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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Nursing care for stroke patients: A survey of current practice in eleven European countries

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AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To conduct a survey of the clinical nursing practice in European countries in accordance with the European Stroke Strategies (ESS) 2006, and to examine to what extent the ESS have been implemented in stroke care nursing in Europe.

BACKGROUND: Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability globally. Optimal organisation of interdisciplinary stroke care is expected to ameliorate outcome after stroke. Consequently, universal access to stroke care based on evidence-based guidelines is a priority.

DESIGN: This study is a descriptive cross-sectional survey.

METHODS: A questionnaire comprising 61 questions based on the ESS and scientific evidence in nursing practice was distributed to representatives of the European Association of Neuroscience Nurses, who sent the questionnaire to nurses active in stroke care. The questionnaire covered the following areas of stroke care: Organization of stroke services, Management of acute stroke and prevention including basic care and nursing, and Secondary prevention.

RESULTS: Ninety-two nurses in stroke care in 11 European countries participated in the survey. Within the first 48 hours after stroke onset, 95% monitor patients regularly, 94% start mobilization after 24 hours when patients are stable and 89% assess patients' ability to swallow. Change of position for immobile patients is followed by 73%, and post-void residual urine volume is measured by 85%. Some aspects needed improvement, for example staff education (70%), education for patients/families/carers (55%), and individual care plans in secondary prevention (62%).

CONCLUSIONS: The participating European countries comply well with the ESS guidelines, particularly in the acute stroke care, but not all stroke units have reached optimal development in all aspects of stroke care nursing.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Our study may provide clinical administrators and nurses in stroke care with information that may contribute to improved compliance with the European Stroke Strategies and evidence-based guidelines. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number(3-4)
Pages (from-to)684-693
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 51621927