Nurse research delivers positive results

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Description

Research into the strategy and value of the Parkinson’s Specialist Nurses model commissioned by Parkinson’s NSW has delivered hard data to support this approach to supporting people living with Parkinson’s in their own communities.
It established that Parkinson’s Specialist Nurses can function effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team to deliver support across multiple settings – including home, clinics, hospitals and residential aged care facilities. 

The research project also provided evidence that this nursing model will result in significant savings for NSW Health by reducing the length of hospital stays required for people living with Parkinson’s.
The School of Nursing, Midwifery & Indigenous Health of Charles Sturt University undertook the research project for Parkinson’s NSW over a two-year period.
Phase 1 of the project was a literature review that began in late 2017 and was completed in April 2018.
The second phase of research began in May 2018. Its intent was to collect data that would enable two different nursing models to be compared and contrasted – the Public Health Network model in Shoalhaven and the Local Health District model in Mid North Coast.
Since the Shoalhaven model lacked electronic records available to provide qualitative data for analysis. In the Mid North Coast Local Health District model, there were extensive electronic files available for evaluation.
The decision was then made to focus on the Mid North Coast Local Health District as the prime source of quantitative data.
Face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted with people living with Parkinson’s, their carers and health professionals to gather qualitative data.
The key findings were:
• Consumers and carers identified the burden of travel associated with accessing specialist neurological services in Sydney.
• Both Parkinson’s Specialist Nurses working within the two different models demonstrated an in-depth awareness of the needs of consumers and carers alike.
• Specialist Parkinson’s Nurses can support people living with Parkinson’s throughout the progression of their disease from diagnosis to end-stage. They are the key to ensuring quality of care across services.
• If embedded in the in the Local Health District, the Parkinson’s Specialist Nurse can function as an integrated member (or ‘the glue’) of a multidisciplinary team of health professionals.
Key quantitative findings included:
• Intervention by the Parkinson’s Specialist Nurse resulted in a decrease in hospital Length of Stay (LOS) ranging from 0.37 day (valued at $1,924) to 0.755 day ($3,926)
• The reduction in Length of Stay represents savings of $8,600 per person over a three-year period for NSW Health.
• The benefits delivered by each Parkinson’s Specialist Nurse are between 5 and 7 times greater than their cost.

Period01 Nov 2019

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Keywords

  • Parkinson's disease
  • Parkinson's NSW
  • research