Prevalence, Patterns, and Predictors of Nursing Care left Undone in European Hospitals: Results from the Multicountry RN4CAST study

TitlePrevalence, Patterns, and Predictors of Nursing Care left Undone in European Hospitals: Results from the Multicountry RN4CAST study
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsAusserhofer, D., B. Zander, Reinhard Busse, Maria Schubert, Linda H. Aiken, and Rene Schwendimann
JournalBMJ Quality and Safety
Volume23
Pagination126-135
Accession NumberPMID: 24214796
AbstractLittle is known of the extent to which nursing-care tasks are left undone as an international phenomenon. The aim of this study is to describe the prevalence and patterns of nursing care left undone across European hospitals and explore its associations with nurse-related organisational factors. Data were collected from 33 659 nurses in 488 hospitals across 12 European countries for a large multicountry cross-sectional study. Across European hospitals, the most frequent nursing care activities left undone included 'Comfort/talk with patients' (53%), 'Developing or updating nursing care plans/care pathways' (42%) and 'Educating patients and families' (41%). In hospitals with more favourable work environments (B=-2.19; p<0.0001), lower patient to nurse ratios (B=0.09; p<0.0001), and lower proportions of nurses carrying out non-nursing tasks frequently (B=2.18; p<0.0001), fewer nurses reported leaving nursing care undone. Nursing care left undone was prevalent across all European countries and was associated with nurse-related organisational factors. We discovered similar patterns of nursing care left undone across a cross-section of European hospitals, suggesting that nurses develop informal task hierarchies to facilitate important patient-care decisions. Further research on the impact of nursing care left undone for patient outcomes and nurse well-being is required.
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjqs-2013-002318