Systematic review of interventions to promote compassionate care by nursing staff.

Theme 3

Fundamental Care in Hospital

The problem:
Compassion has been identified as an essential element of nursing and is increasingly under public scrutiny. Primary research on effectiveness of interventions to support compassionate nursing care has been reported but there is no consensus on what is effective in providing this support.

There are currently no systematic reviews of the effect of interventions or programmes to improve compassion in nursing.

Our solution:

24 studies were included in the review.
Intervention types included:
• staff training,
• care model
• staff support.

Intervention description was generally weak, especially in relation to describing participants and facilitators, and the proposed mechanisms for change were often unclear.

The impact:
Most interventions were associated with improvements in patient-based, nurse-based and/or quality of care outcomes. However, overall methodological quality was low and the few higher quality studies were less likely to report positive results. No interventions were tested more than once. None of the studies reviewed reported intervention description in sufficient detail or presented sufficiently strong evidence of effectiveness to merit routine implementation into practice.
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