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This project aims to revise the nursing documentation for a Dublin hospice, through engagement of nursing staff in the identification of relevant patient problems, outcomes and interventions. The objectives of this project are to obtain consensus on: 1. The most common patient problems encountered by nurses when caring for palliative care patients;How these problems can be described, using standardised nursing language; 2. The planned outcomes relative to the identified problems, again using standardised nursing language. 3. The interventions used to address those problems and to achieve the planned outcomes, using standardised nursing language. This study is exploratory and employs a mixed method non-experimental design and sought, as its starting point, to identify the principal patient problems that present within the designated palliative care settings. Phase 1: Focus Groups All registered nurses working in the designated ward areas were eligible for inclusion, subject to specific criteria. Each focus group was be conducted in accordance with a topic guide which related to the express aim of Phase 1 in exploring palliative care nurses’ considerations of what they consider to be the principal problems of palliative care patients. The analysis of qualitative data obtained during the focus groups was undertaken using a thematic content analytical approach guided by the structure imposed by the identified patient problems. Phase 2: Delphi Technique All registered general nurses working in the inpatient unit will be eligible for inclusion, subject to specific criteria. Each participant will be sent three questionnaires in sequence over the project period. When the information from the returned questionnaires is analysed and the results collated, these results and the second and third questionnaires will be distributed again by the gatekeeper. This project is the first of such one to be undertaken in palliative care in Ireland. It will delineate a data-set which may be transferrable to other such Irish settings. Its mapping to the ICNP Catalogue and submission to ICN will further enhance the catalogue.
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