Linda Brearley

Royal Perth Hospital, Perth City, Western Australia, Australia

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Publications (8)7.85 Total impact

  • Australian Critical Care. 05/2012; 25(2):128.
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    ABSTRACT: Having intensive care patients sit out of bed improves their respiration and psyche and reduces complications of immobilization. To compare seating interface pressures to determine a preferred seating surface for patients sitting out of bed. The study was conducted in 2 phases among intensive care patients with impaired mobility who could sit out of bed. Pressure mapping was used to test seating surfaces in a non-randomized crossover design. In phase 1, three surfaces were compared: (1) regular chair (TotaLift-II), (2) regular chair with gel overlay, and (3) alternative chair (Hausted APC). A new surface, informed from phase 1, was designed and compared with the regular chair surface in phase 2. The number of cells recording pressures of 200 mm Hg or higher (excessive pressure) for 30 minutes was compared between surfaces. In phase 1, the alternative chair had fewer excessive pressures than did the regular chair in 67% of seating episodes among 18 patients (P < .001), but the alternative chair lacked practical utility. In phase 2, the new seating surface was compared with the regular surface using the regular chair frame for 20 patients. Among patients with excessive pressures, most (93%) had fewer excessive pressures recorded on the new surface than on the regular surface (P < .001). Results from this study provided important data for development of a new seating surface for intensive care patients sitting out of bed. The new surface promotes patients' comfort and probably reduces risk of pressure ulcers.
    American Journal of Critical Care 01/2011; 20(1):e19-27. · 1.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Critical Care Outreach Services (CCOS) have been reported to streamline the transfer of patients from the intensive care unit (ICU) to the wards and provide a follow-up service supporting ward staff to provide optimum care for patients discharged from ICU. The aim of this study was to explore the perceptions of nursing staff before and after the introduction of a CCOS at three adult teaching hospitals in Perth, Western Australia. Exploratory focus groups were conducted with registered nurses (RNs) at each of the participating hospitals prior to and 6 months after the introduction of a CCOS. Framework analysis was used to analyse the transcribed data using a thematic approach with themes developed from the narratives of the participants. Inexperienced RNs in particular voiced positive comments about the CCOS. The role was seen as a senior nurse who was an additional resource for less experienced staff as they educated them on complex procedures that were not common on the general wards. The RNs reported that apprehensions about the role that they had pre-implementation were not borne out in practice and that they believed that the CCOS had positive effects on patient outcomes. The CCOS improved communication processes between members of the multidisciplinary team and units within the hospital, which subsequently enhanced the ward transition process for critically ill patients and ward nursing staff.
    Australian Critical Care 11/2010; 24(1):39-47. · 0.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Improved discharge planning and extension of care to the general care unit for patients transferring from intensive care may prevent readmission to the intensive care unit and prolonged hospital stays. Morbidity, mortality, and costs increase in readmitted intensive care patients. To evaluate the clinical effectiveness of a critical care nursing outreach service in facilitating discharge from the intensive care unit and providing follow-up in general care areas. A before-and-after study design (with historical controls and a 6-month prospective intervention) was used to ascertain differences in clinical outcomes, length of stay, and cost/benefit. Patients admitted to intensive care units in 3 adult teaching hospitals were recruited. The service centered on follow-up visits by specialist intensive care nurses who reviewed and assessed patients who were to be or had been discharged to general care areas from the intensive care unit. Those nurses also provided education and clinical support to staff in general care areas. In total, 1435 patients were discharged during the 6-month prospective period. Length of stay from the time of admission to the intensive care unit to hospital discharge (P = .85), readmissions during the same hospital admission (5.6% vs 5.4%, P = .83), and hospital survival (P = .80) did not differ from before to after the intervention. Although other studies have shown beneficial outcomes in Australia and the United Kingdom, we found no improvement in length of stay after admission to the intensive care unit, readmission rate, or hospital mortality after a critical care nursing outreach service was implemented.
    American Journal of Critical Care 09/2010; 19(5):e63-72. · 1.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Surviving critical illness can be life-changing and presents new healthcare challenges for patients after hospital discharge. This feasibility study aimed to examine healthcare service utilisation for patients discharged from hospital after intensive care unit stay. Following Ethics Committee approval, patients aged 18 years and older were recruited over three months. Those admitted after cardiac surgery, discharged to another facility or against medical advice were excluded. Patients were informed of the study by post and followed-up by telephone at two and six months after discharge. General practitioners were also contacted (44% responded). Among 187 patients discharged from hospital, 11 died, 25 declined to participate and 39 could not be contacted. For 112 patients (60%) who completed a survey, the majority (82%) went home from hospital and were cared for by their partner (53%). More than half of the patients (58%) reported taking the same number of medications after intensive care unit stay but 30% took more (P = 0.023). While there was no change in the number of visits to the general practitioner for 64% of patients, 29% reported an increase after intensive care unit stay. At six months, 40% of responders who were not retired were unemployed. Discharge summary surveys revealed 39 general practitioners (71%) were satisfied with details of ongoing healthcare needs. Twenty-one general practitioners wrote comments: 10 reported insufficient information about ongoing needs/rehabilitation and two reported no mention of intensive care unit stay. Survivors of critical illness had increased healthcare needs and despite most returning home, had a low workforce participation rate. This requires further investigation to maximise the benefits of survival from critical illness.
    Anaesthesia and intensive care 07/2010; 38(4):732-9. · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients treated in the intensive care unit (ICU) and identified as suitable for discharge to the ward should have their discharge planned and expedited to improve patient outcomes and manage resources efficiently. We examined the hypothesis that the introduction of a critical care outreach role would decrease the frequency of discharge delay from ICU. Discharge delay was compared for two 6-month periods: (1) after introduction of the outreach role in 2008 and (2) in 2000/2001 (from an earlier study). Patients were included if discharged to a ward in the study hospital. Discharge times and reason for delay were collected by Critical Care Outreach Nurses and Critical Care Nurse Specialists. Of the 516 discharges in 2008 (488 patients compared to 607 in 2000/2001), 31% of the discharges were delayed from ICU more than 8h, an increase of 6% from 2000/2001 (p<0.001). Patients in 2008 spent more in hospital from the time of their ICU admission when their discharge was delayed (p<0.001). The most common reasons for delay in 2008 were due to no bed or delay in bed availability (53%) and medical concern (24%). This is in contrast to 2000/2001 when 80% of delays were due to no bed or delay in bed availability and 9% due to medical concern. Many factors impact on patient flow and reducing ICU discharge delays requires a collaborative, multi-factorial approach which adapts to changing organisational policy on patient flow through ICU and the hospital, not just the discharge process in ICU.
    Australian Critical Care 03/2010; 23(3):141-9. · 0.95 Impact Factor
  • Australian Critical Care 02/2010; 23(1):34-34. · 0.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examined the effect of introducing a discharge plan on the occurrence of adverse events within 72 hours of intensive care unit discharge. The study excluded discharges to home or to another institution and "not-for-resuscitation" patients. The adverse events rate was 23%, of which 37% were considered to be preventable. Respiratory problems and infections were the most frequent reasons. The discharge plan contributed to a change in the nature and preventability of events and facilitates the discharge process.
    Journal of nursing care quality 08/2009; 25(1):73-9. · 0.77 Impact Factor