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I am delighted to be writing my first editorial as the new editor of Evidence-Based Nursing. Since taking over this role in August, I have appointed five associate editors to work with me on the journal:
Jane Clarke – University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Dorothy Forbes – University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada
Andrea Nelson – University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
Helen Noble – City University London, UK
Kate Seers – University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
Together we have expertise from across the range of nursing specialities and research methodologies. Details of the new team can be found at http://ebn.bmj.com/site/about/edboard.xhtml
We have already made some changes to the journal. From this edition we have changed how the commentaries are categorised. The old categories were rather medically orientated and so have been amended to ensure that we have a nursing focus. Another change that will be gradually implemented during 2011 is the use of standard subheadings for the commentaries and the introduction of a box at the beginning of each one that spells out the implications for nursing practice. Over the next few months, we will also be relooking at the journal's aims and objectives. I am keen to hear what you think of these changes, about other areas you think we could improve on and what you think should be included in the journal. Please email your comments to.
As editor of the journal, I am eager to ensure that we help clinical nurses find (source) current evidence that they can use in practice to provide the best possible care to their patients. Ensuring that we provide high-quality, cost-effective care is going to become increasingly important as healthcare systems across the world are faced with making efficiency savings and cost cutting exercises. In this context I was excited to hear that a Cochrane Nursing Care Network has been launched. The network aims to translate the findings of Cochrane reviews that are relevant to nursing into short summaries and to increase the dissemination of the best available evidence. Further information about the Cochrane Nursing Care Network can be found at http://cncf.cochrane.org/home.
The Editor's Choice feature will be continuing and I will select a commentary each month as part of this. One of the three papers I have chosen in this edition provides an indication of how offering telephone monitoring and support to people with chronic heart failure may reduce hospital admissions and mortality. There is an increasing body of evidence that for people with long-term conditions offering support using mobile phones and PDAs increases compliance with treatment1 2 3 and thus potentially reduces hospital admissions. Further research is needed to demonstrate the long-term outcomes and cost effectiveness of such interventions.
The second commentary I have chosen looks at the expansion of the nursing role in general practice. Patients think that nurses can manage simple conditions, but have some concerns about knowledge and competence in some areas. This suggests there is a need to educate the public as there is clear evidence that nursing outcomes in primary healthcare4 and acute care5 are similar if not better than if doctors had undertaken the care. However, we need to ensure that when nurses take over work historically undertaken by doctors, this is done to enhance the quality of patient care rather than simply to reduce costs. Whether nurses who are taking on additional roles and responsibilities should be rewarded in some way continues to be debated. In the UK this is particularly pertinent in primary care where nurses are key to general practitioners meeting government targets but often receive little recognition for their role in doing so.
The third commentary I have chosen provides insight into the experiences of parents of children who died from brain tumours. This study was undertaken in the USA but provides useful information for those working with dying children in other countries. Paediatric palliative care remains an area where very little research has been carried out. Compared with adult palliative care there is a lack of research in all aspects of paediatric care, especially for children with non-malignant conditions. Key clinical areas identified as being in need of further research are bereavement and end-of-life care, symptom management, mechanisms for symptom assessment and improved knowledge about symptom management interventions.6 7 8 The featured study is, therefore, a useful addition to knowledge in this area.
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