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Establishment of sustainable patient health education in clinical care: An action research study

Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences
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  • Ecology
  • Education
  • Geography


Background: Despite the great body of knowledge on the effects of patient education, it has not been institutionalized in hospital settings. A collective effort was implemented to establish sustainable patient education in the clinical care of neurosurgical patients in a university hospital in Arak through an action research in 2011-2012. This article shares a part of experiences and knowledge obtained from the second cycle of the action research including action and reflection phases. Methods: The study was conducted using cooperative inquiry as a form of action research study. A head nurse, ten staff nurses and a nursing faculty member participated in changing patient/family education practice in the ward. In action phase, oral and written education was presented to patients during the hospitalization, and while discharging from the unit. In reflection phase, the activities were critically reflected using focus group discussions. Qualitative content analysis was recruited to analyze the data. Results: The results showed that moving towards sustainable patient education has started in the ward. Learning in action, the head nurse leadership, receiving reinforcing feedbacks, and improving nurse-patient relationship indicated the success of the change process. However, lack of support on the part of nursing administrators, constraints in practice environment, and the need to become expert in teaching were encountered as challenges ahead. Conclusion: The collective participation of the nurses made moving towards sustainable patient education possible. The continuity of the educational practice needs overcoming challenges related to insufficient support on behalf of the nursing administrators as well as environmental constraints.

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