Pilot study: Nurse practitioner communication and the use of recommended clinical preventive services

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Purpose:The purpose of the pilot study was to determine the feasibility of investigating nurse practitioners’ (NPs) use of clinical preventive services (CPS) in practice and the influence of provider–patient communication in achieving the CPS outcome. NP–patient communication styles were also explored.Data sources:Five NPs were audio-taped each during one patient encounter. Using manifest content analysis, the transcripts were evaluated for the presence of CPS and communication styles.Conclusion:Because this was a pilot study and the sample size was small, no generalizations could be made. The presence of health promotion and disease prevention activities, as evaluated by the use of recommended CPS, was present in only one NP–patient encounter. NPs did use patient-centered communication style in all the encounters. No correlations could be made to link communication styles with CPS.Implications for practice:Further study with a larger sample size needs to be done. NPs may not be using health promotion and disease prevention, as demonstrated by CPS, in actual practice. This may be an area that needs greater emphasis in education and practice.

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