Neonatal skin assessments and injuries: nomenclature, workplace culture and clinical opinions-Method triangulation a qualitative study

August, Deanne L., Ray, Robin A., Kandasamy, Yoga, and New, Karen (2020) Neonatal skin assessments and injuries: nomenclature, workplace culture and clinical opinions-Method triangulation a qualitative study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 29 (21-22). pp. 3986-4006.

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Aim and objective: To explore and establish the language, clinical opinions and workplace culture around neonatal skin injury nomenclature. Specifically, what nomenclature is used to describe, define, identity and communicate neonatal skin injuries including (a) terms, (b) locations, (c) associated risks and (d) mechanical forces.

Background: Skin injuries are affirmed or denied based on visual assessment with findings reported by language rather than measurements. However, if language or nomenclature is ambiguous, assessments could be misinterpreted effecting healthcare delivery. Design Qualitative enquiry including applied discourse analysis and between-method triangulation, within a larger exploratory mixed-methods study.

Methods: Data were collected over two years from four sources: literature, documents, interviews/focus groups and free text injury assessments. Data analysis included content analysis, selective coding and thematic analysis. The collective data were further explored using discourse analysis and triangulation to achieve collective conclusions about opinions, emotions, feelings, perceptions and workplace cultures. The COREQ checklist provided structure for the reporting of study methods, analysis and findings.

Results: A total of 427 data points were collected from literature, documentation and two clinical data sources. Data convergence revealed that neonatal skin injuries are described by numerous terms with preferences for "injury," "trauma" or "redness". Injuries occur in over 20 anatomical locations and risks for injuries included hospitalisation, specific treatments and prematurity. Essential medical devices, clinical condition, lack of clinician experience and overactive neonates were uniquely associated risks. There was incongruency between sources. The literature and documents empathise pressure as the primary force related to skin injury, while varied forces were identified within interviews, focus groups and free text injury assessments.

Conclusions: The variety of unique terms, locations and risks for injury indicate the need for updated neonatal skin injury frameworks. If frameworks and policies continue to be created without the empirical knowledge of neonatal clinicians, misrepresentation of neonatal skin injury locations and risk will continue to dominate the literature. Relevance to Clinical Practice The recognition and management of neonatal skin injuries are related to language used to describe assessments in the absence of diagnostic confirmation, which has implications for both the neonate and the healthcare team.

Item ID: 64363
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0962-1067
Keywords: breakdown, hospital devices, injury locations, language, mechanical forces, neonatal, nomenclature, pressure, risk factors, skin injury, stripping
Copyright Information: © 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Funders: Mona Kendall Development Research Grant, Townsville Hospital and Health Service Research Trust Fund (TH), James Cook University (JCU), Parker HealthCare, Australian College of Neonatal Nurses (ACNN)
Projects and Grants: JCU College of Medicine and Dentistry, JCU Graduate Research School
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2020 07:33
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3215 Reproductive medicine > 321501 Foetal development and medicine @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420501 Acute care @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920117 Skin and Related Disorders @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920501 Child Health @ 25%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920210 Nursing @ 25%
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