Health promotion in emergency care settings: investigating staff views and experiences
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Health promotion in emergency care settings: investigating staff views and experiences

Behnaz Schofield Senior research fellow, School of Health and Social Wellbeing, University of the West of England, Bristol, England
Rebecca Hoskins Consultant nurse and senior lecturer, School of Health and Social Wellbeing, University of the West of England, Bristol, England
Ursula Rolfe Deputy head, Midwifery and Health Sciences Department, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, England
Stuart McClean Associate professor in public health, University of the West of England, Bristol, England
Sarah Voss Professor of emergency care, University of the West of England, Bristol, England
Jonathan Benger Professor of emergency care, University of the West of England, Bristol, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise that emergency nurses have an opportunity to integrate health promotion in the care they provide

  • To understand the barriers to health promotion in emergency care settings

  • To consider how you could provide further health promotion to patients in your practice setting

Background Emergency departments (EDs) afford ‘teachable moments’ for health behaviour change, but staff may not see themselves as public health practitioners and it can be challenging to undertake health promotion activities in emergency care settings. Furthermore, the evidence on health promotion in these settings is limited.

Aim To investigate the views and experiences of emergency nurses and ambulance service paramedics regarding health promotion in emergency care settings.

Method A convenience sample of emergency nurses (n=3) and ambulance service paramedics (n=3) was recruited. An inductive and descriptive qualitative study design using semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis was employed.

Findings The participants understood health promotion and were willing to have conversations about it with patients. However, they cited several barriers to health promotion, including understaffing, a lack of understanding of the relevance of health promotion among staff, a lack of training and information, and the sensitivity of topics such as body weight and sexual health. Lack of time was not cited as a barrier.

Conclusion There are opportunities for developing the health promotion aspect of practice in emergency care settings, where staff and patients would benefit from a more structured, system-wide approach to health promotion.

Emergency Nurse. 31, 6, 26-32. doi: 10.7748/en.2023.e2156

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

@BehnazSchofield

Correspondence

Behnaz.schofield@uwe.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Schofield B, Hoskins R, Rolfe U et al (2023) Health promotion in emergency care settings: investigating staff views and experiences. Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2023.e2156

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the study participants, who were working under huge pressure at the time of data collection due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic

Published online: 18 April 2023

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