Confidence and clinical judgement in community nurses managing venous leg ulceration – A judgement analysis.

Authors: Adderley UJ, Thompson C


J Tissue Viability. 2017 Jul 19;:

BACKGROUND: The variation in the management of venous leg ulceration in the UK is partly attributable to an uncertain clinical environment but the quality of judgements is influenced by the how well nurses' confidence and accuracy are aligned.
OBJECTIVES: To assess UK community nurses' confidence in the accuracy of their diagnostic judgements and treatment choices when managing venous leg ulceration.
DESIGN: Judgement Analysis.
SETTING: UK community and primary care nursing services.
PARTICIPANTS: 18 community non-specialist nurses working in district (home) nursing teams and general practitioner services and 18 community tissue viability specialist nurses.
METHODS: Using judgement analysis methods, 18 community non-specialist nurses and 18 community tissue viability specialist nurses made diagnoses and treatment judgements about compression therapy for 110 clinical scenarios and indicated their confidence for each judgement. An expert panel made consensus judgements for the same scenarios and these judgements were used as a standard against which to compare the participants. Confidence analysis was used to assess the nurses' confidence about their diagnostic judgements and treatment choices.
RESULTS: Despite being very experienced, both non-specialist nurses' and specialist tissue viability nurses' levels of confidence were not well calibrated with their levels of accuracy.
CONCLUSION: The results of this study are important as errors resulting from both over and under-confidence at the diagnostic phase of management may influence treatment choices, and thus increase the chances of treatment error.



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