2.1. This report discusses the significance of using evidence based nursing for the treatment and management of long term conditions. It focuses on how evidence based practice influences the patient care and includes personal reflection of caring for a person with a long term condition with experience of using evidence based care.
2. What is evidence based nursing?
3.2. Evidence based nursing practice indicates making decisions about a patient’s care on the basis of current best available evidence (Beyea & Slattery, 2006). It enables health care professionals of all varieties to provide the best quality of care to the patient based on up to date research and knowledge. There are a range of different resources including clinical guidelines, local and national policies, reports, current and past research and personal reflections (Dale, 2005). These sources of evidence can inform the health practitioner of good nursing practice which can then allow them to deliver excellent nursing care with an evaluative and qualitative approach (Thompson et al, 2004). Good quality information in a suitable format supported by guidance from a health professional has also been shown to increase people’s levels of confidence in the decision making process (Embrey & Fox 2010). Getting up-to-date, accurate and unbiased information can help everyone make informed decisions and communicate effectively with care professionals.
3. What is a Long Term Condition?
4.3. Long term conditions are those which current medical interventions can only control not cure (Furze et al, 2008). The Department of Health (2010) estimates there are around 15 million people in England with at least one long term condition. These include transmissible diseases, such as HIV, and non-transmissible diseases, such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asthma. There are mental health long term conditions, such as schizophrenia, and ongoing impairments, such as joint disorders. There are also a number of neurological conditions, for example Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Guillain Barre Syndrome and myasthenia gravis. Denny & Earle (2009) suggest patients with long term conditions need ongoing nursing and medical management; their everyday lives are likely to change dramatically and with many long term illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis, the illness can become progressively worse, so they therefore need continuing quality care, and support should be organised to meet their needs.
4. Use of evidence based nursing care related to Long-term Conditions. 5.4. To meet the needs of the patients the government has recently set out a new strategy to support the management of people living with a long term condition and to aid them to live independently. Public consultations run by the strategic health authority to establish the major health concerns of people showed that long term conditions were a priority area for action. The results clearly indicated they wanted more control over their care and lives (Milne and Greenwood, 2009). There have been a range of documents published by organisations set out to help the management of people with a long term condition. 5.5.1. One important document, published by The Department of Health (DOH), is The Long Term (Neurological) Conditions National Service Framework (NSF) started in March 2005. This planned to transform the way health and social care services support people who live with long-term neurological conditions. The principles of the NSF (Appendix 1) are also relevant to service development for other long term conditions and support the government’s strategy for support (DOH, 2005). An additional...