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Evidence Informed Nursing with Older People

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Title: Evidence Informed Nursing with Older People

Editors: Debbie Tolson, Joanne Booth and Irene Schofield

Publisher Wiley-Blackwell, 2011

Reviewer: Professor June Andrews, director, Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling


What was it like?

As a text for nursing students and qualified nurses, this seeks to make connections between theory, evidence and value-based “gerontological” practice.  The highlights of this book include chapters on specific problem-based areas. 

What were the highlights? 

The chapter on “Truth Telling and the Evidence” is riveting because it deals with the practical realities of telling the truth when working with older people and their families, particularly in residential care.  Telling the truth can contribute to the wellbeing of the patient, but not everyone wants to know everything, so how can you be sure  that what you are communicating is both honest and appropriate?  Irene Schofield’s chapter on delirium is a brilliant example of how you can outline a crucial nursing issue, and give some clear messages about what nurses can do to prevent it and to manage it. 

Strengths and weaknesses?

It is an excellent book and it seems a pity to point out areas that could be strengthened with hindsight.  On incontinence, more could have been said about design, perhaps, and in general, possibly a little more about dementia, but these are small issues in what is overall an excellent work. The sections on promoting physical activity, pain, healthcare associated infection and hearing problems are extremely useful. Definitely read about the “Senses Framework” in chapter three, for a really useful toolkit to capture a new way of thinking about care for older people.  The section on nutrition is really helpful. Even for a professor, the first one or two chapters on theory are a solid read, and so I’d recommend starting from four to 14, and then go back to the theory…you’ll see the point then, if you can hold your nerve and read it to the end. 

Who should read it?

 In my view, this is recommended reading for all staff working in care of older people, which is most of us.

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