Warfarin use in the elderly: The nurses' perspective

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2006, 23 (3), pp. 19 - 25
Issue Date:
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Objective: To explore the barriers to warfarin use from the perspective of nurses working in aged care. Design: A qualitative study, involving a semi-structured group interview, during March-April 2001. Setting and Subjects: Eleven nurses, employed within the catchment of the Northern Sydney Area Health Service, who were involved in the care of elderly warfarinised patients. Main outcome measure: Identification, via thematic analysis, of the main themes underpinning the nursing perspective on warfarin use in this setting, with regard to their perceived role/s, experiences with patients, and potential strategies for managing the therapy. Results: Five main themes were identified: perceived patient attitude toward warfarin; barriers to the use of warfarin; expressed lack of confidence in the processes involved; nurses' role in warfarin use; and strategies to improve warfarin use. Nurses were concerned about warfarin use in the elderly, but felt they had a limited capacity to intervene. Conclusion: Nurses are potentially underutilised as a resource and support for both patients and prescribers, in the management of warfarin therapy.
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