Nutrition Related Clinical Decision Making of Pediatric Oncology Nurses
Lulloff, Amanda J. “Nutrition Related Clinical Decision Making of Pediatric Oncology Nurses”, PhD, Boston College, 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:107898.
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate staff nurses’ clinical decision making (CDM) regarding pediatric oncology patients’ nutritional status. Background: Malnutrition, both under- and over-nutrition, in children can lead to significant morbidity and even mortality. Pediatric cancer patients are at high risk for malnutrition secondary to the disease process and treatment side effects; malnutrition in pediatric oncology patients is associated with poorer outcomes. Pediatric oncology nurses, with frequent and consistent contact with patients, are in an ideal position to assess nutritional status. Early identification and intervention for nutritional concerns in patients has been shown to improve outcomes. However, research on the quality of pediatric oncology nurses’ CDM regarding nutritional status does not exist. Methods: A web-based survey was distributed to members of the Association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses; it was comprised of three sections: a demographic data collection form, pediatric oncology nutrition related vignettes, and the New General Self-Efficacy Scale. The vignettes were rated on a one to five scale with one being under-nourished and 5 being over-nourished. Participants were asked to report their confidence in their rating and select cues in the vignette supporting the rating. A multi-level regression analysis was utilized to assess the quality of nurses’ CDM, the confidence of the nurses’ CDM, and the factors associated with CDM. Results: No nurse or organizational factors could be identified as useful in predicting the accuracy of the participants’ nutritional rating; however, nurses were significantly likely to under-rate the vignette when comparted with the expert panel’s rating. Nurses were significantly likely to select fewer cues supportive of nutritional rating than the expert panel. Conclusions: Further research regarding nutritional assessment and nurses’ clinical decision making is warranted. Evidence-based guidelines for nutritional assessment of pediatric oncology patients should be developed and implemented to ensure this patient population receives the highest quality of care.