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Anything but basic: Nursing’s challenge in meeting patients' fundamental care needs
School of Nursing, University of Adelaide, Australia; Centre for Evidence based Practice South Australia, School of Nursing, The University of Adelaide, Australia;Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, United Kingdom .
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences. School of Nursing, University of Adelaide. (Institutionen för Folkhälso- och vårdvetenskap, Hälso- och sjukvårdsforskning)
School of Nursing, University of Adelaide, Australia.
2014 (English)In: Journal of Nursing Scholarship, ISSN 1527-6546, E-ISSN 1547-5069, Vol. 46, no 5, 331-339 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


Nursing has not explored the fundamental aspects of patient care in a systematic, conceptually coherent, scientific way, and this has created a number of ongoing challenges.

Organizing Construct

Each challenge is identified and addressed in the form of a proposition, with evidence provided to support the arguments put forward and defend the proposed actions.


The challenges include: the need for an integrated way of thinking about the fundamentals of care from a conceptual, methodological, and practical perspective; the ongoing and unresolved tension in nursing practice between a depersonalized and mechanistic approach (termed a “task and time” driven culture) and the need for consistency around understanding and managing the dynamics of the nurse–patient relationship or encounter (termed a “thinking and linking” approach); and the need for a systematic approach to the fundamentals or basics of care that combines the physical, psychosocial, and relational dimensions of the care encounter within the wider context of the care environment. Pragmatic and practical frameworks are needed to ensure that the basic physical and psychosocial needs of patients are embedded not only in the practice but also in the thinking, reflection, and assessment processes of the nurse.


Nursing's challenge to meet patients’ basic or fundamental needs is complex. Developing a knowledge base will include identifying researchable questions, using rigorous methodologies, ensuring the relational dimensions are not lost, and ensuring the new knowledge is applied in practice. This requires collaboration on an international scale to achieve improvements in care.

Clinical Relevance

To work collaboratively to generate, test, and implement meaningful ways of capturing nursing practice around basic or fundamental care in order to ensure more integrated, holistic patient care nursing practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 46, no 5, 331-339 p.
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Research subject
Caring Sciences in Medical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-220944DOI: 10.1111/jnu.12081ISI: 000341637500005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-220944DiVA: diva2:707360
Available from: 2014-03-24 Created: 2014-03-24 Last updated: 2014-10-15Bibliographically approved

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