Sufficiency of information exchange during routine nursing practice

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review



Information exchange between patients and professionals may encourage patient participation in healthcare, and aid shared decision-making. No studies have investigated information exchange in nursing practice in ward settings specifically. In this paper we report on the findings from our study of information exchange between patients and nurses.


This study aims to explore the type, amount and relevance of information shared between patients and registered nurses during routine nursing care in ward settings.
Methods: This qualitative study was informed by case study methodology. Data were collected from medical and surgical inpatient wards from one inner city teaching hospital from August to December 2009. Non-participant semi-structured audio-recorded observations of interactions between patients and nurses were undertaken using a radio-microphone. Observation sessions were followed by individual semi-structured interviews.
Results: Data were collected from nineteen cases involving interactions between nineteen patients and the twenty-one nurses looking after them. We found that: patients shared mainly social information and information about their condition; although all patients indicated that they could share their preferences for treatment and care, not all actually did; although some nurses shared information about nursing interventions not all talked about risks, benefits or alternatives; ‘banter’ was considered by some patients and nurses as important for sharing information, but could also be a hindrance.


Based on these preliminary observations and ongoing analysis we will consider how interactional (such as lost opportunities) and structural features (such as time) may have affected information exchange between patients and nurses in this study.


Information exchange is fundamental to practice. Preliminary analysis suggests that information exchange between nurses and patients in ward settings may not be a prescriptive event but a complex series of social and clinical interactions affected by distractions, interruptions and limited time.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventRCN 2013 International Nursing Research Conference - Europa Hotel, Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Mar 201322 Mar 2013


ConferenceRCN 2013 International Nursing Research Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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