Availability of written patient information addressing certain nursing care problems in Austrian and Dutch hospitals and nursing homes: A cross-sectional study aimed at enhancing shared decision-making and person-centeredness

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Daniela Schoberer
Ruud J.G. Halfens
Christa Lohrmann


Rationale: Written information material for patients and their families is essential to supplement and re-inforce nurses’ verbal information. So far, little has been known about the availability of written patient information material on nursing care problems in hospitals and nursing homes. This paper describes research aimed at determining to what degree written patient information material of the nursing care problems as they relate to pressure ulcer, urinary incontinence, malnutrition and intertrigo is available and distributed in Austrian hospitals and nursing homes in comparison to Dutch hospitals and nursing homes.Method: A cross-sectional, multi-centre design with standardized questionnaires was used to measure the availability of written patient information material of some highly prevalent nursing care problems in Dutch and Austrian hospitals and nursing homes.Results: A total of 50 Austrian and 379 Dutch hospitals and nursing homes took part in the survey. With regard to the examined nursing problems, more written patient information material was available in Dutch hospitals and nursing homes than in these facilities within Austria. A significant difference was found for pressure ulcer (p<0.01) and intertrigo (p<0.001). Even where available, written patient information material was not used in one-third of wards.Conclusion: Written patient information material is often not available in Austrian institutions and, if available, not always offered to patients and/or their relatives. Written patient information material should be developed by quality managers in healthcare institutions or on a national level. Nursing staff should be encouraged to hand out available information material to inform concerned patients and/or relatives to complement verbal information, in a concerted effort to increase the person-centeredness of clinical care.

Article Details

Shared Decision Making


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