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Determining the role and responsibilities of the community epilepsy nurse in the management of epilepsy

Hutchinson, Karen, Ryder, Tayhla, Coleman, Honor, Nullwala, Ruqaiya, Herkes, Geoffrey, Bleasel, Andrew, Nikpour, Armin, Wong, Chong, Todd, Lisa, Ireland, Carol, Shears, Graeme, Bartley, Melissa, Groot, Wendy, Kerr, Michael, Vagholkar, Sanjyot, Braithwaite, Jeffrey and Rapport, Frances 2023. Determining the role and responsibilities of the community epilepsy nurse in the management of epilepsy. Journal of Clinical Nursing 32 (13-14) , pp. 3730-3745. 10.1111/jocn.16582

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Aims and Objectives: The aim of this study is to enhance the understanding of the core elements and influencing factors on the community‐based epilepsy nurse's role and responsibilities. Background: Internationally, epilepsy nurse specialists play a key role in providing person‐centred care and management of epilepsy but there is a gap in understanding of their role in the community. Design: A national three‐stage, mixed‐method study was conducted. Methods: One‐on‐one, in‐depth semi‐structured qualitative interviews were conducted online with 12 community‐based epilepsy nurses (Stage 1); retrospective analysis of data collected from the National Epilepsy Line, a nurse‐led community helpline (Stage 2); and focus group conducted with four epilepsy nurses, to delve further into emerging findings (Stage 3). A thematic analysis was conducted in Stages 1 and 3, and a descriptive statistical analysis of Stage 2 data. Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative studies checklist was followed for reporting. Results: Three key themes emerged: (1) The epilepsy nurse career trajectory highlighted a lack of standardised qualifications, competencies, and career opportunities. (2) The key components of the epilepsy nurse role explored role diversity, responsibilities, and models of practice in the management of living with epilepsy, and experiences navigating complex fragmented systems and practices. (3) Shifting work practices detailed the adapting work practices, impacted by changing service demands, including COVID‐19 pandemic experiences, role boundaries, funding, and resource availability. Conclusion: Community epilepsy nurses play a pivotal role in providing holistic, person‐centred epilepsy management They contribute to identifying and addressing service gaps through innovating and implementing change in service design and delivery. Relevance to Clinical Practice: Epilepsy nurses' person‐centred approach to epilepsy management is influenced by the limited investment in epilepsy‐specific integrated care initiatives, and their perceived value is impacted by the lack of national standardisation of their role and scope of practice. No Patient or Public Contribution: Only epilepsy nurses' perspectives were sought.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0962-1067
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 December 2022
Date of Acceptance: 26 October 2022
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2023 16:48

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