About Sylvia Foley

Former senior editor at AJN.

Intimate Partner Violence: ‘Troubling Knowledge and Practice Gaps’ among Rural Providers

By Sylvia Foley, AJN senior editor

Table 8. Perceived self-efficacy on a 1-to-5 scale (mean score above 2.5 indicates greater sense of self-efficacy). Table 8. Perceived self-efficacy on a 1-to-5 scale (higher score indicates greater self-efficacy).

Intimate partner violence (IPV) remains a widespread health and social problem in the United States, affecting an estimated one in three women during her lifetime.

Health care providers can make a critical difference in the lives of these women, yet a lack of IPV-related knowledge, negative attitudes and beliefs, and low rates of screening are common. And women in rural areas face particular challenges.

To learn more about rural providers with regard to IPV, nurse researchers Karen Roush and Ann Kurth conducted a study. They report their findings in this month’s CE–Original Research feature, “Intimate Partner Violence: The Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs, and Behaviors of Rural Health Care Providers.” Here’s an overview:

Methods: Health care providers working in a large rural health network were asked to complete electronic surveys that examined their IPV-related knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Descriptive and correlational statistical analyses of the data were conducted.
Results: A total of 93 providers returned completed surveys. In general, the respondents demonstrated good overall knowledge, judicious attitudes, and beliefs congruent with the available evidence. Of concern were their […]

Napping on the Night Shift: What a Pilot Study Revealed

By Sylvia Foley, AJN senior editor

Table 1. Guidelines for Hospital Nurses on Implementing Naps on the Night Shift (click to enlarge)Nurses who work the night shift often struggle with high levels of sleepiness. But while onsite napping is effectively used to counter worker fatigue in other safety-sensitive industries, the practice has yet to win wide acceptance in nursing.

Curious about why this is so, nurse researchers Jeanne Geiger-Brown and colleagues recently conducted a pilot study. They report their findings in this month’s CE–Original Research feature, “Napping on the Night Shift: A Two-Hospital Implementation Project” (for some night shift napping ground rules, see, at right, Table 1: Guidelines for Hospital Nurses on Implementing Naps on the Night Shift—click table to enlarge).

Here’s an overview:

Purpose: To assess the barriers to successful implementation of night-shift naps and to describe the nap experiences of night-shift nurses who took naps.

Methods: In this two-hospital pilot implementation project, napping on the night shift was offered to six nursing units. Unit nurse managers’ approval was sought, and further explanation was given to a unit’s staff nurses. A nap experience form, which included the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale, was used to assess pre-nap sleepiness level, nap duration and perceived sleep experience, post-nap sleep inertia, and the perceived helpfulness of the nap. Nurse managers and staff nurses were also interviewed at the end of the three-month study period.

Results: Successful implementation occurred on only one of the six units, with partial success seen on […]

‘Do You Consider Yourself Healthy?’ Study Sheds Light on RNs’ Lifestyle Practices

By Sylvia Foley, AJN senior editor

Over the past decade, the lifestyle practices of nurses and their connection to quality of care and patient outcomes have been gaining attention. Indeed, according to the patient-centered, relationship-based care model, one of the main conditions for optimal care is that providers engage in healthy self-care behaviors. Yet there is some evidence suggesting that RNs don’t consistently do so, especially when it comes to exercise and stress reduction—even when they believe they should.

Nurse researchers Karen Thacker and colleagues recently conducted a study to learn more. They report their findings in this month’s CE–Original Research feature, “An Investigation into the Health-Promoting Lifestyle Practices of RNs.” Here’s a brief summary:

Purpose: To gather baseline data on the health-promoting lifestyle practices of RNs working in six major health care and educational institutions in southeastern Pennsylvania.
Methods: The 52-item Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile II instrument was used to explore participants’ self-reported health-promoting behaviors and measure six dimensions: health responsibility, physical activity, nutrition, interpersonal relations, spiritual growth, and stress management.
Results: Findings revealed that physical activity and stress management scores were low for the entire group of RNs. There were statistically significant differences between nurses 50 years of age and older and those 30 to 39 years of age for the subscales of health responsibility, nutrition, and stress management, suggesting that older nurses are more concerned about their health. Sixty-seven percent […]

‘Less Codes, Less Death’: A Study Explores Nurses’ Perceptions of the Benefits of Rapid Response Teams

By Sylvia Foley, AJN senior editor

For any given health care program, staff perceptions about how well it works will affect its use and maintenance. This is the case with regard to rapid response teams (RRTs). Nurse leaders’ perceptions of the benefits of RRT teams will influence their sup­port for these teams; and the perceptions of RRT members and end users similarly will influence use. Yet little is known regarding such perceptions.

Semistructured Interview GuideNurse researcher Deonni Stolldorf recently conducted a study to learn more. She reports on her findings in one of this month’s Original Research features, “The Benefits of Rapid Response Teams: Exploring Perceptions of Nurse Leaders, Team Members, and End Users.” Here’s a brief summary:

Objective: This study sought to explore and compare the perceptions of nurse leaders, RRT members, and RRT users regarding the benefits of RRTs.
Methods: A qualitative, multiple-case study design was used. Semistructured interviews were con­ducted with nurse leaders, RRT members, and RRT users at four community hospitals, as part of a larger mixed-methods study examining RRT sustainability.
Results: All participants reported perceiving various ways that RRTs benefit the organization, staff mem­bers, and patients. Variations in the benefits perceived were observed between the three participant groups. Nurse leaders’ perceptions tended to focus on macro-level benefits. RRT members emphasized the teaching and learning opportunities that RRTs offer. RRT users focused on the psychological support […]

Managing the All-Too-Real Symptoms of Fibromyalgia Syndrome

By Sylvia Foley, AJN senior editor

Capture (click image to expand)

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is one of the most common rheumatic disorders, affecting as many as 15 million people in this country, the vast majority of them women. People with FMS typically experience chronic widespread pain, as well as various concurrent symptoms that can include fatigue, cognitive disturbances (such as memory problems, confusion, and difficulty concentrating), distressed mood (especially anxiety and depression), nonrestorative sleep, and muscular stiffness. One study found that up to 65% of patients experienced lost workdays as a result.

Yet as author Victoria Menzies reports in one of our January CE features, “Fibromyalgia Syndrome: Current Considerations in Symptom Management,” many health care providers “doubt the syndrome’s validity.” Diagnosis is often delayed for years.

Menzies provides a concise overview of the illness, which has no known cure, and then focuses on what can be done to alleviate symptoms and improve patients’ quality of life. Here’s a brief overview of the article:

Symptom management appears to be best addressed using a multimodal approach, with treatment strategies tailored to the individual. While medication may provide adequate symptom relief for some patients, experts generally recommend integrating both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic approaches. Some patients may benefit from the adjunctive use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities. Because symptom remission is rare and medication adverse effects can complicate symptom management, well-informed nursing care practices […]