A comparative study on the clinical decision making processes of nurse practitioners versus medical doctors using scenarios within a secondary care environment
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AbstractSubjects This study was conducted from May 2012 to January 2013.Aim To investigate the decision-making skills of secondary care nurse practitioners compared to those of medical doctors.Background A literature review was conducted, searching for articles published from 1990 to 2012. The review found that nurse practitioners are key to the modernisation of the National Health Service. Studies have shown that compared to doctors, nurse practitioners can be efficient and cost-effective in consultations.Design Qualitative research design. Methods The information processing theory and think-aloud approach were used to understand the cognitive processes of 10 participants (5 doctors and 5 nurse practitioners). One nurse practitioner was paired with one doctor from the same speciality, and they were compared using a structured scenario-based interview. To ensure that all critical and relevant cues were covered by the individual participating in the scenario, a reference model was used to measure the degree of successful diagnosis, management and treatment.Results The data were processed for 5 months, from July to November 2012. The two groups of practitioners differed in the number of cue acquisitions obtained in the scenarios. In our study, nurse practitioners took three minutes longer to complete the scenarios. Conclusion This study suggests that nurse practitioner consultations are comparable to those of medical doctors within a secondary care environment in terms of correct diagnoses and therapeutic treatments. The information processing theory highlighted that both groups of professionals had similar models for decision-making processes.
CitationThompson, T., Barratt, J., and Moorley, C.R. (2016) 'A comparative study on the clinical decision making processes of nurse practitioners versus medical doctors using scenarios within a secondary care environment', Journal of Advanced Nursing, 73 (5), pp. 1097-1110 doi: 10.1111/jan.13206
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
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