The effect of attitude to risk on decisions made by nurses using computerised decision support software in telephone clinical assessment: an observational study

O'Cathain, A., Munro, J., Armstrong, I., O'Donnell, C. and Heaney, D. (2007) The effect of attitude to risk on decisions made by nurses using computerised decision support software in telephone clinical assessment: an observational study. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 7(39), (doi:10.1186/1472-6947-7-39)

[img]
Preview
Text
ODonnell4032.pdf

282kB

Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6947-7-39

Abstract

<p><b>Background</b>: There is variation in the decisions made by telephone assessment nurses using computerised decision support software (CDSS). Variation in nurses' attitudes to risk has been identified as a possible explanatory factor. This study was undertaken to explore the effect of nurses' attitudes to risk on the decisions they make when using CDSS. The setting was NHS 24 which is a nationwide telephone assessment service in Scotland in which nurses assess health problems, mainly on behalf of out-of-hours general practice, and triage calls to self care, a service at a later date, or immediate contact with a service.</p> <p><b>Methods</b>: All NHS 24 nurses were asked to complete a questionnaire about their background and attitudes to risk. Routine data on the decisions made by these nurses was obtained for a six month period in 2005. Multilevel modelling was used to measure the effect of nurses' risk attitudes on the proportion of calls they sent to self care rather than to services.</p> <p><b>Results</b>: The response rate to the questionnaire was 57% (265/464). 231,112 calls were matched to 211 of these nurses. 16% (36,342/231,112) of calls were sent to self care, varying three fold between the top and bottom deciles of nurses. Fifteen risk attitude variables were tested, including items on attitudes to risk in clinical decision-making. Attitudes to risk varied greatly between nurses, for example 27% (71/262) of nurses strongly agreed that an NHS 24 nurse "must not take any risks with physical illness" while 17% (45/262) disagreed. After case-mix adjustment, there was some evidence that nurses' attitudes to risk affected decisions but this was inconsistent and unconvincing.</p> <p><b>Conclusion</b>: Much of the variation in decision-making by nurses using CDSS remained unexplained. There was no convincing evidence that nurses' attitudes to risk affected the decisions made. This may have been due to the limitations of the instrument used to measure risk attitude.</p>

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:O'Donnell, Professor Kate
Authors: O'Cathain, A., Munro, J., Armstrong, I., O'Donnell, C., and Heaney, D.
Subjects:R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
Journal Name:BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1472-6947
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2007 BioMed Central
First Published:First published in BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 7:39
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record