Nurses` Perspectives Regarding Disclosure of Errors to Patient

Nurses’Perspectives Regarding Disclosure of Errors to Patient

NursingResearch on article: Nurses’ Perspectives Regarding the Disclosureof Errors to Patient

Disclosure of errors committed by nurses has remained to be acontentious issue when it comes to service provision. Health careprofessionals sometimes commit errors that are likely to affect theoverall patient outcome (Hannawa, 2014). Some institutions haveidentified channels of disclosure of errors that exist (Gallagher etal., 2013). Despite the need to disclose such errors, not all nurseshave been comfortable pointing out such mistakes. Most end up keepingthe entire issue a secret regardless of the impact it could have onthe treatment outcomes (Moffatt-Bruce, Ferdinand, &amp Fann, 2016).The study seeks to explore the concept of disclosure of errors bynurses and their perspectives on the issue.

Level of Evidence

The study qualifies under Level III. It was a single descriptivestudy. Further, the approach taken by the researchers was morequalitative since they were focusing on getting the opinion of nurseson the issue of disclosure of errors committed as they discharge theduties that they have been assigned. The research further qualifiesunder level III since it was exploratory in nature. Interviews wereused to get the perception of professionals on the issue ofdisclosure. The characteristic of the research and its overallapproach qualifies it as a non-experimental study that falls underLevel III. The

Identification of the Problem and How the Study address Gaps inKnowledge

The researchers identify the mismatch that exists between the desireof patients on being informed regarding errors and the clinicalreality. The approach taken by the authors illustrates that they wereindeed able to point out a problem that exists in the health sector.Furthermore, there is limited knowledge regarding the perception ofnurses on the issue. The authors successfully identify a problem andthe approach they adopt is essential in addressing the gap inknowledge that exists on the issue. It is a reflection of thesignificance of the study and its contribution to the nursingprofession.

Purpose of the Study

The authors have clearly stated the purpose of the study. Forexample, it is evident that they are aiming at understanding the viewthat nurses hold when it comes to the concept of disclosure of errorsin the course of service provision to the patients. The structure ofthe study is such that one can point out the overall goal of thestudy. Apart from the illustration in the content, one can identifythe purpose of the study from the title. It indicates that theresearchers were keen to detail in the work that they were doingqualifying the paper as being appropriate to be applied in a typicalhospital environment (Grove, Burns, &amp Gray, 2014).

Validity of the Literature Review

The literature review was current. Notably, a significant percentageof the literature review was within a scope of five years to date.Such is an indication of the fact that the researchers were relyingon the most updated data when it came to carrying out the research.However, some of the literature was out of the scope of five years.Notably, some information used had been published in the year 2008.Overall, one can conclude that the choice of the literature for usewas appropriate.

Sufficiency of Sample Size

The researchers used a small sample when conducting the study. Theselection of a total of 18 participants was insufficient to help inarriving at a meaningful conclusion. It could have been appropriatefor the researchers to use a sample of 30 at a minimum since it isthe most recommended. The small size could adversely affect theresults and the analysis. Further, it is essential to consider that asmall sample size may not give an accurate picture of the situationmaking it difficult to adopt the paper for practice (Polit, &ampBeck, 2013). For example, considering a large proportion of nursespracticing, it could have been useful if the researchers used alarger sample size.

Control Group

The study was non-experimental. There was no control group since itwas more qualitative and focused on getting the perception of nursesregarding the issue under study.

Data Collection Methods

The methods utilized in the collection of data are clearly stated.For example, the researchers employ the use of interviews on everyindividual participating in the study. The interview used wassemi-structured as designed by the particular researcher. Overall,the researchers successfully illustrate the how they collected thesample. The usability of the data is equally explained. For example,they state that the interview was transcribed in the German language.It is an indication of the fact that the approach used when it cameto data collection could be relied upon.

Reliability of Instruments

Instruments utilized in the study were reliable. For example, theAtlas Ti (Berlin) that was used in conducting the analysis wasessential for its ability to provide conclusive and reliable results(McLennan, Diebold, Rich, &amp Elger, 2014).

Validity of Instruments

The validity of the instrument was however not discussed by theresearchers. It could have been useful if the researchers employedmore than one instrument when it came to the analysis since it canguarantee the validity of the results derived from the study(Portney, &amp Watkins, 2015). Nevertheless, there is a thoroughexplanation of the instruments used in the analysis.

