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Using technology to support the emotional and social well-being of nurses: A scoping review.

  • Webster, Natalie L1
  • Oyebode, Jan R2
  • Jenkins, Catharine1
  • Bicknell, Sarah3
  • Smythe, Analisa3
  • 1 Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK.
  • 2 University of Bradford, Bradford, UK.
  • 3 Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK.
Published Article
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Wiley (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Oct 10, 2019
DOI: 10.1111/jan.14232
PMID: 31599997


(a) To review the literature on the use of technology to offer emotional and social support to nurses; (b) to identify and evaluate gaps in the research; (c) to assess whether a systematic review would be valuable and (d) to make recommendations for future research. A robust methodological scoping framework was used as the basis for this review design. A manualized systematic approach to quality appraisal was implemented. Between 11-12 June 2018, five databases were searched. A search of the grey literature was conducted alongside hand searching reference lists of included studies. Two researchers conducted the literature search, data extraction and quality appraisal. Three searches were conducted, combining nursing and technological terms. A narrative review approach to knowledge synthesis was used to compare and evaluate included studies. Eleven articles were retrieved. Results are presented under three subheadings: (a) text messaging and messenger apps; (b) social media and online forums; and (c) online interventions accessible via PC, smartphone and tablet. All included studies described how such provision could be beneficial; decreasing stress, isolation and anxiety and fostering a sense of community. The review identified a dearth of research into how technology can support the well-being of nurses. A high proportion of studies were based on student nurse populations using small sample sizes, therefore further research is needed. Technology may offer a sustainable and accessible means of providing support for nurses who find it difficult to communicate in person due to time pressures at work. It is important that the psychological well-being of nurses is seriously addressed as more nurses are now leaving than joining the profession. Online interventions may offer a sustainable and accessible means of providing support for busy nursing staff who have difficulty finding time to communicate with one another face-to-face. Nurse retention is an international issue linked to quality of patient care. There are financial implications for healthcare providers who compensate for the workforce deficit by employing costly agency staff. This scoping review aims to map and evaluate the available literature on technology-mediated support for the emotional and social well-being of nurses. Recommendations for future research, policy and practice will be offered from the findings of the review. © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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