Telenursing is becoming a more and more popular method of evidence-based care that helps patients and their families to manage health conditions without having to drive long distances to the hospital. Telehealth is employed not only for people living far from healthcare facilities but also for those who need further support after leaving the hospital. The article by Stavrianopoulos (2016) is focused on one of the possible ways of employing telenursing – increasing the quality of life in patients who suffer from heart failure.
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The author remarks that patients having chronic heart failure, as well as their family members, experience many complicated issues that have an adverse impact on the quality of life in such patients. Stavrianopoulos (2016) emphasizes the fact that such patients need to visit hospitals frequently, which presents a new difficulty for them. Thus, the author aims to investigate the positive role of telenursing in enhancing the lives of patients with heart failure. The purpose of the paper is to summarize and analyze Stavrianopoulos’s (2016) article and evaluate its significance for evidence-based nursing practice. The study was published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal and is supplied with all the necessary components of a research study. The use of a clear structure and a large number of referenced sources add to the scholarly significance of Stavrianopoulos’s (2016) study.
Description of the Research Question
The research question of the study is, “Can regular phone interventions led by nurses enhance the quality of life in patients with heart failure?” The author draws attention to the fact that there are many complications experienced by the people who suffer from heart failure, and there is a great need to eliminate the negative outcomes of these complications. Stavrianopoulos (2016) is not the only one who investigates the role of telenursing in facilitating patients and their families. Knox, Rahman, and Beedie (2017) analyze the same theme and come to the conclusion that disease management with the help of telehealth is a rather productive trend and does not present danger to the patients. Chiang, Chen, Dai, and Ho (2012) focus their study on the impact of nursing-led care on caregivers since they consider that family members also need support in the complicated process of recovery experienced by their close ones. The need for analyzing the role of telehealth is associated with the growing role of this type of medical care. People are sometimes unwilling to use telenursing because of mistrust of this method. Researchers work hard to point out the positive outcomes of telehealth so as to engage more patients and caregivers in it.
Research design had a form of telephone intervention. Patients of both sexes who had been diagnosed with heart failure participated in the study. Their health condition was ratified by raised plasma levels and heart ultrasound. Stavrianopoulos (2016) randomly divided all stakeholders into two groups: the intervention group and the control group. There were twenty-five patients in each group, making it a total of fifty participants. Each person was asked to fill out a study questionnaire twice: before the intervention and after it. All patients were classified with heart failure of class II and III according to New York Heart Association. The duration of the intervention was sixteen weeks. Participants received a phone call once per week. The length of each phone conversation equaled twenty minutes. The strengths of the chosen research design outnumber its weaknesses. It is the most suitable design for the current study since Stavrianopoulos (2016) investigates telehealth. Also, the duration of intervention conversations is sufficient. However, the study sample seems to be too little to show reliable outcomes.
Description of the Sample
As it has been mentioned earlier, the study sample was fifty patients, female and male ones. The researcher did not have any preferences as to participants’ place of birth, marital status, or socioeconomic level. There were two groups formed from the total number of patients: the intervention group called Group A and the control group called Group B.
The number of participants seems too small. However, it may be so due to the fact that not many people agree to take part in such interventions. The more researchers dedicate their studies to this issue, the more willing people will be to participate in them in the future.
Data Collection Method
The data needed for the study was collected by the author. Stavrianopoulos (2016) used such a data collection method as the interview. The data collection tool was the questionnaire. While completing the questionnaire, patients shared their social data, demographic characteristics, and the scale (“Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire” (MLHFQ) (Stavrianopoulos, 2016, p. 2). The scale evaluated the quality of patients’ life before and after the telenursing intervention.
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The method and tool employed by the researcher were ethical. The author did not ask for or share any personal information about the participants.
Limitations of the Study
The major drawback of the study is a comparatively small sample. Because of a small number of participants, it was hard to generalize the results. The second limitation is associated with pre-intervention and post-intervention tests. Because participants had much time between the questionnaires, there is a possibility that they altered their answers purposefully. Thus, the internal validity of the study is undermined. There is a possibility that patients belonging to the intervention group might have left positive feedback about the nurses’ efforts to assist them. To overcome the limitations in further research, it is necessary to make the sample bigger.
It is rather important to discuss study limitations because by doing so, the author outlines the perspectives of further research.
Findings Reported in the Study
As a result of his research, Stavrianopoulos (2016) was able to identify that the quality of life in patients suffering from heart failure enhanced considerably after telenursing intervention. Re-hospitalization rates were reported to decrease. Telenursing was proved to eliminate the risk factors associated with the disease and promote self-care among the patients. The participants’ average weight was different in both groups: in the intervention group, it fell, whereas, in the control group, it rose. Research findings answered the research question posed in the study.
Stavrianopoulos’s (2016) article presents significant data on telehealth in general and its employment for the management of patients with heart failure in particular. The study aimed at analyzing the role of telenursing in improving patients’ quality of life. The research question was fully answered by the findings. Based on the current study, there seems to be a high probability of implementing such an approach in practice. The evidence on the topic is strong enough to suggest an idea for practice. As well as many other researchers, Stavrianopoulos (2016) proves that telenursing has a beneficial impact on patients’ quality of life.
Chiang, L.-C., Chen, W.-C., Dai, Y.-T., & Ho, Y.-L. (2012). The effectiveness of telehealth care on caregiver burden, mastery of stress, and family function among family caregivers of heart failure patients: A quasi-experimental study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 49(10), 1230-1242.
Knox, L., Rahman, R. J., Beedie, C. (2017). Quality of life in patients receiving telemedicine enhanced chronic heart failure disease management: A meta-analysis. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 23(7), 639-649.
Stavrianopoulos, T. (2016). Impact of a nurses-led telephone intervention program on the quality of life in patients with heart failure in a district hospital of Greece. Health Science Journal, 10(4), 1-8.