Explanation on Response Rate

The authors clearly state the number of participants who took part inthe study. However, it is not clear the response rate of those whowere enrolled in the study. However, one can conclude that theresponse rate was greater than 25% based on the conclusions that weremade by the researchers. Further, the illustration of the number ofnurses who responded and the nature of answers they provided couldserve as a confirmation of the fact that the rate of response wasgreater than 25%.

Presentation of the Results

Presentation of the results was not thorough. Despite the conclusionsmade by the researchers, they fail to illustrate the answers in anin-depth manner. It could have been essential for the researchers toprovide in detail the results derived from the analysis. The resultswere presented in a general way. Further, there is a failure toexplain the concept of disclosure of errors by nurses and at whatpercentage. For example, in describing the perception of nurses onthe issue, there is a failure to point out the number of those whowere comfortable disclosing the information and those with a contraryopinion. Because of the same, it could be confusing for the readersto conclude on the issue based on the results.

Presentation of Tables

The table depicted was consistent with the narrative. For example,there is an explanation on characteristics of nurse participants. Itis vital to point out that the researchers present a single tablewith focus on characteristics of participants. It is an issue ofconcern since one could expect a table illustrating the results ofthe study. Through the same, it could be possible to understand whatthe researchers were doing and whether they were indeed able to get asolution to the problem they were investigating.

Identifications of Study Limitations

Limitations were identified by the researchers as they wereundertaking the study. Notably, there is the aspect of the sampleused in the study. Nurses who took part in the study were derivedfrom only two German-speaking Swiss cantons. However, the researchersargued that the percentage of nurses coming from European countriesthat are adjacent was considerable (McLennan, Diebold, Rich, &ampElger, 2014). The authors concluded that the sample chosen wasappropriate to help in getting results that are conclusive enough.The other limitation concerned the issue of coding. The authorsadmitted to the fact that there is a possibility the results they gotmay vary significantly due to cultural reasons. The aspect of cultureconcerning the language barrier could have affected the results. Thetranslation of the language could have affected the resultsconsidering the different meaning of some words. The issue wasaddressed by concluding that the participants could speak theirnative language, and the idiomatic phrases were kept in possiblesituations (McLennan, Diebold, Rich, &amp Elger, 2014). Because ofthe same, the chances are that the effect of such variations onresults may have been minimal. There was bias when it came to theselection of the participants. For example, they relied on theadministration to select the nurses who would participate in thestudy. Further, only female nurses were enrolled in the study. It wasa limitation on the part of the researchers since it barred them fromgetting results that are reliable enough. However, the researchersincluded one male participant in the study. It could help inaddressing the limitation.

Basis of Conclusions on Results

The conclusions made by the researchers are based on the resultsderived from the study. For example, it was evident that most of theparticipants identified the need to disclose errors made as theyexecuted the tasks assigned to them. However, despite the willingnessof the nurses to disclose such errors, most of them admit to the factthat they were unable to do so for the repercussions that ensuedafter that. Notably, they suggest the need for the hospitaladministration to establish a framework through which they can makesuch disclosures (McLennan, Diebold, Rich, &amp Elger, 2014). Theapproach taken by the researchers in arriving at the conclusion isbased on the results derived from the study. It is an indication ofthe fact that the scholars were able to answer the question underconsideration.

The research was high quality. The results were easily generalizableand conclusions made were consistent with the results that had beenprovided by the researcher. Similarly, the recommendations areappropriate and are based on the conclusions in addition to thescientific evidence provided.


Overall, the research conducted by the study is essential and has avital role to play as a potential source of evidence that can be usedin practice. The study undertaken is helpful in guiding the day today activities of nurses in a hospital. The approach and the overallresearch design has been fundamental in enabling the researchers toarrive at a reliable conclusion. The findings can be employed inguiding the practice of nurses. Through the same, it is possible toachieve improved patient outcomes. Finally, the research question ishelpful in particular among the nurses and patients alike. Theconclusion to have hospitals establish a framework that enablesnurses to make disclosures to errors will help protect them from thelegal repercussions that are likely to accrue after the incident.


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