke prevention and care. METHODS: Postal survey of random sample of general practitioners undertaken (N = 204; 46% response). Topics included practice organisation, primary prevention, acute management, secondary prevention, long-term care and rehabilitation. RESULTS: Service organisation for both primary and secondary prevention was poor. Home management of acute stroke patients was used at some stage by 50% of responders, accounting for 7.3% of all stroke patients. Being in a structured cardiovascular management scheme, a training practice, a larger practice, or a practice employing a practice nurse were associated with structures and processes likely to support stroke prevention and care. CONCLUSION: General practices were not fulfilling their potential to provide stroke prevention and long-term management. Systems of structured stroke management in general practice are essential to comprehensive national programmes of stroke care.
    • Nurse prescribing as an aspect of future role expansion: the views of Irish clinical nurse specialists.

      Lockwood, Emily B; Fealy, Gerard M; Emergency Department, Waterford Regional Hospital, Co Waterford, Ireland. emily.lockwood@maila.hse.ie (2008-10)
      AIM: Nurses and midwives are expanding the scope of their professional practice, assuming additional responsibilities including the management and prescribing of medications. The aim of the study was to discover the attitudes of clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) in Ireland to nurse prescribing and to examine perceived barriers to engaging in this aspect of future role expansion. BACKGROUND: The expansion of the nursing role in relation to nurse prescribing is an ongoing process and is subject to incremental iterations of legislation and professional policy. Nurse prescribing as an expanded role function has become a reality in many countries. Ireland has addressed the matter in a formal and systematic way through legislation. METHOD: A questionnaire was administered to a sample of 283 CNSs practising in a variety of care settings in Ireland. Attitudes were measured using Likert-type attitudinal scales, designed specifically for the study. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Findings indicate that the majority of clinical nurse specialists were positively disposed toward nurse prescribing as a future role expansion. The fear of litigation was identified as the most significant barrier to nurse prescribing. The majority of respondents equated nurse prescribing with increased autonomy and holistic care. The findings indicate that there is a need for further examination of the educational requirements of the CNS in relation to nurse prescribing. The legislative implications for nurse prescribing and fear of legal consequences need to be considered prior to any implementation of nurse prescribing. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: While senior clinicians are willing to embrace future role expansion in the area of nurse prescribing, their Nurse Managers should recognize that facilitation of nurse prescribing needs to address the legal and educational requirements for such activity. Failure to address these requirements can represent a barrier to role expansion. This paper offers new understandings on the views of senior clinicians concerning nurse prescribing at a time of ongoing professional policy iteration and practice change in the area.
    • Schizophrenia and quality of life: a one-year follow-up in four EU countries.

      Kovess-Masféty, Viviane; Xavier, Miguel; Moreno Kustner, Berta; Suchocka, Agnieszka; Sevilla-Dedieu, Christine; Dubuis, Jacques; Lacalmontie, Elisabeth; Pellet, Jacques; Roelandt, Jean-Luc; Walsh, Dermot; et al. (2006)
      BACKGROUND: This article systematically monitors the quality of life (QOL) of patients with schizophrenia from seven different sites across four European countries: France, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. METHODS: A one-year prospective cohort study was carried out. Inclusion criteria for patients were: a clinical lifetime diagnosis of schizophrenia according to ICD-10 (F20) diagnostic criteria for research, age between 18 and 65 years and at least one contact with mental health services in 1993. Data concerning QOL were recorded in seven sites from four countries: France, Portugal, Ireland and Spain, and were obtained using the Baker and Intagliata scale. At baseline, 339 patients answered the QOL questionnaire. At one-year follow-up, Spain could not participate, so only 263 patients were contacted and 219 agreed to take part. QOL was compared across centres by areas and according to a global index. QOL was correlated with presence of clinical and social problems, needs for care and interventions provided during the one-year follow-up. RESULTS: We did not find any link between gender and QOL. There were some significant differences between centres concerning many items. What is more, these differences were relative: in Lisbon where the lowest level of satisfaction was recorded, people were satisfied with food but highly dissatisfied with finances, whereas in St Etienne, where the highest level of satisfaction was recorded, people were less satisfied with food when they were more satisfied with finances. The evolution in one year among those respondents who took part in the follow-up (excluding the subjects from Granada) showed different patterns depending on the items. CONCLUSION: The four countries have different resources and patients live in rather different conditions. However, the main differences as far as their QOL is concerned very much depend on extra-psychiatric variables, principally marital status and income.