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Places of worship can be health promotion spaces for faith-based black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities

Por: Ali · P.

Commentary on: Tomalin E, Sadgrove J, Summers R. Health, faith and therapeutic landscapes: places of worship as black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) public health settings in the United Kingdom. Soc Sci Med 2019;230:57–65.

Implications for practice and research

  • Further research is needed to understand how faith can influence health behaviours of members of faith-based communities.

  • Public health professionals should recognise that places of worship provide a point for people from same faith and especially for those from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities (in the UK context) to come together.

  • Context

    Individuals’ faith plays an important role in their ways of living and day-to-day choices. The relationship between faith and improved health outcomes, especially with regard to individuals from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community has been a focus of recent research.1 2 While the importance of faith-based...

    Producing a successful PhD thesis

    Por: Barrett · D. · Rodriguez · A. · Smith · J.

    All doctoral students strive for the day—after years of often all-consuming study—that their thesis is ready to submit. For both doctoral students and supervisors there is often trepidation about whether the thesis will meet the criteria to merit the award of a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). As anxieties increase, doctoral students often ask what makes a good PhD, something we explored in a recent ‘Research Made Simple’ article,1 but perhaps the more important question is ‘what makes a PhD student successful?’ In this article we outline the core criteria on which PhD theses are judged and offer suggestions for achieving success.

    How are PhDs assessed

    Traditionally, a PhD involves 3 to 4 years of full-time study (or a longer part-time programme), which is assessed by the student submitting the work they have undertaken as a thesis or—less commonly—a portfolio of published papers and an associated narrative (sometimes...

    Patients prefer bedside handover and wish to be active partners in it

    Por: Hu · J.

    Commentary on: Oxelmark, L, Whitty, JA, Ulin, K, et al. Patients prefer clinical handover at the bedside; nurses do not: evidence from a discrete choice experiment. International Journal of Nursing Studies. Epub ahead of print: 27 Sep 2019.

    Implications for practice and research

  • It is important to have patients as active partners in the team during bedside handovers and have their voices heard.

  • Future qualitative studies are warranted to explore the reasons for individual preferences and identify the barriers and facilitators of implementing bedside handover.

  • Context

    Clinical handover is a valuable source of patient health information for nurses and patients. Numerous studies have found that bedside handover could significantly enhance the delivery of relevant information and decrease miscommunication between patients and nurses.1 Besides, bedside handover could increase patient participation and safety.2 However, the implementation of bedside handover...

    What are the foundations of a good PhD?

    Por: Rodriguez · A. · Smith · J. · Barrett · D.

    A PhD is a globally recognised postgraduate degree and typically the highest degree programme awarded by a University, with students usually required to expand the boundaries of knowledge by undertaking original research. The purpose of PhD programmes of study is to nurture, support and facilitate doctoral students to undertake independent research to expected academic and research standards, culminating in a substantial thesis and examined by viva voce. In this paper—the first of two linked Research Made Simple articles—we explore what the foundations of a high-quality PhD are, and how a Doctoral candidate can develop a study which is successful, original and impactful.

    Foundations of a ‘good’ PhD studySupervision and support

    Central to the development and completion of a good PhD is the supervisory relationship between the student and supervisor. The supervisor guides the student by directing them to resources and training to ensure continuous learning, provides opportunity...

    Are E-cigarettes more effective in supporting smoking cessation than nicotine-replacement therapy?

    Por: Cadet · M.

    Commentary on: Hajek P, Phillips-Waller A, Przulj D, et al. A randomized trial of E-cigarettes versus nicotine-replacement therapy. N Engl J Med 2019;380:629-37. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1808779.

    Commentary: implication for research and practice

  • Nurses need to design evidence-based research studies on the prevention of smoking using e-cigarettes or nicotine-replacement therapy to improve health.

  • Nurses should support patients’ treatment preferences and values, based on evidence-based practice guidelines for smoking cessation.

  • Context

    A total of 34.3 million people are smokers in the USA.1 Smoking leads to disease, disability and harms to nearly every organ of the body.1 Treating smoking addictions has received a great deal of attention in recent years, but there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of smoking cessation treatments using e-cigarettes versus nicotine-replacement therapy.2


    Eight hundred and eighty-six participants underwent randomisation by assigning two groups from...

