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Nurse, midwife and patient perspectives and experiences of diabetes management in an acute inpatient setting: a mixed-methods study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-01-11, 23:48 authored by Sara HoltonSara Holton, Bodil Rasmussen, Joy Turner, Cheryl Steele, Deepa Ariarajah, Shane Hamblin, Shane Crowe, Sandy Schutte, Karen Wynter, Ilyana Mohamed Hussain
In an acute hospital setting, diabetes can require intensive management with medication modification, monitoring and education. Yet little is known about the experiences and perspectives of nursing/midwifery staff and patients. The aim of this study was to investigate diabetes management and care for patients with diabetes in an acute care setting from the perspectives of nursing/midwifery staff and patients.

A convergent mixed-methods study design. Patients with diabetes (Type 1, Type 2 or gestational diabetes) recruited from a public health service in Melbourne, Australia completed a survey and nurses and midwives employed at the health service participated in focus groups. Descriptive statistics were used to summarise the survey data. Thematic analysis was used for the free-text survey comments and focus group data.

Surveys were completed by 151 patients. Although more than half of the patients were satisfied with the diabetes care they had received (n = 96, 67.6%), about a third felt the hospital nursing/midwifery staff had ignored their own knowledge of their diabetes care and management (n = 43, 30.8%). Few reported having discussed their diabetes management with the nursing/midwifery staff whilst in hospital (n = 47, 32.6%) or thought the nurses and midwives had a good understanding of different types of insulin (n = 43, 30.1%) and their administration (n = 47, 33.3%). Patients also reported food related barriers to their diabetes management including difficulties accessing appropriate snacks and drinks (n = 46, 30.5%), restricted food choices and timing of meals (n = 41, 27.2%). Fourteen nurses and midwives participated in two focus groups. Two main themes were identified across both groups: 1. challenges caring for patients with diabetes; and 2. lack of confidence and knowledge about diabetes management.

Patients and nursing/midwifery staff reported challenges managing patients’ diabetes in the hospital setting, ensuring patients’ optimal self-management, and provision of suitable food and timing of meals. It is essential to involve patients in their diabetes care and provide regular and up-to-date training and resources for nursing/midwifery staff to ensure safe and high-quality inpatient diabetes care and improve patient and staff satisfaction.



BMC Nursing



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