Abstract 2861: Nursing and Rehabilitation Research Needed at the Point of Care
Background: Although scientific statements and clinical guidelines are useful summaries of the evidence intended to guide practice, the identification of the gaps in knowledge can be just as informative.
Purpose: The aims of this project were to (1) identify the contributions of nursing and rehabilitation professionals to the evidence summarized in comprehensive overviews of nursing and interdisciplinary care for stroke patients; and, (2) present the opportunities where research could be developed in practice by nursing and rehabilitation professionals in an effort to strengthen the evidence for the care delivered to stroke patients.
Methods: We examined the 2009 and 2010 American Heart Association Scientific Statements intended to guide nursing and rehabilitation professionals in the care of stroke patients and reviewed each of the articles cited. The number of articles and studies cited were summarized. The credentials and institution for the first and last author of every unique article were sought and analyzed to identify professional affiliation and the profession’s contribution to specific clinical recommendations. The recommendations in these statements were then analyzed to identify clinical areas where additional studies are needed or where the standard of care would benefit from systematic investigation.
Results: These two scientific statements summarized data and information from 893 unique sources (912 references in total that included 780 empirical studies). Of the 780 studies included in these comprehensive overviews, only 7% were led by nurses or persons affiliated with a nursing school or clinical department (N=51). Rehabilitation professionals or persons affiliated with allied health schools or clinical rehabilitation departments led 27% of the studies included (N=214). Over 300 recommendations for care of the stroke patient were made. The majority of the recommendations were either Class I Level of Evidence C or Class IIa/b Level of Evidence B or C.
Conclusions: Nursing and rehabilitation professionals provide much of the care summarized in these documents but have led few of the studies used to develop the evidence for it. Significant advances in science and quality will continue to be made but the significant gaps in evidence could be addressed, at least in part, with systematic investigation at the point of care by mentored nursing and rehabilitation professionals.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.