    Nurses should be empowered to be proactively involved in family decision meetings on intensive care unit patient care decisions

    Por: Khan · M.

    Commentary on: Pecanac K, King B. Nurse-Family Communication During and After Family Meetings in the Intensive Care Unit. J Nurs Scholarsh 2019;51:129–37

    Implications for practice and research

  • Nurses should be included in the family meeting in an active role to discuss the patient’s condition.

  • Education sessions can be arranged for nurses before involving them in the family communication process. This will improve their knowledge of, attitude to and involvement in their role in the family discussion session.

  • Context

    Nurses are important members of the intensive care unit (ICU) team and evidence suggests that they should participate in the ICU family discussion by sharing information about the patient’s condition, advocating for the patient’s wishes, and helping patients and patients’ families understand the care plan. ICU family discussion is highly recommended to address the concerns of patients and patients’ families and explain the plan of care.

    Engaging teenagers with text-message services for glycaemic control

    Por: Waite · M.

    Commentary on: McGill DE, Volkening DA, Wasserman RM, et al. Text-message responsiveness is associated with HbA1c benefit in teenagers with type 1 diabetes. Diabet Med 2019;36:600–5.

    Implications for practice and research

  • Teenagers with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are at a transition phase in becoming independent for their blood glucose monitoring. Digital interventions may be a key component of behaviour change and management strategies for glycaemic control.

  • Involving the user at the centre of the technology design is critical for research that aims to support adherence with self-management for long-term conditions such as T1D.

  • Context

    There is a growing body of evidence associating the use and functions of mobile devices such as text-message services for people with T1D to promote glycaemic control.1 2 McGill et al3 addressed self-adherent behaviours of teenagers (13–17 years) with T1D through an 18-month text-message intervention...

    What are Delphi studies?

    Por: Barrett · D. · Heale · R.

    Whenever developing training competencies, tools to support clinical practice or a response to a professional issue, seeking the opinion of experts is a common approach. By working to identify a consensus position, researchers can report findings on a specific question (or set of questions) that are based on the knowledge and experience of experts in their field.

    However, there are challenges to this approach. For example, what should be done when consensus cannot be reached? How can experts be engaged in a way that allows them to consider objectively the views of others and—where appropriate—change their own opinions in response? One approach that attempts to provide a clear method for gathering expert opinion is the Delphi technique.

    The Delphi technique was first developed in the 1950s by Norman Dalkey and Olaf Helmer in an attempt to gain reliable expert consensus. Specifically, they developed an approach—named after the...

    Metasynthesis: dying adults transition process from cure-focused to comfort-focused care

    Por: Lillie · A. K. · Cheesley · A.

    Commentary on: Meeker MA, McGinley JM, Jezewski MA. Metasynthesis: dying adults’ transition process from cure-focused to comfort-focused care. J Adv Nurs 2019 Feb 7. Epub ahead of print. doi:10.1111/jan.13970

    Implications for practice and research

  • It is important to introduce and integrate the concept of palliative and end-of-life care well in advance of anticipated death to allow patients and those important to them to reframe their expectations and understanding of their condition that enables patients and families to find meaning and value in the last phase of life.

  • There is a need for more research into the barriers and enablers of transition to end-of-life care.

  • Context

    This paper addresses an important topic as communication and shared decision making are integral to good end-of-life care.1 It interrogates the transition from cure-focused medical care to care that prioritises comfort and quality of life and quality...

    Research made simple: developing complex interventions

    Por: Rodriguez · A. · Smith · J. · Barrett · D.

    In common with many other countries, population ageing, advancements in medical technology, changing disease profiles, the influence of lifestyle choices on health and increased patient expectations are driving health and social care provision in the UK. As the number of people living with one or more long-term conditions rises, interventions to support their health and well-being become increasingly complex. Nurses will not only be expected to deliver complex interventions but are in an ideal position to contribute to priority setting and the development and evaluation of interventions that meet patient needs. It is essential that complex interventions are based on the best available evidence and evaluated if they are to improve health outcomes. In this article we will provide an overview of complex interventions, using dignity therapy as an example, and outline the principles of developing a complex intervention.

    What is a complex intervention?

    The UK Medical Research...

    Professional socialisation processes help facilitate the transition from student to qualified nurse

    Por: Kerin · U.

