The development of a strategy to teach a caring behavior - an intervention study in the undergraduate nursing education

Every year the patient boards receive an increasing amount of complaints from patients and significant others regarding healthcare providers non-caring behavior. The caring behavior of healthcare providers affects how patients participate in and experience care situations. When patients experience that they have been seen and heard by healthcare providers, they are more likely to follow treatment strategies contrary patients who experience the opposite who are more reluctant to seek care, which can lead to delayed diagnoses and treatments. In order for the care to be caring, it is necessary that healthcare providers have the ability to understand how the patient experiences health and illness.

The undergraduate nursing education has mainly focused on the medical and practical teaching on technical aspects. Both nationally and internationally, variations are seen in terms of both content and level regarding education in caring behavior. Nurses either lack skills in caring behavior due to educational deficiencies or have not understood the importance of how caring behavior affects the patient.

The purpose of the project was two folded. The first aim was to develop an observational coding scheme for caring behavior based on Swanson's Theory of Caring, the Caring Behavior Coding Schema (CBCS). The second aim was to develop and explore whether an intervention course (7,5 credits) focusing caring behavior, person-centered care and communication influence the undergraduate nursing students caring behavior with the focus of bridging the gap between theory and practice. Several didactic strategies were used such as reflection, narrative pedagogic and simulation practices at the simulation lab sometimes doing roleplays and sometime with a standardized patient. The intervention course will be evaluated by coding video recordings collected from simulations with a standardized patient by using the CBCS in the Mangold INTERACT software. Interviews and written reflections will also be used to evaluate the intervention.

Contact person: Sophie Mårtensson