Background: A critical assessment of current health care practices, as well as the training needs of various health care providers, is crucial for improving patient care. Several approaches have been proposed for defining these needs with attention on communication as a key competency for effective collaboration. Taking our cultural context, resource limitations, and small-scale setting into account, we researched the applicability of a mixed focus group approach for analysis of the communication between doctors and nurses, as well as the measures for improvement.
Study objective: Assessment of nurse-physician communication perception in patient care in a Caribbean setting.
Methods: Focus group sessions consisting of nurses, interns, and medical specialists were conducted using an ethnographic approach, paying attention to existing communication, risk evaluation, and recommendations for improvement. Data derived from the focus group sessions were analyzed by thematic synthesis method with descriptive themes and development of analytic themes.
Results: The initial focus group sessions produced an extensive list of key recommendations which could be clustered into three domains (standardization, sustainment, and collaboration). Further discussion of these domains in focus groups showed nurses' and physicians' domain perspectives and effects on patient care to be broadly similar. Risks related to lack of information, knowledge sharing, and professional respect were clearly described by the participants.
Conclusion: The described mixed focus group session approach for effectively determining current interprofessional communication and key improvement areas seems suitable for our small-scale, limited resource setting. The impact of the cultural context should be further evaluated by a similar study in a different cultural context.
- interprofessional communication
- focus group sessions
- nurses' perspective
- cultural context
- quality of care