Reliably assessing dyspnea in non-communicative end-of-life patients
Laura A. Thomas, BSN-RN has a interest in palliative care nursing and improving patient experience at the end of life.
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Problem: Will education provided to nurses at a Midwest community hospital about the Respiratory Distress Observation Scale (RDOS) result in increased knowledge on how to assess patients who are unable to self-report dyspnea?
Intervention: Dyspnea is a common and distressing symptom which occurs in critically ill and end-of-life patients. Due to sedation and physiological changes which occur during critical illness and the dying process, many patients are unable to communicate dyspnea. The Respiratory Distress Observation Scale (RDOS) is the only evidence-based tool available to assess dyspnea in uncommunicative end-of-life patients. A pre-intervention survey was sent to participating oncology nurses to assess their knowledge on how to assess dyspnea in a patient who is unable to self-report. Next, education on the RDOS tool was provided to participants. After the intervention, the participants were asked to complete a post-intervention survey. The purpose of this quality improvement program was to increase nursing knowledge on dyspnea assessment in uncommunicative end-of-life patients.
Measures: The pre-intervention survey and post-intervention survey utilized a 4-point Likert Scale (1 = Strongly agree, 2 = agree, 3 = disagree, and 4 = strongly disagree) which asked participants to rate their knowledge on the dyspnea assessment in non-communicative end-of-life patients and the RDOS tool.
Results: The intervention did not significantly improve nursing knowledge of how to assess dyspnea in non-communicative end-of-life patients.
Conclusions: While the intervention was not successful at improving knowledge on dyspnea assessment, the RDOS is being widely used in hospitals across the country to improve the ability to assess dyspnea in patients who cannot self-report.
|Type||DNP Capstone Project|
|Review Type||None: Degree-based Submission|
|Evidence Level||Quality Improvement|
|Research Approach||Translational Research/Evidence-based Practice|
|Keywords||Respiratory Distress Observation Scale;
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