    Commentary on: Frögéli E, Rudman A, Gustavsson P. The relationship between task mastery, role clarity, social acceptance, and stress: an intensive longitudinal study with a sample of newly registered nurses. Int J Nurs Stud 2019;91:60–9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2018.10.007


  • Socialisation processes are needed to enhance role transition and improve the integration of newly qualified nurses (NQNs). A particular emphasis should be placed on fostering social acceptance.

  • This study provides a theoretical basis on which an intervention could be generated to minimise NQN stress.

  • Future studies investigating stress in NQN should also consider the influence of organisational work factors including staffing levels, skill-mix and workload allocations.

  • Context

    The transition from student to newly qualified nurse (NQN) is a vulnerable time period.1 2 The challenges of increased clinical responsibility and settling into the clinical work environment can increase stress levels and cause some...

    Dementia care and treatment issues

    Por: Heale · R.

    This perspectives article expands on the one published in EBN July 2019, Vol 22-3 about Care of the Older Person by focusing on commentaries specifically related to research with dementia. Dementia rates are growing internationally and along with this are the complexities of caring for this growing cohort of people.1 It is helpful to explore the literature related specifically to this issue. Commentaries related to dementia and cognitive decline were found from January 2017 to January 2020. Key themes were identified followed by a summary and discussion.

    Key themes

    The 13 commentaries are grouped into three themes (see box 1).

  • Pain management and dementia.

  • Carers of those with dementia.

  • Treatment issues for those with dementia.

  • Box 1

    Evidence-based nursing commentaries on dementia and cognitive decline (2017–2020)

    Theme 1: Pain management and dementia

    Evidence that active pain treatment improves sleep quality...

    What are sensitivity and specificity?

    Por: Swift · A. · Heale · R. · Twycross · A.

    Whenever we create a test to screen for a disease, to detect an abnormality or to measure a physiological parameter such as blood pressure (BP), we must determine how valid that test is—does it measure what it sets out to measure accurately? There are lots of factors that combine to describe how valid a test is: sensitivity and specificity are two such factors. We often think of sensitivity and specificity as being ways to indicate the accuracy of the test or measure.

    In the clinical setting, screening is used to decide which patients are more likely to have a condition. There is often a ‘gold-standard’ screening test—one that is considered the best to use because it is the most accurate. The gold standard test, when compared with other options, is most likely to correctly identify people with the disease (it is specific), and correctly identify those who do not...

    Poor communication hinders the role of the school nurse as a key professional in protecting children and young people from maltreatment

    Por: Wilkinson · Y.

    Commentary on: Harding L, Davison-Fischer J, Bekaert S, Appleton JV. The role of the school nurse in protecting children and young people from maltreatment: An integrative review of the literature. Int J Nurs Stud. 2019 Jan 2;92:60–72.

    Implications for practice and research

  • Interagency communication can be problematic; adopting an interagency approach to education and training in this area may be beneficial.

  • There is a need for research exploring the impact of school nurse interventions in relation to child maltreatment from the perspective of children and young people.

  • Context

    Child maltreatment is a global public health issue with one in four adults experiencing physical violence in their childhood.1 Effects are far reaching and long standing for children and young people; these include behavioural, physical and mental health consequences. Internationally, in a global overview of school health services, it was found that at least 102...

    Help seeking increases stress among caregivers of partners with young-onset dementia

    Por: Parsons · G. S.

    Commentary on: Kobiske KR, Bekhet AK, Garnier-Villarreal M, et al. Pre-death grief, resourcefulness, and perceived stress among caregivers of partners with young-onset dementia. West J Nurs Res 2018:193945918806689.

    Implications for practice and research

  • Carers of partners with young-onset dementia have strong perceptions of stress associated with predeath grief which are worsened by help seeking behaviours.

  • Carers of partners with young-onset dementia have different support needs from those with older onset dementia. Provision of services need to reflect these differences.

  • Context

    Young-onset dementia (YOD) is the development of dementia before the age of 65.1 The carers of partners with YOD face a dynamic situation of continual, multiple and diverse loss. The loss of loved ones, as dementia progressively affects their partners and loss of identity and personal freedom are threats to working life and companionship. Many are of working age and lack social support networks available to older...

    Visualising the invisible; why cleaning is important in the control of hospital-acquired infection

    Por: Dancer · S.

