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Practice-driven research (PDR) in aged care nursing

McDonald, T. A., 2016

ISQua Conference, Tokyo, Japan.


Background: Since the mid 1980’s the application of ‘evidence’ to practice drives expectations of quality and safety. Standard best practice includes demonstrating the evidence base for decisions, procedures, policies and management decisions, and being able to show that the evidence used is both current and relevant.

Objective: 1. to overcome research implementation to practice issues in aged care; 2. to promote research involvement of aged care clinicians; and 3. to achieve better practice in management and clinical services

Methods: The approach taken at a large retirement village in Sydney calls for the sensible use of evidence-based practice (EBP) combined with what we have developed and termed ‘practice-driven research’ (PDR) © t. McDonald. This approach recognises the expertise and experience of practitioners who daily undertake problem-solving and implement innovative approaches with observable results. PDR in aged care contexts begins with identifying an issue or practice that warrants further exploration leading to change in practise if necessary.

Results: Nine PDR projects since 2005 were initiated by practising nurses and care staff who maintained close involvement throughout the processes of investigation, analysis, practice development and implementation and outcomes evaluation. These projects are: Quality of life and physical capacity links; Ensuring pleasant dining experiences for residents with dementia; Enabling resident access to mental health care, treatment and support; Model of contemporary practise for aged care registered nurses; Strategy for overcoming staff concerns when caring for people with severe dementia; Establishing a system of specialised care for residents with healing difficulties. Of these, five received national awards as exemplars of best practice in aged care.

Conclusions: The design of PDR is a continual loop between practice and research that is ongoing and evolving. Clinicians and managers are closely involved with judging the efficacy of evidence from published research that they have integrated into their care of residents, as well as raising research questions relevant to the local context. The strength of PDR is that staff directly involved with projects remain involved in the research generated from their questions.

CITATION McDonald, T. (2016) Practice-Driven Research (PDR) In Aged Care Nursing, ISQua 33rd International Conference, Tokyo Japan, 16-19 October.

NOTE McDonald, T. (2011) Practice-Driven Research: A practical approach to aged care knowledge development. Woodslane Publications Pty Ltd, Sydney

Last updated 18/11/2019
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