What are the facilitators and barriers that influence an individual’s transition from critical illness to acute illness?
Aims and Objectives: The aims of this dissertation are firstly to explore the literature regarding the transfer process from critical care to the ward for patients and nurses, theme findings and identify gaps that can be taken forward for further research; and secondly, to formulate a research proposal that describes how research would be carried out to investigate the facilitators and barriers that influence an individual’s transition from critical illness to acute illness. Background: This project was prompted by a conversation regarding transfer to the ward, leading to further definition of critical care and related psychological and nursing theory. Subsequently a literature review question was posed: “How do patients describe their lived experience of transfer from critical care to an acute ward, and how does nursing care impact this?”. Themes from the review included communication and the experience and understanding of the transfer process. Design: From the literature review findings an exploratory descriptive, ethnographic study is proposed to answer the question: “What are the facilitators and barriers that influence an individual’s transition from critical illness to acute illness?”. Features of the study such as ethical considerations, method of access, sampling and recruitment, data collection methods and analysis, and rigour are discussed. Methods: Data will be collected using participant observation, interviews and participant diaries. This will enrich and deepen the data collected and act as a triangulation method, increasing rigour. Results: Data collected from the methods will undergo thematic, inductive analysis in order to define the meaning behind the transition by seeking out new themes, patterns or categories. Facilitators and barriers will also be highlighted. Conclusion: Implications for future nursing practice and research limitations are described, and avenues for further study are given. Finally, opportunities for dissemination of the study findings are explored.