    Commentary on: Cohen B, Spirito CM, Liu J, Cato KD, Larson E. Concurrent detection of bacterial pathogens in hospital roommates. Nurs Res 2019;68(1):80–83.

    Implications for practice and research

  • Nurses must give environmental cleaning the same level of priority as hand hygiene for infection prevention.

  • More study is required into the most effective equipment, products and techniques for cleaning hospitals.

  • Context

    The problem with controlling hospital pathogens is that they are invisible to the human eye. From pioneers such as Pasteur, Koch and Lister, who purported microscopic ‘insects’, to early infection preventionists advocating clean hands, air and surfaces, all were shunned by peers and public alike.1 Evidence for the role of cleaning itself is only just gathering pace, probably because it is deemed menial, repetitive and low status - performed only as an aesthetic gesture.2 Yet staff who clean hospitals do a lot...

    Childhood obesity is associated with higher incidence of paediatric onset asthma

    Por: Williams · V. · Nunan · D.

    Commentary on: Lang JE, Bunnell HT, Hossain MJ, et al. Being overweight or obese and the development of asthma. Pediatrics 2018;142. pii: e20182119. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-2119.

    Implications for practice and research

  • The findings of this study further support the importance of reducing childhood obesity levels to reduce the risk for comorbidities, including asthma.

  • This study also found a more modest increase in the risk of childhood asthma in overweight children, highlighting the importance of interventions focusing on preventing further weight gain for overweight children.

  • Future research can focus on understanding causal pathways and developing effective interventions to manage and prevent childhood obesity and associated comorbidities.

  • Context

    There is clear evidence that obesity and asthma both place a significant burden on children, their families and healthcare systems.1 We also know that obesity in adults and adult-onset asthma are linked2; however, we are...

    What are cohort studies?

    Por: Barrett · D. · Noble · H.

    In 1951, Richard Doll and Austin Bradford-Hill commenced a ground-breaking research project by writing to all registered doctors in the UK to ask about their smoking habits. The British Doctors Study recruited and followed-up over 40 000 participants, monitoring mortality rates and causes of death over the subsequent years and decades. Even by the time of the first set of preliminary results in 1954, there was evidence to link smoking with lung cancer and increased mortality.1 Over the following decades, the study provided further definitive evidence of the health risks from smoking, and was extended to explore other causes of death (eg, heart disease) and other behavioural variables (eg, alcohol intake).

    The Doctors Health Survey is one of the largest, most ambitious and best-known cohort studies and demonstrates the value of this approach in supporting our understanding of disease risk. However, as a method, cohort studies can have...

    Triangulation in research, with examples

    Por: Noble · H. · Heale · R.
    What is triangulation

    Triangulation is a method used to increase the credibility and validity of research findings.1 Credibility refers to trustworthiness and how believable a study is; validity is concerned with the extent to which a study accurately reflects or evaluates the concept or ideas being investigated.2 Triangulation, by combining theories, methods or observers in a research study, can help ensure that fundamental biases arising from the use of a single method or a single observer are overcome. Triangulation is also an effort to help explore and explain complex human behaviour using a variety of methods to offer a more balanced explanation to readers.2 It is a procedure that enables validation of data and can be used in both quantitative and qualitative studies.

    Triangulation can enrich research as it offers a variety of datasets to explain differing aspects of a phenomenon of...

    Student nurses gender role is a predictor of caring behaviours and critical thinking

    Por: Harrison · J.

    Commentary on: Liu N-Y, Hsu W-Y, Hung C-A, et al. The effect of gender role orientation on student nurses' caring behaviour and critical thinking. Int J Nurs Stud 2019;89:18–23.

    Implications for practice and research

  • Gender role orientation (masculine or feminine traits) rather than sex is a predictor for determining caring behaviour and critical thinking skills among student nurses.

  • Student nurses’ caring behaviour should be emphasised to cultivate students’ critical thinking skills.

  • Context

    Previous research on the relationship between nurses’ gender and perceptions of caring behaviours or critical thinking is inconsistent. Research has shown that gender does not significantly influence caring behaviour1 or critical thinking.2 However, earlier research did show a correlation between caring traits and gender.3 Furthermore, presentation of caring behaviour has been shown to predict critical thinking.4 5

    The aim of the study