Nursing Research Methods Paper Example

Introduction

Nursing care is provided to people with diverse health and sick care needs in multiple contexts all over the world. The competence and knowledge required to meet the varied care needs may be overwhelming even for experienced registered nurses. However, various nursing programs have been designed to allow the knowledge not only be accumulated but also assimilated by nurses. This section reviews the literature regarding effective nursing interventions to improve the physical health of people with learning disabilities.

 

Literature Review Nursing Research for People with Learning Disabilities

To start with, Hithersay, Strydom, Moulster and Buszewicz (2014) conducted a review of health interventions in various health settings and populations in order to investigate the potential roles of carers in learning disability healthcare. In the study, the researchers sought to highlight the important role that nurses play in assessing, monitoring, and promoting health of people with learning disabilities. These intervention strategies are critical in improving health outcome of the target population.

The investigators used rapid systematic review methodology with a scale that runs from 1A to 5. 1A provided the highest evidence possible, while 5 had the lowest possible score on interventions based on expert opinion. The results of the scores showed that one of the care-led interventions for the nurses was to work closely with parents in managing childhood obesity and overweight in children with learning disabilities. This health promotion intervention strategy was important because of the serious health problem that obesity poses to the life of people with learning disabilities. To achieve this health intervention objective, nurses should help parents understand the need for behavior change, healthy lifestyle as well as training, especially for parents whose children are overweight. The strategies are more likely to assist in reducing the body mass index (BMI) significantly in children with learning disabilities.

During the study, BMI of the control group without the interventions did not represent positive outcomes. This factor indicates that where the nurses do not intervene through any of the suggested strategies, children with learning disabilities are unlikely to have positive outcomes. From the combined reviews on the topic, it was found that targeting parents was favorable for health improvements in health promotion or healthier lifestyles of their children. Importantly, parenting and healthy lifestyles skills training had the potential of reducing food consumption in children with learning disabilities and their BMI.

Additionally, caloric food consumption resulted in increasing the risk of weight gain and obesity, which are considered important aspects of learning disability in children. The investigators reported that to deal with the problem of poor parenting and healthy lifestyle skills, nurses needed to provide nursing educational materials focusing on dietary management. Such materials provide vital information that would change parental perception on intake of certain classes of food. The parental-care-led interventions were critical in symptom monitoring and management, health promotion, mental as well as physical health screening procedures (Hithersay et al., 2014).

Where persons with learning disability take unhealthy foods, such as the ones that increase weight, nurses could have advised carers to change the diet to more proper ration. Nurses also explained how to exercise as way of promoting healthy lifestyles. The source is useful in covering the studied topic since it emphasizes on the importance of recognizing that nurses, through their training, have the necessary skills and knowledge to conduct screening tests to diagnose both physical and mental challenges, and then advice carers accordingly.

In another research, under the guideline of the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, Burke (2014) compiled a report to show how nurses were raising awareness among health care and social service providers, commissioners, and policy makers as an intervention strategy to enhance wellbeing of people living with learning disabilities. The investigation was conducted after the realization of the inequalities that occur in the way target audience receive health and social support. However, the services offered to people with learning disabilities need to be person-centered and of high standard. Although there are many initiatives to reduce stigma associated with mental health, persons with learning disabilities have continued to face various difficulties in accessing mental health services as compared to other groups.

The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, working with an established reference group of people with learning disabilities, identified cognitive behavior therapy as an invention strategy that nurses can use to improve the wellbeing of people with learning disabilities. From the responses of 197 people between the ages of 16 to 65, 8.6% of the respondents recorded physical pain as one of the most common issues that people with learning disabilities are likely to experience (Burke, 2014). Learning disability nurses were identified to be in a good position to provide cognitive behavior therapy.

This method of nursing intervention was proposed given it has been applied more successfully in the target group rather than in the general population. Nurses can promote social desirability, ensure acquiescence, and deal with problems of incomprehension and anxiety efficiently in light of this framework (Burke, 2014). Nurses can help carers to identify the problems through pictorial materials as well as through supplementary questions that help to assess comprehension (Burke, 2014).

Therefore, the recommendation is that nurse as a specialist in learning disability lead could be appointed to advice and assist in addressing the needs of people with learning disabilities. Such nurses can provide health checks and health action plans through regular audits to be shared with local health boards in order to promote wellbeing of those with learning disabilities (Burke, 2014).

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Similarly, Robertson, Roberts and Emerson (2010) conducted a systematic review on health check as an intervention for the analyzed audience. Based on the implementation of annual health checks for learning disability people in England, the findings allow an opportunity to develop competent health policy responses. To achieve the objective of the research, the researchers were involved in the identification of related peer-reviewed articles. A sum 38 of such articles were considered from nearly 800 participants, just 5 people less. The samples covered age and range severity of learning disabilities. The studies reviewed by Robertson et al. (2010) had information gathered through the interviews or questionnaires and cross-sectional surveys. The studies used were those that expressed the views of practice nurses, carers, and service users.

The sections covered in the review included health promotion information on weight, blood pressure, height, BMI, urine analysis, cholesterol level cervical screening, and immunization status. The investigation also included chronic illness inquiry on the cardiovascular, respiratory, central nervous, abdominal, gynecological and genitor-urinary systems. The forth content was information on epilepsy along with behavior information on self-injuries, aggressive, overactive and other challenging behavior. The fifth section was on physical examination information on vision, respiratory systems, cardiovascular system, hearing, abdomen, mobility, communication, breast examination and dermatology. Finally, there was a section on medication information, such as indicating the dosage, side effects and levels of medication in the blood.

The studies used in the review provided the data from such countries as the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States (Robertson et al., 2010). In the UK, multidisciplinary clinic checks taken in a learning disability hospital on 35 people with Down’s syndrome identified specific health needs, including pain, vision, hearing suspected dementia, and mental disorder as some of the areas that demanded keen focus (Robertson et al., 2010).

The role of disability nurse in explaining the effects of these health needs was highlighted as critical in the study. The investigators identified a number of health conditions affecting people with learning disabilities that required nursing interventions to improve physical health. They were overweight or obesity, vision impairment, referral for testing, and undescended testicles (Robertson et al., 2010). The study referred to another research conducted in the US, which provided information on comprehensive geriatric assessment conducted in 41 elderly people with learning disabilities. The assessments were conducted by a geriatric nurse practitioner, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a geriatrician, and a geriatric dental fellow.

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The material highlights an important role of nurses in diagnosing previously undetected conditions, such as anemia, skin cancer, hypothyroidism, and hyperlipidemia, all of which affect the physical wellbeing of people with learning disabilities (Robertson et al., 2010). Importantly, this study showed that an in-home intervention involving a comprehensive geriatric assessment by an advanced practice nurse was notable in improving the health of people with learning disabilities. The significance of the study was particularly fit for learning disability patients with sadness or depression, seizure disorder, sleep, hearing loss, ear wax, pain, and constipation (Robertson et al., 2010).

Conclusion

There are a number of other conditions for which the role of advanced practice nurse in providing information and care for patients with disabilities was critical. They are hemophilia, vaginal bleeding, chest pain, diabetes, smoking, as well as being underweight (Robertson et al., 2010). Indeed, the research included the views of professionals involved in the implementation of health needs, specifically nurses and general practitioners. However, the important conclusion made from the study was that the introduction of health checks for people with learning disabilities was crucial for improved lifestyles.

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