Nurse Led Clinics; a Novel Model of Care for Compensated Liver Cirrhosis: A Qualitative Analysis

Jeyamani Ramachandran, Sharon Lawn, Matilda Swee Sun Tang, Anuradha Pati, Luisa Wigg, Rachel Wundke, Rosemary McCormick, Kate Muller, Billingsley Kaambwa, Richard Woodman, Alan Wigg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A nurse-led cirrhosis clinic model for management of stable, compensated cirrhotic patients is practised in our unit since 2013, wherein these patients are reviewed every six months by specialist nurses in community clinics under remote supervision of hepatologists. We evaluated the experiences of patients and healthcare providers involved in the model to understand the acceptability, strengths, and limitations of the model and obtain suggestions to improve. A qualitative design using in-depth interviews was employed, followed by thematic analysis of eight patients, one attending physician both nurse and hospital clinics, four hepatologists, and three experienced specialist nurses running the nurse-led cirrhosis clinic. Patients expressed satisfaction and a good understanding of the nurse-led cirrhosis clinic, preferring it to hospital clinics for better accessibility and the unique nurse-patient relationship. Upskilling and provision of professional care in a holistic manner were appreciated by specialist nurses. The hepatologists expressed confidence and satisfaction, although they acknowledged the difference between the medical training of specialist nurses and hepatologists. The greater availability of hospital clinic time for sick patients was welcomed. Increased specialist nurse staffing, regular forums to promote specialist nurse learning, and formalization of the referral process were suggested. No adverse experiences were reported by patients or staff. The nurse-led cirrhosis clinic model for compensated liver cirrhosis was well received by patients, hepatologists, and specialist nurses. Wider implementation of the model could be considered after further investigations in other settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-42
Number of pages14
JournalGastroenterology nursing : the official journal of the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Liver cirrhosis
  • nurse-led clinics
  • nurse-patient relationship
  • Specialist nurse training
  • specialist care

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